Have you ever had something go wrong while fishing and after the fact, take time to review what happen and why? Maybe use a little “hind-sight 20/20” to understand the problem and learn from it, in order to better yourself and your fishing. Well, the fault at hand could have come from “Control” or “a lack of it”. There are many types of Control; self, boat, and lure. Let’s touch on these today and see what we can come up with.
Control: A Small Word with So Much Meaning!
A good example of “self-control” or “lack of self-control” got me in trouble not to long ago while my partner and my-self were fishing our 1st Annual Tournament for our Ultimate Bass Club Shootout. It was early in the morning and I had just caught and released a small bass and from the same area I had a very nice 3-4 pound bass smash my spinnerbait, but by being out of shape and not in control of some key elements, I lost the bass by the side of the boat. How many times have we all done this? By getting excited and getting into a big hurry, we seem to forget all about “Control”. I was thinking, I’ll just flip him in the boat, no problem, and next thing we know, there’s the winning or prize bass swimming off to fight another day or to end up in someone else’s livewell!
Control is in everything we do, and it’s a key element in our sport of bass fishing and our lives. Controlling our boats, our lures and most of all, controlling our-selves, must all work together in order for us to catch the bass that we are fishing for.
The number #1 key element is “self-control”, without it you might as well stay home. This element deals with all your emotions and how you think and react from the time you wake up on that fishing morning until you go to bed that night. Let’s think about this and look at our top Pros in our sport. If you are lucky enough to get to see them in action or watch them on TV, you will see that they are always in total control of their emotions and reactions during their fishing day. They seem to handle everything in a smooth matter just like a well oiled machine, were as I was just the opposite. I was so pumped up that everything was in fast motion and happening so fast, that I lost the bass by not thinking and waiting for help from my partner. All I could think about was good bass, hurry, flip in boat and get him in the livewell. One thing that I learned from this was to take and maintain control of your-self, and that means when you do get that next bite, you don’t go crazy trying to boat the fish, but you take a few turns of your reel, get your line right, get into position and set the hook, making it a good hook set, work the bass to the boat and then slowly put him into the boat. Then and only then, you are in good Control of yourself and the elements that are needed to bass fish and have a productive day on the lake.
Another key element in our sport is “boat control”, being able to keep and maintain the positioning of our boats while working over cover or structure. We always need to understand the importance of keeping our boats at a prime casting angle and avoid drifting into or over the area we are fishing. But after the strike, what do we do? Do we think about our “boat control”? Do we notice that our boat has drifted into or up against what we were fishing? Here is when we need to emphasize our boat control, if our boat is on top of our honey hole and we do land the fish, well, there’s a good chance that we have scared all the other bass away, where as, if we had moved our boat away from our spot, there might be a good chance that we can catch some more bass from this area, plus if the boat is in open water, there’s a better chance that the bass we are fighting at the time, has less chance of getting into cover, getting hung up and getting loose, plus it puts us into better control of both the fish and boat.
Our next & last element is “lure control”, now you could write a book just on this, but I only want to touch on the main issue here and that is being in the best control of your lure that you can. This can be done by knowing and having an awareness of what your lure is doing and how it works for you, both above and beneath the surface. Also how it affects the line and the feel of the line on your reel before and during the bite. One of the best ways for sensitivity is to palm your reel so that your finger goes across the front and makes direct contact with your line. Some my even put the line between their index finger and thumb so they can have extra sensitivity and feel the bite before setting the hook. There are many different ways and it’s whatever works best for you in your quest for the best “Control” you can have.
It’s always better to be in control of yourself and the elements and not rush and get so excited that you forget everything that you have worked so hard to do and learn! Plus, by being out of control, you might end up like me, watching that ole bucket-mouth prize bass swim off laughing and looking back at you saying “Sorry Boo”, better luck or ” better control” next time!
Tight lines and hope to see you on the water!