Mind games

Yesterday at weigh-in the feedback was unanimous about what to expect from these nomadic spotted bass for the remainder of the tournament.

Change is inevitable and nothing will stay the same. Locking in a pattern is risky at best. The wise man thinks like Paul Mueller, who told me this while sacking his catch.

“You have to keep an open mind, because it changes every day.”

Yesterday was a case in point.

“I had a game plan and it didn’t work, so I went back to what worked in practice and it started working,” he explained.

To me that’s where experience and forward thinking will be so valuable today. Knowing when it’s time to make a move—instead of spinning out and staying put—will separate the movers from the losers.

For Mueller it was a key lure adjustment. And also relying more on his electronic eyes to study the behavior of the spotted bass.

“The Garmin Panoptics technology was the key today, because I can see how the fish react to the bait, or not,” he said.

Mueller said the presence of spotted bass on a spot isn’t a done deal.

“They don’t always bite and that’s when I leave, man it’s hard to do that but it’s a waste of time if they don’t react to the lure.”

“You’ve got to keep rotating through areas because these spotted bass are on the move, and you must move with them,” added Chris Zaldain. “It’s a timing deal, too. You’ve got to be set up on the right place, at the right time, when they feed on those blueback herring.”

Let the mind games begin. This will be fun to watch as the day goes on and see how the anglers adapt to the changing conditions, moving baitfish and the bass.