When Practice Does Not Go Well

by Jay Striker

No regrets here!

I can’t stress enough how important it is to get as much time on a body of water when you are planning on fishing a tournament. But what do you do when the practice does not go well? If you do not panic and keep an open mind, you will find that the tournament will turn out just fine.

The main thing I try to do when I’m having a bad practice for a tournament is I try not to panic. Just don’t take it too serious. I know it is easy to say rather than do, but trust me when I say don’t panic. Panicking can only do one thing: nothing! Instead of panicking, try to do an assessment of exactly what you have been doing and work on a plan to change things up a bit. What I mean is the next day try to just start fresh with new baits, new locations and new colors. But whatever you do, just do not panic. If you do, you are just going to make it that much harder to keep an open mind. One thing I also like to do when things get really, really tough in practice is that I always have a staple in my boat ready to go and that is a shaky-head. This bait seems to always put a fish in the boat or at least give me a bit of confidence in my mind.

Keep an open mind. When I say keep an open mind, it all starts from first not panicking, but more importantly, be willing to try a new approach to the areas you have the most confidence in. Try not to spend a lot of time running around the lake as it will not give you the ability to catch fish. Running around the lake will only add to the pressure to find fish. Many times the solution is to just slow down, relax and fish. One thing is clear is that you have to know that you cannot go out the next practice day and do the same thing expecting  different results. You have to keep an open mind to fishing each day you go out, and you have to look at the lake a totally different way and not put un-needed pressure on your mind.

I leave you with this when it comes to pre-fishing and having a bad practice day. It’s not a matter of if but a matter of when practice won’t go well. Just remember, you will overcome them especially if you keep a short memory and be ready to move forward. One thing for sure is don’t panic and keep an open mind, and you will make it through the tough days of practice.

Thanks for taking the time to read, and if you are a veteran or in law enforcement, I want to take you fishing. Please reach out to me at jaystriker@jaystriker.com