Tim Horton: Debut Pressure

Jack Link’s Major League Fishing angler Timmy Horton, of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is one of the top names on the B.A.S.S. Elite Series circuit. He is a "BASS millionaire" who has four titles and has 31 Top-Ten B.A.S.S. finishes. Along with many successes, however, Horton had a major disappointment in 2011 that involved his schedule. A prior commitment forced him to miss Major League Fishing’s first event, which was filmed on Lake Amistad. “I really, really hated missing that event,” Horton said. So when Horton took to the water on the first day of Summit Cup competition on Chautauqua Lake, it was his Major League Fishing debut.

I think the big thing I heard from the guys that competed at Amistad was how cool the whole Major League Fishing experience was, and that it was everything they thought it was going to be, and maybe more. One of the first people I talked to was Jeff Kriet, and he talked about how intense it was, what an adrenaline rush it was to fish under the MLF format. And he was right.

So hearing from Kriet and some other guys, I had kind of prepared myself as much as I could. But if you look at this group that was out there fishing and see that everybody is at the top level, you know they got there because they thrive on competition. So you’d better believe it was intense.

For me, it took a little getting used to. The idea, most of the time, will be to go catch as many fish as you can. So you try to do that. But when you have that scoreboard in the boat with you, that added dimension of knowing what other guys are doing, it kind of works on you.

In our zone, we could pretty much see early who was fishing offshore and who was on the banks. A few of us started offshore, but then Greg Hackney moved in and started catching them. He caught one, then he caught another one. About that time I found myself getting farther and farther behind, so that forces to you to make decisions about what you're doing.

Then after Hackney made an early move, Ike started catching them and he’s letting people know it. We’ve all been around Ike. He’s not getting into anybody’s head, it’s just annoying. I remember playing team sports when I was younger. We were taught to be the best competitor we could be, but we were also taught not to show up the competition.

Anyway, when it was over, it wasn’t my best day. I didn’t ever get on a solid pattern. There will be a next time, though.

Other than Major League Fishing, I’ve spent a good bit of time recently fishing my new “Timmy Horton Outdoors” television show, which is on the Pursuit network and WFN.
It’s a family-oriented show that we film on public waters. What we’re trying to do is have fun and educate anglers at all levels. We like to highlight different tactics and methods of fishing in all kinds of water. My idea is to teach as many aspects as possible on how to fish.

We’ve filmed 13 shows from all over the United States. We’ve been from northern Michigan to Lake Okeechobee. It’s been a lot of fun.