Re­la­tion­ships are tricky to say the least and as we all know, a slight dif­fer­ence of opin­ion can in some in­stances have dire con­se­quences for a re­la­tion­ship. When it comes to re­la­tion­ships, there are many say­ings that put things in greater per­spec­tive. "Y

SA Bass - - Contents - >> John Baden­horst*

“The Per­fect Mar­riage...” Re­la­tion­ships are tricky to say the least and as we all know, a slight dif­fer­ence of opin­ion can in some in­stances have dire con­se­quences for a re­la­tion­ship. – John Baden­horst

I’m not talk­ing about a nor­mal con­ven­tional mar­riage here. What I’m talk­ing about is some­thing that many an­glers have ex­pe­ri­enced and some will ex­pe­ri­ence it in time to come.

Re­la­tion­ships need care, ded­i­ca­tion, un­der­stand­ing, flex­i­bil­ity and a pas­sion to suc­ceed. Take away any one of these el­e­ments and the re­la­tion­ship may very well be doomed.

You as an angler have pas­sion, drive and com­mit­ment to your sport. One fate­ful day you bump into an­other angler with the same pas­sion and af­ter chat­ting for a bit, you make ar­range­ments to go and throw a line to­gether. Some weeks later you do just that and have an in­cred­i­ble day out on the wa­ter.

You chat even more and de­cide that based on your mu­tual pas­sion for this sport you are go­ing to start fish­ing tour­na­ments to­gether.

The new sea­son of a tour­na­ment se­ries is about to kick off and you’re ex­cited to get out there with your new found friend and “per­fect” fish­ing part­ner and do your thing on a com­pet­i­tive level.

The first two tour­na­ments go well and you find your­self sit­ting within the top ten spot on the log and know­ing that keep­ing at it will put you well within your goals when it comes to the end of the tour­na­ment se­ries.

Sadly, in life, we all have to deal with dis­ap­point­ment and the next tour­na­ment does not go ac­cord­ing to plan and now things start to change.

With the next tour­na­ment loom­ing, you know that in or­der to hold onto your cur­rent point stand­ing, you have to be bet­ter pre­pared and do some se­ri­ous home­work which in­cludes an in­tense pre-fish at a venue that nei­ther you or your part­ner have ever fished.

You spend hours on Google, you talk to so­cial an­glers, get tips and ideas as part of your planning and the day be­fore your planned pre-fish, your part­ner ca­su­ally in­forms you that he can’t make it be­cause he is at­tend­ing a baby shower with his wife for a friend.

You end up fish­ing this new venue for the first time on tour­na­ment day and barely hold on to your log stand­ing. Dur­ing the tour­na­ment, you sug­gest a spe­cific spot that you’ve been told about and yet, be­cause your fish­ing part­ner also hap­pens to be the owner of the boat, de­cides to try some other spots only to find out at the prize giv­ing that the top three bags of fish came out at the very spot that you sug­gested.

With the next tour­na­ment you at least get to pre­fish and de­velop a pat­tern and have a sound plan for tour­na­ment day and feel­ing con­fi­dent, you ar­rive ready to do bat­tle with those green fish. Out on the wa­ter, things are go­ing well and with five fish in the live-well, you start work­ing on up­grad­ing.

With four hours to go be­fore the close of the tour­na­ment, you make a sug­ges­tion to head out to a spot you’ve heard of when your part­ner in­forms you that he’s call­ing it a day and head­ing back as he’s tired from a long week of work and promised to spend some time with his wife be­cause to­mor­row is their wed­ding an­niver­sary. You con­cede un­hap­pily only to find out later that you missed the top ten stand­ings by a mere 100g and with four hours to go, this would have been an easy task.

Here is when you start re­gret­ting this re­la­tion­ship and it’s only made worse when your part­ner in­forms you that due to his planned long week­end with his brother, he can’t make it to the next tour­na­ment.

At this point your team slips down into the mid twen­ties and you’re not a happy angler.

On the next tour­na­ment you plan ev­ery­thing, from ex­tra fuel and maps to pick­ing up some se­cret lures only to find that your part­ner pays the en­trance fee be­cause he for­got and you hastily have to run out to the bank to make pay­ment and make ur­gent calls to se­cure your en­try.

This and worse has hap­pened to many an­glers fish­ing the many tour­na­ment trails here and abroad. Just like any re­la­tion­ship, it’s im­por­tant to set out bound­aries from the very start and to work to­gether even on pa­per in planning a strat­egy and goal and stick­ing to the plan to the very end.

Tour­na­ment fish­ing takes a se­ri­ous amount of planning, prac­tice and a very high level of ded­i­ca­tion. Granted, there are go­ing to be mishaps where your part­ner or even you for­get some­thing as sim­ple as charg­ing the bat­ter­ies for the trolling mo­tor and this is sim­ply be­cause we all have busy work sched­ules to jug­gle.

Sadly, find­ing that your part­ner is not who or what you thought them to be might be too late in a tour­na­ment trail and you find your­self hav­ing wasted not only time but a great deal of hard earned cash by pay­ing in ad­vance for the sea­son.

When fish­ing with some­one be­comes a grind, it’s time to look at your goals again and if those goals are still at­tain­able, then stick it out, if not, maybe it’s time to cut your losses and walk away.

*John Baden­horst is the edi­tor of SA BASS magazine, the Master of Cer­e­mony for FLW South Africa, radio pre­sen­ter at Plat­inum Gold Radio and a keen ul­tra fi­nesse angler.

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