Guys & Gals my apologies. Competitive Fishing is a hobby for me - a very serious hobby, but a hobby nonetheless. I own and run a small business as my day gig and it has been brutal for several years. We've enjoyed huge growth, and had to survive some crazy things along the way. We just had one of our largest customers file bankruptcy last week and so I've been focused on what pays my bills and just didn't have the time to throw up a blog the last couple weeks.
So this week's Tips on Tuesdays is just now being written, but I didn't want to lose what little momentum I had going as I said previously, I'm going to stay committed this year to the Blog.
When we last spoke I had started to go into greater detail on organization and efficiency and how they are critical to being a successful tournament angler. This week I'm going to let that rest and talk about something else which is very relevant to me personally. It's been a tough start to this season for me, I've had a few decent tournaments but for the most part I feel I've performed sub-par. It's amazing how mental this sport really is. People who haven't fished competitively just figure we go out, get hammered on brews, throw a bobber in the water and wait for the fish to bite. How different reality is from that!
Having just admitted that my season isn't going the best so far, it seems ironic that I would be giving advice about achieving a good mental state, and to be honest I may be writing this as much to be self-serving as to be helpful to those who read it - but the most important thing in competitive fishing (and for that matter life) is having your head right. That can mean a million different things to a million different people but for me I call it the "gut factor".
Humans are amazing creatures, with senses and abilities we barely understand or acknowledge. I'm sure we've all had those experiences where we meet a person and just know "They are creepy". Or, you're faced with a critical decision and you just know in your gut which way to choose. That is the "gut factor".
It is my humble opinion that experience + intuitiveness = "gut factor". It is also my opinion that if you're dealing with a heavy load in the brain department, that it hinders your ability to clearly decipher what the "gut factor" is trying to tell you. In my case, I'm pulled in a million directions, always feel like I'm running behind, and I think this year in particular I began to doubt my plan, question my ability, and all the while subconsciously deal with issues pertaining to my business. So - time to take a dose of my own medicine. Sometimes it's best to hit the restart button. You can't change the past, and you'll hear it from a lot of the best in the business, you can't fish the past. You have to fish in the moment.
What I'm working on for myself is getting my mind right. For me there's a been a few times when I didn't have the time to pre-fish and have showed up and did very well. Granted it was on familiar water, but there's something to be said when you just go fish and follow your instincts. Will they be right all the time - absolutely not. But you will drive yourself crazy continually trying to do what you think you're supposed to be doing instead of doing what you know.
Here's the thing, for me my life is in a state where it feels like I'm constantly swimming upstream. One key is for me to figure out how to swim downstream. Again - my problems aren't going to be the same as yours - but the principles are the same. KISS (keep it simple stupid), listen to your gut, and just go fish. Woosaw.
Until next week (hopefully on Tuesday) Tight lines!
Josh "Ogdog" Ogden