Tak: ‘Confident about my fishing’

Things have been busy since last Sunday. I’ve been talking to everyone. I’ve not had much time to think about what my win at the 2018 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Martin presented by Econo Lodge means other than that I’m happy. It’s good to win. 

But today I’ve been thinking about my career. I think I should be winning more.

At this highest level it’s all about decision making. I made good decisions last week, but it wasn’t guaranteed. My practice was tough. I didn’t catch a lot of the fish I was hoping for, and I wasn’t sure I’d made the right decisions. 

When the tournament started I decided to go behind a small island where there was a little current. I’d caught three there in practice. I wasn’t confident with that, but it was all I had. Sometimes that’s what you have to do when you don’t have anything else. 

I fished with a lot of different baits and ended up catching my fish with one that’s not my favorite. I like it. It’s a good lure, but it’s not my favorite. That’s something else you have to do sometimes. The bass wanted something small and fast moving so that’s the way I fished.  

Fortunately, I had enough fish every day, but you never know. I really didn’t know what I had before I started fishing. Each morning I knew I was taking a chance on what would be there. But sometimes you have to take a chance and have confidence that it’ll work out. It did for me this time. I’m happy about that.

I didn’t feel comfortable about my tournament until about seven minutes before I had to stop on the last day when I caught my last keeper. Until then I fished as hard as I could because you never know what’s happening with the other anglers or what you’ll catch on the next cast. You can’t slow down even for a minute.   

But I still think I should win more. I’ve competed in 288 B.A.S.S tournaments and only have seven wins total. I’m not complaining. Bass fishing has been good for me, and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. But I still think I should have won more.  

I won the 2004 Bassmaster Classic. I’m proud of that. I won two years ago at the 2016 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite at Wheeler Lake. But I went 10 years without a B.A.S.S. win before that.  

Maybe I’ll start winning more now. I feel confident about my fishing. That’s what you really have to have when you fish at this level. It’s confidence. Good decision making is important but that comes from what’s between your ears, and the most important part of it is confidence. You have to believe in yourself and that you’re going to win.  

We’ll see how things happen the rest of this year and in the future. I feel like I can win more. You never know. I’ll fish hard.