I have had many days enjoy listening to tournament guys discussing strategies, maps and bait selections for their upcoming tournaments. This does change as the level of fishing goes up from a club comp to a money tournament, divisional and in the end nati
“Set Out On a Quest …To Go Where No Man Has Gone Before!” I have had many days enjoy listening to tournament guys discussing strategies, maps and bait selections for their upcoming tournaments. – Colin Willmer
Ihave had many days enjoy listening to tournament guys discussing strategies, maps and bait selections for their upcoming tournaments. This does change as the level of fishing goes up from a club comp to a money tournament, divisional and in the end nationals.
The one thing I have noticed is that the circle of trustees shrinks at every level. The group becomes smaller quickly as soon as trust was broken or something was not shared. Let’s be honest in the end the bass is the only winner. There are thousands of them and we manage to land 200 of them a day (40 boats; 5 fish). This was obviously a part of my bassing tournament life and took me a while and a very experienced boat partner to get it out of me.
On tournament day he would walk around and talk to everybody, sharing a cup of coffee and just enjoying himself. The second tournament I just had to ask what this was all about and his simple answer actually caught me off guard, “Relax Shamwari, the fish are going nowhere.”
I am the guy that had his boat in the water forty minutes before the start and checking rods for the fifth time, rethinking my first set of lures that was tied on and had enough tackle in the boat to stock a tackle store for a season. The first tournament we fished together we were fortunate enough to win that one and I learned one of the most important things of my fishing life that day.
Fishing Rust de Winter I was confident with a pattern and starting spots was easy to pick, but then it happened. At 07:10 on my way to the river my partner pointed to a bay and asked me to stop. Being the first tournament together I decided to be polite and comply to his request. After stopping I looked at him with a large question mark on my face.
“What ?”, he said all smiling. “Why did we stop” I asked seeing all the other boats flying past.
“What do you mean; we are fishing” he said digging in an old five litre ice cream bucket for a jip or something. “Where, I asked”, while looking around. “That bay”, still scratching in his bucket. Now here is the problem; none of my practise days, or the info gathered, or even the last five years of fishing ever included this bay. As a matter of fact I have never even seen anybody in this bay. So my all my KVD, DVD’S were shouting at me not to fish in this spot. In the end being a good boat partner I stood up, put the trolling motor in the direction of the “chosen” bay and set off. On entering the bay I have made three or four casts with a fluke and my partner still has not found the rod in the rod box he was going to use.
After the second fish went into the live well he joined me, all relaxed and smiling, tapping me on the shoulder “Pack them Shamwari, pack them in”, he said lighting a cigarette.
We won by fishing out of my trained mindset and just relaxing and fishing his favourite way. He had a saying especially in the morning on take of “Find us virgin water and we will be fine”. He did not care where it was.
This taught me to take my head out of my live-well and start fishing and this applied very well when fishing dams or rivers that I did not know or have never been on.
I went on holiday to a dam I have never seen or fished but always wanted to. This was really a big piece of water and the spot options were endless and we were still on the bank. I had my boys on the boat so wanted get some fish quickly and instead of running to all corners of the universe we just started fishing and had one of the best days of fishing ever. We must have travelled 100m from the slipway before getting the first bite. This only became significant to me when I heard that the divisional tournament, two weeks later, was so tough and many of the guys blanked. The fish we caught were everywhere; well everywhere we fished.
Listening to a story of a divisional angler on a lake he did not know; he was leading a star studded field after the first day. I spoke to him the Monday after. I listened to a guy not telling me about exactly where he was, or what lure he was putting out there, but heard a guy that remembered every bite in detail and every lost fish like it was the last one on the lake. I thought to myself; “that’s awesome”.
The funniest thing is that he did not win in the end but finished well placed. He was more chuffed with the fish he caught than not winning the divisional. Now that’s fishing! *Colin Willmer is an experienced provincial angler and representative for Rapala South Africa Distributors.