John's Journal... Entry 239, Day 4
MIKE WURM'S FIVE WORST BASS-FISHING TOURNAMENTS
The Greer's Ferry Jinx
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.
For some reason, I always seem to have something bad happen to me when I fish Greer's Ferry. The Greer's Ferry jinx started many years ago when I was fishing the Mr. Bass of Arkansas tournaments. These tournaments were spawning grounds for some of today's top professional fishermen. For instance, some other Strike King pros like George Cochran and Mark Davis started their careers fishing these tournaments. Ron Sheffield was another one who learned his craft and began his career on the Mr. Bass of Arkansas Tournament circuit. These were draw tournaments in the early days.
On the first day of the Greer's Ferry Lake Tournament, I drew a fellow named Aubrey Johnson. Now, Aubrey was a big man. At that time, he stood about 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighed about 300 pounds. He could have been a guard on a professional football team. He was that big, and there wasn't an ounce of fat on this man's body. He was just a really big guy with a great personality. I enjoyed fishing with him. As with most draw tournaments, we flipped a coin to see whose boat we would use for fishing. I lost, so I had to go in Aubrey's boat. Within 30 minutes of the first hour of the first day, the cables on Aubrey's trolling motor broke. Aubrey got upset and mad. I tried to calm him down by saying, "Aubrey, don't worry about the trolling motor. We'll figure out some way to continue to fish." Finally, Aubrey decided to get a forked stick and attach it to the base of his trolling motor. The forked stick was long enough to allow him to stand on his casting deck and twist the stick either left or right to maneuver the boat so we could keep on fishing. But before Aubrey could implement his plan, disaster struck. Once he had located the stick we needed, he took his big pocket knife and began to cut on the stick to try to make it the right length for him to be able to use on the trolling motor. As fate would have it, Aubrey made a miscalculation in his whittling and cut his finger. He didn't just nick his finger with his knife. He cut his finger so bad that he had to sit down in the boat and rest awhile before he could start over again. He told me, "That's it. I'm hurt. I can't fish. Let's go in." However, I knew we had a chance to win the tournament. So I told Aubrey, "No, we can make it. I'll take my t-shirt off, tear it up and make a bandage for you. Then you can fish, and I will, too." I tied up Aubrey's finger with my T-shirt, took the forked stick he'd cut and used electrical tape to tape the forked stick to the trolling motor. Then we were able to get the trolling motor to move the boat enough for us to fish some.
Now, Aubrey wasn't fishing too well, because the finger he sliced-up was on his right hand. But by using the forked stick to steer the trolling motor, we did finish out the day of fishing. Of course, we were fishing much like a one-arm paper hanger. We could get the job done, but it wasn't easy or pretty, and both of us felt pain.
For the opportunity to purchase a collectible Mike Wurm signed and dated Strike King lure, email email@example.com for availability.
TOMORROW: GREER'S FERRY JINX REVISITED