When the little-known Louisiana pro opened his second Tour season last year on Florida's Harris Chain, he failed to catch a single bass.
Boler bounced back a week later by finishing second at the Tour event on Lake Okeechobee and went on to make a strong run at the Angler of the Year title. He finished fourth in a race that went down to the wire.
His Harris Chain performance cost him the Angler of the Year award, a fact of which Boler is painfully aware.
"Two fish at the Harris Chain would have put me over the top," he said. "It owes me. I'm fired up about it. I am. It's hard to believe you could be fired up about a tournament that you didn't do well at all, but I am. I can't do any worse.
"A little revenge would be nice. It would be sweet revenge."
Boler remembers last year's Harris Chain struggle as if it were yesterday.
"I learned a ton last year," he said. "I had caught a lot fish prefishing there. That's what killed me. Then a little cold front hit and I just couldn't get bit. Both of my partners never got a bite. But I think I know what I need to look for this time.
"I'll fish some of the same places this time. You've got to check a few of them. There's going to be some sight fishing if it stays like this, that's for sure. That worries me a little bit because that's not my strong suit. ... I think I'll be able to put something together."
When Boler kicked off his sophomore Tour season, he was a freshly retired engineer with little name recognition outside of Louisiana fishing circles (he finished a lackluster 100th as a Tour rookie). But that quickly changed as he hung near the top of the Angler of the Year leader board and climbed into the race after the sixth tournament of the year. Boler impressed his fellow pros by posting third- and 12th place finishes during his first exposure to California fishing.
"I'm more confident heading into this season," he said. "I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't. Last year was huge for building my confidence. My first year before that, I didn't do well, but I never got down on myself. It was one big learning experience to me.
"Last year, it just all kind of clicked. I guess I just proved it's possible to come back and still have a good year. Hopefully I can continue it."
LOUISIANA POLITICS. Internet chat rooms have been alive with angry fishermen, fishing fans and others upset with Plaquemines Parish District Attorney Darryl Bubrig Sr.'s decision not to prosecute the man who fired a shot at Gary Klein during the 2003 CITGO Bassmaster Classic in the wilds of the Louisiana Delta. In addition, dozens of newspaper columnists have blasted the decision.
You can count Louisiana native Roger Boler among the most disappointed.
"I was surprised. I really was," he said. "I thought that with the publicity that this case got, it would have been prosecuted. In a way, I wasn't surprised. It's Louisiana and those down-home politics again.
"I just think it's very unfortunate that it happened. I was raised to where people are made accountable for what they do and the actions that they take. And I'm just afraid that this might open the door for people who think they can get away with such stuff.
"I understand the other part, too, where boat wakes do cause damage. But in the area that (Klein) was in - and I know it well - it was very uncalled for, what took place. I know this has hurt our chances of ever going back there for a Classic or any tournament."
HARRIS SLUGFEST? If recent tournament results (not to mention a prevailing warming trend) are any indication, Florida's Harris Chain could shake its dubious claim to fishing fame this week in the Tour season opener.
Although the central Florida chain did itself proud in five BASS events held in the late 1980s, it owns the BASS record for the lowest winning weight in more than 36 years of tournaments. In the 1992 Florida Invitational, winner Mike Folkestad caught a total of 14 pounds, 10 ounces in three days.
Last year's Tour season opener there proved to be a difficult affair for the brightest talents in professional fishing. But recent history suggests that the situation might be significantly improved this time around.
A little over a week ago in a single-day Harris Chain Open weekly tournament, the winning team had four bass that weighed an impressive 26 1/2 pounds. Included was a 12-pound, 15-ounce bass that is the largest caught in that tournament's 16-year history.
And the expected weather (featuring highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s) could ignite a massive spawning wave of egg-laden female bass heading shallow to nest.
DID YOU KNOW? Ten pros have won six or more BASS tournaments during their career.
PRO BIRTHDAYS. A pair of former Classic champions (Ken Cook, 57, and Denny Brauer, 55) will celebrate their birthdays on Feb. 2 and 3, respectively. Mark Rizk, who splits his time between California and Alabama, will be 40 on Feb. 7.
IF I HADN'T BECOME A BASS PRO ... Former professional bull rider Cody Bird would likely be in the construction business.
THEY SAID IT. "There is a tremendous amount of information that gets passed out. If a student's ready and is the sponge that he should be, he'll soak up an awful lot of information and be able to catch fish that he wouldn't have caught without the course." Former Classic champion Ken Cook praises the CITGO Bassmaster University.