I had a non-fishing friend laughingly ask me if fishing was really just mainly a matter of luck. The question stopped me in my tracks and made me think hard about the answer. My reply: “Is there anything in your experience that suggests that great results come from pure luck in any endeavor?”
“No,” he replied. “But I don’t see how you can figure out all the factors to be successful. And since I don’t want to have to sit around all day waiting for a bite, I don’t think fishing is for me.”
Wanting to give him a new perspective, I said, “I really don’t fish. I’m a hunter who fishes.”
Believing that most fishing success is the result of luck leads to the conclusion that the whole thing is pretty much a matter of being a victim or victor of your circumstances. Why do so many guys start out strong as they hit the water, but become discouraged so easily? Maybe it’s a lack of confidence in the lures, area, technique or their strategy?
Lack of confidence can take the persistence right out of you! I was lucky to be around Olympic champions and watch them train and compete with a crystal-clear idea of what they were doing. Doubt and randomness are almost never present for them.
Building up a clear idea of what you’re going to do on the water — proactively gaining confidence in all areas of your game — is critical to staying the course and doing so with purpose. Do you have an area of your fishing that’s a weak spot — a place where you feel you fail? This is probably affecting your confidence to stay on the game plan. When you don’t know something or what to do, it will affect you.
When something isn’t working right for me, I try to pose a question to myself: “What is it I’m ignoring, not aware of, or not thinking about that I should be considering?” My biggest fishing breakthroughs have come from these learning opportunities where I hit the wall — which made me slow down and think. What are the key factors I can control? Am I relying on luck, or do I have a plan?
My friend made me think about the impact that having a randomness mentality can have on your belief system and actions. I believe it can lead many of us to start questioning what we are doing — which is almost never productive! Many times we are just hoping for a lucky break at this point, but even then we tend to give up too soon to find out if we made the right move.
My now enlightened-but-unconvinced friend told me with a smile, “I can see where fishing like that can work, but I still think it makes a better fish story if you tell them it was just ‘dumb luck’ catching the big one!”
Hmmm ... good point! Never give up!
On TV: A recap of the San Luis striper fishing trip I took with John Malos will be aired on his “Connect with Me” show on MeTv (KGMC 43.6, KVBC 13.1, Comcast 187 and Northland Cable 2 and 9) on Monday, April 20 from 10-11 a.m. It will be a live show with clips from the trip where Malos caught over 20 stripers, including a 17-pounder.
Delta sturgeon, striper and bass bites on fire, Alan Fong said. San Francisco halibut and stripers on a tear, Captain Jim Smith reported. Eastman and Hensley bass action wakes up, Mark Inman said. Don Pedro kokanee bite kicks in, Monte Smith reported. New Melones kokanee hitting, Doug McArthur said.