Major League Fishing pro Alton Jones, Jr.

Have you ever had a really bad tournament? I recently did.

I bombed out at the Bassmaster Classic. I was the champion of the practice, but not of the event. Still, I need to rebound from that performance and keep building on the momentum I have from the first two MLF Bass Pro Tour events.

Seriously though, I had high hopes at this event, but a very poor performance. Everybody goes through this, from a club level angler up to KVD. But, I have to recover mentally.

I look back to my rookie season as a pro. I started out with two good performances and felt great about my prospects. Then, I had a very bad event. That performance set off a negative chain of events for me. It set a bad tone for the rest of the season. It got in my head and I started to force things. I tried to be someone else, but of course, I’m not.

My takeaway from that rookie year experience, and hopefully from my poor performance at a recent event, is to remain myself. Be my true self. Learn to adjust and adapt, but don’t change who I am, or the entire style of fishing that got me there in the first place.

So, when things get tough, instead of changing what I do, I’ll pick up a bait that I’m confident in using. Rig up all of my favorite baits and colors and just go fishing the way I like to fish. Even if it’s not always the winning method, I know I’ll enjoy fishing more. Confidence in what you are using and doing is huge in this sport, so I’ll use the baits I believe the fish will bite.

Also, going from a bad event right into another MLF Bass Pro Tour event is really good for me. It’s spring, my favorite time of the year to fish. Especially the early part when the bass are moving up to shallower water. It’s time to catch fish and build my confidence and momentum again. I’m going to fish how I like to fish and have fun.