July is supposed to be the middle of winter and at most fishing venues it will not be easy to catch bass. It also plays mental games on anglers and all anglers will experience some emotional highs and lows. As long as we are on a roll it will be great, but when we hit a low it can be mentally hard. It is much harder getting out of that syndrome of “can’t get a bite; where’s the fish; I should have stayed home and saved the money”. The difficulty comes when you need to break a slump and get back on a roll.
When fishing for bass competitively it will certainly come with highs and lows because there are always winners and losers. For some anglers who earn a living in winning tournaments the lows will be even harder. I think there are very few sports that have so much pressure on participants to succeed as professional anglers, especially during cold winter months.
The amount of confidence varies with each angler, but all of us rely on it, at least partially. This is mostly because athletes in many other sports know they are getting a fixed salary regardless of the outcome.
Coming back to bass; fishing is a huge mental game. If a team or anglers are on a roll it’s very difficult to beat them. We have all seen how difficult it is to overtake them on the leader board. It seems like they can’t do anything wrong. If you have experience it for yourself; it is wonderful when you are on top of the world. It just gives you that extra confidence that won’t let you down.
Unfortunately there are also those anglers that fold under the pressure and do not enjoy the pressure of tournament fishing. I personally enjoy the pressure and believe most of the anglers that are fishing tournaments are doing it for the excitement; the adrenalin rush and the pressure. The pressure can help you to make decisions and make you do things that are typically not done in search of a positive outcome. When you are under pressure it forces you to take a stand and live with the consequences of your decision. Yes even during tournaments. It is never an easy choice but try to learn from it so that you are better prepared for the next time. Pressure may not always culminate in something as easily seen as that decision, but it is definitely a factor in every decision we make on the water.
Bass are not uncatchable but just a bit harder to catch in winter. Having a look at all the articles from the contributors in this issue we can all learn more ways to have the upper hand on theses little GREEN fish. By sharing our experiences and information will help make us all better anglers. Bennie Wiese / Editor