Fishing memories are something we all hear about as fishermen. You know, going back and fishing the same areas with the same baits you did previously on any body of water you’ve fished before, even if it was years ago.
I’m not a big fan of fishing memories.
Saying that, there are positives, of course, with having fished a body of water previously. You already know how to get around and have a good general idea of the lay of the lake. Based on the time of the year you’re fishing, there are certain areas that will always hold some fish, so you can always start there in practice. Knowing those types of areas and knowing the past history of things like which areas a winning tournament angler was fishing can be a positive, but you’re still not fishing memories – at least, I try not to do it.
I try to treat every trip out like I’m fishing a new body of water. Fishing “new” water every time out allows me to analyze specific things before making decisions. I want to know what’s going on now, in the moment when I start fishing: the water’s color, water temperature, weather patterns, water level, etc.
If it’s the spring, I know I need to pick a creek and fish halfway back, or on a flat. I’ll analyze the day-to-day conditions, make choices, and hopefully catch a fish or two in practice and reflect on why I caught them. Catching fish can open your mind to what’s going on. Figure that out and try to duplicate that and pattern that at other locations.
Now, fishing memories can be good if you consider your knowledge over the years as memories. We started the 2020 season Lake Eufaula, and we’re headed right to Lake Okeechobee next – these are a couple of places I’ve been fishing tournaments on for 20 years. I do have some knowledge of those lakes.
All of your experience makes you who you are on the water. For me, I always say you have to have an open mind when you’re fishing, no matter how much knowledge you have on any one fishery. Always be ready to change what you’re doing and have the confidence in your decisions to change.
I taught myself to be versatile and be able to fish any technique with confidence. Confidence comes from having success with your fishing. Have the capability to change, and the mindset for that change is sometimes necessary for success. Too often, anglers have success, say with a jig. They do great one day, but the next day, their fishing is not as good. Instead of switching up, they only have confidence in that bait and they end up not doing well. You see that in professional fishing as well as recreational fishing.
Fishing success is 75 percent mental and 25 percent fishing skills. Make the right decisions and do the right things at the right time, and you will catch bass. Don’t get hung up on one thing, or something you had success with in the past.
With SCORETRACKER® letting us know exactly where we sit in the standings, you can see if the fish are biting. If you’re sliding down in the standings, it’s time to make a change.
I had a pretty good week at Lake Eufaula, and I’m totally excited and can’t wait to see what will happen when we hit Okeechobee. I’m excited about the schedule as a whole. There are gonna be some big bass caught this year on tour. I’ll break out my big rods and go catch some big bass.