Jun 29th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 29th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
Can you talk to the bass? Can anyone talk to the bass? Getting into the mind of the bass is impossible, but taming your own mind and zeroing in on what needs to be done during a tournament is a skill very, very few anglers have.
The most elite anglers such as Kevin VanDam, Skeet Reese and Jay Yelas have come close to perfecting the mental focus necessary to achieve consistent results year after year on the various bass tours.
VanDam is probably the closest to achieving perfection in mastering the mental focus portion of professional fishing. Many pundits have called VanDam the Tiger Woods of pro bass fishing due to his amazing dominance of the BASS tours over the years. "I'm flattered that others think of me in a similar way to Tiger Woods," said VanDam. "He is the most dominant athlete in any pro sport right now, especially his ability to mentally focus on his objective."
The mental aspect of tournament fishing is the key for anyone who wants to achieve consistent success in the competitive tournament world. The ability to zero in on the task at hand and being able to ignore outside distractions is paramount for success at any level, especially if you plan on working your way into the pro ranks some day.
The easiest way to achieve more clarity in your tournament fishing is to not enter into it worrying about cashing a check to make ends meet. "I was fortunate to have success early in my tournament career," said VanDam. "Thanks to that, I am in good shape financially. The new guys out there are concerned about getting a check to be able to continue. That makes it tough to be able to focus."
Make sure you have plenty of financial stability to enter big-money events. Never use money that is necessary for your mortgage payment to gamble on winning big at a tournament. Even if you know your stuff, the thought of missing payments or placing excessive strain on you or your family will be your undoing in the tournament game.
Even though you may be ready to go and take on the big leagues, make sure you do so with a solid financial base. With money off your mind, you could end up the next Bass Whisperer on the pro circuit.