The Walmart FLW Tour begins its season this morning with Day 1 at Lake Okeechobee, and I admit being a little distracted from my work at home. They'll blast off at first safe light, so right now there's tremendous excitement around the launch area, with boats launching in the dark and anglers getting final well wishes from family and friends while answering media questions.
Practice time is over. The real deal is about to begin. Very soon each pro will have to decide on the stating spot he will run to -- a decision that could impact how the entire four-day tournament unfolds.
I've never been a tournament fisherman, so I can't rightly convey the angler's perspective. I really enjoy tournament mornings at the ramp, though (especially on day 1). There's just something about the great unknown, all that's about to happen and all that's at stake that fills the morning air with anticipation. And the everything only builds as first light creeps in and the boats start lining up by position. They're probably around that point now.
It wasn't practical for me to travel to Okeechobee, but I'm glad that social media allows the opportunity to follow things pretty closely. @FLWFishing does a tremendous job of tracking the action on Twitter, posting direct reports throughout the day and sharing many things that the FLW pros. And of course the weigh-ins will be broadcast live on flwoutdoors.com.
So I'll be watching from home and trying to not let it keep me from working on the stories that need writing. But when the Tour visits Lake Hartwell in a few weeks, you can bet I'll be out there in the dark in the morning enjoying the pre-tournament excitement first hand!