Here in the Northeast kayak fishing tournaments usually run April to October. In addition to that, I would still be on the water till it freezes and then back on when it thaws out. Those short couple of months or less of no fishing are usually spent playing with tackle, reading as much fishing related content as possible, and watching bass fishing videos. Constant learning is important for your growth as an angler but I’ve learned that a sponge can only absorb so much.
The last few years I have been going at it pretty hard. My obsession for kayak fishing was all consuming. I competed in tournaments in 8 different states per year with multiple tournament organizations. Any free time was spent learning and developing myself as an angler. The work and preparations I had invested in were paying off with a lot of success on the water. However this past season I felt mentally drained and my results reflected that. My decision making was poor and I found myself not having as much fun as I usually would. I knew I was “burning out” from taking in too much information and generally just spreading myself too thin.
Tournament fishing is a mental game. Sometimes as anglers we get caught up in the details too much and our thirst to absorb as much information as possible becomes an obsession even more so than the fishing itself. You can know everything there is to know about a body of water, fishing techniques, tackle, and have the best gear that money can buy but if your decision making is off you’re going to have a bad day on the water. Your ability to make the right decisions and keep an open mind are the best tools you’ll carry with you each time you go out.
With all of that in mind I decided to do something completely different this past off season. After the last of my tournaments were over in October I put my gear away and did not touch it till April. I didn’t do any fishing related reading or watched any videos. I used this time to recharge and focus on other things. By doing this, I have felt recharged and rejuvenated this season.
– Bill Durboraw