Part of life is about firsts, and today is one tremendous one for me. I'm headed to Kimberly, South Africa to shoot an episode of Scent Lok's High Places. My biggest concern is not about getting stomped by a cape buffalo, but surviving the 15 plus hour flight from JFK to Johannesburg!
Even though I fly a lot, I have always had anxiety issues on flights longer than 4 hours. My longest time on a plane to date is about six hours. Though a lot of experienced overseas travelers have suggested sleeping pills or tranquilizers to get me through, I just can't go that route. It is mind over matter right? Gotta be mentally tough.... right? Well, we'll see. I'm sure I'll be just fine. I'm not sure if I'll be able to blog from camp, but if I'm able I'll keep you posted. Hopefully with some photos as well....
Well my 2011 FLW season is officially in the history books! My two day total on Pickwick weighed a whopping 20 pounds 4 ounces landed me solidly in 84th place, smashing all hopes of qualifying for the FLW Championship. Ouch!
I am writing this blog on my phone as I drive up I-65 North towards home. Yeah, I know I should not be emailing while driving, but its all good as I have been sitting in stopped traffic for over one hour now! Please Lord..... I just want this week to be over!
Give-Away: Brandon Adams! I will send to you a Stihl shirt and hat if you send your snail address to email@example.com. Keep watching, everyone, for the next give-away.
Well I can tell you first hand it no fun getting pounded on the first day of a tournament! Pickwick did its job, putting out lots of great limits of bass, but I had to struggle to catch a limit weighing 9 pounds. Tomorrow has got to get much better for me or I'll be headed home tomorrow with no paycheck. I will do my best to keep that from happening, I promise you! Shown below:
Today was my final day of practice for the FLW on Pickwick Lake. This weeks practice was like banging my head against a wall at times. Many of the key main river spots are getting hammered by our competitors. You would never think a lake this big would fish so small! Hoping for an early starting number....
Today was my third practice day for the FLW on Pickwick Lake in north Alabama. Aside from very hot temperatures and less than stellar fishing, I found something very interesting today:
A giant cactus of some kind growing out of a rock bluff above the high water line. I didn't even realize they grew wild as far north as the Tennessee/Alabama line. I took close up as well hoping someone could identify it and tell me if it is rare in these parts.
I know I'm supposed to be concentrating on fishing, but things like this spark my interest on an otherwise slow day!
Put in 12 hours pounding the ledges on Pickwick today. Found several schools of fish. I think some of the key spots will get pretty crowded during the tournament. We have three more practice days. I'll need all of them I'm sure!
Give-Away: I have another Stihl ball cap and shirt to give away. Drawing on Thursday of this coming week! The winner will be chosen from followers or subscribers in a random drawing.
Since I only had a couple days home after UMF before heading to the FLW event on Pickwick Lake in Alabama, I hastily got some production work done for Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors. I had five new episodes shot that needed what we call "sit down interviews".
Basically, I tell the story of each fishing episode so the show flows smoothly. That is another very time consuming aspect of TV production that people don't see. With my producer, Jim Kramer, who is a breeze to work with and with my son, Ryan, who wants to go into video production handling the light reflector disc, we had all five interviews done on less than four hours. Starting early to get good morning light helped me as well since the temperatures were fairly cool! Now, I'm off to Alabama for my final regular season FLW event of the year.
Today we crowned our 2011 Ultimate Match Fishing Champion! One Pro Angler is now $50,000 richer. As usual, production of the the final match took much longer than the preliminary matches. We didn't wrap the shoot and the season till 8 PM!
I'm heading home tonight, so I can get an extra day with my family before I head to the FLW Tournament on Pickwick Lake in Alabama this weekend. My GPS shows me arriving home at around 4 AM tomorrow morning. Long, long day!
We completed our third quarter final UMF match today on Mullett Lake. The new Evinrude powered Rangers are performing flawlessly and the weather and fishing continue to be great! Our crew is doing an outstanding job even though the production days are long.
We were able to do lots of running and aerial footage from a helicopter before our Ultimate Match Fishing this morning. It was a perfect, crystal clear morning. The footage looks fantastic. Oh yeah, the match was pretty awesome too. I love Mullet Lake and the Indian River, Michigan area!
Today was the our first Ultimate Match Fishing quarter final match on Mullett Lake in Indian River, Michigan. The lake lived up to its reputation as a stellar smallmouth fishery, with several big smallies caught by each angler. I wont say which anglers made it to the championship round, but I will say it is an All-Star lineup that you won't want to miss when it airs on Outdoor Channel!