Posted: December 4th, 2013 by Bill Dance
An angler asked once asked me what helps keep me motivated to fish, especially when I’m out there and the fish aren’t biting, and the weather is far from perfect? So, just what is it that keeps me from losing interest?
Well, I’ll tell ya, there’s a mental technique I used to practice back in my tournament days, and it really helped me keep going…even when times were tough. But first, I want to tell you what I didn’t do. I didn’t worry about what the other guy was doing. I only considered the guy I had control over, the guy in my boat…ME.
I played mental games with myself that always kept me going. I would imagine that I was going to catch a fish on every cast. I would try and visualize a 5-pound smallmouth far below the surface. I could see its top dorsal fin moving in the water. I could see his brilliant color and pattern. I would think about it until I could really see the fish in my mind, as it was observing my jig. Or I might imagine a big largemouth on a 17-foot ledge, right beside a stump.
Oh, I could visualize whatever…it didn’t matter. But it was the thinking BIG that made down time more fun, and kept me thinking positive. This kind of imagination and positive thought created and near anticipation with each cast.
Such imaginative technique, didn’t work with every cast, but it allowed me to re-think, “Well, OK, that big largemouth isn’t there. It’s only a slightly farther cast away from my last one.”
In short, it kept me going as well as prepared for something good to happen. I believe the technique is a lot like those used by professional athletes via a sports psychologist. Where a baseball player is better able to see a home run in his mind’s eye, so is he likely better able to do this on the diamond.
I have gotten to where I play this mental game so well, that it motivates me to get up ready to go fishing again and again. For example, I still sometimes wake hours early before the planned time to leave on a fishing trip. Why? Because my imagination has me mentally-prepared and believing that good things are going to happen.
Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important that knowledge,” and he had a lot of knowledge. I too believe this is true, especially on the tough days, when you need the added mental push to make one more cast.
So, yes, there’s no doubt, a good imagination is a good thing to load in your tackle box. Put it there, right beside a good, healthy dose of confidence and you will be surprised at all the fish you catch!
As always, catch one for me!
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