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tyrius.

Confidence

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I read this all the time here and I don't really understand why.  I actually disagree with the statement that "confidence is everything in fishing" completely.  One's confidence in a given technique/lure has nothing to do with how well it will catch fish.  If I'm most confident fishing plastic worms, but the fish are schooled up and chasing baitfish then my most confident presentation isn't going to catch the most fish.  If I'm most confident fishing topwater but the fish are post front and hugging the bottom then I'm not going to catch the most fish.

Also, there are people who are confident in what they are doing, but really have no idea how to properly present the lure given all of the variables.  This person won't really catch fish either.  I know people that are "confident" fishermen that hate getting weeds on their lures or getting snags so they just fish open water.

Confidence is good and all, but it isn't going to catch you fish.  Fishing the right technique and location for the environmental conditions that you find yourself in will catch you the most fish.  

Knowledge is the key, not confidence.

Just as an example from my fishing past.  Up until this year I never really fished a jig.  Most of my fishing was in weedy ponds and they just never worked.  I hated them and didn't think I would ever catch a fish on one.  Well, over the winter I read up on jig fishing and went out and bought some.  I found a good place for jig fishing and made my first cast and caught a fish right there.  At the time confidence level in jigs was basically negative.  Now in particular situations jigs are something that I reach for first.  The knowledge of how and where to fish jigs led to a lot of success for me.  If I would have stuck with confidence I wouldn't have ever purchased one.

Am I just reading those statements wrong?  What does confidence have to do with anything?

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Great post. Fascinating topic.

Confidence can make or break a fishing day. But WHAT is it?? Well, it's not some mystical thing you can conjure up just because you want it. You earn it, just as you suggested with your jig example. But, it takes more than just knowledge -it takes experience, which isn't something someone can just hand over to you.

I had this reinforced in a uniquely fascinating way a couple years ago, when I tore a ligament in my dominant elbow from wrestling large bass; My doctor's first case of bass elbow, he said. He told me not to use it, for a long while, or I'd end up in surgery. So, I had to go left-handed. Oh my gosh what a challenge, and how fascinating it turned out to be.

I realized my hands have been physically trained over the years to do certain tasks, and switching was very confusing. It was like fishing as a novice all over again, but with a twist with an experienced teacher looking over my shoulder, but from inside the same body. It was...weird.

Even though my brain knew what the lure was supposed to be doing down below (as if I'd been told), the REAL connection was tied to my now useless right arm. My left was simply not in touch like having to learn the "feel" of lures all over again. There was this void, this disconnect, and it was very disconcerting. It conjured up the same lost feeling I used to get as a novice when I took on a new lure. At first, fishing left handed was very discouraging.

When I present a lure I have a mental picture of what its doing down there, where in relation to the bottom, cover, and fish, it is, and what it looks like with every movement of the rod. But with my left hand that connection was severely hampered at first it felt cut off entirely. But, I gritted my teeth and eventually (about a month) trained my left arm to do what my right already could be a real partner in defining that mental picture of what's down there at the lure, what that lure should be doing there, and then do it on call.

For me, switching to the left was probably not quite as difficult as learning anew because my brain already knew what to do. But I found that I had to actually develop the physical coordination with my left arm and hand, before I could make the mental connection. That's presentation, and it simply takes experience. No one can tell your arm and brain how to coordinate what needs to be done.

Interestingly, after this left-hand experience I've realized how this fits into my confidence, such as when I'm psyched out because of conditions. It's the same apprehension based disconnect, yielding discouragement. It turns out that it's darn easy to create that mental disconnect, to lose concentration, and have confidence falter.  

So, from my understanding, confidence is: physical training, mental imagry, and concentration, all working together.

At this point I simply REFUSE to be intimidated by that feeling anymore even though it still creeps in every now and then especially during conditions when I think I probably won't catch fish like cold fronts, cold hands, bright blazing sun, or heavy competition...etc... I've realized I can too easily sever that critical hand/brain connection by psyching myself out. And usually there were fish there to be caught all along.

Further, lures don't often fish themselves. It takes something special, on a moment by moment basis. A lot of the time, when you're fishing, YOU have to make it happen with that particular lure at that particular moment. If you are relying on or expecting the lure to do some kind of magic on it's own you are headed for a slide. More magic resides in your brain-hand connection than actually resides in that lure. You have to gather the courage, train for it, concentrate, and then trust it. Next, you have to get past EVER being psyched out. That's the real death knell for a presentation.

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So, from my understanding, confidence is: physical training, mental imagry, and concentration, all working together.

Hmm, you're "confidence" sounds eerily similar to my "experience".   ;)

As another example, I've had days where the weather looked TERRIBLE for fishing, but I had some spare time to fish, so I fished.  Contrary to what my "confidence" told me (that the weather sucks and I'm not going to catch much), I lit it up.  My experience has taught me that the only time I am 100% sure that the fishing isn't going to be good is when I'm sitting on my couch NOT fishing.

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I think confidence would come with each "style" of fishing, color of a lure or a different style lure. I have confidence in a buzzbait, but not the same amount of confidence with a devil horse. If I was throwing a black and blue senko, I would have more confidence in a junebug senko. I think it all comes down to personal preference.

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Whether you use the word confidence, knowledge or experience is really a matter of semantics in this context. When someone says you need to be confident when fishing, they are saying you need to trust your knowledge, experience, etc to make the right decisions for the given conditions. Then support your decision with steadfast action, rather than "doing things half-heartedly because the fishing is just slow today". We've all had days when its slow and we just kind of give up and our presentation gets sloppy. Its kind of like taking plays off in sports, your already conceding play with your lack of effort. But hitting the water with a confident can-do attitude definately increase your chances.

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Whether you use the word confidence, knowledge or experience is really a matter of semantics in this context. When someone says you need to be confident when fishing, they are saying you need to trust your knowledge, experience, etc to make the right decisions for the given conditions. Then support your decision with steadfast action, rather than "doing things half-heartedly because the fishing is just slow today". We've all had days when its slow and we just kind of give up and our presentation gets sloppy. Its kind of like taking plays off in sports, your already conceding play with your lack of effort. But hitting the water with a confident can-do attitude definately increase your chances.

BINGO !

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I read this all the time here and I don't really understand why. I actually disagree with the statement that "confidence is everything in fishing" completely. One's confidence in a given technique/lure has nothing to do with how well it will catch fish. If I'm most confident fishing plastic worms, but the fish are schooled up and chasing baitfish then my most confident presentation isn't going to catch the most fish. If I'm most confident fishing topwater but the fish are post front and hugging the bottom then I'm not going to catch the most fish.

So what your saying is that if there's a school of fish busting the surface on shad in 25' of water your confidence is gunna be in throwing a worm over a spinnerbait or jerk bait.

I think your confusing confidence in a lure with favorites.

My opinion of confidence is if your throwing a 10" red shad worm and you feel that you should be throwing a crankbait your not going to work the worm the way you should be becouse you feel its not the right bait at that time as you would be if you threw the crankbait.

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The only confidence that counts is the confidence that your knowledge is factual and not fantasy. What is this creature that you chase? Do you really know? Are you confident?

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Confidence is the companion of success

Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification

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I'm confident that I suck more than a Dyson.

It takes a lot of time to build up confidence like that.

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Confidence comes from having the wisdom to use the knowledge you possess to put yourself in a higher percentile range for success.

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confidence is an interchangeable word but it can have a major effect on catching fish.

a friend who was fishing in a area that the winning sack and big bass came out of told me where to go and what to do for a up coming tx. he said to go to deep creek flats to the duck blind area.he gave me directions and what to look for.when we got there it was a 100+ ac. cove w/ topped out hydrilla all thru it.i never found a duck blind nor pinpointed any weed line like he explained.it didnt take long to not have any confidence in the area we were fishin.i tried to make it work but it didnt feel right.i stayed untill 8am then made the tedious trek to a area i had confidence in.the 2 nd place sack came out of deep creek flats.we may could have stayed and kept trying different things untill we got bit or we could have stayed and zeroed.i didnt have the confidence to stay.

if my buddy would have took me to the entrance of that cove and gave me the same info,im sure i could have gotten on fish.i would a had the confidence to fish it.

i can tell you i want confidence when im fishin.

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This is a good post! It did make me think. My idea of confidence is I know that a bait or lure is going to produce and locate fish if they are in the area where I am. Therefore I take the bait and work the structure and areas with it instead of taking everything in my bag making a couple of casts in some randomness and switching. I have a couple of confidence baits. Senko or Dinger would top this list. I really use very little other than these, but rig them differently depending on what I am seeing and conditions.

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Well, gosh darn it Stuart! I like you too! But, I think that awesome confidence is mis-directed. We were talkin' about fish here...Do the FISH like you?? ;D

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Confidence comes from having the wisdom to use the knowledge you possess to put yourself in a higher percentile range for success.

I agree completely.  

But this brings me back to the reasoning for beginning this thread.  I was reading the attractant thread and was struck by those saying to use whatever scent you have confidence in.  I read that as it may or may not work, but if you think it will then it will help you.  Logically this doesn't make sense.  If it doesn't work then it isn't helping and you're just fooling yourself and doing yourself a disservice.  I've also read other posts that roughly stated that confidence is everything in fishing.  This is another thing that I disagree with.  Being able to apply one's knowledge and experience to the given surroundings is the most important aspect of finding and catching fish.  The true definition of confidence has little to do with it.

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Logically this doesn't make sense.

A lot of fishing ideas out there tend to be based on mysticisms. I have a similar "rub" with the "GoTo" lure concept, as if the confidence brought by one's favorite lure is going to break the very real barriers that can exist in a given set of circumstances.

You can't hand someone confidence, (even in a bottle) and have it really go too far. Experience is what counts. After this confidence can play a role, or maybe lack of it.

It is very possible to psyche yourself out when things take a turn that either you don't understand, or don't recognize. Often there are fish to be caught somewhere, somehow, but you haven't found them. It's versatility (not GoTos) and perseverance, sometimes combined with dumn luck, that turns the tide.

I suppose we're talking form a certain amount of experience and confidence already.  I can see, and hear often, from anglers "just not confident" in a new lure. All we can really tell 'em is where and how, and then to just go and get bit. Confidence is earned.

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This is a good post! It did make me think. My idea of confidence is I know that a bait or lure is going to produce and locate fish if they are in the area where I am.

The bait is not going to locate the fish, you are the one who locates the fish.

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Confidence is merely a mental state of mind that may OR may not be supported by data, logic, reason, experience or outcome.

-T9

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Confidence is merely a mental state of mind that may OR may not be supported by data, logic, reason, experience or outcome.

-T9

I agree with your definition of the word.  My question is why is the above considered critical in one's chances of catching fish?

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All this talk about confdince and wisdom and knowledge has my head hurting.

Here is a def. from dictionary.com(you should add that to your favorites!)

Confidince-full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing: We have every confidence in their ability to succeed.

I read it over a few times and well confidince,you feel good about what your using, or what facts or "Knowledge" you have stored in your head

what i just said was really just a big lump of everything this topic got me thinking about.

I think confidince is have that good feeling (that feeling that you can't really explain you know?) about what your doing or using, and when it dosn't work, it breaks it, makes your confidince disapate(spelling?)

what a bunch of mumbo jumbo i just out out there, does any of this make sense? :o :-?

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This is a good post! It did make me think. My idea of confidence is I know that a bait or lure is going to produce and locate fish if they are in the area where I am.

The bait is not going to locate the fish, you are the one who locates the fish.

Ok let me rephrase you will have faith to throw it enough to locate fish! If I am not sure I tend to just throw everything but the kitchen sink and neglect patterning.....maybe thats just me though :-/

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Confidence is merely a mental state of mind that may OR may not be supported by data, logic, reason, experience or outcome.

-T9

I agree with your definition of the word. My question is why is the above considered critical in one's chances of catching fish?

If you've studied sports psychology at all, you'll find your answer. There is a well documented connection between confidence and performance. It's why some people or teams "choke" under pressure and why others excel. It's why Tiger nearly always wins with the lead going into the last round, or why MJ always seemed to pull off the winning shot. Or why otherwise really smart kids score poorly on tests.

Anglers and angling is no different. The only way we catch bass is by them biting our baits. That completes the connection. If you have no confidence in a bait, not only will your mental outlook suffer, so too most likely will your physical performance (catching bass). I take you and your buddy to the local pond. You each have the same outfits and are equally skilled at catching bass. I give you a Budweiser beer can crankbait to fish with (you've seen them), and I give your friend a new Lucky Craft crankbait. One of you will be declared the 'World Champion Pond Angler of 2008' ;D, Who do you think will win and why? How much confidence do you have upon each of you receiving your bait for the contest? Simple fact is though that you're both fishing crankbaits, right? ;) If you actually catch the first bass of the contest on that Bud bait, what does that do to your confidence? Do you suddenly think you might be able to beat your friend? How does your friend feel when you have him down 3 fish to none on the Bud can? Think he starts to get a little disheartened and disbelief? Why should he, he has a Lucky Craft tied on. He's starting to lose confidence. He's starting to question his bait or his ability.

If you have confidence in a bait, you'll simply fish that bait harder, smarter, and more attentively than if you don't believe the bait is any good, which will frequently translate into the number of bass you're likely to catch that day.

-T9

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