So I'm out on Lay the first day of practice for the 40th Bassmaster Classic and I'm thinking. Bad thing to be out in the boat while thinking, especially when practicing for a derby.
Not just any derby either, but the Bassmaster Classic. I shouldn't be thinking about anything but where to get the next bite. Problem with that "next bite" thing is, I'm not getting bit. That's a problem.
It's cold down here in Alabama; cold for Alabama anyway. The air's cold. Cold enough that snow is flying. It doesn't snow in this part of Alabama. Maybe a few flakes every blue moon, but not enough to amount to anything. Rarely does it stick to the ground. This is going to stick. Stick for a while, anyway.
The water's cold; cold and muddy. Cold and muddy is never a good combo. How cold? Cold enough that the plentiful shad that inhabit Lay Lake are dying by the bazillions. Bazillions, I tell you.
Don't think I've ever been on any body of water and seen so many dead or dying shad. Pockets up and down the lake are full of stunned and dying shad.
The gulls are so fat, they can barely fly to get up off the water and get out of the way of the JewelBait.com BassCat Mercury. Haven't hit one yet, but I keep trying. (Hope PETA isn't one of the page views on ESPNOutdoors.com).
While I'm out there thinking in the snow and cold, I'm not so much thinking about getting a bite as thinking about why I'm standing on the snow covered deck of the BassCat listening to the soft patter of snow on my Gore-Tex hood.
Ever notice what a cool sound snow makes as it hits the hood of your jacket? It's such a pleasant, soothing sound. Seriously. Just a little "pit pit pit pit pit." Pit pit pit pit pit.
Never heard that? Course you haven't; most sane people aren't out fishing in the snow. Not that there's anything wrong with fishing in the snow. If you live in, oh, say, Wisconsin and you fish in February through the ice, it's OK to fish in the snow. In Alabama? Not so much OK.
I'm listening to the pit-pit of snow on my hood, looking for a bite on the first day of practice to help me figure out what I need to be doing and where I need to be doing as well as how I need to be doing. And I'm thinking.
Thinking way too much about things other than getting that first bite. I'm thinking what would be wrong with moving the Classic back to the summer? Would that be such a bad thing? Hey, the Elite Series season is over in mid- June; why not?
I'm not one to complain about the cold, as I have the duds to stay warm in most any condition. I'm certainly not complaining about the tough fishing, having won the toughest Elite Series to date last year on the Mississippi River.
So what's the problem? No problem, just asking a question. BASS could schedule the Classic for January in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and I'd still work my butt off to qualify for the thing.
It's the Classic, for crying out loud. The Bassmaster Classic. Might be nice to wear some shorts while fishing in it, though. Just a warm thought on an otherwise chilly day. Man, my hands are cold. Time for a pair of dry gloves.
For more info on Kevin Short or to contact Kevin, check out his Web site at www.kfshort.com.