Its all about attitude…

When it comes to catching fish, how important is attitude? On the Daly, we illustrated what a poor attitude (in that case mainly circumstantial), can do to ones chances. We fished pretty hard, but after the raft of trials and tribulations we had to go through, by the second day I’m pretty sure not one of us would have said we gave it our all, threw everything we had at those barra, tried all the things we could think of. Fact is we were tired, itchy, sleep deprived and hungry and it dealt a massive blow to our chances of actually landing a barra. See the thing is, I am 100% certain, if things hadn’t gone the way they did and we had fished the hell out of the top reaches of the feeder creeks, we would have caught at least a few barra. It wouldn’t have been “good” fishing, but there were fish there to be caught. In that case, losing positivity meant there really was only one option after the first day and a half- we were getting skunked, we just didn’t have it in us to come back from that…

94cm of winter flathead- the reward for a good attitude and a little persistence...

94cm of winter flathead- the reward for a good attitude and a little persistence…

On the flip side, there are countless times when in better moods, all the authors from this blog, have ended up catching a few fish when nobody else is, in part, simply because we believe we can. Instead of giving up halfway through a day and going home, trying a few things and then just giving up and lobbing a plastic around for the rest of the day, we just keep pushing, keep changing, keep moving despite no interest and we eventually prevail (mostly). Its got very little to do with skill on those occasions, its persistence and positivity that really bring home the bacon…

One such day me and Lee hired a boat on Wonboyn lake. It was early winter, it was freezing cold, the water was cold, the air temp was cold, we were cold and chats with the dozen or so other fishermen at the caravan park the night before returned only dismal tails of woe and donuts. Unperturbed we launched the boat before sunrise and started fishing. We had an unshakable belief that we would catch fish. In the end that was the only reason we did. We fished HARD for the first few hours. Then it started pissing down with rain. We continued fishing hard, trying every lure we had, every technique and numerous spots on the estuary. Not a touch. Eight hours in, it was still raining, we were cold, we were drenched. Most days, I probably would have given up, but that belief was still there. Sitting under the relative shelter of an overhanging tree we had the chat, it was 3 oclock  and we had been on the water since 6 without any sign of life, should we call it a day? That day, we both agreed that that simply wasn’t an option, the tide was about to turn, our optimism told us things were going to turn on. We were catching fish. So with a bit of new found enthusiasm garnered from us being on the same page, we decided to try one more spot. Half an hour later things started to happen for us, a few tailor first of all, then a flathead, then another flathead, then a few bream. As we arrived back at the boat ramp as the sun was just dipping below the horizon, both ginning from ear to ear. In the end we had caught a dozen or so tailor, half a dozen flatties and three or four bream, not a bad day by anyones reckoning…

Back at the caravan park, we once again traded stories, once again, almost everyone had failed dismally… What had seperated us from the rest wasn’t anything tangible, it was simply attitude. Eight hours into our day we had also had donuts and by that time most of the other boats were already back drinking beer. Positivity had pushed us through and in the end was the only reason we caught anything… The next day, with all knowledge we garnered pushing through the hardships of the day before, finding where the fish were in the system, what they were eating, which tide turn to focus on, we cleaned up, this time without having to fish ourselves to the bone to catch a fish. Once again, most people failed. The advantages of a good attitude and persistence aren’t just catching the odd fish, but all the lessons we learn fishing through the hard times and finally finding success.

Variations of this story have been repeated ad nauseaum amongst us as a group, the rewards are often there for those with a positive outlook on life and ones fishing prospects. Grazs 94cm flathead a few years ago was the reward for a similarly positive attitude against the odds. Again in winter, 2 days of really tough fishing behind us and a howling gail had me and Lee deciding to sleep in after looking out the window. 30 knot winds and rain no match for bed and sleep. But Graz and Dan, they got up and headed out into the blistering wind and rain and within a few hours Graz had landed a 94cm flathead and dropped what he claims was a genuine “metery” (and I believe him, unlike most reports of “meter” flathead). Dan had a few smaller flathead and a few trevally under his belt… A good attitude had got them out there and rewarded them with a fish that made the trip truly memorable… All we had in comparison was warmth and nice coffee which really doesn”t compare.

So what is the moral of the story? Try to be positive and upbeat on the water- you will be rewarded for your sunny disposition with more fish and valuable lessons. However, as we all know, sometimes that just isn’t possible, self help book like advice just isn’t always realistic. Sometimes the fishing gods are conspiring against you, you start to feel crabby, angry, demotivated, flat, tired, cold, wrecked. When that happens, its probably not worth trying to fight on through it by painting on a fake “always look on the bright side” smile over your demotivated interior, its probably time to head home, crack open a good single malt/wine/beer and sit by the fire/pool/beach, happy to just “be out there”. Because a good fishing trip doesn’t always have to be because of good fishing. There is always a little more too it…

Cheers

Hamish

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