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Heartland Outdoors cover November 2017

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Troy Jackson
TROY
JACKSON

Meandering

20 Years of Stats

Tue, February 28, 2017

Last year, I thought, “Hey, I should do a 20-year retrospective with some of my fishing data.” 

Then I forgot about the project and now just recently remembered it barely in time before I get to kick off a new year on the water, so what the heck.  After all, those statistics make great fodder for a guy who likes to talk fishing, so why let ‘em just sit around on a hard drive?

Okay, so I’ve been taking fishing half way seriously going back to high school which is somehow over 30 years ago.  As I’ve commented and documented here on the blog more than a few times over the years, I’ve also amassed a great deal of fishing data over that time period as well.  The last 20 years have been particularly well documented with the dawn of the personal computer age for me back in 1997.  Access databases and Excel spreadsheets were right up this stat hound’s alley and I never dreamed a word processing program would wind up getting such a workout. 

Before I get too carried away with the fishing numbers over the next several days, however, I’m going to digress into a handful of facts and observances from the last 20 years (also got more than a few blog ideas on how fishing has changed over the years stashed away for “someday”).

So, back in 1997, Kevin VanDam was fishing the 7th of what will soon be his 26th Bassmaster Classic.  He had yet to claim a victory but a record tying four were on the way.

KVD
2009 Me and my boy, Jayce, with KVD’s rig at Fort Madison, IA Bassmaster tourney.

Rick Clunn already had four Bassmaster Classic titles by 1997 but a fifth has eluded him in the interim.  However, in a cool testament to fishing being a lifelong pursuit unlike some other sports/hobbies, Clunn claimed a Bassmaster Elite Series victory last year just a few months shy of his 70th birthday.

And how about 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series contenders, David Fritts (5th place finish in 1997 Classic) and Paul Elias (did not qualify in 1997) being granted “Legends” exemptions for the Elite season? 

Anybody my age who has been a longtime Bass fan feeling a little old yet?

1997 Bass
Fishing 1997 style

On a personal level, a lot has transpired on and off the water since 1997.

Off the water has included getting married (2002), four kids (2004, 2006, 2009, 2011), four jobs, five homes, diminishing sleep and understandably some limited time on the water.

2016 Fishing
Fishing 2016 style

On the water has consisted of 1919.50 hours (1693.50 targeting bass) and 5492 fish (4263 bass).  Okay, perhaps a little obsessive on the record keeping there but that’s how I roll.

My personal best bass in 1997 stood at 5-8 (August 1988 Green Oaks on a 6” Sidewinder worm and August 93 Woody’s Middle Pond on a Zara Spook).  It’s bigger now.

Old PB
A personal best as of 1997 (caught August 1988)

In 1997, I still had eight years to go before landing my first bass on a Senko wacky rig (5/22/05 at 7:48am off Lake Bracken’s Snake Island 16.5” and 2-5).  Caught 744 more since that revelation (or would that be revolution?).

First Senko
2005 legendary catch, the first Senko bass.

Oh yeah, also back in 1997 the Cubs hadn’t won a World Series since 1908.

2017 Log
2017 features a brand new fishing log, here’s to the next 20 years.

So there’s a sample and we’ll get even more carried away with bass stats should you continue the journey for the next few days.  As always, read at your own risk, I don’t claim to know what I’m doing either fishing or writing.  Just a guy who has affliction for both hobbies (960 outdoor postings and counting since 2002, by the way).  Talk to you later.  Troy

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