Tournament Fishing and Scotch


As I find myself less than two weeks away from my first tournament this year, and one of only three, I am hustling. Not hustling in the sense of selling things but in the sense of constant preparation. This is a good reason why I am only fishing a few this year. I can’t just let it be fun. It will be fun but it will also be agony. I only fished two tournaments last year and placed Top 5 in both but neither were super serious nor well attended. This event will most likely be different. 

The PKAA tournament is March 16th on the legendary Lake Fork.  I want to do well. Maybe it’s because I have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder. In the last month I’ve been called a paper fisherman. Apparently I am more writer than fisherman to some. I suppose we will see. It’s a little extra motivation. It actually reminds me of a book I enjoy reading every couple of years, Think Like a Fish: The Lure and Lore of America's Legendary Bass Fisherman by Tom Mann and Tom Carter. In it Mann talks about war, sports and fishing. This is at least two of the three if not all three, symbolically of course.

“In war, men are taught to think like their enemy. In sport, contestants should think like their opponents. Fishing is the only sport where the opponent, or prey, is usually invisible. If you can't think like him, you won't outsmart him. If you catch him without thinking, you're not skilled, you're simply lucky. Luck isn't as much fun, or as fulfilling, as strategy-born thinking.”

I am pouring over maps, journals, reports, temp logs, rainfall totals from past years, baits, presentations, water clarity reports and talking to a bevy of informants to try to gain a slight advantage. I’ll have my work cut out for me but it is all a part of it. I am trying to think like a fish.

If conditions are X, where would I be, what would I be looking for? Am I lethargic or am I feeding up? Am I looking for a bed or am I just storing up after the winter?

The voices of fish that have no voice or inner thought are filling my dreams both day and night. It is setting up to be a nerve severing couple of weeks. I have reorganized my tackle twice, respooled all of my reels, selected the five rods I’ll take, the baits they will fling and even what accessories I’ll be taking along.

Tournament fishing to me is like a fine scotch. Taken in small doses it is able to be enjoyed and my presence to others is equally enjoyable. Largely consumed, no one wants to be near me or my warped verbal ramblings.

I will do my best to remain refined over the next two weeks. If you see me talking to my self and flailing wildly in the air however, best to just leave me be. It’ll go away March 17th.  

5 comments:

Texan Out of Water said...

I don't know you, though I've followed you're blog loosely. I say who cares what they say about you. Learn what you can and enjoy the fact that instead of sitting in line at some theme park or paying $40 for a pizza at a braves game you are out in gods wonderful world inches from the water and fish we love. I suck as a fisherman yet i pound he water as much as I can and try to learn something new each time. They say the only time something stings when its offensive is when the target believes it.. So do your best and let the comments of others slide. You have at least one person in the shadows reading who really just likes the fact that you write about a shared passion.

Chris Payne said...

Thanks Texan,
I don't put too much stock in it, just thought it odd and a bit offensive. I think it was offensive because he doesn't know me. I've never fished with this person and most likely won't but it seemed a bit of a dagger to throw for someone you don't know except for the internet. I'd like to do well in the tourney but I'll be able to enjoy it because my brother will be there. It'll also be nice to catch up with some good friends but from 7-3 I'll be hyper focused. You are right on about a theme park or baseball game. Lots of cash spent with lots of other people crammed in. Like water off a duck's back. Thanks for the kind words and thanks for reading!

Chris

River Kayak Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
River Kayak Pat said...

Chris, there really isn't anything that you are going to do to keep some people form thinking that all you do is write about fishing. Luckily, nobody has attacked me or www.fishtattoo.net about my fishing skills or knowledge(I might have to challenge them to a mano-y-mano, fish-till-you-tie, duel, if they did) but I have been attacked for my feelings on keeping big bass and other things. My thought is, if you are going to write a blog, and write about what you care about, you are going to piss somebody off. I don't know if it is jealously or if they are just being a bored troll trying to stir up trouble, but you should just take anything anyone says with a grain of salt.

Keep writing and spreading the kayak fishing word, dude. It probably isn't going to be the guys who are new to the sport who are gonna rag on you. It will be the salty ol' vets, who are stuck in their way, and don't like what you are doing, or don't want new kayakers on the water.

We still need to hit the water for a Guadalupe Bass Trip. It is spring time, we could do a little overnight camping trip if you want sometime.

Chris Payne said...

Thanks for the kind words Pat. We definitely need to get a Guad trip in. Is BBall season over for you guys?