A week and a half from now and the gate will open for the expansion of tournament hours, and thus the line-up of full scale competition. Since June 15, of course, the lawful angling hours have been six between weigh-ins, due to high water temperatures and lower oxygen content. But now it’s time for a check-up.

Two particular events at Clear Lake could be very telling about the health of the sport (even if we already have some idea, watching the stock market). I’m talking about the season enders for both WON Bass and FLW Everstart. No, there isn’t the season-opening incentive, but with the action expected to be good, it will be interesting to see how the anglers respond after the 3-month or so lay-off.

No, it’s not important that either event hits a particular plateau, say 75 for WON and 110 for Everstart, but a decent number will show the flame is still burning out there among the pro/am crowd, and that they aren’t waiting until the new year or the new season to get fired up about competiting.

I’ll be watching and hoping the sport still has a pulse.