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Preparation Is Key As Walker Readies For Bassmaster Southern Open #2
Posted by: newsla on Feb 27, 2014 - 05:19 AM
Preparation Is Key As Walker Readies For Bassmaster Southern Open #2

After ending this year's 44th annual GEICO Bassmaster Classic on a high note with a top-20 result and paycheck in hand, Elite angler David Walker is looking to carry his newfound momentum over to the Bassmaster Southern Open #2, March 6-8, on Lewis Smith Lake.


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The Cabela's/GEICO For Your Boat pro angler doesn't have to travel far for next week's tournament, but the conditions he'll face at Lewis Smith Lake will be nowhere near the same as they were at Lake Guntersville for the Bassmaster Classic.

"You'd be hard pressed to find two more different bodies of water that are just 30 minutes apart," Walker said. "That's why we feel like it's best to get over there now and start fishing so we can make all the necessary adjustments.

"Lake Smith is a highland reservoir lake with very deep water and super steep banks. It just drops straight off. Guntersville is part of the Tennessee River system and you deal with very shallow water and lots of grass. There won't be any grass on Smith.

"The fishing is very different. It won't be unusual to be catching them at 30 feet. It's super clear water, and you have to go a ways down until you find places where they are comfortable. Then we look at the Weather Channel and see another cold front coming and that just mixes it up even more. Pre-tournament practice could make or break us."

Aside from Lewis Smith Lake being a complete different body of water for Walker to tackle, he also is dealing with a rib injury he sustained during the first day of the Bassmaster Classic when he landed awkwardly on the gunnel.

"On the first day of the Classic I dove down to grab a fish and I heard a cracking noise on my side," he said. "I thought I had crushed my new Oakleys, but once I got the fish in the tank I started checking the pockets on my jacket and there weren't any glasses in there. I was feeling some pain and thought maybe I had a hook in me, so I stripped down and didn't find anything. It was pretty much hurting from then on.

"I finally went to the doctor today, and he thinks I may have fractured a rib or two or possibly damaged the cartilage that holds the ribs together. Either way, the diagnosis is the same. I need to be careful. Ideally, you want to rest, but I have too much fishing to do in the next few weeks."

With little time before the next competition, injury isn't going to slow down Walker, who already is focused on what he needs to do to qualify for next year's Classic, regarded worldwide as the premier event in bass fishing.

"The crazy thing about the Classic is you put so much emphasis on it," Walker said. "Of course, once it's over your focus immediately shifts to qualifying for the next one. The first chance I have to do that comes next weekend at (Lewis) Smith Lake, so I want to be as prepared as possible."

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