Third time’s a charm?

With the 2014 season just underway, I’m all fired up and ready to hit the tournament trail in my third year as a Bassmaster Elite Series pro.

I made the round of 50 at the Lake Seminole opener, finishing 37th overall. Not quite the results I wanted, but at least I made it to day 3 and collected a few AOY points. With the second Elite Series tournament being on the St. Johns River, right in my hometown of Palatka, Florida, I figured I could make a pretty strong showing. But I missed the cut by a pound or so, finishing 56th. Go figure.

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Day 1 o4 2014 Lake Seminole Elite.

Over the previous two seasons, I’ve finished in the money 11 times in Bassmaster Elite Series and Open tournaments, with 3 top five Elite finishes and a trip to the Bassmaster Classic. The Elite Series returns to several locations where I’ve had success in the past, like Toledo Bend and Cayuga in New York, so I’m hoping my familiarity with those fisheries pays off again in 2014. One new Elite tournament stop that I hope to pre-fish is Lake Dardanelle, in Arkansas. Another Elite I’m really looking forward to and excited about is the Bassmaster BASSFest at Chickamauga Lake, in Tennessee. My family is planning a summer trip to join me at the event, and the added support of my “No. 1 fans” sure can’t hurt!

When will I consider the 2014 season a big success? If I finish near the top of the leaderboard often enough to cash a few fat checks and punch my ticket to the 2015 Classic. And a few tour wins sure wouldn’t hurt! Then again, there’s a-hundred-and-something Elite angles I’ll be competing against all season long who’ll tell you the very same thing. Wish me luck!

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