I've been mulling this post over for a while as it's a strange subject, but hang with me. I have been fishing for over 20 years now and noticed this phenomenon every time that I fish: attitude is everything. I have reflected on my fishing trips over the years for proof of what I have personally experienced.
When I was young enough to use a snoopy fishing pole and think it was the best setup there was, I didn't have much knowledge about fish. Bait your hook with bread, put a bobber on and wait for it to go under. My knots were rudimentary at best and my tackle box knew nothing of spinner baits or rattle-traps. I would fish a farm pond in Florida, a lake in Alabama, and the stocked fairgrounds ponds in Georgia. Some days fish would bite, other days they wouldn't, but I rarely got frustrated at that age when I didn't catch fish as it was more about getting the chance to be out there than the size of the stringer. I was typically very successful when fishing as a kid and would inevitably run out of bait before I was ever "done." My parents have told me that I had more patience and was happier than most children my age.
As I got older, I wasn't as patient, had to buy the newest lures, and had more on my mind than just fishing. The days that I went fishing just to get away and blow off steam, I would catch one or two fish but nothing to brag about. On those trips, I would lose lure after lure due to snags, over hanging trees, failed knots. Many times I would get skunked and walk away even more agitated than when I had gotten there. When I went fishing just to enjoy the time outdoors or with friends and family, my mojo was on and the fish were biting. Now mind you, this isn't scientific and I don't have a record of the cloud cover, temperature, barometric pressure, water color, etc from these outings.
Over the last few years, as Matt and I have fished together, we've both gotten married, changed jobs, dealt with daily stressors, and studied fishing articles while changing our fishing locations and tactics. We generally fish together every time one of us goes out. We've always joked about having mojo and it's correlation with catching fish, but didn't take it seriously. Last year, during the crappie spawn, water levels were incredibly low due to drought, but we would fish our honey hole and walk out with full stringers. This year, water levels are 3 feet higher than this same time last year, drastically changing the underwater habitat and spawn locations, but our favorite spot is still producing well. We typically stick with live minnows and bobbers when fishing the spawn and use two rods a piece until the fish start biting too quickly to manage more than one rig.efficiently.
One trip last year, right after my wife and I had our first child, who arrived a month early by surprise, I was exhausted and stress levels were at an all time high. Matt was catching fish after fish from the brush piles, I was still on my first minnow who was failing to attract anything. Matt and I switched spots and he immediately started pulling fish from the location where my bobber had sat untouched. Now that I was fishing in the area he had just pulled several nice fish from, I wasn't getting a single bite. We joked about the mojo again. We set our bobbers to the same depth, had the same amount of weight, and were hooking the minnows the same. I tossed my line to within 6 inches of his bobber. His disappears underwater and he pulls out a nice crappie. He re-baits his hook and cast to within a foot of my line. Not 20 seconds later, he is pulling another crappie out. My minnow must be ugly and smell bad. We both put on new minnows and time after time he pulls a fish in. Matt caught 27 fish that day to my two.
A few weeks ago, we went fishing from the bank of a nearby river and both Matt and I were catching fish regularly. Our conversation turned toward work with the fish still biting. When we started talking about a recent situation the Matt is dealing with and is causing him heart burn without getting too personal, he quit catching fish. He was upset while describing what he was going through and it seemed to have turned off his fish-switch. I continued to get bites and wound up with double catches that he did.
Last week, I'd had a solid day at work and was enjoying a cold beer while finishing off the day in perfect style, fishing. We both tossed out two lines and waited. Within a few minutes, I had a bobber going upstream. I set the hook and pulled in a decent crappie. Matt's bobber disappeared at lightening speed. He set the hook and knew he had a solid fish. His line crossed one of mine as I was trying to get it out of his way. The tangle was unavoidable. He reeled the line to within 15 feet of the bank before the tangle prevented further retrieval. He grabbed his line to pull in the fish hand over hand. During the fiasco, the catfish, who was at least 10 pounds, was able to escape. Matt's mojo was off as we again discussed his scenario.From that point on, his minnows were untouched. He pulled in one line and started fishing with only one rod. I was catching a crappie, pulling it off the hook, and quickly putting it on the stringer to retrieve my other line that had a dancing bobber. This continued for an hour. Matt recast his line several times, but still didn't get any bites. He left his line in the same area as mine and went to charge his phone at the truck. Once he got back, I handed him one of my lines who's bobber was twitching. I picked up his rig, reeled it in, and cast it right back to the same spot. It immediately gets a bite, with a decent crappie on the hook. Sure, I just presented the bait to the water, but it had sat there untouched for over 20 minutes without a nibble. The bobber that had been dancing on my line now just sat there. He handed me my rig back and I his. My bobber went under within minutes. This outing finally spurred me to write the blog. Matt caught 3 fish that night. Below are the stringers we took home.
I'm a believer in your aura affecting your fishing success, but what are your thoughts? Have you ever experienced this or seen it happen? Leave us a comment and let us know.