The mind game of fishing is one that can be key to being successful in having a bad day or having the day of a lifetime. Weather, travel, physical conditioning, water conditions, other anglers, and just bad luck can work on an anglers mental state before, during, and after he or she is fishing. Focus is a word that comes to mind when thinking of what one element is needed to work through many of the situations mentioned above. Many anglers have had an instance when a slight glance away cost them a fish. Perseverance can be another word that comes to mind when speaking of what mental set need be taken to keep an angler’s morale. A few others are versatility, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude.
I remember a local angler who at the beginning of a tournament hit a metal rail and scratched his boat at the start. He was visibly so mad that I wondered if he was thinking about what his approach for the day might be to make sure he had a good day on the water. He blanked in the tournament and I remember speaking to him afterward. He said he was frustrated with himself because after the boat was scratched he really wished he had let it go, because the bad day on the water made a bad start to a day into a bad day all together. So I will pass along the tools he and I began to use in team tournaments.
First, Focus is a great key to being a better angler. Examples are learning to control a boat while keeping you in position to set the hook at any time. Look down once and you may loose a chance at a fish. I implemented this tool to help me focus. It is Focus before, during, and after the strike. By doing this you first focus on the elements of the cast that get your lure in the strike zone and being in the best position to set the hook. Then during the strike you focus on setting the hook and having a path that is best suited for landing the bass. And last is the after the strike, looking and finding out what a fishing is trying to do to get away and countering its efforts so that you land the fish.
Perseverance is the next portion of bass fishing brain work that can be the element that often gets you out of the funk and into the fish. That old adage of try, try again is no more evident than on the toughest days of fishing. Bass just get fickle sometimes and you have to keep trying until you get something they want in front of them. Also fishing has that old Murphy’s Law that seems to hang around: motors break, batteries die, and line breaks; and some crappie fisherman decides on your day out that he likes the spot you worked all week to find. You just have to over come these things with focus perseverance enthusiasm and positive thinking you will make brain work in bass fishing catch you more fish.