Friday, August 16, 2013

Fishing from Memories: The Home Lake Disadvantage

Dustin and I are living proof that fishing your home lake in a tournament does not always mean you have the advantage. Way to often old memories will get in the way of a solid game plan. Here are 3 tips on how to avoid "the Home lake Disadvantage"(from experience)

Stick with your game plan:

we have all been there, your a few hours in to a tournament and your game plan is not working, sure you have fish, but nothing with size, so instead of continuing with your days game plan you abandon it and start the process of fishing with memories, your mind races and all the spots you have pulled a big fish out of flash before your eyes and before you even know whats happening you are speeding across the lake to flip a single brush pile that you pulled a 5lber off of way back in 1995

Sound familiar? It should, we all do it (some of us are just not willing to admit it). A Solid game plan is often built from doing your homework, this includes a  recent pre-fish and review of how the lake has been fishing this season (including water level, weed growth and so on) Fishing from memories is like studying from a 1930's textbook, sure they got some of it right, but times have changed

Fish the Conditions: 

Weather conditions play a big part of how and where you will catch fish. Memories of a big fish are often vivid but rarely include the days weather forecast. Sure you may recall that it was sunny or raining, but what was the temperature or wind conditions, not just for that day but the days or weeks prior. These will all play into where the fish are, and if the bite will be as good as you remember.

If you start a fishing logbook this will help you better remember these fine details and you will no longer be fishing from memories but instead have the knowledge to make a decision on if you think that old memory will be worth revisiting today.

tip: Often anglers abandon the idea of doing daily logs, why,  because we are too lazy to type all the info in.. and simply put, "we just want to fish". So instead of completing the log on the water, simply use your smart phones voice recorder and briefly lay out the days details.. weather conditions, fish caught, how and where. At the end of the day you can then start to turn these into notes.

Remember the time:

A few years ago when preparing to fish a tournament on Dustin's home lake (Weslemkoon) we  drew up our game plan focusing on the areas we had had the most success. The day of the event we ran to our first spot and fished the hell out of it for 2 hours.. nothing. We threw everything but the kitchen sink at them, and finally came to terms that something was wrong..

Looking at my watch I asked the question: 'What time do you think we usually hit this spot?" after a short pause Dustin responded with "early afternoon".. DOH, we had just spent two hours of our morning working an area that does not usually heat up until the afternoon, why? because our memories of the fish caught often don't include the time of day we caught them.

Like weather conditions time will play a part in where the fish are, looking back on that day I cant believe we didn't realize it sooner as this spot was clearly an area the fish would move into for cover in the heat of the day. Sure we may have picked off one or two in the morning, but all of our past success came in the afternoon when the sun was high

The Wrap Up:

Don't get me wrong, big fish memories are a great thing, but they need to be left at home, mounted on your wall or in photographs. Don't bring them to the lake with you, each time you hit the lake you have an new opportunity to make new memories. But the only way to do that is to let go of the past, remember the only pattern should be following is today's

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