MIKE FOLKESTAD blanked twice at the Forrest Wood Cup (file photo)

UPDATED–Got off the phone with Mike Folkestad earlier this evening. I figured he’d had enough time to digest his stunning two-day blank at Sydney Lanier during the Forrest Wood Cup. Who would have predicted such a result on a clear, deepwater worm bite?

Certainly not Mike as he said, “That was terrible.” But time goes by. “I was bummed for a couple of days. It was the Forrest Wood Cup. You want to bring something up,” he said. “It’s all past now.”

But whether he fishes through that result or if there is some lingering effect, the one thing it showed me is just how narrow a margin there often is between success and failure. To put things in perspective, if you didn’t follow the results, each of his co-anglers (“They were good fishermen,” Mike said) weighed three keepers. The first partner finished in third place overall, and the other 13th.

But when you look at the daily numbers–and I think this cold, hard reality of any tough bite–the only difference between Folkestad and each of his partners was three bites a day. I don’t know if they fished eight or nine hours, but the only difference was the size of the fish the first day, when Mike caught ” a few shorts,” and the second day when he didn’t get a fish.

Any way you cut that, it’s about one-third of a bite per hour {not per 3 hours} average–that’s all. When you assess that reality, it doesn’t matter the tournament setting. It doesn’t matter the reason or even the attempted explanation.

Yet for the record, even though his practice did not produce any ironclad patterns, it gave him the feeling he might tough out a limit each day. In the case of some steep walls he found in one tributary (that “no one else was fishing” and produced 3-pound bass in practice) his unpressured fish let him down.

When he was forced to the brush piles on channel edges where his partners used a local worm similar to Robo’s Prizm Shad, he never caught a 14-inch bass. He had first cast, fluorocarbon and he had the same drop-shot rig, but on those rare moments when the fish would bite, they fell for the second cast every time.

“I’ve blanked on one day before, but I don’t remember ever going two days,” he related. “I was leading the Western Classic at Lake Mead–quite awhile ago–and the second day, I didn’t get a bite. I only needed one fish, I had such a big lead.”

So here’s the lesson: It can happen. Don’t let it break you.


6 Responses to “Drawing a blank? Easier than you think…”

Been fishing with mike for years, never saw him take his finish in a tournament so hard. He hardly spoke a word on the drive back from Georgia. He is the ultimate professional, he processed the emotional effect, dealt with it and will rebound. Just watch, the rebound will be winning the AOY for WON BASS. He is after all (TGO) The Great One, Mike Folkestad.

I agree with Mr. Ricci.. If anyone knows Mike, its Chris. You can bet your last dollar on Mike coming back and looking for some payback against those fish.. Look for the ” Great One ” to sweep the South Won Bass Field this fall as win angler of the year. My guess is he will need to hire a semi truck to haul the two boats he is going to win…

by George Kramer

Andy, the way the cards have been falling lately, I hope there really are some boats to be hauled home. 🙂

by Scott Robertson

I have known Mike for years and no doubt he gave it everything he had. You’ll get em next time Mike.
Scott Robertson

I needed to read this George. Still frustrated over my little derby here in SD this just shows you how our sport is often unpredictable even with great odds. Wild!

There is a reason his nickname is “The Legend.” Dude is a stud, and we all hope we can be catchen them like he does.