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.

"I like 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," said Ponds.

"SCORETRACKER LIVE! 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 the water.

"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 Fishing Network.

"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 together."

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?"

Badly 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 coaster.

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