This winter has been awful to all of us who like to open water fish. I normally take a little time away from fishing to recharge, but I couldn’t be any more recharged. It’s time to get at it.
It’s been a roller coaster ride from snow to wind to colder to more snow. I guess we should be used to it, but do we ever really figure out a way to beat it?
About every year I go through tackle in the shop, work on articles and most years I have a boat to rig. For the first time in 10 years or more, I have yet to order a boat. That pulls one more thing away from “tinkering in the ManCave” and my fishing mojo has waned as a result.
I have sorted and resorted and sharpened, piled up and organized, but honestly this past week I finally got the bug back. I give credit where credit is due and it comes back entirely from watching Bassmaster Bass Live on the internet while working on Wired2Fish business. This year they have included Facebook live during breaks, which means a full day of coverage.
Bass Live has changed the game for on-the-water coverage and it just keeps getting better. Initially technology was an issue, but that has gotten better. The camera work and play by play is outstanding. Weather is always an issue and in my opinion Bass Live is like spending the day in the boat with the best anglers in the world and being guided to things that work.
I have gotten to spend time in the boat with a lot of the best pros, but the one-on-one is actually less effective than spending it with four or five anglers each week on “LIVE.” Not only is it great for techniques, but bait selection and electronics too.
For me it’s about listening, and I mean truly listening to the pros, watching techniques and how they react to changing conditions. I always believe they give you information without selling away with their secrets, but they say a lot.
This weekend was the first Bass Live on Lake Martin in Alabama and to say I got a renewed shot of adrenaline would be an understatement. I spent evenings and this past weekend on breaks sorting, digging through boxes and getting my springtime arsenal dialed in.
I pulled out all of my summer baits and the boat is now loaded with what I like to use in the spring in cold and rising water. Once the lakes open up, rest assured I will be on the water just looking, using my electronics and looking at water temperatures.
This year I am going to fish more, practice harder and stay on the fish. You can’t do that in the office. The way you get better in fishing is by learning every trip and catching fish.
The anticipation of that first day back on the water does include preparation. I’ll look at maps, drive around the lake, even when the lakes are frozen, to see water levels and clarity and will be getting the boat set up so batteries, trolling motor and engine are ready to go. I also check my tools, tighten bolts, and make sure life jackets and rain suits are ready to roll.
Even with all this preparation things can go wrong, but the best anglers do not let failure spin them out. A bad few hours can turn around very quickly. Focus plus humility can change things quickly.
A case in point is this week’s winner Takahiro Omori. He has had a great career with numerous wins, including a Bassmaster Classic title, but there was a long lull in his career until his win this year. His preparation has always been strong and he has had other high finishes, but the lakes have set up for his style this year. He has won seven professional tournaments.
All great anglers do have styles. They love to fish their strengths. Some like to fish shallow, some deep and some like to run and gun, but knowing that style yet being adaptable to new techniques and patterns is a strength. The great cannot be great at everything, but all can be good at most.
I am hungry to compete, to learn and live fishing. Fishing is fun and it’s more than winning. I see it in my daily job and I see it in others in venues like Bass Live. If you love fishing, live it all.