freeline-20 - Page 159



Confidence
started slow with just two fish in
seven nights, then it got slower and
slower and increasingly worse until,
before I knew it. I was up to over 20
nights of blanking, most of which was
on the mere. I kept doing the odd trip
to the other venue, a slightly easier
one, in the hope of a confidence
boosting fish, but like most slippery
slopes it just gets worse the further
down you go. My confidence was at
an all-time low, like I’ve never experienced before, and no matter what I
did I failed, miserably. I did what was
natural and what comes easiest,
blaming it on rigs, conditions, how
busy the lakes were and anything but
myself. Over a period of time I was
changing rigs and hook patterns like
the wind; I was switching from boillies to tigers and corn, big bait beds,
small bait beds, you name it, I tried it.
It got to the point where I didn’t even
know what to change next or what I
had already tried. I just kept on finding that ‘crack’ and riding on the back
of the previous season’s confidence.
What I did learn was that if it’s just
not happening, it’s just not happen-
ing. Maybe the fish have changed or
the conditions of the water etc, but
whatever changed, angling the way I
did before just wasn’t working. I
ended up in a world of confusion and
frustration, call it trying too hard if
you like. I knew that it was confidence that I needed, and if I was to
get that back in full, then I knew that
some things had to change. So I
thought more about what reduces or
risks confidence and made plans to
avoid and eradicate them.
Things that often knock our confidence are things that we are often
uncertain of, anything that casts a
shadow of doubt. Like rigs and
whether they are tangled or not, or
bait – too much or not enough? I basically went back to the very basics and
slowed myself down, thinking more
methodically, I had to forget everything I’d tried recently, and I had to
forget the previous season, going
back to simple angling around what
was in front of me and what the fish
were up to. I stuck to exactly what I
knew worked, which rigs, and concentrated more on the movement of
the fish, and where and how much to
bait. That’s when things started to
pick up, confidence grew slowly but
surely, and angling became fun again.
Hopefully some of these next paragraphs will give you some ideas to
eradicate those negative vibes that
sap confidence and send you on a
slippery slope.
Rigs
Rigs are definitely one of the areas
of our fishing that have the ability to
either give us loads of confidence or
question it drastically. I’m sure like
myself you have all seen certain rigs
that upon first sight you think ‘what
the hell’ and can’t get your head
around using them, yet loads of people will be using them with full confidence. I for one couldn’t get my head
around the hinged stiff rig, but went
on the use it very successfully for
years. It’s the same with the chod rig
– “How could it possibly give a good
hookhold?” I thought. But it did, and
it’s one I have used and still use to
23lb on the Magic.
FREE LINE 159

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