Focus - How Mindfulness Influences Angling E-mail
Written by Chuck Wrenn   
Friday, 28 February 2014 00:00

chuckwrenn

Focus is what helps an angler hone in on a specific target area, lure presentation or situational awareness of changing conditions during a tournament or just a day on the water. Each of these represents a different type of focus required. For the target area, do you look for a lay down or a submerged extended point only? Or, do you take into consideration the wind direction, the sun position and the angle of your cast? Most of us would defer to the latter approach, albeit unconsciously.

So, why then do we sometimes set goals for ourselves without the same measure of precision? Each year, we as anglers set a variety of goals for ourselves. But as each year wraps up, I find myself reminiscing on what was and could have been. For 2013, I set a number of goals, many of them lofty and ambitious given the arrival of a newborn that was soon to be, and the aggressive travel baseball schedule my son and I faced as a player and coach respectively. By the time our daughter arrived in June, I realized that the year was half gone and a number of my goals had not been fulfilled.

Looking back at a few of my goals, I am content in knowing I had made every effort to mentally check them off the list. I spent a considerable amount of time ensuring our family and home were prepared for the arrival of our daughter. I spread the word about the lure and kayak companies I represent. And I educated prospective new entrants into both markets on the products and their various methods of usage during expos, seminars and conversations through online and in person discussions.

I spent a number of hours on the water with my son, also nourishing his mind by helping him learn more about our fishery. The Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (VIMS) classes on their sport fish tagging program and sharks of the Chesapeake Bay were quite helpful in that regard. The proudest fishing related moments were when my son caught his largest fish of the year during the annual Shad Shootout to benefit Multiple Sclerosis. He landed a 19.5" American Shad and he achieved the status of Virginia Junior Saltwater Angler by catching six different saltwater species in a calendar year. While those achievements alone would be sufficient for some, I also realize now that trying to fulfill fishing related goals for both my son and myself was not the best idea.

chuck2

I can count on one hand the number of times I went fishing by myself in an attempt to satisfy my goal of catching a freshwater and saltwater citation. In April, I fell short in freshwater when my largemouth bass fell a 1/2" short at 21.5," and later lost a second chance at the side of the kayak during a charity tournament in September. In November, after three trips in a row, I thought I had my saltwater citation goal fulfilled when I hooked into a beastly speckled trout. Alas, it wasn't to be...she fell short by a minuscule 1/4" but still got my heart pumping in anticipation. These events have helped change my approach for 2014. That is where the focus comes into play. For 2014, I have changed my focus and have developed a more targeted approach in my goals. I will focus on species-specific citations and a few first-time catches. Some goals are adventurous and bold, but I am determined to challenge myself.

For 2014, I have the following focused angling goals...

In January-February, I will focus on at least one citation speckled trout...
In March-April, I will focus on at least one citation largemouth bass...
In May-June, I will focus on catching my first bull red...
In July-August, I will focus on a catching my first sheepshead......
In September-October, I will focus on a citation speckled trout of 30" or more...
In November-December, I will focus on a catching my first citation striped bass...

What will you focus on in 2014? Will you continue to have a shotgun approach and hope to hit your targets? Or will you use a mental "scope" and focus in on specific targets? The choice is yours...

Stay focused!

 

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