What Are You Going To Change This Year?What Are You Going To Change This Year? No matter how last year's tournament season was for you, there are always things you can change. Here's how!
By Garett VanWie
We are already one month into the year and a new tournament season. A new year comes with new opportunities. I want everyone to ask everyone, what will you do different to better your fishing knowledge and skills?
Maybe last season was a great year. You won a few tournaments and placed high in others. Maybe last year was a bust, and you feel like giving up. No matter how last year was for you, there are always things you can change.
Here are a few suggestions.
Get into shape: Perhaps one of your weaknesses was your ability to get around on the water – especially if you fish from a kayak. In kayak fishing, we are the motors. You use a high performance motor with your aluminum and fiberglass boats, right? Why would you not want the same when fishing from a kayak. Start a workout routine that includes strength and cardio training.
Learn new techniques: As humans we are creatures of habit. We have favorite lures, rods, reels, line, and techniques that we always end up using. Focus on learning a new technique, outside of your current fishing strengths, to add to your arsenal. If you are a power fisherman, learn finesse techniques. If you are a soft plastics fisherman, then switch to a crankbait.
Find new water: This may be new lakes, rivers, creeks, or ponds, but it could also be something as easy as a new area of your favorite body of water that you have never fished. I have been doing this for a while now and believe it has helped me during some of my tournaments over the years. When you are always learning new waters you constantly have to change, either by changing lures or changing techniques. This gives you the advantage of always watching for changing patterns. I really enjoy finding new water and love figuring out how to fish it. The fish in some lakes will only eat certain foods, or there is an abundance of a certain food in the lake, this is where the angler has to figure that out if they want to be successful.
Try new gear: Maybe that new fishing rod you saw at the store will help you catch more fish. One thing is for sure, you will never know as long as it is still sitting on the rack at the store. This approach has led me to find some great and not so great products over the years. I always try new gear, baits, lures, rods, reels, line, etc. Some of my current favorites are Goldens Baits soft plastics, Manley Rods platinum series fishing rods, Lew’s reels, FINS braided fishing line, and several other products. I would have never tried most of these products if I was not willing to try new things. So buy that new rod or lure and give it a try.
Mindset: When you have a positive attitude about the tournament and how you are doing in the tournament, you will have more success. If you think you have lost, then you already have. Sometimes just going out for fun or taking a kid fishing can put you back into the right frame of mind. Sometimes it is not about winning, but enjoying yourself while you are out on the water. Tournaments can be very stressful. Do not let that stress ruin your day.
Do not give up if you did not do well in tournaments last year. Maybe a change is all it will take for you to be winning or at least having more fun this year. I wish you all the best of luck in this year. Remember, it is about having fun and enjoying the time on the water with your friends.
Garett VanWie is the President of the Kayak Bass Anglers of Central Arkansas, member of the Kayak Bass Anglers of East Arkansas Counsel, Razoryak Tournament Trail Representative, and Goldens Baits ProStaff
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