Everyone has had it happen and more than likely more than once. A moment that you will never forget or one that seemed time just stood still. Whether it was a near death experience, the birth of a child, a hole in one on the golf course, or something that had you pinching yourself just to make sure you weren’t dreaming, it has happened at some point in your life. Think back to one of those times, hopefully a good memory, and try imagining that it happened 5 or 6 times in the same day. That is a feeling that I experience every time I fish in a tournament. Sometimes bad, sometimes good, but it always happens. Part of becoming a great angler is learning how to manage these moments. You have to try to put something bad that happened totally out of your mind while you’re still competing that day. You have to resurrect good feelings from the past to get you motivated. You have to bring back bad memories during time off to decipher what went wrong and what you can do to avoid it from happening again. So basically you forget something, bring it back up, then forget it again, then eventually repeat the process. This can leave you with a headache and in search of a psychiatrist, but it works.
As a good example I’ll talk about the BASSfest event last month. I had about a million of those “time standing still” moments, half good, half bad. I can’t explain every individual moment because I would have to write a book but I will go into a couple. The second day on the Chick at BASSfest I was pumped. I had a bad first day but I knew I had the spots to catch a 30lb bag of fish. The current was supposed to rip all day the second day which was what I needed. At 3pm I had zero fish, and I was due in at 3:45. I was about 15 minutes away from the check in location. Around 3:10 the current started ripping and I caught a 6lber a 4lber and two 2lb fish on four casts. By the time I had a chance to make my fifth cast it was 3:30 so basically it was my last cast. I knew that if I didn’t leave as soon as I retrieved this cast, fish or not, that more than likely I would be several minutes late. I made a super long cast and started cranking. Not 5 turns on the reel a fish loaded up on the crankbait, creating one of those “moments within a moment”. Time was running out so I brought this fish in much faster than I would have liked to. It jumped once and I could see that it was hooked very well so I just kept her coming to the boat. Long story short, I tried to boat flip her to save time and ended up breaking the 4lb fish off after it landed on the back deck. To make matters worse it then proceeded to flop back into the lake before I could grab it. Talk about a terrible feeling, being one fish short of a limit and catching fish every cast, losing one on my last cast and having to leave.
Knowing I hadn’t made the cut, I tried mentally preparing myself for the second chance event. I took every single thing out of my head except for the task at hand. The events that day are the moments in my life that I will never forget. Grabbing 25lbs of fish, one at a time, in that setting, with people around me watching, still gives me goose bumps. I remember every single millisecond of that day. Time stood still, and I repeatedly made sure I wasn’t dreaming. Someone made the comment that this second chance event was the “losers tournament” and it might be the case, but I sure was the happiest loser on Earth that day.
Moments, good or bad, never need to be totally forgotten. After all, life wouldn’t be fun if everyday is the best day of your life.