I really feel sorry for the tournament fishermen and women at this time of the year. Have you ever noticed how a cold front always comes through the state of Florida just prior to the weekend, causing the temperatures to drop severely and a couple "bluebird" days to appear, usually on Saturday and Sunday? Originally I thought it was just because my wife was fishing tournaments and it was just her bad luck. She hasn't fished a tournament in almost 20 years, but the fronts still keep coming with the same pattern, especially during the month of February.
I can still remember one year when she was fishing a tournament on Lake Okeechobee, I think with Bass'n Gal, and the schedule included Valentine's Day. Her practice went great, in fact, better than ever before on Lake Okeechobee. She had quality fish located about five places on the south, southwest, and southeast sides of the lake, which was perfect since they were fishing out of Clewiston.
She was going as a non-boater and drew Kathy Magers the first day and she won the toss for fishing her spots first. They went to the Monkey Box and she boated a 5lber on her first cast. She was primed and ready to really do good in the tournament. Then, shortly after that the winds started to blow ... and blow ... and blow. They couldn't hold the boat in the spot where they wanted to fish because the winds were blowing so hard that it was about to swamp them.
There was no place out on the lake where you could maintain a location to fish, so they had to go to the rim ditch. My wife didn't pre-fish the rim canal, so she didn't have any particular preferences of where to fish; and she was totally dejected that she couldn't fish the lake. I don't think I've ever seen her so depressed about fishing. She tried to prepare for that tournament harder than she ever had before ... just to loose it to the weather and Mother Nature. The winds were so strong (hurricane force) that several ladies found their boats aground because the water was literally blown out from under them. Others that were trying to fish the rocks in the ditch, found themselves ON the rocks!
Well, that's what did her in on fishing tournaments. She said that her Father always told her that fishing is what he did to relax away from his job. Once she realized that her tournament fishing had become a "J-O-B" to her, then she realized it was time to quit. Now she enjoys going out fun fishing with me and helping me with my guide business, Southern Outdoorsman Guide Service, like finding new locations to take my clients, some of which come on the weekends and, since we have had some severe fronts in January and now February, that is what made me think of the tournament fisherman and women. She also designed and maintains my website, http://www.bassfishingguide.com/ and runs two businesses of her own, one with Market America and a secretarial service.
So, those of you who are fishing tournaments and trying to get through another season of cold fronts ... have heart! It is not because you "have a dark cloud hanging over you" or "broke a mirror to give you 7 years bad luck" or "a black cat crossed your path" or whatever you might think brought you bad luck. It's just Mother Natures way of taking care of her own while they are trying to make babies. After all, if it were your children, you would protect them, too ... right? Hang in there, Spring is right around the corner and so is good tournament fishing weather.
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