It’s been a long break between tournaments, but it’s not like I’ve been sitting around waiting. I’ve been busy. Kim, the girls and I have had a never-ending list of things to do.

I’ve continued to work out — fitness is very important to me — both on and off the water. Being in shape helps me stay focused and allows me to fish harder. I’m also setting an example for my daughters that taking care of yourself is important.

We took a week’s vacation to Bullard’s Bar Reservoir and Emerald Cove Marina. We had six families camping on two big, beautiful houseboats we rented from the resort. We swam, floated in tubes, fished and hung out with friends.

Bullard’s Bar used to be full of small spotted bass, but we caught a bunch of solid fish. The lake has really matured. It’s hard to imagine that Bullard’s Bar and its emerald-colored water with fat spotted bass is still a secret even to anglers in the area. I’ve got a couple of pictures of Kim and me with those quality fish on my Web site at

The folks at Emerald Cove were great. They made sure our big group was taken care of. I hope they’re ready for us again next year. It is a great family vacation spot. For more information, call them at 530-692-3200. You won’t be sorry.

Kim and I competed in the world’s oldest triathlon, Eppie’s Great Race, in Sacramento, Calif., on July 18. We ran 5.82 miles, cycled for 12.5 miles and paddled a kayak for 6.35 miles. I originally signed up to support Kim, but I had fun and did better than I thought I would. We finished together in 2:56:43, and while I was a little sore the next day, I’m looking forward to it again next year.

We hosted a combination 40th birthday/Classic victory party at our house on July 25. The week was hectic getting our house ready and setting everything up. I was running right up to party time.

Things got interesting on Friday when the company came to install the tents. They drove one of the support stakes through the pipes of our pool filter system. It took most of the day to dig three feet deep, repair the leak, put the turf back together and clean up.

It was worth it, though. We had 140 adults and children there. The pool got plenty of use, and the band, led by the father of one of my daughter’s classmates, did a great job. We had the Mikuni Sushi bus along with Mexican food and all the beverages anyone could want.

Gerald and LeAnn Swindle flew in for the party, which totally surprised me. Gerald entertained the crowd with tales of white knuckling and fitting in with Lucky Craft in Japan. Everyone was doubled over laughing.

It was a great night. I really appreciated everyone sharing the occasion with us. It was something I’ll never forget.

With all of that fun behind me, the Lucky Craft Express is rolling to the northeast this week. I’m really jacked up to get to Oneida and the postseason. My competitive drive is kicking in, as is my desire to hold another AOY trophy.