Getting up on Sunday morning I felt that someone had rolled back the calendar into January. I had great anticipation of having some warm, predictable, weather to work with in trying to locate some of those big female pre-spawn bass. However, with ice on the ground and wind chills in the single digits I logged onto the computer and landed on Bassmaster. to review footage from the classic. This year I decided to follow the classic live thru their online presentation via blog and GoPro live camera’s on the pro’s boat. It’s amazing what we can learn these days from online videos.
People often ask who your favorite angler is. My response is that I really don’t have one. I enjoy following the top pros through social media and enjoy seeing how they are catching their fish, plugging the sponsors and just what it takes to be a full time touring pro at the elite level. With the technology of the day the arena of social media puts you up close with the pro in the boat on the water. I pay close attention to what they are saying and even closer attention to how they are modifying their baits to coax that big fish to bite. These guys are tough and stay out on the water long past dark, sometimes not in the most hospitalable conditions. I know the guys preparing to fish the Southern Open this week found themselves in some of the harshest temperatures of the season. The remarkable thing about these anglers is that they demonstrate the ability to catch fish in any condition. Every time I have grand thoughts of myself as a pro I just look back to lakes like Grapevine and Lewisville to remind me that I am nowhere close.
The most important take away, for me, was mental toughness. I will admit that mental toughness and confidence in what I am doing play a large role in my tournament fishing. If most of you are like me you can get mired down in second guessing, sticking with a failed strategy to long and throwing dead. What I mean about throwing dead is not having the confidence in each cast and just chunking and winding. My goal for 2014 is to surround myself with “Classic Quality People” that I can observe and learn from so that I can begin growing more confident and understanding why things are the way they are. I also have to remember that I can put myself around the fish, but if the fish chooses to be locked down due to weather conditions I must change the presentation. Should changing the presentation not work, I just need to realize that today’s not my day and hold my head high as I enjoy nature and hanging out in the Hobie Pro Angler 14. It’s also important to be a “classic” type person. There are thousands of people who bass fish and they are at every level. When you are active in the social networks be mindful of the folks watching you. Take time to answer their questions, share your tips and take the time necessary to include those that are new to our sport. I would be nowhere today without the guys who took an interest in me and answered the dumbest of my questions.
I think the following dialogue between Harry Hogge and Cole Trickle, from Days of Thunder, sum it the best.
Harry Hogge: What do you know about stock car racing?
Cole Trickle: Well…watched it on television, of course.
Harry Hogge: You’ve seen it on television?
Cole Trickle: ESPN. The coverage is excellent; you’d be surprised at how much you can pick up.
Harry Hogge: I’m sure I would.
Take advantage of all the avenues that are afforded to us in this age of information enlightenment. Watch those videos, make friends with a pro, take someone under your wing and bring them along. Bassmaster showed us how you can take a fishing tournament and bring it to life with real time updates and access into the minds of the top pros. To be better we must pay attention and be willing to learn; you never know the tip you see today could boost you in the AOY standing in your local scene.
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!