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.  New Year New Process

This time of year most of us are setting our goals for the New Year.  Goals are nothing more than a plan for what we want to happen in the distant or near future.  In the past I’ve been hesitant to fall into the “goal setting” bandwagon just because I hated looking like the guy that’s trying to be like everyone else.  However, I have had to lose that pride and start setting some goals or plans.  As I mentioned goals should be plans. Anywhere in this blog where I mention the word “dream” or “goal” you should be able to replace that word with “plan”.  2015 was a very challenging year me from a results standpoint.  During my time as an angler I’ve defiantly had my share of bountifully successful events. However most of my finishes have been middle of the pack finishes.  I’m ok with that.  It’s a part of the journey.  I can honestly say even in some of my bad events I was just a stone’s throw away from a good event. In 2015 that was not the case. I had several events back to back that really broke my confidence a little bit. The most frustrating part was I really spent a lot of time on the water this year and learned a lot of new techniques.  At the beginning of the year I set goals and had intentions on achieving those goals.  In fact some of the perceived failures knocked the wind out of me so much that I really began to search for what was really the issue.  I knew it was more than technical skills and my ability as a angler.  I had proof that I was capable yet something just wasn’t clicking.  Thankfully I really started to research sports psychology and discovered a lot that I had failed to realize about the way I think.  A lot of my problems started to make sense.  One of the most impactful mistakes I made was the nature in which I was setting my goals.  Often times I set result oriented goals.  For example my goals would be to make 2 top tens and qualify for the Championship.  That sounds simple enough right?  Well as innocent as it seems, those result oriented goals set me up for a continuous cycle of frustration.   With that mindset if you don’t make the championship or secure 2 top ten’s you are a failure.  That’s a self defeating cycle we all fall for.   This year my goals are more process oriented.  The plan should be to find the process or mastered task that lead to the results we want.   For example a process oriented goal would sound like: “This year I want to gain more confidence in Florida Fishing” or perhaps “This year I want to become better at fishing my strengths” maybe “This year I want to become a better grass fisherman”.  You get the Idea?  Especially, as a rookie on the FLW tour, it’s going be a challenge to make sure every day and every hour I break very large intimidating task into small bite size process oriented goals.  Being a master of the process gives us the results we want.   So as I write my plan for what I want to see on Tour this year, it’s all with regard to what I need to do and nothing directly to do with what I want the result to be.   As long as I’m executing the small task at each event I feel the end product will be exactly what I pictured in my “Dreams”. 


Tackling The Beast that is Lake Erie

Posted by brian on October 5, 2015

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(Photo: Shaye Baker)

Lake Erie is one unforgiving body of water: it takes a toll on your body, boat and mind.  The Bassmaster Northern Open was no different.  Despite the curve balls Lake Erie threw, I still managed to grind it out and cut a check.

Autumn transition on Lake Erie, true to form, did not hand out bites. I put a few days in on the water during practice, but was only able to scrounge up a total of six fish.  I was not having fun during practice, I could not figure it out.  I wasn’t expecting the water to be as muddy as it was.  I decided to make the run to East Sister Island because it had the clearest water I saw all week.  


Learning New Lessons Up North

Posted by brian on August 13, 2015

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After the Oneida event I felt like it was important to get back on the horse.  The last couple days I’ve been hitting up Hartwell to try and get my confidence back.  The first evening out, a friend and I won a small local tournament with about nine pounds and then yesterday I just got out to have some fun and managed to catch a few as well.  Hartwell isn’t fishing that well as is often the case at this time of year, but I kind of like it when it’s a little silly.  This is when I always seem to do well.

ICast 2015 Recap

Posted by brian on August 9, 2015

Brian ICast.jpgThis month wrapped up one of the most exciting fishing events off the water: ICAST.  2014 was the first year I was able to attend the event; I had a lot of time to walk around, network and check out the new products.  This year I didn't have as much free time, but I had an awesome time with Rat-L-Trap and Fat Sack Outdoors.  It was a quick and busy trip, just Tuesday evening through Thursday, but I was able to take some time to make some new connections and hopefully set a foundation for some new deals going into next season.

I was excited for the event on the James.  The water fishes a bit like home with the addition of grass and tides.  It is resident fish fishing; the bite is more at the mercy of the tides than the feeding pattern.  The bite was pretty straight forward during practice and I was getting a lot of bites.   

I felt confident moving into day one of the tournament, but it was a tough one.  I lost my first fish then two more in a row on the hookset.  I changed up my rod but lost another one when I got tangled up in a cypress tree.  It was rough losing that many fish, but it's the way it goes sometimes.  In my secondary spot I was able to put a couple in the livewell and get back on track.  I made a run, but not getting them on my best spot first hurt me.  The tide was gone.  The bite was the best during the first and last hours of high tide - I was on them.  I was able to get a few bites on low tide but not during the incoming tide.  I wasn't feeling great about day one, but if you grind it out and pick your game up day two, sometimes you can make a run up the leaderboard. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get that chance.  That evening my wife was calling and messaging me, my son had a respiratory infection.  She had to bring him to the ER.  Family is most important, especially when it comes to my kid.  Instead of waking up and heading off in my boat, I woke up in the middle of the night and packed up the car and headed home.  He is better now thankfully, but it wasn't too hard a choice to stay or leave. 

Going into the rest of the season fishing up north will be a great opportunity to learn about smallies.  Being from the South, I am more of a spotted bass and largemouth kind of guy, but I intend to take full advantage of the learning experience.  I’m excited about the upcoming events and hope I can get back on track!


The Inaugural High School Fishing Academy

Posted by brian on June 22, 2015

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The first High School Fishing Academy is officially a wrap.    Going into it, I honestly had no idea how many teams’ we would have.  I was thinking we might have only two teams show up or as many as fifty.  For our inaugural event, I was definitely overwhelmed by the turnout.  Through strictly social media advertising we had about twenty five to thirty high school and college teams show up on Friday night.  To put things into perspective, the registration for the tournament on Saturday was from four to six.  By five forty five we had not a single team in the building.  Soon thereafter, we had one team trickle in, then two, then it was like somebody flipped a switch and we had teams lined up in the parking lot.


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It was a bitter sweet end to my Rayovac Southeast divison season this past week.  Although it was a rocky start, I was able to put together my best event of the season at Lake Seminole.  If you look at the standings from the event, the 47th place doesn’t really paint the whole picture.  For me, it was definitely a mental victory after the tough start that will hopefully continue to build momentum heading into the second part of the season.