James Niggemeyer – Dialing it In Practice Makes Perfect and Renewed Sponsors

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NiggemeyerBlogIt’s been a good week here, one of preparation and planning for the season.

I’ve been spending more time fishing up on Lake Fork, working on tightening up the way I do things on the water. They say that practice makes perfect, and I’m certainly spending a lot of time working on my game.

I’ve been trying to get back to my strengths as an angler, and working on reducing distractions on the water. I’ve also been playing with how I present my baits to cover, and really fine tuning everything. I talked last time about really tailoring my equipment to get the most out of each lure.

For example, I’ve been fine tuning which St. Croix rod to use with specific Tour Grade Tungsten sizes, and which of my Ardent reels works best for that kind of presentation. I’ve also been playing with different rod actions for line type, be it flipping with Sunline Shooter or the new FX2 braid.

JNiggemeyerbladefishI do this now because I don’t want to think about it on the water during a tournament. I’m trying to make what my equipment feels like an extension of me. At the same time, I’m working on perfecting my presentations on the water. It’s easy to get ahead of myself, and not make the perfect presentation, or hit the target in the best way to get the strike; I’m trying to use this time to make it all second nature.

I have an example of how getting in a hurry can make a difference in outcomes. I’d spent two days playing with the Strike King Hack Attack Jig, and I’d caught several bass over an afternoon, and the next morning, on the same setup, without re-tying. Part of why I was doing this was to know the precise limits of my gear, and I wouldn’t normally do this in competition, but I hadn’t retied once in more than five hours of fishing.

I’d caught several bass, and had flipped that jig into untold thousands of pieces of cover when I came to a nasty stump that looked really good. I flipped in there and got bit. I loaded up the line and set the hook, and just as the fish; a really good one, came to the surface, the line broke. All I saw was a big swirl as she took my jig away.

On one hand, I was really impressed with how long my setup lasted, but on the other hand, it was an illustration of what can happen; even with the premium tackle that my sponsors bless me with, if I don’t take care of my end of the bargain with due diligence.

I’ve also been working with my wife Sandy on how I eat and care for myself. I’ve started doing some exercising over the offseason with light weights to strengthen the muscles and ligaments in my body, and we’ve really changed our diet. I feel great, almost like I am in my 20’s again. I’ve got a lot of energy, and I feel like it’s going to make a difference for me this year.

Speaking of this year, I’ve been working with Synergy Technologies on finalizing plans for the season, and I’m thrilled to be working with them again for 2011. Their products are great. I keep bottles of their Safe-T-Clenz, a hand sanitizer product that I keep in the boat and the truck. It’s great for washing my hands when I want to eat after putting BioEdge scents on plastics, or I spill diesel on my hands while filling my truck.

To learn more about James, visit his website at: www.jamesniggemeyer.com