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Current News

March on Tarbone Ranch

March on Tarbone Ranch We are still battling the remnants of the ice storm damage from Januaryʼs blizzard of ice. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though, and it seems not to be a train. Most of the big trees and limbs have been removed from the immediate house and headquarters area. There have been many trees damaged badly and most have had to be pruned heavily to allow them to recuperate to the best of their ability. The aftereffects of this storm will be visible for a long, long time. The work has been a grind and thanks to both Hunter, Tanner and Tammy for pitching in to get the job done in a timely manner.

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Tarbone News February

We have had the worst winter in memory this year. The snow storm on Christmas Eve stayed with us for over 2 weeks and was beautiful for awhile. Then it became mud and wasn’t so pleasant. Just when we got over that, the ice storm of January hit with a vengeance. We had over an inch of ice on everything and it has left a mark on just about every tree on Tarbone Ranch.

Our power was off for 8 days and we grew a greater appreciation for electricity which we take for granted most of the time. We ran a generator to keep the freezer and fridges running. It also allowed us to stay warm by burning our fireplace with its fan blowers. Glad that is over for sure. Now if I can just get most of the downed trees and branches out of my yard, I will be ready to go fishing.

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What Life Is About

When you look back at life, the best things that remain are the memories. Trophies mark our progress as anglers or whatever craft we pursue, but it is the memories that matter. Memories you keep and memories others keep of you are true measures of a lifetime.

There are lots of memories in my past of fishing tournaments and other life experiences.

Here are some of the ones I will keep:

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Transition Thoughts

Now that I have been home for a few weeks in the heat of summer, I have had time to contemplate my last Elite Series Tournament. It’s still a month away, and still it is on my mind constantly. I think about it while riding my tractor and while enjoying the A/C at home. I may have never wanted to do well in a tournament more than this one. And I have wanted it pretty bad over the years.

My whole family is traveling to Oneida to witness the event. That combined with the rest of the situation makes for some pretty heady stuff. I have feelings and thoughts ranging from “Oh my God, what have I done?” to ”Thank goodness, it is just about to end.”

On the one hand, I feel anxiety relating to the last tournament. These all-encompassing competitions have occupied a huge majority of my waking moments for the last 30 years, and I cannot imagine not thinking of the next competitive event.

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Some Like It Tough

After fishing BASS Tournaments the past 27 seasons, I have come to the conclusion that I have greater success in events like recent one in Iowa on the Mississippi River. Tough tournaments in which bites are pretty scarce seem to present more challenges in establishing a pattern, but making decisions based on little input from the fish requires more experience in those types of situations.

I acquired most of my early tournament bass fishing experience in waters and situations that were not exactly bass factories. My win in the Super BASS Tournament on the St Johns River is a great example. I fished three days of practice and had exactly two bass bites. I didn’t have many options, but I managed to concentrate on those two fish and focus my efforts in a small area and eked out the win. Of course there were some adjustments along the way, but it produced a life-changing outcome for sure.

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