Being fairly new to competitive bass fishing, I have learned some valuable lessons. Always be prepared. Be organized. Never give up. One of the best lessons I have applied to my 2006 season is to set goals. At the beginning of the season, I sat down and wrote ten goals for myself for the upcoming year. Five of those goals were short term goals, and the others were long term goals. Setting goals for yourself is an important aspect of growth and development in whatever activity you chose to partake in. My five short term goals for the year were as followed:
1. To set a pre-fishing routine for each tournament.
2. To fish relentlessly for eight hours of each tournament.
3. To fish to my strengths in each tournament.
4. To have fun while I am fishing each tournament.
5. To be supportive of my club and my club members.
These short term goals have been largely successful for me so far in 2006. I have been more relaxed, and I have enjoyed my days on the water. Though I am not burning any record books up, I am attaining my goals that I set for myself. I hope those small victories help me realize my long term goals. Those goals include:
1. To finish eighth or better in the club standings for 2006.
2. To advance through the regionals to the SQT’s.
3. To improve my pitching and flipping technique.
4. To understand my electronics better.
5. To travel to more out of state waters.
Largely, these goals have not been attained yet. Since they are long term goals, I am constantly working on them. I am always pitching or flipping in the driveway, or re-reading my manuals of my fish finders. These goals should come to light at the end of the season for the most part.
Setting both short and long term goals can be critical for becoming the angler you want to be. Continually striving for goals that you set for yourself keeps you mentally sharp. I used to laugh when Rick Clunn talked about instinct and fishing, but I am not laughing anymore. I am constantly referring back to past experiences, and listening to that inner voice when I am faced with a problem. Sometimes, you have to throw the textbook overboard and listen to that voice. Set some goals for yourself and see if they help you become a better angler. It’s always a good day to go fishing.