Mental Fishing – Your Mental Game Snags

Bucks Skeeter Yamaha

MentalBlogFor three decades I have worked with individuals to enhance performance. Inevitably it always comes back to decision making. That is never more true than in the world of anglers – decision making ultimately determines success or failure.

Understanding yourself and your own tendencies is crucial. I have seen Elite Series clients change who they are on the water by simply understanding themselves better. We have several types of decision makers. To reduce it down to the most basic level there are logical decision makers and emotional decision makers.

Logical anglers usually have a plan, do a lot of concrete analysis of the water, weather, and changing influences on the lake. Emotional anglers don’t necessarily ignore the things logical types zero-in on, but they turn that into a “gut feeling” or start experimenting and settle on something that feels right to them.

I could spend hours on each and leave you total lost and confused. So, here’s my attempt to give you something you can take out on the water and perform differently the next time you go fishing. The Pressure Principle: Whatever is your strength (logical or emotional decision making) will become your weakness, or snag, when you put pressure on yourself.

Logical types become too logical (over-thinking) or begin to question every decision. Emotional types become flooded with hunches and feelings of desperation. (Here’s the key to understand) YOUR WEAKER FUNCTION JUMPS IN AND TRIES TO HELP! So, now the logical angler starts having feelings and hunches and the emotional angler starts trying to analysis and make sense of it all.

You have seen all too many times: The calculating one starts running all over the lake chasing hunches and the instinctive one is parked in one place pondering what to do next.

When you hear Elite level anglers talk about confidence on the water, what they are often saying beneath the surface is to believe in what you do and who you are so you don’t put pressure on yourself! For them, success becomes measured in ways other than the fish in the boat and how much they weigh. Success is measured by “fishing my way” and “refusing to be distracted by results.”

You can probably tell right now if you are more logical or emotional. Some of you will say it changes from time to time. I think you need to push yourself to fit in one or the other category so there is a plan and strategy for you to execute on the water.

If you struggle to identify your decision making type, ask yourself this question: What is my goal at the end of the day? The logical types will answer, “I want to know if figured it out.” The emotional types will say, “I want to feel good about my effort.” In a more general sense, I find logical anglers more willing to catch fewer but more quality fish; while emotional anglers are more satisfied with higher numbers of fish.

To take my Fishing Profile and get snagged less often by your own tendencies, go to and click on Discover Your Athletic Profile. Feel free to email me at