Our sport can be tough when you look at the amount of hours we spend on the water, in preparation and traveling. That doesn’t even count for all the things that may happen at home or work throughout the week. It can be tough to keep a positive outlook at times, even more so when a string of events happens on or off the water. I’d personally been on a nice little streak since last season rolling through without the dreaded skunk and having some really good luck both on and off the water. You can’t complain as an angler when things are going right. Bass fishing is a lot easier and a lot more fun when your attitude is in check and your confidence is high. The month of May turned out to be the season of change for not only the weather but the hot streak.
The chain of events would come in with the heavy rains that were the month of May here in Indiana. On the 1st weekend we decided on doing a little practice fishing on Lake Lemon a before our scheduled tournament there. Through the night and into the morning we had some heavy rain that put us going to the lake mid afternoon. Being that there was a good deal of water coming into the lake we found a creek on Google Earth and made a mile long paddle to our 1st spot. Sure enough the fish were stacked up textbook on the edge of a wing wall where the creek was flowing in. A couple of cast in and I found myself hooked on with a solid 3 pound largemouth only for her to spit the hook of my Strike King 1.5 inches from the kayak. Head hanging low we kept fishing around the area catching a few smaller fish that made us think had a good enough plan for tournament day.
On tournament morning we rolled up only to find that the lake was the color of chocolate milk with more rain in the forecast. Out of the gate I went straight back to that same creek hopeful that I might find a few fish on the feed. A few cast in and the sky began to open up setting the stage for a long day. The fish were not set up like I’d hoped for which left me grabbing rods left and right trying to figure out the pattern. In all the quick paced adjustments I managed to break a rod which only adding to the building frustrations.
After a quick retie I focused my attention to pitching bulky creature baits up tight to the cover. It paid of quick when a solid bass picked it up and took off. When she broke from the cover she took off like a rocket ship, I used every bit of my 7:1 gear ratio to catch up to her. As reeled down I began to feel the weight and set the hook….. Well, I pulled the lure straight out of her mouth. I did my best to stay positive all day as the bites were few and far between. By the time the day was over I had missed 3 fish broke a rod and was the proud owner of the 1st skunk I’d had in over a year.
The very next weekend for a little good mood therapy we took off to Lake Griffy to get some hookset practice in. While Griffy is usually a place that we can go and load the kayak all day it proved to be a very tough day on the water. I ended up busting a second rod and forgot all of my soft plastics with the exception of the 2 chigger craws I found left in a bag I’d tossed in my crate. We worked around the entire lake getting to know a few short fish but not enough to improve upon the mood that had carried over with the 2nd broken rod.
Memorial Day weekend would come next and as usual we took to the water early to beat all the folks out pleasure boating. We got to see an epic sunrise, caught a few fish and shared in a few laughs.The mood was good the weather was on point. After getting home from being on the water I decided to head out for a evening mountain bike ride. Apparently the jinx had been in limbo up to that point because one second I was riding and the next second I was face down on the ground with a busted up left arm. A visit to the doctor’s office would provide the result of a non displaced fracture in my elbow and some sever sprains that run from my wrist to my elbow. No fishing, no kayaking and no biking for six weeks was the doc’s cure.
So what’s the point in all of this? Well, attitude is the point. Rather than sitting around sulking I am taking these next six weeks to refocus my energy in places that can help me later when I get back on the water. I need to rebuild the positive mindset that carried me over the last year. I have revised my training plan at the gym to get some of my goals back on track (one arm, don’t worry mom). Fitness alone will help the amount of focus I have on the water. The better I feel the clearer my mind seems to be and with all the traveling I’d let that slip some. I can also focus on restocking, gathering some new tackle and better organization for what I already have. Most of all I get to spend a little extra time at home before our son leaves to start his journey with the Navy. These items alone are enough to help not only repair my body but also help build positive mental images that can carry me from mid July and beyond chasing some big largies out of my Jackson Kayak.