When reality kicks in
How many times in life did that happened to you?... We all have moments like this and they serve a purpose that some fail to realize. In fishing it can come in all shapes and forms. Whether it’s a tournament that didn’t go as planned, thinking you had a solid pattern that crumbled faster than a sand castle or having high hopes on your favorite body of water and falling flat with fish mysteriously disappearing that day.
To some, it seems like some anglers never have days like these and you just hope to reach that pinnacle one day. Truth be told, they have that SAME exact reality check from time to time too. What makes some anglers different than others is the capacity to keep their heads in the game and figure something out that most won’t probably see. From a tiny adjustment, tuning a bait, to going a complete 180 and try something you wouldn’t dare trying because “the book” dictates you shouldn’t do it. I was in that position more often than I care to admit but I will admit that I will go through the motions again and again in the future. Recently as I was enjoying a week off and spending time with my good friend Hugues, it kicked off that week with less-than-ideal conditions. Full blown cold front, really cold temps for June and winds that would usually keep anglers off the water. We had picked a small lake that is pretty protected by surrounding mountains but that wasn’t really enough as a good part of that small lake was wind blown with small rollers that I would’ve never expected that lake to have.
Long story short after struggling for a few hours to get some decent bites, I decided to do something many would not have considered a viable option and grabbed a big pencil popper and went to work. Well, I ended up on a pattern that carried us a long way that day catching numbers and quality fish. Hugues jumped on the opportunity to take a walking bait out and went to work too connecting with fish just as much as I was. With the wind never letting go we chased sections of the lake that were mostly protected and covered every square inch of them. Later that day the topwater bite pretty died on us in between two casts sending us scratching our heads down to the brain. We decided to keep going with power fishing techniques and took the bladed jigs out and managed to pull out a few more.
That is one example amongst an endless list of possible outcomes a day can get. Keep in mind that as an angler the only 2 thing you can control are your gear and yourself, the rest is all out there to be as random as can be. I know a few anglers that have a tendency to catch them good most of the time and some would argue that I’m like that but I do have “grind days” like everyone but I try my best to make the most out of it and get something going.
For a long time, I preached for a pattern approach compared to finding spots that work. Sure, will come a time that a favorite lake will have spots that produce consistently but it’s what makes these spots good that is important and not the spot itself and this is where the difference lies with anglers that can stay consistent producers versus anglers that rely on luck when things go south for them.
Don’t let a grind or a bad stretch get you down but also keep in mind that bad days are possible and will come days that no matter what you try bass will be locked jaw. Like I said to some, if a pro can get skunked well so can you and don’t feel bad about it. Study and break it down, what ifs are easy when all things are done and learn from those moments to better yourself as an angler and as a person.
Keep that head high and work to keep that line tight!
Bearded Bass Projekt.