Riding the Roller Coaster of SCORETRACKER LIVE!
Anglers Say Ups and Downs Abound With Live Scoring
By Lynn Burkhead
February 2, 2017
Only two years into his
Major League Fishing career, GEICO Select pro Pete Ponds admits that he has
experienced a wild ride on the SCORETRACKER LIVE! roller coaster.
More than once, he adds
with a wry smile.
Sometimes, the live
leaderboard updates from a boat official have served to buoy the spirits of
this likable Mississippi bass pro.
And at other times, the
live leaderboard updates have crushed his angler's soul and all but sucked the
life right out of the boat that he is occupying.
SCORETRACKER LIVE! a lot, especially when I'm leading," Ponds laughed.
"When things are going good, it's a definite advantage."
But when things are not
going well, well, a leaderboard update can be agonizing.
Ponds does note that one
of the more surprising things that he has learned through the SCORETRACKER
LIVE! leaderboard updates is that fish catches in the same general timeframe
are not always coincidental.
"If makes you more aware
of what the fish are doing because if one guy catches one, and then another guy
catches one in another area of the lake, and then still another guy catches one
on a totally different spot, well, that's not a coincidence in my mind,"
has really opened up my eyes to the fact that fish feed at certain times of the
day," he added. "I'm a bigger believer now in the major and minor
periods of the day. I believe that more and more because of MLF."
Another thing that Ponds
has learned through his MLF competition is how to read into what other anglers
may be doing and how he can adapt that information into what he is doing out on
"If I haven't
caught one in 30 minutes or so, but I get an update and this particular guy is
catching them and I know that he's a flipper, then it will tend to make one
think that you're on the wrong track and you have a decision to make (about
what to do next)," he said.
One major key, of
course, is learning when to pay attention to that voice that an angler hears
whispering in his ear and when to ignore it too.
Another lesson learned
by Ponds has actually come through watching the MLF television episodes that
play themselves out on network television, the Outdoor Channel and World
"A lot of times on
the show, you'll hear anglers say to the camera guy and the boat official, 'Let's move!'" said Ponds. Almost
invariably, when they decide to do that, it's right after a boat official has
given them an update from SCORETRACKER LIVE!
"I try to resist
that and think my decisions through, but I'll admit that sometimes, I have a
hard time doing so."
Ponds says this is especially
true when the leaderboard update is a particularly unkind one that says someone
else is surging ahead while Ponds is rapidly falling behind.
"You know how you
feel when you look in your rear view mirror and you see flashing blue lights
behind you?" asked Ponds. "You know the feeling, the one you get when
all of the blood rushes away from your head.
"Well, that's the
same feeling that you get when they give you a SCORETRACKER LIVE! update and
you're falling behind. It's really hard to keep your composure when that
happens and I'll admit that I sometimes have a hard time trying to hold it all
That was true in spades
last summer when Ponds found himself leading most of the day at the 2017 Summit
Select, only to see his lead evaporate when the final minutes ticked away.
"For most of the
day, I couldn't do anything wrong," said Ponds. "But then all of a
sudden, it was like I suddenly couldn't do anything right.
"I ended the day
needing one more small fish to make it through, but I got a penalty in the
final minutes that kept me out of the water and caused me to blow off the spot
I was fishing.
"The whole time I
was sitting there, you're wondering how can you lead for so long, then you just
take a 30-minute break between periods and everything changes."
Even so, Ponds says that
he wouldn't have it any other way.
"This all makes me
feel like I used to feel when I first started fishing tournaments," he
said. "It's such a high when you're up there doing well and it's such a
devastating low that just kills you when you're doing bad.
"But it shows that
you really care about it all, that you have a passion for this and it helps you
answer the question about how badly do I truly want this?"
enough to climb back into a MLF bass boat next season, buckle up tightly and hold
on for another wild ride in the Major League Fishing SCORETRACKER LIVE! roller