Last time we were talking about all my troubles on Lake Minnetonka back in the 1990s. Before I continue that story I want to make sure everyone knows I’m not crying or complaining about all my bad luck that day, and I’m not beating on my chest saying I did everything right that day. That’s not the point.
Everyone needs to understand that bad things don’t just happen to them. They happen to everyone. And sometimes it’s more than one thing. It’s a part of what we do at every level. It will happen to you — if it hasn’t already — and it will happen to me again. It’ll happen to your buddies, too.
So anyway, I had a series of decisions to make. After some thought I decided to just go fishing and catch what I could that day. It was too risky to catch my big ones and then maybe not be allowed to weigh them in. I did catch a few that first day. Ultimately I was allowed to weigh them in, and I was fortunate enough to still catch my bigger fish the second day.
When it was all over I had a decent tournament. It wasn’t as good as it would have been if I hadn’t had all those troubles. But it wasn’t as bad as it would have been if I’d allowed everything to get me all flustered and out of sorts to the place where I lost my concentration.
The thing is that you have to put your head down and figure out a way to get something out of the day. Getting mad at the mechanic who worked on your boat, getting mad at the water patrol for messing with you or getting mad at another angler who stole your spot will get you nothing. It won’t put one fish in your boat.
I’m not going to tell you that I've always been successful at doing what I’m saying. There have been times when adversity got the better of me. But every time that happened it cost me. I don’t know of any situation where it helped me or worked out in my favor. That’s the absolute truth.
Your temper is your enemy. Getting mad doesn’t help. What you should do is ask yourself, "How do I get myself out of this mess?" That’s what will help. In the end it’s all between your ears.