FishStrong fan Aaron Richardson, co-angler winner of the 2011 FLW Everstart Series on Lake Eufaula, wrote a nice short story that I wanted to share with fellow FishStrong readers. I think it does a good job of capturing some of the blood pumping excitement we feel on tournament day. I definitely related to it.
It’s 3:00 a.m. and the journey begins. The two hour drive to the lake is quiet and uneventful. My thoughts are filled with images of giant bass trying to rip the fishing rod from my hands. I arrive at the launch only to be greeted by a school of eager bass anglers, swimming around, trying to register for the tournament and making last minute preparations. I locate my partner and stow my gear in his boat as he informs me of the obvious; the beautiful, early summer day is going to be great.
The longest part of the day is waiting patiently for enough light to fall on the lake so the director can launch the boats. We wait. The gnats are out and the smell of honey suckle is in the air. What a wonderful life.
It’s time. Boat one… boat two… we wait feverishly for our number. Almost there! Okay, go! With a mash of the accelerator, the boat screams across the lake in the early morning light. We glide gently across the water as the boat slows to a stop in front of a beautiful lilly pad field. My heart is racing with anticipation.
I fire my topwater plug out over the field and watch as it lands softly on the water. Perfect! With a flick of the wrist and a twitch of the rod my lure comes to life. Twitch, twitch, my frog crawls over the pads. Twitch-twitch. Twitch-twitch.
An ominous wake appears behind my bait… Twitch-twitch… twitch-twitch, followed by a strike so explosive it could have only been rivaled by Krakatoa. “There he is!” I scream as I set the hook and the giant bass raises its beautiful head, shoots out of the water, and dances across the pads. I turn to my friend with fire in my eyes and exclaim…