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Bass Angler Has Clear Mental Path For Season-Opening Fishing Tournament; 'I've Fished This Lake Every Night In My Sleep'

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KISSIMMEE, Florida -- GEICO angler Christiana Bradley has never wet a line in the waterways that make up Lake Tohopekaliga, but she's already fished the location dozens of times in her head.

"I have a mental picture and a game plan for what I want to do," Bradley said. "I've fished this lake every night in my sleep. I have the advantage of remembering detailed parts of my dreams."

When she finally does take to the water this Thursday through Saturday she'll already have a good idea of what she will and will not be looking to do at the Southern Open.

"The idea is to eliminate water you don't want to fish before you go into practice," Bradley said. "Many anglers will have a network of friends or hire a guide. I don't have that.

"The fish are going to be spawning there and there's a temptation to go after those fish on the beds. It can be a risk because if you just focus on those fish, you might miss the conditions changing."

Of course all those plans are subject to change with every weather front that passes through the area.

"It can be a frustrating aspect of it, but it's also part of the challenge," she said. "You can have the greatest game plan in the world, but one factor can change and then you have to adjust and figure out how to do well. Everyone is dealing with the same changing conditions, so whoever can adjust the most consistently will come out on top."

The Southern Open will be one of the bigger tournaments Bradley will fish this season, so a strong result is important.

"I can put a ton of pressure on myself, but I'm going to try not to," she said. "I'm going to try to keep positive and focused. When the intensity tries to set in, I'll do my best to push it out and keep an eye on success."

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