HomeblogsJames Niggemeyer – When Does the Off Season Start? Off Season…when does that start? The off season is often referred to as the time between the end of the Elite season and the Bassmaster Classic. People often ask what I do in the “Off Season” and what my schedule looks like, so I thought a glimpse of the last part of 2013 would let you know why my wife laughs at the phrase “off” season. I mentioned in my last blog entry that I fished an Everstart event on Sam Rayburn the first week of October. I hadn’t fished an FLW event since 2006 and it was nice to see some old friends and the folks from FLW again. I started the event in 15th and moved into the top 10 cut on day two. The final day lacked the quality I had been catching, but I moved up one more place into ninth. Anytime you do make a top 10 in a multi-day tournament nationally or regionally its a good tournament. From there I went home for 1 night before driving on to Tennessee for the annual Strike King writers conference. The event just gets bigger and bigger every year and I always enjoy it. We are at the disposal of the outdoor writers and photographers for interviews, video, and articles that you will see next year. Spending down time with friends in the industry and my fellow team members/competitors from the B.A.S.S. Elite tour is something I always look forward to. From Tennessee I drove to the final B.A.S.S. Central OPEN on Ross Barnett in Mississippi. I will always remember this event, because the bass fishing community suffered a great loss in the death of Jimmy Johnson. It was tragic and hard to believe that a fellow competitor had been murdered while at the event. My heart felt condolences to the Johnson family. Concluding the final OPEN in Mississippi I drove on to Georgia to be a guest on a fishing show that will air in 2014. The five days that I was home in October were filled up with guide trips on Lake Fork, putting together my annual reports, corresponding with my sponsors and prepping my boat to sell. October closed out with the Grand Opening of Cabela’s new Outpost store in Waco, Texas where I was on hand to meet and greet many of the folks that showed up. My family saw more of me in November as my obligations were closer to home: More guide trips, a trip to Lake Conroe (close to Houston) to film a commercial for Raymarine and a guest speaker at my churches’ annual men’s campout/retreat. December was a bit quieter, which was great for sponsor correspondence and beginning the process of preparing for the 2014 season. It wasn’t without travel though, as I spent about a week away from home to be a guest on another fishing show and scout one of the lakes on the Elite schedule. Finally Christmas and time to be there in real time with the family and celebrate the birth of my savior, Jesus Christ. So as you can see, I have pretty much stayed throttle down through the “off season” which is why my wife laughs at the phrase. I am looking forward to starting another year on tour and consider myself very blessed to be able to live my dream.