As a competitive tournament angler, you will need to set aside time to review your tournament performances from the past and objectively look at where you did well but also where you stumbled. Good anglers will then consider what they might do to improve for the coming year. The very best anglers will take real, practical steps to both strengthen their current skills and actually fix the problems they had in seasons past.

If you pay attention to the talk on the internet chat boards, fishing club meetings, trade shows, or any other hind of social media, you will hear lots of opinions and thoughts about the latest new gear, or who makes the best circle hook and even the where the newest catfishing hot spot is What you probably won’t hear, however, is talk about what is arguably the most important aspect of fishing: the people with whom you associate.

Good companies worldwide recognize that the key to business success is hiring, training and retaining talented, loyal employees. Well it’s no different in the business of tournament fishing. Anglers need to think of there tournament fishing ventures as a small business, building a network of like minded associates driven to succeed. If you haven’t considered the idea on this topic, you probably should.

It’s known, that if you want to understand a person’s character, look at the character of people he or she associates with regularly. There is an old saying that lives true, “Birds of a feather flock together.” you get the picture, honest people don’t typically have friends who are thieves and liars, and the kids in the chess club dont hang with the jocks. Applying this to a competitive fishing career will be the key to success, are you affiliating with people whose skills, temperaments and values make you a better angler?

Assessment, Feedback and Evaluation.


Success in every sport requires ongoing, accurate assessment, feedback and evaluation. If you pay close attention to your fishing style, you can probably give yourself feedback about what works and what doesn’t. However, your tournament partner should also be able to notice things about how you are fishing that you can’t see yourself that will also benefit your efforts. None of us is perfectly accurate when it comes to self-evaluation. Consider the people you fish with and ask yourself, Do they give honest, accurate feedback? You might also think about whether you make it easy or difficult for people to give you suggestions or make critical comments about your fishing style. If you are that way, you may be missing out on potentially helpful information.
Excepting constructive criticism in a open communication route with honest feedback can help anglers help each other.
Drive and Inspiration

Inspiration comes in several forms. Most obvious are the individuals who inspire us to go above and beyond what we thought we could do. Anglers who inspire the most, have the drive to model the relentless determination, long hours of dedicated practice and has a do-whatever-it-takes attitude yet can retain a sincere passion for learning, may provide the drive we need to take our angling careers to the next level.

Who do you find inspirational? It might be helpful to write down the names of inspirational people you know or have known. Doing this is one way for you to draw on their drive and inspiration to up your game this coming season.

Positive Support network

The presence of a solid support network is key. Whether it be family, tournament partners, fellow anglers or business associates. Oftentimes whether you realize it or not, you will grow as a tournament angler and fish better if the people you associate with are primarily encouraging, positive and supportive. This might seem to contradict what you just read about feedback, but understand there are two types of feedback. People can give you feedback or suggestions in a positive, encouraging way, or they can offer the same advice in a critical, demeaning manner. Which do you think would be more helpful?

So as you approach a new season or your year-end review, do what good managers do and evaluate your personnel. Are your people giving you honest, supportive and accurate feedback, are they providing some inspiration, and do they help create a positive emotional climate in which you can grow as a better tournament angler? Or, on further review, do some of your people turn out to be excessively negative, disinterested in learning and/or uninspiring? Depending on what you find, you may need to make some personnel changes this season.