KISSIMMEE, Florida -- GEICO bass angler Christiana Bradley knew last weekend's Bassmaster Southern Open on Lake Tohopekaliga in central Florida was going to be an uphill battle from the very start.
Bradley, the lone female in a field of 193 anglers, said finding fish on the unfamiliar lake was a struggle and attributed more than she expected to her unlikely bottom-half finish.
"I didn't figure out a good pattern the whole weekend," she said. "It was a huge body of water and with no help, no local knowledge, it was a battle from the start.
"On the drive home I really tried to analyze what had happened and why things didn't go well for me. I'd never been to that lake before and that worked against me, but you have to go where the series goes and there are no excuses. For the most part I just decided to put it behind me and start looking forward."
Once she realized a top finish in this tournament wasn't in the cards, Bradley switched gears in order to improve her chances the next time she sets her boat in the water.
"The positive out of it is once I realized I wouldn't be contending for the win I started trying out some new techniques on fishing these types of lakes and working the grasses and local vegetation," she said. "I tried my best; I mean, if I'd had a kitchen sink with me in the GEICO boat I would have thrown that at it. I just wasn't catching fish this weekend."
Bradley said her next scheduled tournament is on more familiar waters, so with a little preparation and the lessons she learned in Florida, she is expecting better results.
"The next tournament is in March and I'll start practicing next week," Bradley said. "I always set out a complete game plan and I'll begin the process of researching the next location. I've actually been (on the Potomac River) where the next event takes place a few times so hopefully it will be a completely different experience."
The LAPR Bass Series event runs from March 10-13 on the Potomac River.
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