(Editor’s note: Starting immediately, FLW Tour pro Todd Hollowell has agreed to make regular blog contributions approximately once a month on FLWOutdoors.com. Going forward, bass-fishing fans will be treated to a wide array of blogs from a host of different FLW Tour pros on FLWOutdoors.com leading up to the 2014 season and beyond.)
Looking back, I used to think that the three- to four-month timeframe between October and February was the “off-season" for my fishing schedule. Boy has that changed over the past few years! I get a lot of calls and messages asking what I'm up to in my "off-season" since I'm not fishing tournaments. But the life of a professional bass fisherman rarely affords much down time or an off-season, and that fact I'm learning very quickly.
The Bass Dr. television show is going well and we currently have eight out of our 13 episodes filmed for the 2014 schedule. I still have two trips planned in October and November to wrap up the first season for the show. Most recently, we traveled a few hours west to fish Newton Lake - a power plant lake in central Illinois that is a trophy fishery. The water temps were in the upper 80s still, and the fish were in their late-summer patterns, but the lake still produced. After that, I jumped in the truck and drove south to Kentucky Lake to film a show with my brother, Troy. He's in the middle of the process of securing sponsorship to fish the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour, so this day on the lake was a welcome break for both of us. We caught over 100 fish in about five hours, and I can't think of a more fun time I've had fishing in a while! It's been a long-time dream of both of ours to fish the FLW Tour alongside each other, and it appears that reality is coming closer to fruition. Hopefully you will hear an announcement from him in the next few weeks.
Even though I've been on the road quite a bit this fall, it's also the time of year to start to focus on the body. I've been in the gym three to four days a week regularly, and I'm starting to feel the effects in a positive way. More importantly, we're making some crucial adjustments to our diet and cutting out a lot of foods that have no positive nutritional value. My endurance and strength are both improved. Did I mention I turned 37 years old a few weeks ago?
It's also the time of year to focus on equipment. My old boat, yes it was built in 2005, is finally sold and I am moving into a new boat/motor for the 2014 season. With that comes the task of ordering new Power-Poles, Lowrance electronics, and getting the boat rigged exactly the way I want it for the next season, which starts in about 90 days. It's also the time of year to inventory tackle and start to organize boxes for next year's schedule. It looks like I'll be fishing the FLW Tour and the Everstart Series Central Division.
Last, but certainly not least, it's a time of year to focus on the family. My boys are both involved in sports this fall, and it's been refreshing to watch them grow and mature. Hunter is 9 years old and is really making strides on the swim team, while Hayden is 6 and is falling in love with football. Just being home with them and my wife is something to cherish and soak up. We've gotten to see the extended family quite a bit too, which has been welcomed. In the blink of an eye, the 2014 FLW Tour season will be here and we'll be on the road.
Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that there are no guarantees in this life; and that each day from God is a gift.
Todd Hollowell has fished as a pro on the FLW Tour since the 2012 season and is currently the host of the Bass Dr. television show on the World Fishing Network (WFN). To read more about Todd Hollowell and his latest exploits, check out his website toddhollowell.com.