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In all sports, your attitude makes a difference in how you perform. Often we overload our heads with all the negative issues facing us on the water. There is nothing wrong with recognizing the conditions that make a day challenging. Just don’t let that bring you down. Stare down a challenge and rise to the occasion. We often surprise ourselves when we grit our teeth and move forward. Confidence is built on stepping up and overcoming those challenges. How do you overcome weather conditions, boat traffic and other bad attitudes on the water?
Fishermen look at the weather constantly trying to find the best window of opportunity for success. All of us have been caught in the middle of a bad forecast. Often times the wind blows harder and from a different direction from what was forecast. A forecast also has gone the other direction, with conditions being perfect — yet you decided not to go. Weather is one of those things out of our control, but we can learn to make it work for us.
When starting your fishing day take a minute to observe the conditions. Think about how you can make the weather work to your advantage. This is all about attitude. Often we try to fight the conditions instead of working with the conditions. Trying to anchor in a creek that has current going with the wind can be tough. At the same time, fishing a creek that the wind is blowing with the tide will make presentation easier. Sometimes the wind will be perfect to slow down your drift when the wind is against the tide. Again, take a minute to look at the whole picture and how you can use the conditions to your advantage.
Boat traffic can be a huge obstacle to overcome on a holiday weekend. Start your day early and get as far from the waterway as possible. This is not going to be the best time to fish your favorite dock along the waterway. Running from one spot to another is probably not going to be a good idea either. Remember that one hole you found well off the beaten path last year. Now is the time to go give it a try and maybe look around in that immediate area for more action. Again, take a minute to look at the whole picture, keeping in mind the things that frustrate you. Trying to travel amongst the water skiers, jet skis and pounding boat wakes can really ruin your attitude. Do your best to avoid those problem areas that have the potential to make you angry, leading to a negative attitude. Sometimes just finding a quiet little creek is all you need. The fish most likely will be looking for the same kind of peace and quiet.
Running into another fisherman with a bad attitude can quickly bring you down. We all have run into that one guy who is having a bad day. We all have witnessed disrespect of other anglers on the water. My first piece of advice is to try not being that guy. Try not to be that guy who throws a cast net near a boat already fishing. Try not to be the guy making all that noise. Try not to be that guy who yells and screams. Confrontation on the water never helps the situation. When you do run into that guy, do not let him ruin your whole day. Put on your blinders and ignore him. Another option is o leave the area. It is often hard to find that positive attitude after an altercation on the water. Again, take a step back, take a deep breath and keep a positive attitude.
I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself drifting into a total negative attitude. Spending 200 plus days on the water each year can catch up with you from time to time. Again, take a minute to calm down, make an observation and change your approach. Too often we get caught up wanting to fish that one spot. Conditions change constantly and will often be wrong for that spot. Learning how to use the conditions to your advantage and keeping a positive outlook on your fishing day will lead to success.
See ya on the water.
Capt. Jacob Frick, who has 10 years of knowledge and experience in guiding family, friends, and clients in the backwater surrounding Ocean Isle Beach, is a fishing columnist for the Beacon. Reach him at (803) 315-3310 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information or questions about his columns.