In 2012 I entered my first Bassmaster Weekend Series (BWS) North Carolina Division 5 tournament as a co-angler. The one-day tournament, held at Jordan Lake in Apex, NC, wasn't quite what I had expected. The field was small, only 25 boats. I was expecting there to be atleast 40 boats, if not 50. Out of the 25 boats I finished the tournament in an eleven-way tie for 16th place. It wasn't a very good day for me as I caught nothing.
I started the day casting a buzz-bait and a Rebel Pop-R near the grass along the shoreline with no success. As the day went on I switched to a Rapala DT-6 and missed 2 fish. I wasn't sure how but it happened. I switched lures a couple of more times with no luck at all. That afternoon the topwater bite was over and I had switched over to a shaky-worm that my boater gave to me to try. This was the first time I had used a shaky-worm. I had thought about using shaky-worms for a while, but always stuck with the Texas-rig. I fished it about 5 feet from the grass line, where they seemed to be holding at or near the bottom. On the first bite, I went to set the hook too soon and pulled up nothing but half of a worm. It was getting late in the tournament and I hadn't caught a single fish. I pressed on throwing the shaky-worm and then it happened, a good bite and a solid hook-set, or so I thought. I reeled in knowing that I had a keeper on the end of my line. About half-way to the boat, my rod straighted out and the line went limp. It was gone and I wouldn't get another bite for the rest of the day.
On the way back to the launching area, I was feeling down and out about my failure to boat a fish. All I could think was "I'm better than that". Once my boater got his catch weighed in, we talked about how the day went. I mentioned my doubts about my participation in tournament fishing, Also that, I knew that I was a better bass angler that I was that day. He reminded me to focus on what I had learned and apply that to the next time.
Looking back, 2012 hasn't been a very good fishing year for me. I haven't had much luck anywhere this year, not even my home waters. Just yesterday, a friend and I took my canoe out and didnt even get a bite. I have had quite a few days like that, more so than usual this year.