As tournament anglers, we get into slumps and rolls while competing. We always want to do our best at each event because that’s just the nature of any competitive sport. However that doesn’t happen all the time. I find that it’s it can be easy to get on some kind of roll but when you fall into a slump it’s sometimes hard to get out of; it’s all about your mental state of mind. When trying to get out of a slump most of start to feel the pressure. Some people thrive off of it and others let it affect them in a negative way. Personally, I thrive off of pressure and I perform at my best when dealing with it. For me, pressure forces me to dig deep within and work harder. Pressure will also affect your decision making in a negative way if you let. Your mental state of mind will determine how successful you will be when tournament fishing and we as anglers put the pressure on ourselves most of the time because of what we are thinking.
This year for the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club Angler Series, I ran into a slump. I started the year off with a good 3rd place finish for the March Madness event giving me 91 points. However, my next 2 events are where I hit my slump. I was registered but didn’t make the Point Aux Chenes tournament which gave me zero points. That bothered me a lot because I knew I would have competed well. I hit another 0 points for the LA 1 Slamboree by not going to the weigh in. I had 1 small trout, my Redfish was over and I had no flounder. I should have gone because you never know how the other anglers are doing. At that moment, I was concerned that I may not have a chance to finish in the top 7 for angler of the year but with 3 events left, I stayed focus. Next up was the Speck and Redfish Cup. I came so close to winning that event last year but fell short and took 2nd. Also, some of the guys like giving me a hard time thinking that I can’t catch Trout LOL. That being said, I always have a friendly chip on my shoulder for these types of events where I have to catch Trout and Redfish. This year for the Speck and Redfish Cup I did great and took home the cup with a strong 1st place finish! I didn’t register for the Lake Charles tournament this year although I wanted too, so I wasn’t worried about that one. Last up was the Trout tournament in Cypremort Point and the weather and water conditions were horrible. I was in 12th place for angler of the year at the start of this tournament so I didn’t think I had a good chance to climb back up to the top 7. Only 4 anglers caught Trout to bring to bring to the scales and thankfully I was one of them. I ended up finishing in 3rd place for this event and I was called over to look at the standings. That finish moved me from 12th to 4th place In AOY standings earning a check at the end of the year. That is an example that you should never give up. Keep working at it and watch the beautiful picture that can come from a messy paint job.
I compete to figure things out, learn and of course it’s my passion. If you compete with the fear of failure you are going to constantly try not to fail. If you compete with only trying to win, win, win then you have the fear of (what if I don’t?). Don’t get me wrong, winning is great and it’s a part of the goal while competing but it’s not the REASON I compete. I personally find a common ground in the middle of it all to where neither doesn’t faze me. It allows me to stay connected and stay in the moment of my passion and goal. Focus on the task and goal that’s in front of you. Take the word FAILURE and throw it out the window. It is a part of your imagination and it does not exist. The only way I lose or fail during a tournament is if I decide not to take my experience and progress from it. If I miss 9 fish during an event and finish at the bottom of the ranks, it’s up to me to take those mistakes and make myself better. It doesn’t mean I lost; I just didn’t do as well as everyone else. You will only become as great as you allow yourself to be. Fix your state of mind, trust your work and finish strong!
The Bayou Coast Kayak Club championship is Saturday December 9th. It will be cold so it’s important that you have the correct gear to stay warm and here’s why. If I’m warm and you’re cold, that’s already a mental advantage because while I’m fishing, the majority of your thinking will be about how cold you are and how can you get warm. It’s important to take care of the little things that you can control. Other than that, it’s going to be a great event and I can’t wait for the great times and comradery.