Classic pre-practice is just under a month away and I’m trying to contain my enthusiasm. Every rabbit in Southern Indiana has been harassed by me and my pack of 14 beagles in order to keep my mind off the tournament. I think I’ll have Gary Nesty look into protective eyewear for those dogs as the briers have been a little tough on them. They will look like 14 little Kareem Abdul-Jabbars running around out there.


I’ve been paring my tackle in my boat way down from what I usually carry. I feel like I could probably get by with 3 rods and several of 3 different kinds of baits. I’ll still carry a lot more of tackle than that as my security blanket.


I am paring down in order to make room to carry two complete changes of clothes a day. Getting wet in this tournament could be life-threatening, if not fatal. I have been out of the boat in cold water enough to know that I need to be prepared for the worst.


How’s this for "MOTIVATION." I just read where Bassmaster’s Ken Duke handicaps my chance of winning the Classic at 90 to 1. He says my chances are slim because I am a "Federation Nation" angler who is apparently too old to win. I guess I better make some extra room in the boat for my Geritol and Depends.

Keep rooting for this old man, and I’ll keep fishing hard to silence the critics.