Wintertime and the months I call “the cold three” typically cut into my fishing success taking my shameless fish bragging down a notch or two. This season however has been my worst slump ever. It seemed that right after I got a little yackity shmackity on the 2012 “Fish It” post the fish gods put a serious smote upon my game. This slump was so bad that not even my determination or bag of excuses could overcome it.
Looking back and trying to pinpoint one particular cause of this slump was difficult. Even in the worst situations I am able to pull something off most of the time. Not this season. Bites would be far and few between. When I would get the opportunity from a fish of shameless bragging quality even the tiniest mistakes would bring tragedy.
For example, I stumbled onto a trout frenzy in February where for once my timing was spot on and the fish were highly active. I land one fish, then another and then hook into a huge trout shortly after. This fish is practically double the size of the previous fin slappers of the day. Battling the brute was an intense battle of patience and drag. Finally get the fish to the boat, remove the hook, set the time delay on the camera and the fish jumps out of my hands.
The following week I am trying my luck at a different lake and searching fish in a lake that holds a good population of bass and crappie. I somehow manage to pick the one gorgeous day without hurricane force winds howling like mad and the ice had come off a week prior. Expectations were set on high as my casting elbow sorted through the tackle on a series of search casts. The retrieve is slow go but no takers. Slow things down even more and then even more. Nothing. Eventually I get the tooner to northeast cove and on the first search cast the bait gets a series of small nibbles. In the distance my eyes spot a patch of glowing white. Quickly I realize that this is an albino trout. Instantly my right arm grabs the rod that had been set up for crappie while letting the bass bait float to the bottom underneath me. One cast with the lightweight jig and wham! I hook into the white flashing fish. Realize the odds of this fish being here and me catching it are staggering. But here I was mystified with the very rare fin slapper on the end of my line. Bring the fish to the boat and it wraps itself around the line of the bass rod left to tangle in my moment of haste. My only play was to release the fish and undo the snarl. I paid the price for being sloppy with the gear.
A few trips were shut down by wind. Not average winds mind you but hellacious wind that toppled trees, light poles and turned water into a white heavy chop. This knocked out Plans A, B and C forcing me to fall back on Plan D…a small slip of water close by. Re-tool the gear, work spots for two hours and then bail after not seeing so much as a bug moving. Go home and plot the next trip. The following trip comes and I start the ballet of dejection all over again. Anyone else might have taken that moment to ponder other sports or activities. Not me. This only makes me more determined.
Eventually I realized that this was all in my head and simply of symptom of the season. My luck was failing because I wasn’t doing any my luck any favors so to speak. Using some common sense and reviewing past notes easily avoids picking destinations at the worst time. Applying more focus can help eliminate that one vital thing that gets forgotten or avoid that one crucial mistake from happening. There may be many factors to a fishing slump and all of them need to be considered if the slump is to be turned around.
In closing let me state that my lack of blogging posts has not been due to lack of effort but more due to lack of success. I could have continued generating posts with filler content as opposed to shameless bragging. This would have kept my two sisters from sending me a few e-mails with the subject, “Are you still alive?” But that is not what my blogilicious is all about. Sometimes it is better to say nothing at all. The good news is that the weather has turned and I have no doubt my fishing success will turn as well.
My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic