Well my past blogging has been, well... blah. I'm going to change that this year. To start, Anglerhub gives me the perfect format and makes it easy. I like easy. I like efficient. In fact, that's a great first topic for successful tournament fishing - efficiency!!!
You guys will see I'm sort of a "stream of consciousness" blogger so enjoy the ride through my mind and I'll work to share some secrets of success.
Back to the efficiency. I can probably spend the next couple months blogging about it and still not hit everything. I may spend the next few Tuesdays trying to graze the basics. For this one, let's just talk about the general concept and how I feel it applies to tournament fishing. Being efficient means saving time. Working smarter, not harder. Maximizing your time, your energy, your resources. It means squeezing seconds out of minutes, that add up to 10 more casts than the next guy or 100 more casts, or 5 more minutes on a hot bite. It is one key element that will separate you from the pack over time.
Where does it start? It starts months prior to your first tournament. It starts by getting organized. That means look at your tackle, your gear, your set up and make sure you tweak it so that you can find what you want, when you want it, and find it quick. It also means maintenance. Checking your equipment, maintaining your batteries, cleaning and servicing your equipment. It means preparation. Don't wait until the week of your event to start studying lake maps, google earth, and researching previous tournament results. (if the last sentence has you saying "What is he talking about?") then you're waaaaayyyy behind the curve.
Once you're organized, you're gear is all in good shape, and you've already started researching the fisheries for the year make sure you keep up on all of those things throughout the season. Don't let disorganization cost you valuable time on the water, don't let equipment fail and cost you a fish or your bag because you can't make it back to weigh-in, and certainly don't think you can just show up and fish and do well. Everybody dog has his day but you can't approach a fishing tournament career like that because most of the guys you're competing against are doing all of these things mentioned above.
Efficiency doesn't stop there - when you begin to try to apply it to your practice, to your travel, to your driving, and to your fishing plan, now you begin to really set yourself apart from the average "weekend warrior". Don't mistake Efficiency for always meaning "Fast". That is not necessarily the case. Edwin Evers commented during the Classic that as long as he fished a clean tournament at a good speed, he'd have no regrets regardless of the outcome. Think about that... Sometimes being efficient could mean methodically picking apart key targets and not wasting time fishing banks in between them. That's not fishing fast, that's moving from spot to spot fast and fishing slow.
I think I'll dive deeper into this next week but hopefully I've given you some general things to ponder. Would love to hear from the readers some tips or tricks on what you do to be more efficient. Until next week... Tight Lines!
Josh "Ogdog" Ogden