I just returned from the FLW Tour event on Lake Pickwick/Wilson in Alabama. In this event, one of the big risks you take is locking out of Pickwick and into Wilson. FLW had “guaranteed” lock times for us, and after my practice, I thought my best bet was to lock into Wilson Lake. I locked into and fished Wilson that first day and had a decent day. Unfortunately, when I got back to the lock at 1:30, the designated time, there was a barge stuck in the lock. My weigh in time was 3:00, and by the time the lock opened back up, I was not able to make it back in time to weigh in my fish. Of the 33 anglers who were stuck, 27 of us were not able to make it back for our assigned check–in times. In 28 years of competitive fishing, I have never been late – not even one time.
Things like locking in to different lakes or making 2 hour one-way runs are things that make our sport really unique. To be good at fishing, you have to take risks. It’s just part of the sport. Yes, there were “guaranteed” lock times, but we all know that we lock at our own risk.
Though I caught fish, I weighed in zero that first day. I did not choose to lock the next day and caught a decent limit on Pickwick, but it wasn’t enough to result in a very good finish. I had to swing for the fences on Pickwick and came up short. Risk is just part of the sport we love, and it’s actually one of the thing that makes it so compelling and so much fun. I’ll continue to take risks and pray for the best. It’s what I do. It’s fishing. And I’ll get em’ next time!