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RichF

The Importance of a Timeout

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My last tournament win was an interesting one...

I was pretty pumped to make the 8 hr drive to NNY from Arlington to fish an ABA event on my "home" lake.  I always do well there and know the lake better than most anglers in the area.  I have so many "sure" spots where I know I can pull out good fish/winning fish.  When I hit 3 of my best spots in the morning without so much as a sniff, I went into early panic mode.  This NEVER happens to me on this lake.  I started driving around and stopping at places I've never even fished before, that didn't even look good, and that I had zero confidence in.  I hardly even fished the spots either.  I'd pull up, drop the trolling motor, take two casts, then pick up and leave!  What the heck was I doing??!!  I decided to head back to a section of the lake I had intimate knowledge of in hopes I could settle down and get a bite.  Normally I'm working at warp speed on a tournament.  I don't eat, only drink when the big motor is going, etc.  Taking breaks is just something I don't do.  This time was different.  I was having a weird fit of anxiety for some reason and knew I had to do something to calm down.  So I did it...I actually took a timeout 3 hrs into this tournament.  I turned off the motor, dropped everything and just sat on the deck for five minutes.  Turns out that's all I needed.  It was like hitting the reset button on the Super Nintendo.  I started fresh, picking apart areas I hadn't fished in years and the bites started coming.  I had filled out my limit in the next 2 hrs, nothing to write home about but a solid bag.  I decided to hit a small hump on this massive flat that had really good grass on it for one season about 6 years ago.  I had had all but written it off because after that one season, the grass was never there.  Man, what a good decision.  The grass was there and better than 6 yrs ago.  The bass thought so too.  There was a nice school sitting in a spot the size of my 16ft tracker.  In the hr to follow, I boated 9 keepers outta the spot including the day's lunker, a solid 5.04 pounder. 

With the added weight, I thought I had a really good shot of earning a top 3 finish which was awesome because of the rough start to my day.  I decided to hit one last spot close to the ramp that I've had some success on in the past, but early in the season.  I've actually never fished the spot in late summer so my expectations weren't very high.  With 10 mins left on the clock, I stung a 4lb largie.  I was jacked! 10 mins left and a 2lb cull... That's way more than you can ask for in a tourney!  But it get's better...I make my cull, jump on the front deck and stick a 3lb+ smallie not five feet from where that last fish was sitting, on my very next pitch!  Another 1.5lb cull.  I packed it in and rushed to the ramp with 2 mins to spare.  I finished with 17lbs+ for the win.

I know the day sounded a lot like 100%, grade A luck, and to some extant, there definitely was some involved.  I do know, however, that if I didn't take that timeout to settle down, the positive juices wouldn't have started flowing and I wouldn't have even put myself in contention to do well, let alone win.  So if you're having a tough day on the water and you start feeling like you're running around like chicken with your head cut off.....CALL THAT TIMEOUT!  Things can turn around in a heart beat!20160807_150808.jpg

 

 

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Looks like Oneida.  You definitely need to take a reset when that place turns on you. 

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I don't understand.  you culled a 2 lber BEFORE culling a 1.5 lber?

Taking a time out can definitely change your outlook and your pace.  When I'm fishing and things are slow, I stop, have snack and a drink and then imagine that I've JUST gotten on the lake.  It doesn't always help but often it gets me back on track and helps me hunker down again.

 

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9 hours ago, Ratherbfishing said:

I don't understand.  you culled a 2 lber BEFORE culling a 1.5 lber?

I think he means he made a 2 pound cull (gained 2 pounds), before gaining another 1.5 pounds with the next cull. 

 

Congrats on the win OP. It doesn't sound like luck to me at all. If you fish enough tournaments, those kinds of days happen to everyone. I've had several wins that started out poorly but I stuck with it and ground out decent bags on what turned out to be really tough days for everyone. 

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Congrats on the win ~

As for slowing down, that advice may prove very effective for every outing, competitive or not.

btw -  It may be hard to expect top level performance from yourself with NO GAS in your own tank - even KVD maintains proper nutrition & especially Hydration during the tournament.  Helps with endurance & especially decision making.

Congrats again

A-Jay

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On ‎10‎/‎7‎/‎2016 at 3:34 PM, Ratherbfishing said:

I don't understand.  you culled a 2 lber BEFORE culling a 1.5 lber?

Taking a time out can definitely change your outlook and your pace.  When I'm fishing and things are slow, I stop, have snack and a drink and then imagine that I've JUST gotten on the lake.  It doesn't always help but often it gets me back on track and helps me hunker down again.

 

I meant culling up 2lbs and 1.5lbs.  That's how much weight I gained from each fish.  The 4 replaced a 2 (+2lbs). etc.

Yeah it really is a good idea.  Having that snack will take your mind off the bad joojoo for a bit.

On ‎10‎/‎8‎/‎2016 at 1:23 AM, Bluebasser86 said:

I think he means he made a 2 pound cull (gained 2 pounds), before gaining another 1.5 pounds with the next cull. 

 

Congrats on the win OP. It doesn't sound like luck to me at all. If you fish enough tournaments, those kinds of days happen to everyone. I've had several wins that started out poorly but I stuck with it and ground out decent bags on what turned out to be really tough days for everyone. 

I should've read the next post hahaha.  Thanks Bluebasser.

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On ‎10‎/‎8‎/‎2016 at 8:48 AM, A-Jay said:

Congrats on the win ~

As for slowing down, that advice may prove very effective for every outing, competitive or not.

btw -  It may be hard to expect top level performance from yourself with NO GAS in your own tank - even KVD maintains proper nutrition & especially Hydration during the tournament.  Helps with endurance & especially decision making.

Congrats again

A-Jay

Thanks A-Jay and you're right.  I really should be better about that.  I'm no spring chicken anymore at 31. HA!

On ‎10‎/‎7‎/‎2016 at 2:18 PM, J Francho said:

Looks like Oneida.  You definitely need to take a reset when that place turns on you. 

I wish I could catch'em like that at Oneida!  I really should try and figure that place out.  It's only an hr from where I grew up and I've fished it less that 10 times! 

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Almost all the tournaments I've done well there involve me leaving the lake to fish the river.  It's a gamble, since green fish on the frog will outweigh brown fish, but those green fish can be tough.

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I'm pretty much always trying to catch the green ones when I go.  You're definitely right, they are a pain!

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