Fishing with Confidence

By Dave Duwe - May 1, 2006
You're never too good or too experienced to learn something new. Recently, I was asked to pre-fish for a FLW Walleye Tour Tournament on the Detroit River with Brad Davis, a touring pro from Jackson, WI. Brad Davis has been fishing the tournament trail for many years, I was fortunate enough to meet him through a mutual friend, Jack Mudgett, owner of Action Marine in Slades Corner, WI. Davis is sponsored by Action Marine and is also a national team Skeeter/Yamaha pro staff member.

At the onset of this trip, I thought I would be learning about jig fishing heavy jigs in heavy current for 10-14 lb walleyes. But we couldn't find any fish. In fourteen hours on the water in two days, nothing, not even a little fish. However, what I learned next was more important than catching a few fish. I received an advanced refresher course in CONFIDENCE. At the end of the second day, I asked Brad "Are you nervous about your tournament only 4 days away?" Brad gave me a grin and said "No, I'm fishing the correct way, in the correct water, they'll turn on."

I was disheartened with the poor fishing, after the second day I was ready to go home. Being an amateur tournament fisherman myself, I thought it was just me, but when we spoke to several other pros around the boat launch, most were already beaten by the conditions. When you start speaking with people, you can tell immediately where their mind is, you can't make the fish bite, but with the proper mindset you can be in a position to be successful. With Brad's confidence, he can probably eliminate 25% of his competition a few days before the tournament even starts.

I've seen something similar to this with my guide business customers. When fishing is tough, my client's focus diminishes almost to the point of not being able to react to a bite.

With confidence, you can be successful. One must realize that if fishing is tough, it's tough for everyone. With perseverance and good focus you will catch fish. Be positive and don't let the outside conditions determine your attitude and affect your success. Don't defeat yourself before your fishing day is done.

Remember to become a better fisherman, you need to fish with better fishermen. Whether that person is a tournament pro or a local fishing guide, we can all learn something. Today's lesson: Confidence catches fish.

Author Dave Duwe
Dave Duwe
Full-time guide Dave Duwe owns and operates Dave Duwe's Guide Service, featuring the lakes of Walworth County, WI. Dave has been guiding for over 20 years and is one of Southeastern Wisconsin's best multi-species anglers. Dave is an accomplished outdoor writer and seminar speaker. He is a member of the Great Lakes Outdoor Writers Association and Walworth County Visitor Bureau. Sponsors include: Lund Boats(Jerry's Sport Service Inc.), Mercury Marine, Arkie Jigs, and Vexilar Marine Electronics, a pro-staff member of Minn-Kota trolling motors,Hummingbird graphs, Cannon downriggers, Lindy, Pure Fishing and All Terrain Tackle. For more information, please check out Dave's website www.fishlakegeneva.com .