So close… I was so close. I had the 2018 State Team within my grasp going into Day 2 of the NC Bass Nation State Qualifying Tournament on the Chowan River this past weekend. After Day 1 of the tournament I was sitting comfortably in 6th place and was only 2lbs out of a qualifying spot. And truthfully, I should have been leading the tournament after day 1.
During Day 1 I caught my new personal best, a 7.27lb GIANT that had me going crazy on the boat. The fish was my second keeper of the day and really propelled me going forward for the rest of the day. I only finished day 1 with 4 fish though… I lost a 5lber at the boat that would have given me over 17lbs for the day and put me very close to the lead but instead I finished the day with more than 12lbs of bass.
I was still happy with my performance and how I was able to put together a pattern and really put together a decent bag of fish.
Then it happened… The pressure. Even at blast off for day 2 I was feeling the nervousness. I was very uneasy. My plan was to do the exact same thing and run the exact same pattern as day number 1. But the fish didn’t cooperate first thing so I panicked. I started fishing way to fast and before I knew it, it was 10am and I only had 1 fish in the boat. By noon I was almost ready to write off the day as a loss. But I continued fishing as hard as I could, but alas, the big bites never came.
So I dropped out of contention for the state team. But all was not lost. I won the tournament big fish prize and really gained a deep understanding of the Chowan River. It’s a beautiful fishery and the experienced I gained there will last me a lifetime.
I’m going to continue fishing hard, preparing and dedicating myself to getting back on the NC State team. There is one more qualifying tournament this year on Lake Gaston in October that will be incredibly important to me as it’s the last chance this year to qualify.
My next big tournament is a BFL in June on High Rock Lake. I’m looking forward to cashing more checks and performing better and better with each passing tournament.