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We often forget why we actually go fishing... for some it's just to forget the pressures of life, work commitments and to leave that daily grind behind, while for other anglers it is the thrill of the hunt that excites them when targeting a specific species. However, more often than not if you ask an avid angler, it is usually a combination of both. Anglers who participate in tournaments enjoy that competitive nature of the sport, with some who thrive under pressure. Every angler has different goals and aspirations they'd like to achieve. What motivates me as an angler is definitely the competitive pressure that I put on myself to succeed. The thrill of the hunt, honing my techniques and skills, and learning from my mistakes is also what drives me to be more determined to catch fish.

No matter what level you find yourself at as an angler, whether you're a beginner or a skilled tournament angler, you'll experience yourself riding that 'roller coaster' ride of fishing highs, like capturing a trophy fish and those terrible lows of consecutive donut sessions at some stage or another. It's when you hit those lows that you start to question yourself, your ability and the techniques you've acquired to target your chosen species. Confidence plays a massive role in being a successful angler and being able to back yourself when the chips are down. Staying continually positive is a very important attribute for an angler. Maybe we place too much pressure on ourselves to catch that prize fish and to get those all-important photos for bragging rights to share amongst our mates. However, when you find yourself in the deepest fishing recession it's a real struggle to keep motivated.

Often, when getting into a rut and sometimes being obsessed with catching that significant fish, we forget to appreciate our surroundings and more importantly the company we share whilst fishing. Sometimes the harder we try, the quicker we spiral in a slump and the frustrations of catching fish are escalated to a point whereby fishing becomes no longer a passion. Being in this situation on countless occasions, it's the worst feeling; where do we go from here? How can we turn ourselves around from being a fishing tragic, to once again an angler passionate about the sport we enjoy so much?

Keen anglers have their own way of dealing with the disappointments of being in a fishing depression and at times it's not really the anglers doing, rather outside influences such as environmental and seasonal changes that cause the lack of fish being landed. We as anglers need to take positives from these negative experiences, being sure to learn how to adapt and change when these influences occur. As hard as it is, taking a step back to go forwards and pressing the reset button is also great to regain perspective of why we fish in the first place.

Referring back to basics and targeting a species you are confident in catching is a fantastic way to regain that passion again. These simplistic ways of fishing are tools that can sometimes be utilised to reset and revitalise ourselves. In this situation, more often than not, scaling back to a selection of your most favoured lures, taking a single rod to hit the banks on foot or just sliding the kayak into a nearby creek is a great start in recapturing your self-assurance and the passion for the sport again. Having the determination and the confidence in your ability to succeed is one thing, however having that same confidence in your equipment and more importantly your lure selection is paramount and equally significant.

Personally I prefer to use a variety of ZMan 3" MinnowZ, rigged on TT Lures HeadlockZ jigheads, along with some Pro-Cure Mullet or Garlic Plus Super Gel Scent for extra attractant. This is a promising lure presentation to regain that confidence whilst targeting a whole range of species, whether it be in the sweet or rusty water.

A handful of TT Vortex spinnerbaits are also stowed in the lure tray when targeting a variety of freshwater species, such as Australian bass, Murray cod and golden perch. These are the species that I target and revert back to when I find myself losing confidence in my ability to turn a scale. It only takes one a two fish to reinvigorate your whole mindset and funnily enough, it is when you least expect it, during these downward times, that a fish of a life time will present itself attached to the end of your line.

Here is a list of my 'Top 10' tips in no particular order that I tend to follow when my back is against the wall, poised in anticipation, waiting for that trophy fish to unsuspectingly take my lure presentation. To be honest, I have caught myself out on numerous occasions reminding myself of these pointers during hard fought sessions.

1.Be attentive to your surroundings.

2.Don't be afraid to fail.

3.Learn from your mistakes.

4.Ignore negative thoughts.

5.Work hard to achieve your goals.

6.Think outside the square.

7.Learn to adapt.

8.Have confidence in your equipment and lure selection.

9.Believe in yourself.

10.Trust your ability to succeed.

No angler is immune to these fishing slumps, clambering out of them is sometimes very frustrating, however one thing is for certain, they won't last forever!

Bracey!

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017