Fishing with Champions 

I had the opportunity to fish with former champions a few times this year and they all were a lot of fun and I did learn something from them all. The main thing I picked up though was that they donít do a lot of different things that I do. Now I always considered my-self a good fisherman but I have yet to win a big tournament and I was hoping to find out that missing ingredient that it takes to win. I wonít mention any names and I will refer to each as partner a and b and c.  What all of these partners had in common was a game plan. At each of the tournaments with these partners, we set a game plan based on the prefish on the night before the tournament began and basically stuck with the plan during the tournament. Now at times we did vary from this plan but on the whole I would say we stuck to it. How the different champions did vary was how long to stay on a spot and when to move. For example, partner a likes to work a spot that he had confidence in for at least 2 hours even if there was no bites happening. His philosophy was the fish would be there eventually. On the other hand partner b would not spend a lot of time on a spot if there was no bite, maybe 30 min or so and then move to a different spot. We would however come back to that spot periodically to check it again. Partner c would spend some time on a spot but if he didnít see any fish being caught around us would leave fairly quickly. What was the better method Iím not sure as we ended up catching fish in all cases. Another thing all had in common was be adaptable. Each partner did have their preferred type of presentation but if it wasnít working they were quick to change and try something different. They all paid a lot of attention to what was going on around them and you can get lots of info just by watching, like what depth, if color is making a difference, what type of bait and presentation etc. They all also had great concentration on what they were doing and rarely took there eyeís off the rod. They all said that you often will see your rod tip telegraph a fish before you will ever feel it. and sometimes that will make all the difference in the world if the bite is real light. Good equipment is a must, it doesnít have to be real expensive but it does have to be good quality. One thing that I found amusing was all the little superstitions that they all had. I my-self have a few quirks but still found it interesting that they all had there specific rituals. For example partner a always tossed a coin in the water each day of the tournament as a offering to the walleye gods, partner b would use the same side of the boat ramp than the previous day even if he had to wait longer to launch. Clothes and hats were all part of the rituals for all of them. As I mentioned at the start of this article, I would have to say though that the most important thing that I learned from fishing with these champions was that they donít do a lot different that I already do. Why I think that is important is that Iím always thinking that I must be doing something wrong as these guyís are winning tournaments and I have yet to make the breakthrough   and it turns out that I am doing the right things and that eventually it will happen for me. So for all of us who start doubting ourselves because we see others winning all the time, take heart in knowing that you probably are doing the right things and that with a little luck, you to will be a champion.  

A Future tournament winner

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