Saturday, November 5, 2011

FLW Tour Finale

Dave Writes...

I ended the 2011 season with a 32nd place finish and a 2nd in the FLW Tour Opens AOY race. Not bad as this was one of my main goals for the year, to finish in the top5 in the Opens. The top 5 all qualify to fish the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Lanier, GA next summer, so that's a big deal and eliminates some pressure going into next season. This early qualification will make my 11th consecutive Cup appearance, a stat I'm very proud of.

Guntersville was tougher than I've ever seen it by far, it looked awesome with all the grass everywhere, but the fishing was brutal in practice, what little I was able to do, lol. I spent the majority of my 3 day practice period driving in the truck because I blew my engine and had to drive all over creation to get it fixed by the start of the event. Chattanooga Fish N Fun ended up getting me back on the water and I want to thank Lee Hass and his staff for all their help and kindness. What a great group of people he has there, no wonder they've been ranked a top 100 Ranger dealer so many times.

It was a trying week to say the least. I once again roomed with Tom Rizzo and his lovely cook, lol (wife), Gwen...that's not the trying part, haha, but our luck was terrible all week. First, we had to uproot from our initial rental house due to a few cock roaches, ug! But as it turned out, we ended up in a much better place right on the water, so that was cool. Then the motor blew up on the first morning of practice..awesome! Tom wanted to back out of this event about a week prior to leaving home, so for all this stuff to go wrong made me feel a little bad. Why? Because I talked him into fishing the tournament, lol. He's never been to the famous G-ville before, so he had to come finish out the fishing season on one of the best lakes on the planet...right? Well, it usually is one of the best, but this time really sucked.

When we finally hit the water (in a borrowed boat) on the last day of practice, we hardly caught anything at all. I was feeling pretty guilty for a while, but then Tom decided to "turn it on" in the event and go on to finish 11th (I think). So that made it all worth it in the end...thank God. I was able to find a little group of fish during the first day of the tournament which enabled me to squeak out a good enough finish to end the year in 2nd, so it's all good. I need to thank Dan Ferguson, a co-angler in the event, for loaning me his boat to practice out of on that last day. He went out of his way to empty out his boat to make room for our gear and I can't thank him enough for that. Dan, if you're reading this, I owe you a trip on Lake Erie whenever you want to come.

I broke the record of time away from my family on this trip, that is never a good thing. I had to leave straight from Guntersville, AL to get to Conroe, TX the very next day for my final tournament of 2011. I finished 41st in that unfortunately, it would have been nice to close out the year with a bang in Texas, but no dice this time around.

I put some serious mileage on the Dually this trip and again everything went flawlessly. You don't even know the boat is back there on all those hills and curves. We usually tow the 38 foot fifth wheel trailer with it, so it was nice to give it a little rest I guess on this trip. It is a smooth riding vehicle for such a beast of truck I must say, feels like driving a sports it! Anne kept the Suburban at home this time because she needed the extra seating for family things while I was away, so it worked out good. I dropped my boat off in Arkansas for the annual refurb, it was totally amazing how much crap I had in the cap of my truck after unloading my boat, plus all the tackle and clothing I already had in there. I was a drummer for years, so I know how to pack things tightly, lol.

Well this is my final "On Tour" Blog for the season, it has been a lot of fun keeping you up to date on our travels. Mitchell got a real thrill out of reading your comments on his blog especially. Thanks for following our family throughout the FLW Tour events, we hope to keep this blog rolling through next year as well. Have a great off-season and Happy Holidays everyone!

God Bless,


Friday, September 23, 2011

Lake Champlain Open

Dave Writes...

I had to go to Champlain this time around without the family, so since I'd already reserved a cabin at Marine Village (in Plattsburgh) I invited Tom and Gwen Rizzo to stay with me. Tom has practiced with me all season during the FLW Tour Opens and Bass Opens, so it was convenient staying together at this event. It was also a great bonus to have his wife along for the trip, Chef Gwen kept us extremely well fed throughout the week.

I took the Suburban and left Anne with the Dually for the week, she complained a little but she can't fool me...she loves driving the big HD around home, lol. I packed more stuff into the Suburban than I thought was possible, I took out the back seats and filled it to the top with tackle. I can never go light to Champlain because its so big and there are so many ways to fish there. It seems I never do the same thing twice there, but once I get dialed into something I could actually take a single zip-lock bag in the boat and be happy. But I still need everything I own just in case, lol.

I finished 19th in the end, a good finish, but you know me, I was disappointed. I was on some very large smallmouth up north, but a severe cold front killed it. I caught the fire out of them the first day, but that was it. I caught enought to make the top 20 cut on day three, but needed another big bag to make the top 10 cut on Sunday. I now sit in 5th place in the FLW Tour Open AOY Standings with only one event remaining. The top 5 in the standings qualify for next years Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Lanier, GA, so I'll need a top 30 or so at Guntersville, AL in a couple weeks to secure that 2012 Cup birth.

Hopefully I'll have a good report after Guntersville!

Anne Writes... 

We are so sad not to on the road with Dave at Lake Champlain. We had to stay home this time around because my Mom broke her leg. The kids are missing him alot. He has another tournament right after Champlain, so this will be the longest he has been away from Mitchell and Macy since they were born.

We are riding around in the big Dually while Daddy has the Suburban. It is fun driving the diesel, I really like it, and the kids love it because it's so high. It has a sunroof and the DVD player just like the Suburban and the cab area is so big.

We've been really busy with the sale of our house and traveling back and forth to Meadville, where my Mom is in rehab. Not really that much exciting going on. Can't wait to see Daddy and hopefully we'll be able to go with him to the last tournament of the year on Guntersville next month.

I'll talk to you later,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

9th Cup in 9 Years

Dave Writes...

My 30th place finish in The Forrest Wood Cup was not exactly what I had in mind. I had a great practice and had the bites in the tournament to challenge the leaders, but sometimes it's just not meant to be, and it's just as simple as that.

The family and I stayed in Hot springs for the week off before the Cup and had a blast. We went to an amusement park and road the bumper boats, played putt putt, and raced in the bumper cars. We also went fishing for bluegills a couple times and had some awesome fish fries. On our last night there we invited our friends, the Fukaes and Tharps to eat fresh fish, it was a great time for sure.

As usual, our Suburban and dually HD preformed flawlessly. Anne drives the Suburban and tows the boat and I drive the diesel towing the camper. Ouachita was our furthest trip of 2011 and the hilliest by far, but we really enjoy traveling in our Chevy Trucks.

Since we are in the process of selling our house and since Anne's Mom broke her leg...again, I will be going to the next event solo. It's on Lake Champlain, NY in a couple weeks, which is about 7 1/2 hours from home. Anne and the kids love going to Champlain because we always rent a cabin on the water and we get to travel together in one vehicle, but unfortunately that won't be the case this year...bummer.
I'll talk to you all after that event!

Anne Writes...

Hi everybody! I hope you are all doing well. This was one of our longest trips yet. We stayed down south after the Pickwick tournament and hung around Hot Springs for our week off. Dave and the kids and I stayed at a campground in the extreme heat with a broken air conditioner. It would have been unbearable if I hadn't gone to Lowes and bought a window unit. We had to squeeze it in one of the camper windows until we could get a new RV unit installed. Talk about a good time! :) Always an adventure!!

Well, if you have read Dave's blog, you know my mom broke her leg AGAIN! Crazy! That poor woman has had her share off misfortune this year. He will be leaving for Champlain in a couple of weeks and we will be sad to sit this one out. Lake Champlain is one of our favorite places to visit. We love to stay at Marine Village cottages. If you ever get a chance to travel to northeastern New York in the Plattsburg area, I highly recommend you stay with Priscella and her crew there. You will not be disappointed.

I guess it's just me, the kids, Isabella the dog, and the Silverado HD Diesel Dually in a couple of weeks. Dave is taking the Suburban to New York. I really don't mind. I LOVE my Diesel truck. I feel like a big girl in it!

I'll be talking to ya in a couple of weeks.
Take care,
Anne Lefebre

Friday, July 29, 2011

2011 Season Finale

Dave Writes...

The FLW Tour regular season is el-dunno and not one lick of trouble from either truck, lots of miles and hills. We had to have the hydraulic fluid changed in the diesel, it gave us a warning that we had about 3000 miles left, which I thought was nice. Our oil change was due at the same time, so we stopped at a dealer in Alabama somewhere, piece of cake. I wouldn’t trade that brake system for anything in the world when towing that big camper, it makes a huge difference…huge.

We also had a new message yesterday from the diesel that told us to keep driving while it cleaned the exhaust filter, so we did. We’ve been having a little air-conditioner trouble in the camper, so a little extra time in the Chevy ice box isn’t all that bad, lol. We have a guy coming to work on our air conditioner tomorrow, we think we need a new one, which stinks, but you goota do what you gotta due, especially when it 102 degrees every day.

The family and I are staying down in Hot Springs for our week off before the cup. I think it’s the right decision. The realitor keeps pushing the closing back on our house, so we have a little unexpected extra time now, and driving 15 hours home and back again would cost a lot in gas and take 4 days from us. We are happy and in a great area with a bunch of things to do, and we’re near a pool, which makes the kids extra happy.

The last event on Pickwick Lake went…well…not so good. I’m bummed big time. I still made the Cup, but always look forward to a top 10 in Florence, not this time. Although I did have the bites to finish in the money, I just couldn’t find a big fish spot away from the crowd. Every place I found turned out to be “known” making it was an extremely irritating tournament to say the least. I finished the 2011 season in 19th, not bad, but I missed the Texas Bass Classic by 4 spots, only the top 15 from both Tours get to go, so I’m out. This is the very first time in my career that I’ll be sitting home, not fishing something I tried to qualify for. It’s humbling, but we have a lot of stuff to do back home getting ready to move, so it may be a good thing guess. Texas is a long way from Erie, PA.

Randal Tharp and I went fishing on Lake Hamilton this morning and jacked them on a frog shallow, it was so fun. We only fished about 3 hours, until it got too hot. We’ll probably go again tomorrow, we were even thinking about fishing a little local event just for the fun of it, who knows, we’ve got 10 days to mess around, lol. We had 20 bites and landed a couple big ones…you can’t beat that!

Well, I’ll talk to you in a couple weeks after the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Hopefully I’ll be $600,000 dollars richer!!!

Anne Writes... 

Hi everyone! We had a great time at Pickwick Lake in Alabama. The kids and I rode our bikes everyday and swam with our friend Janice Lackie in her hotel pool. We stayed at McFarland Park which is so beautiful. The staff are very friendly and helpful.

Our puppy Isabella learned how to swim in the pond behind our camper. She was a muddy, stinky mess! She has a life jacket she wears in the boat which is good because she always jumps in after Dave's fishing lures! She is such a funny dog.

Mitchell worked the Fun Zone this tournament for OFF!. He dressed up in the OFF! costume and walked around handing out stickers. When he was done working his 2 days, he went straight into Walmart and spent all of the money he made. It was burning a hole in his pocket. He was a trooper and worked very hard. The Fun Zone was in the Walmart parking lot. Needless to say, IT WAS HOT!

Our trip wouldn't be complete without something going wrong with the camper! This time (of all things) it was the air conditioning. We made it through by buying a window unit for the bedroom. It doesn't cool down the whole camper but it is making life tolerable. We are at Lake Hamilton for our time off before the Championship. Luckily we have someone coming to fix the air on Saturday. We can't wait! Until then, we are spending a lot of time in the cold Suburban with air conditioned seats, they rock.

Macy is doing well. She catches tons of creepy, crawly things and puts them in her bug catcher everywhere we go. The only things she is afraid of are wasps. She said when she grows up she wants to work at the Butterfly Palace (in Branson, Mo). She is very excited to start pre-school which makes me happy. She loves to do school work.

We took the kids out in the boat the last day before the off-limits on Lake Ouachita in AR. We found a cute little island, dropped the kids off and rode away. You should have seen their faces! We only idled about 100 yds. from them. They loved it! They were pretending to find treasure.

I hope everyone is doing well. We are looking forward to the Championship and we'll talk to you then!
Take care,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kentucky Lake

Dave writes...

We returned home from Calvert City, KY this morning at about 1:00 after driving all day. The end of the FLW Tour Major season is in site, with only one event remaining on Pickwick Lake in July. I now sit in 14th place in the AOY standings and I can't afford to drop any lower. The reason being?...the top 15 in the 2011 BASS, FLW, and PAA point standings qualify for the Texas Bass Classic on Lake Conroe, and I like that event and that lake a bunch. So basically I need a solid finish at Pickwick next month to make it happen, probably a top 40 or so. I like Pickwick and have had a lot success there over the years, so I'm looking forward to fishing there again.

Kentucky was a huge disappointment for me, but the damage turned out to be minimal thank goodness. My 70th place finish only dropped me from 10th to 14th in the points race, so that's a blessing. My chances for AOY are history, but a top 5 is not out of the question. I wish I'd done better on Kentucky, but I have no excuses. I had a great practice with the Lack-Attack, but I just couldn't get those bigger bites during the tournament for some unexplainable reason. I like going to Kentucky, it's a lot of fun, but there is so much luck involved in that one that it drives you crazy. We just found out that we will be going back there next June on the FLW Tour, so I'll look forward to that.

We had both trucks on this trip again and just got our very first oil change on the diesel, Still no issues or problems what so ever. They washed and shined it up too, it looks good and drives even better. It's a hard working machine but you feel like you're inside a luxury car when driving across the country.

My next FLW tournament is on Pickwick, so I've got a little over a week to relax, hang out with the family, and get caught up on some things. It's good to be home and sleep in for a change, it has sure been a while.

Hey check out this sandwich my lovely wife made me during the tournament, I knew she was sleep walking that morning, lol.

I'll see you in Alabama!

Anne writes...

Hello everyone,

We just got back from the Kentucky Lake Tournament and I want to say congratulations to Chad Grigsby and his family for the win. What an awesome Father’s Day present to win your first FLW tour event. We are so proud!

We had a great time at Kentucky Lake. We stayed at a really nice campground called Cypress Lakes RV Park in Calvert City, KY. Needless to say the kids were happy seeing all of their friends and swimming in the beautiful pool.

The Corn Hole Tournaments started the first night we arrived and continued through all of the practice and tournament days. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, every tournament the fishermen in the campground get together and play Corn Hole (Baggo) every night. This was Clifford Perch’s first time playing with us and I know he is hooked now! Team Bass King (Dave Lefebre and Randall Tharp) are the reigning champions.  I think I’m going to have a Corn Hole trophy made for the end of the season.

We got a new folding fence for the dog for when we camp. I thought the 30 inch high fence would be fine for her since she is such a little dog but I found out how high terriers can really jump! She has springs in her feet! Now I have to go get the 36 inch fence, unbelievable.

Once again the trucks got us to and from our destination with no problems. I had the Diesel serviced for an oil change and had the exhaust fluid filled at Country Chevrolet in Benton, KY. They were fast, courteous and even washed the truck for us. Pretty cool!

I know the tournament was hard on a lot of the fishermen. Not because of the lack of fish, but it was hard to catch the big ones.

Over all it was a wonderful trip and if you get a chance to go make sure you check out Patti’s 1880 Settlement. I can guarantee you have never had such an awesome, huge, tender pork chop in your life! The food was amazing and the atmosphere is fantastic. They have shops, beautiful gardens, and a little zoo area. They have a little pond with toy boats you can drive. You and your children will love it!

I hope you are all doing well!
Take care!     

Our Nation's Capital

Dave writes...
I’m home finally after driving all night from the Potomac River in Washington DC. It’s only about 6 hours from home, but after a long day it seemed like forever. Anne and the kids stayed home for this one and boy did I miss them all week. We have a week off now before heading down to Kentucky Lake, where we will be camping again.

The Potomac could have been much worse for me, so I am relieved to get out of there with a 32nd place finish. Normally I’d be pretty upset with a finish like that, but because I never really found that much in practice, I’m cool with just getting out of there alive and with some good points and a big check. We only have two more Opens this year and only the top 5 in the AOY standing will pre-qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup next August. After two, I now sit in 11th place with a good shot at the top 5, one of my main goals this season for sure.

I took the Suburban this trip and had it packed to the rafters...loaded down. It tows the boat so well and so smoothly that I didn’t even notice I was on the worst road in the country last night. I love paying to drive on the PA Turnpike, they should pay us to drive on it in my opinion. I had Aaron Hall, who works for FLW Outdoors, with me so that was nice. He had me listening to the the Blues and Praise channel on XM the whole way home, and a little bit of Fox News too, lol. Good times.

Aaron and I will be joined by Dave Mahler on Tuesday with nothing but big smallies on our minds for three solid days. Last time they came up to “play” Mahler boated a pig that weighed 7 pounds, of which he had a replica made. He says he needs another one to go with it, so I’ll let you know if that happens or not. I know I’m excited about this trip because I simply haven’t had the time to fish around here lately. The fun starts super early in the morning, when I pick them up in the dark at their motel, we have a quick breakfast at Taki’s, and then head straight to Presque Isle Bay.

I want to thank Tom Rizzo, the Lack-Attack’s replacement for the week at the Potomac, and also my buddy Steve Chaconas and his wife Martha for their hospitality this passed week. I hope we go back to the Potomac next season for sure.

I’ll talk to you in a couple weeks after the Kentucky Lake Major!

Anne writes...

Well, the kids and I didn't make it to the Potomac River. We were really bummed we couldn't go but we had to finish out the school year. We really missed Dave this week but he was in good hands staying with friends. I can't wait to go back to the Potomac so we can visit our Nation's Capital. Hope everyone is doing well. I'm sure I'll have much more to talk about after the Kentucky Lake Tournament since we are definitely going to that one!

Take care!

Monday, May 23, 2011

20 Hours In The Truck

Dave writes...

We are driving home from the Red River in Shreveport, LA after the 4th FLW Tour Major. I finished 34th in this one, which is good considering I was in 103rd after day one. I’m very happy with the decisions I made on day two and that I got most of my bites into the boat. I was throwing a Rattling Rap and a Clackin Rap all day and working them very fast and erratically. Sometimes those treble hooks allow the fish to get away, it scared me to death every time I got a bite, lol, but it all worked out thank God. I’m now in 10th in the Angler of the Year race with only two tournaments to go. I can’t wait til the next two either; Kentucky and Pickwick Lakes are two of my favorite places to fish in the country. I’m planning on two top tens to close the year.

The whole family is together in the Suburban for our 20 hour drive back home, Anne’s driving for a while. It is so nice to all be together in one truck again, we left from home (Erie, PA) with both the dually and Suburban, but we decided to leave the diesel and 5th wheel down south to save a little money. I’ll be going to the next event on the Potomac River, MD alone and then picking everyone up after that to head south again. This is the start of the busiest part of the season; it’s getting crazy, lots and lots of miles.

We put the dually and camper in storage for about three weeks and will be picking them up on the way to our campground on Kentucky Lake. The gas prices are making it so expensive to travel with two trucks, but we have to do it that way, it’s really the best way to do it. We are getting great gas mileage at least, way better than we did with the Fords three years ago, and believe me after the season’s over it makes a huge difference in our annual expenses.

Someday I need to figure out exactly how much time we actually spend in our vehicles, it would probably surprise even me. We really like these trucks, this is only our second year driving the new Chevys and Anne and I both couldn’t be happier. The seats are so comfortable and for someone who’s always hot like me I couldn’t live without the air-conditioned seats, it’s a must have. The Dually HD has that new brake system too which I just can’t say enough about. It stops like I’m not towing anything at all, it’s nuts.

We are so packed down right now, much more than normal because we had to take a lot of stuff out of the camper to bring home. We folded down the third row seats and piled everything in, no problem. We have second row captain’s chairs for Mitchell and Macy which works out perfectly for putting the dog’s crate between them. Isabella runs all over the truck like she owns it, but sometimes she needs to be put away or she will drive you crazy. We got us a high strung puppy.

Well, I’m going to straighten this seat out and take a little nap before it’s my turn to drive. I’ll talk to after the next one!

Anne writes...

Hi everybody, we're on our way home from our 10 day stay at the Red River South Marina. It got off to a rocky start when we found out our pipes must have frozen while we were home. We had to go without water for the first 3 days, which would have been OK if Dave, Macy, and Mitchell hadn't have come down with the flu, talk about a big mess.We want to put a big shout out to Barb and Bob, the owners of the Marina and one of their employees, Cowboy for fixing our water for us. They went over and beyond what they had to to help us out and we really appreciate their help.

Once all that passed we had a great time with our friends. The highlight of the tournament was when Dave came back from a rough start and finished 34th.The kids and I had fun watching the nightly cornhole tournaments. We walked to the office to get our daily slushies and rode our bikes alot. School took most of our time as we are trying to finish up the year as soon as we can, Mitchell is so smart and such a good boy most of the time. lol

The weather was absolutely beautiful. Behind our camper there was a fenced in area that had three horses. The kids and I got to feed apples to them and it was funny how they came over to investigate Isabella. I think they had something special going on between them, it was strange. On Sunday we went to the FLW Expo, the kids love riding the Chevy boat simulator. Mitchell's actually becoming quite the little boat driver. He scored the maximum amount of points in the game by clearing all the gates. I talked to Bob, the guy who runs the simulator, while the kids were in the boat. Make it a point to say hi to him if you go to one of the Expos.

It was a nice week and more convenient than normal. We were able to walk to the weigh-ins every day to watch the guys on stage. I definitely wouldn't mind going back there sometime, I just wish it wasn't so far away.

Hope you are all doing well, we'll see you down the road!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Chickamauga Blues

I just arrived in Rockwall, TX after driving 13 hours from Chickamauga Lake, TN and I’m tired. I missed half of the first day of practice and today is the second day. The wind is blowing 30 mph and the lake (Ray Hubbard) is rough and muddy, oh and it’s 94 degrees…perfect! I fished from 6:30 this morning until 1:00 and I’ve had enough already. I caught about 50 white bass, 5 catfish, and 3 bass, lol. Tomorrow is the last day of practice, but I think we have to be off the water by 3:00pm to go to registration.

I took the boat out of the water, got some lunch and just finished washing and waxing my tackle box. That’s what I’m calling my Suburban on this trip because I have so much stuff in there, lol. I’m on the longest stretch away from home all season right now; I have 3 more events and about 40 days before I get to sleep in my own bed again. Anne and the fam will be meeting me in Branson for the next FLW Tour Major in a couple weeks, I can’t wait to see them, it has been way too long.

Anne will be towing the 5th wheel down with the dually and we’ll be camping for that event as well as the next tournament at the Red River, LA. Like I said before, I’m nervous about her driving that far with the big rig, but if anyone can handle it, it’s got to be Anne. Our new diesel Silverado HD is the best towing vehicle I’ve ever had and this will be the first time towing the camper with it. It has a New Exhaust Brake System which creates back pressure to slow the vehicle down on steep grades. That will really help with the wear and tear on our brakes during the long tournament season. Also, during the trip here, I found a USB port inside the center console that I had no idea was there. I have a converter box that I’ve always used in the truck to plug my computer in and charge my I Pod, well I plugged the I Pod into it and all my song lists and albums showed up on the GPS screen of the truck. You can operate it with out ever touching your I Pod at all, I think that is awesome.

As you probably already know, I totally blew the last tournament at Chickamauga and I really would rather not talk about it anymore. I’m sick, because that was supposed to be an easy one. I guess the good thing is that most of the guys high in the standings didn’t do so hot either. I fell from 3rd to 15th in the points but Angler of the Year is definitely not out of reach as I thought it would be. It’s been two years to the month since I’ve not earned a check in a Tour event and it feels terrible to say the least…I’m going to try really hard not to ever do that again, ha ha.

Well I should probably get back out on the mud hole and try to find some fish. I’ll talk to you after Table Rock in a couple weeks!


Anne writes...

Well, I think Mitchell’s blog pretty well sums it all up! He is such a good boy and takes good care of the girls. We did not get to go to Tennessee this time because we are still needed at home. I am, however, going to drive the diesel and camper to Branson, Mo next week to meet Dave with the kids (and the dog). I was a little nervous driving all that way by myself but I know with the new break system in the dually I will be fine. It totally rocks! What a difference!

We miss Dave terribly. The kids and I are excited to get to Branson to see him. They also want to go to the Butterfly Palace and the IMAX Theater. We are also excited to see our friends on the road. Isabella has missed her boyfriends, Cooper and Riley, who are Randy and Sara Tharp’s beagles. We miss everyone!

I hope everybody has a wonderful Easter filled with lots of chocolate and hard boiled eggs.

Talk to you next time,

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Got The New Rides!

Dave writes...

Me and Smiley are in our brand new 2011 Siverado HD, heading through the mountains on I-77 North. There’s about 4 inches of fresh snow here and its 30 degrees. It’s hard to believe that we’re in North Carolina, it actually looks like home. My truck is telling me to be cautious, that the roads could be icy, which is cool. It also tells me when there is slow traffic ahead, and so far it has been right every time. Technology today blows my mind.

What an awesome truck! Our new Dually and Suburban were delivered to South Carolina, but since Anne and the kids were not coming to this event I wasn’t sure how I was going to get our new trucks back home. As it turned out, Nene (Anne’s mom) wanted to take a trip, so they loaded up Mithcell and Macy in the old diesel and headed south. They showed up for the day 3 weigh-in along with my cousins who live near Anderson. Cathy, Frank and their sons, James and Joel, and their families attended the final day weigh-in in Greenville, SC. It was there first time seeing a live weigh-in and they were impressed and seemed to enjoy it. It was nice seeing them as we’ve kind of lost touch since they moved away several years ago. I think we’ll probably be going back to Lake Hartwell soon, so we plan on hooking up with my cousins again.

Anne is towing the Frosted Flakes Ranger behind me with the new Suburban. The wrap looks awesome. Nene and Macy are with her for the ride home, so we have the “boy truck” and the “girl truck” as Smiley likes to say, lol.

The diesel is black and has a Chevy wrap, it looks mean. I love driving it, so does Anne. The kids call it the big bad truck for obvious reasons and they like it a lot too. It does have the DVD player in it for their movies and a moon roof like the Suburban, and of course, just like the last one, it has a ton of space in it. I had the 5th wheel hitch installed and we will be hooking up the big trailer for the next trip to Lake Chickamauga, in Tennessee. The HD has 1200 miles on it now and without the trailer is averaging 17.1 miles to the gallon…that’s incredible, especially considering all the steep hills we encounter on this particular route.

One new feature I noticed is that my new truck has a USB port inside the center console so I can plug my Ipod directly into it. That’s pretty neat, I’m sure there are plenty of cool things we haven’t discovered yet too as there are a lot of unfamiliar buttons, ha ha. 

I finished in 8th place at Hartwell, my second top 10 in as many FLW Tour Majors. There are 4 more to go and the rest of the schedule suits me perfectly. Needless to say, I’m very excited about the rest of the season and have my sights set on my number one goal, Angler of the Year. There’s a ton of fishing left in 2011 and a bunch of crazy good anglers in hunt, but I’m feeling good this year…really really good!


Anne writes...

Well, we just got back from a very short trip to Lake Hartwell, South Carolina.  We didn’t leave with Dave this time because we had business to take care of at home. I talked my mom into going with us for the weekend to see Dave and to pick up our new Silverado HD. My mother broke her leg back in October and has been going to physical therapy for a couple months. She can walk pretty well with her cane but we had to use a step stool to get her in and out of the dually diesel truck. It was a pretty funny sight! That was a very fast and comfortable ride. My mom was amazed at how nice that truck rides.

 Poor Isabella the puppy had to be boarded at the vet. Apparently, she had a wonderful time according to the staff! She is a social butterfly and loves everybody, even the resident catsJ.   When we got her home, she ripped through the house at a hundred miles an hour for 10 minutes straight!  That was pretty funny. There is no place like home.

The weigh-in was awesome! I haven’t seen that many people at a weigh-in since the Championship. The people in South Carolina are so friendly and really get into bass fishing. Dave finished in 8th place with his second top ten in a row. We are very proud of him! I got to see baby Wiley again, Brian and Allison Thrift’s new addition. He is a cutie! I haven’t gotten to hold him yet because his grandmas never put him down for a minute!
I felt bad for Jimmy Houston. Poor guy had an awesome bag of fish and couldn’t count them because he was late coming in on the 3rd day. He always smiles and laughs no matter what happens. Not to mention the guy knows more jokes than anyone I’ve ever met in my life!  I love the FLW staff and fishermen. We are like one big traveling family and we take great care of each other.

It was neat to see the change in scenery driving from northwest PA, down south. Once you get to Virginia, its like spring has sprung! The buds on the trees were so beautiful! The sun is finally out today but it’s only in the 30’s. It’s the kind of day to sit in a sunny window to warm your soul.

I hope everyone is well, healthy and happy. Think Spring!

Anne Lefebre

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gramps Lost His Cane

Dave writes...

We just returned home from the second event of the season on Beaver Lake in Rogers, AR. where I finished in 7th place.
Hooking up for the long trip home.

We, as usual, drove both the Siverado HD and the Suburban and towed both the boat and fifth wheel trailer. Anne and the kids usually follow me, but this time we had the “boys” truck and the “girls” truck. Me, Mitchell and Gramps occupied the Dually and Anne, Macy, and Izzy (our dog) rode in the Suburban.

We left home a couple of days early because I had to pick up my new Ranger boat in Flippin, AR before heading to the Beaver Lake. That last 3 hours of the trip to Flippin makes you appreciate driving a Chevy. It is up and down, round and round, and it never seems to end, it’s totally crazy. But the tow package and breaking system makes climbing the steepest hills a piece of cake and coasting down those ridiculous grades with the 25,000 pound trailer effortless.

If you can tow on those roads in that part of the country, and in driving rain too by the way, you can tow just about anywhere.

My Gramps was my copilot most of the way. This was the first time he’s spent so many hours in my dually and he couldn’t say enough about the comfort and roominess. He also noticed how quiet it was compared to my old diesel truck. He couldn’t even talk on his phone in the Ford F-350 because it was so loud inside the cab.

Gramps is also a map guy, he likes to follow where we are on our trips with an atlas. He was blown away by the GPS system in the truck too. He’s seen it before but never got to play with it. On this trip he learned how to use it and now he’s the GPS Master! We had a great time on this trip. Gramps said that in his 84 years he has never seen roads like the ones around Flippin, and I believe him.

We did have a small mishap however on our way back home yesterday; Gramps left his home-made walking stick in a restroom somewhere in Missouri. He didn’t realize he had forgotten it until we were about an hour north, so we couldn’t really go back. Fortunately, we were able to find the phone number from a receipt, so we called and the manager said they would ship the cane up to Erie for us. Gramps was pretty upset about the idea of losing that cane. He actually found it out at our old house when I was a little kid. Many years later he re-found the old stick in his basement and cut it, sanded it down, and then stained it. It was actually a cool looking thing that got a bunch of compliments, I hope nothing goes wrong and it shows up in the mail soon.

Talk to you after the next event on Lake Hartwell, SC!


Anne writes...

We have just returned from Beaver Lake in Rogers, Arkansas. It was an awesome tournament. Usually, Dave does horrible there but this year he did fantastic!  We are very proud of him even though he is disappointed he didn’t win.

We took Grampy with us on this trip. It was good to get him out of the cold and snowy weather for a little while. We took him to the War Eagle Mill which is a real working mill. There are two stories of gift shops and a really great restaurant on the third floor that serves some of their sandwiches on homemade bread they make from scratch right at the mill. Delicious!  They have a ton of old farm tools hanging on the walls which Gramps enjoyed. He said it brought back memories of his childhood where he remembered seeing and using most of them. Gramps is 84 years old and still movin’! The kids and I (and Isabella) enjoyed his company.

We camp at the Hide-A-Way campground which is WAY up on top of a hill in Rocky Branch (still Rogers) every time we go to Beaver Lake. The owners are so nice and the area is beautiful, especially in the spring when the dogwoods and other trees are blooming. If you are looking for a peaceful getaway I highly recommend this area.

The weigh-in show at the arena was awesome! If you haven’t been to one you should check it out. All of the sponsors have booths set up and they give away a lot of samples.
There is also a ton of things for kids like coloring tables, giant blow-up bouncy slides, casting contests and games with prizes. Mitchell and Macy always have a great time at the Fun Zones.

One of the difficult things about being on the road is being away from family, especially when they need you and you need them. Saturday, the second night of the tournament, my step-dad passed away. He and my mother live next door to us and have taken care of our house and everything while we traveled for the past 8 years. Last year, I wrote in one of my blogs about how Papa loves his Chevy Suburbans. He did! He always had one and took such great care of them. When we got our first Suburban, it was amazing to see how much they changed over the years. Papa’s Suburban parked next to ours looked like a perfectly preserved dinosaur!  He had a great time looking over our truck but he still loved the look of his old one. It is hard to look at that Suburban parked in the driveway next door and know there will be no more long drives for ice cream and exploring the countryside with Papa. We love you forever Papa Hank!

Looking out our window at Papa's old Suburban

Love and Blessings to all of my friends out there and we’ll see you down the road,

Anne Lefebre

Friday, February 4, 2011

FLW Tour Kicks Off In Florida

Dave writes...

The first tournament of 2011 is in the books and it was real slug-fest. I have never seen weights like this in my experience and I’m just glad to have survived it with a 36th place finish. I had the chances to make the cut but I’m happy that I at least got a big check and a solid start to the year.

An Okeechobee Pig!
Anne, the kids, the dog, and I all traveled together to Clewiston, Florida in the Silverado HD dually. We towed the 5th wheel and camped at Okeechobee Landings. It’s funny, we packed the Suburban too the day before we left, but when we started driving south, I suddenly realized that we didn’t need to take both trucks. We had been planning on picking up my new boat in Florida and towing it home, but at the last minute I found out that it would not be done in time. Somehow it slipped our minds that we only needed one vehicle, so in the -10 degree wind chill, we unpacked the Suburban into the camper and all piled into the diesel. We were actually about 20 miles into our trip when I called Anne, who was following me, and told her we should be riding together, lol.

We pulled off at the next exit, unpacked everything, and then Anne took the Suburban home and got a ride back to Wendy’s where me and the kids were waiting with an early lunch. It was quite a fiasco, but well worth it in my opinion. The only bad part was not having the Suburban when we finally got to Florida. It’s cool because it has the sunroof of course. Both trucks have air conditioned leather seats though which is awesome when it’s hot like it has been.

Speaking of hot, it was 1 degree on our truck thermometer when we pulled out of the driveway, well actually my Gramp’s driveway. We stayed at his house the night before we left, there was chance that he was going to come with us, but he had some doctors appointments in the way, oh well, we’ll drag him to another one later.

As usual, the HD never missed a beat in the snow and ice and in the mountains of West Virginia and Virginia. This was the first time we’ve all ridden together in this truck, so we never really realized how big the cab was. The kids had a huge amount of room in the back and because the diesel engine is so quiet, they never complained about not being able to hear their movies, which was a problem in the old Ford. And it’s cool, the HD is a beast of truck, designed to work and tow, but it actually rides really comfortable, almost like a car. We enjoyed the 22 hour trip in Daddy's big truck, as Macy calls it.

Florida is great, hot, but great. We went to Palm Beach for a couple days before the tournament started to relax and watch the kids play in the shark infested water (read Anne’s blog to find out more, lol). It was nice to get away from the cold while the nasty winter storms covered the rest of the country, the timing couldn’t have been any better for us. But we are anxious to get home as always and get ready for the next trip in a couple weeks to Beaver Lake, AR. On the way home we plan to stop at the KOA just north of Jacksonville, FL to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. Then on Monday we’ll start the long journey back to Union City, PA. GO STEELERS!!!!

Anne writes...

It is good to be back in Florida! We left three feet of snow and temperatures in the negative to be here.  We decided to come to Florida a couple of days earlier to thaw out!

We had an awesome drive down towing the camper with our Chevy Diesel. It is so comfortable, quiet and roomy. The kids and the dog had a lot of room to spread out in the back seat.

Everybody asleep in the HD.
We are so proud to be a part of the Chevy blogs again this year! Chevy is such a wonderful company and their staff at the tournaments is fantastic!   Kellogg’s is back and Dave will be sporting the Tony the Tiger/ Corn Flakes jersey this year as well. THEIR GRRREAT!!

We stayed at Okeechobee Landings which is on the southern end of the lake in Clewiston, FL. It is a beautiful place with a heated pool, shuffleboard and a recreational room with games and a pool table. It is also close to town and Roland Martin’s Marina, very convenient.

We went to West Palm Beach a couple of days to swim and hang out at the ocean. Thank you to Randy and Sara Tharpe for puppy sitting Isabella. She got to play with their two Beagles, Riley and Cooper for two days. They were 3 tired dogs after that! We saw Portuguese man-o-wars washing up on the beach and black tip reef sharks swimming very close to shore. It was unbelievable! We counted 5 different sharks. Obviously, we didn’t go very deep into the water after that. The kids are learning so much traveling the country. Every time they see something new, we have to run to the computer and Google search to find out more information. I love how inquisitive they are.

Mitchell is 8 and we are half way through 3rd grade. He is doing great in his studies and is very bright. He loves gymnastics and building Lego’s. Macy is 4 and just learned to swim under water with her goggles in the swimming pool here. A big accomplishment for her! We work on school with her also. We have a sight word wall in the camper for her which she can read 20 words and is also learning to add. They are both doing wonderful in school.
We had fun at the beach while it snowed back home.
Last but not least our puppy, Isabella! I don’t know if any of you remember when we got her last year while we were at the Dardanelle, AR tournament. We drove to Missouri to get her. She went to puppy school and did pretty well. She's still a little high strung because she is a terrier, but I think she is improving...well, kind of!  Anyways, she turns 2 this year and I’m hoping the puppy stage will disappear soon! She is a good girl, very sweet with the kids and loves everybody and every dog. I’m very thankful she is an awesome traveler. She is the first one in the truck wherever we go!
The first day of the tournament Dave came in with a 23lb-12oz bag.  He had a great practice and even took the kids and I out for a boat ride to see some alligators the last day. Unfortunately, day 2 of the tournament he lost a 10lber on a bed 3 times! It was hard for him to swallow being on winning fish and not making the cut. He ended up 36th which I think is great, but to these guys nothing is good unless you top 10 or win. I guess that’s what makes them the best!   

 We are leaving Sunday morning to get to the Jacksonville/ St.Mary’s KOA. It’s on our way home and the owners are HUGE Pittsburgh Steelers fans. Almost as huge as we are! We wanted to watch the Super bowl surrounded by black and gold and terrible towels.  GO STEELERS!!!

That’s about it from Lake Okeechobee, in beautiful, sunny, warm Florida! I will miss it and shed a tear every time Dave and I set foot outside to shovel the walk and snow blow the driveway. (Dave could care less as long as the ice is still thick enough to go ice fishing!)    

We will see you at Beaver Lake in Rogers, AR for the first FLW Tour Major event in two weeks! Don’t forget you can watch the weigh-ins live on . They have the full tournament schedule and times not to mention "on the water" up dates throughout the day during the tournament. AWESOME! (Many of the fishermen’s wives are glued to the computer during the tournament to check on their husbands!)

Take care and we’ll see you down the road,