SA Bass - - Contents - >> Ben­nie Wiese*

“Fish­ing With Con­fi­dence” It can take sev­eral years to build up your fish­ing con­fi­dence and only one bad day on the water to break it down and doubt­ing ev­ery de­ci­sion you make fur­ther on – Ben­nie Wiese

From ex­pe­ri­ence one will re­al­ize that build­ing con­fi­dence is a grad­ual process. Like ev­ery­thing else it is all about time and place. Fish­ing in many dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions all over the coun­try, at dif­fer­ent times of the year, and com­pet­ing against dif­fer­ent an­glers is part of the process. Hav­ing a re­li­able in­for­ma­tion net­work will also be to your ad­van­tage. Also pay at­ten­tion to how bad you did and com­pare it with how good your bud­dies did on the same venue. By just lis­ten­ing to what they are say­ing on how they were fish­ing, where and what they were do­ing can give you clues to what you have done wrong.

I will an­a­lyze my day’s fish­ing to try and fig­ure out what I have done wrong and what I should do dif­fer­ently. I make men­tal notes and then ap­ply it the next day or dur­ing my next trip at the same venue. Hav­ing another ace card up my sleeve will boost my con­fi­dence, but make no mis­take, if you do not ap­ply this knowl­edge it won’t do any­thing for you con­fi­dence. You are most likely to dis­card the in­for­ma­tion in­stead of im­prov­ing your skills.

There are pros and cons in try­ing to com­pete in fish­ing tour­na­ments. Imag­ine you are all hyped up to go and fish the next event and the worse hap­pen; you don’t even fin­ish close to the top po­si­tions. Mixed emo­tions will run through your mind; ‘why did I think I’m good enough for this level; why did I em­bar­rass my­self like this to com­pete against top an­glers?” and so you will break down your con­fi­dence in a mat­ter of sec­onds.

If you do want to fish in the big leagues then don’t set your­self up for fail­ure. Know what you are get­ting your­self into from the start and know who you are up against. Yes, by do­ing well you will boost your con­fi­dence big time but you will have to main­tain your suc­cess to keep it there. By set­ting your­self al­ter­na­tive goals you will main­tain your con­fi­dence as well. For in­stance if I’m fish­ing a lo­cal Cast-for-Cash tour­na­ment where the rules are that there is no size limit, I set my goal of get­ting my limit with a min­i­mum size of 300mm. I will not

keep any­thing smaller than that. Doesn’t mat­ter how dif­fi­cult the fish­ing is, be­cause I be­lieve once you get your limit you nat­u­rally will re­lax a bit and lose your fo­cus.

When you weigh-in big­ger fish and you see other an­glers weigh­ing smaller fish your con­fi­dence will go through the roof. And even if don’t win you will see that you did some­thing right. Any time when you go out fish­ing your num­ber one goal should be to get a min­i­mum size limit and in do­ing so your skill will be im­prov­ing a lot. It doesn’t mat­ter who the an­gler is and what his skills are, if he does not have con­fi­dence in his abil­i­ties he will not per­form. But know this; your con­fi­dence can be per­fect and your skills are what are needed, you can still come off the water with no limit. Then you should be able to re­al­ize what the prob­lem was. The bass might have had locked jaw, then you can’t lose faith in your­self, keep your con­fi­dence up and learn from that ex­pe­ri­ence.

There are a few ways to help you build con­fi­dence. When you are re­ally se­ri­ous about com­pet­ing, you will have to do your home­work, pre­fish, study your weather fore­cast, trust in your own skills as an an­gler and you will get there. But al­ways re­mem­ber one thing; once you’ve reached your goal and had a few wins there is only one way to go and that is down. If you al­low your con­fi­dence to de­flate be­cause you’ve lost a few com­pe­ti­tions it will be so much harder to get back on top. Very few can keep up with be­ing on top all the time and if you are like me who has to work for a liv­ing it will be very dif­fi­cult to go pre-fish all the time. The only way to be on top all the time is to be ba­si­cally liv­ing on the water and not ev­ery­one is able to do that.

Lastly, keep do­ing what you are do­ing, work hard, keep your­self pos­i­tive and you will get there.

*Ben­nie Wiese is the edi­tor of SA Bass mag­a­zine and an ex­pe­ri­enced pro­vin­cial bass an­gler.

It can take sev­eral years to build up your fish­ing con­fi­dence and only one bad day on the water to break it down and doubt­ing ev­ery de­ci­sion you make fur­ther on.

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