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John's Journal... Entry 239, Day 3


No Place to Run and No Place to Hide

Editor’s Note: Mike Wurm has tournament fished for bass for 30 years and has fished professionally fulltime for the past 13 years. Wurm has participated in some really-tough tournaments, just as you have if you've fished for very long. One aspect of fishing anglers may forget is that even the best fishermen in the nation have bad tournaments. When you read the popular literature about tournament bass fishing and tournament anglers, notice that you rarely read or hear about the fishermen who don't win. However, if you fish tournaments or go bass fishing very often, you know that losing and not catching bass is as much a part of the sport of bass fishing -- perhaps more a part -- than winning a bass tournament or catching a limit of 8 pounders. We've asked Mike Wurm to share with us some of his worst tournament experiences. From reading these uploads this week, you'll see that even the best of the best can have bad days of fishing. Then you can learn how they deal with them.

We often get bad weather when we fish in tournaments. But to do well in a tournament, you have to be on the water every day you can to practice for a tournament, especially if you're fortunate enough to earn a berth in the Bassmasters Classic. A few years ago, I was practicing before the cut-off date for the first Bassmasters Classic held in New Orleans, the one that Kevin VanDam, another Strike King pro, won. When you're fishing the Mississippi River Delta down in New Orleans, you're fishing in about 300 miles of swamp that all looks alike. The only way to navigate through this swamp is through its little canals. Unlike most places where you fish, you'll see very few stores, marinas, gas stations and often any other anglers when you're fishing the Delta. When bad weather happens, you may not be able to find any boat houses to pull into, no trees to get under, and no banks to go to. You're just sitting out in the middle of all this grass and water swamp.

On this particular day, the rain was coming down as it often does in that area. I was trying to find bass. I noticed a bigger storm cloud coming in that looked as if it had some heavy rain in it. I decided to pull over to a mud bank and sit out the bad weather, because I knew I couldn't fish in it and didn't know of any shelter close by. When I got the boat to the mud bank, the bottom fell out of the clouds. Thunder, lightning, driving rain and wind beat me like I was a cracked egg in a mixing bowl with the Mix Master turned on it. I was sitting in a canal that was only about two boat widths wide. However, the rain was coming down so hard I couldn't see the opposite side of the canal. The weather was so bad I really started getting concerned for my life and my boat. I was hopeless and helpless in the claws of this storm. I finally got my boat as deep into the reeds as possible, sat in the bottom of the boat and tried to compress my body into as small a ball as I could. The lightning was popping, and I thought that the smaller and the lower I could get, the better my chances would be for dodging the lightning and surviving. When the lightning struck and the thunder would explode, my hat would get blown off my head. I thought to myself, "If the good Lord wants to take me home, this is a good chance for Him to get me right now." The thunder was so loud and the lightning was so close I felt like I was being hit by a sonic boom from a jet airplane that was no more than 2 feet above my head. My bilge pumps were running continuously to keep as much water as possible out of the boat. Honestly, for about 15 or 20 minutes, I really didn't know if I would live or die. But, I knew there was nothing I could do to change what was about to happen. I was as hopeless and helpless as I'd ever been. Finally the storm passed over me, and I was able to start back fishing, but without question, this thunder and lightning storm was the worst I'd ever seen or heard of in my life.

For the opportunity to purchase a collectible Mike Wurm signed and dated Strike King lure, email john7185@bellsouth.net for availability.




Check back each day this week for more about MIKE WURM'S FIVE WORST BASS-FISHING TOURNAMENTS ...

Day 1 - The Coldest I've Ever Been in My Life
Day 2 - Hurricane Bassin'
Day 3 - No Place to Run and No Place to Hide
Day 4 - The Greer's Ferry Jinx
Day 5 - Greer's Ferry Jinx Revisted

John's Journal