In my last blog I was on my way to the doctor to find out about my hand. I met with a hand specialist doctor and he told me my left little finger, my left wrist and my left arm have a bad case of tendonitis. It’s very bad.
It’s easy to understand why, simply overworked. All the years of casting and holding my rod while cranking, flipping and all the rest of the techniques has put my arm through a lot of work. The average weekend bass angler doesn’t have to make 2000 plus casts a day every day 7 days a week. I have competed in 16 to 20 tour level tournaments a year for more than 10 years and have never had an injury up until a few years ago. I was proud to be able to stay healthy on the tour. I make it a point to eat healthy and stay physically fit which I believe is very important to be able stay on the road and live the pro bass angler lifestyle.
This type of tendonitis takes a while to heal and with 17 tournaments this up coming season I know I am going to need to make some changes. I brought a rod and reel with me to the doctor and we agreed I need to switch to left hand retrieve reels. I’m a right handed person and that way I could hold my rod in my right hand all time while my left hand holds the reel handle only and will put much less pressure on my finger, wrist and arm while I am fishing. Technically for right handed anglers this is the way it should be done and I have been doing this with my spinning reels over the years. Besides easing the pain in my wrist, casting right handed and then switching to my left hand to hold rod waists a lot time and could result in poor timing to set the hook quickly, especially pitching a jig to shallow cover. I tried a left handed baitcaster reel about 10 years ago and I felt weird and gave up on it soon after starting. This time I don’t have a choice so I will need a lot of practice before I feel comfortable with it. I’m not sure this going to work for me or not but, it may be my only option for 2011. The weekend angler could always fish the way they like and if they felt pain they can just quit fishing for a while and let their wrist or arm heal. I don’t have that option, as a tour pro I have to keep fishing and it makes it very tough and painful.
Fact is I will most likely be in pain all year but, I don’t want to think all negative about this injury instead I am looking at it as an opportunity to train myself to the way I am supposed to cast and reel. I’ll be picking up some left handed reels at Tackle Warehouse http://www.tacklewarehouse.com and from Daiwa Japan. I will also be changing to a softer action rod next week. Besides the switch in technique I will also be doing an exercise treatment program from Travis Perret http://www.felixfishing.com.
Believe me I’ll show up at my first tournament of the year at Lake Okeechobee in Florida and I will find way to deal with this injury. I plan to focus even harder this year and not let the injury or pain get me down even before the new season starts, that’s for sure! I thank all of my friends and fans for their support and well wishes to get well.