Trying to re-find my fishing mojo- a tale of woe and misery

Its official. I’ve lost my fishing mojo. Its gone and I need to get it back…

Fishing, is ultimately a game of confidence. When things click, your calm confident and  can seem to catch fish, even when everybody else is drawing a blank… But then all of a sudden you lose it, you start second guessing yourself and things just, well, stop working… Why, I have no idea, but sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t… We’ve probably all been on both sides of the coin… A sessions with mates where, despite seemingly doing exactly the same thing, you outfish your mates three to one… Or conversely, you use the same lure, the same technique and blank while they haul in fish after fish… While sometimes this is simply a day long event, other times, this can becomes a habit and thats where I am now. I have developed a losing habit, I’m in a rut and I need to get out of it…

So, now its time for me to come out and catalogue my fishing woes… It all started over winter in the lakes around Ballarat… Despite numerous sessions, I just couldn’t seem to land a thing… It wasn’t always my lack of ability, I just managed to always pick the day everyone blanked. Of the numerous fishermen I saw and chatted to on the dozen or so days I spent out there, I only heard of half a dozen landed fish on the days I was there. The day afterwards my cousin who lives out there and was my fishing buddy on all those trips would call me and tell me the stories of the great fishing I’d missed by a day “Hey man, its on today, just landed two five + pounders in the last 10 minutes”. This was where it all started to go… I lost my swagger and my mojo and so far it hasn’t come back… Since then nothing has been going right… I’ve been on a couple of trips to the mountains and blanked both times. Its not like I haven’t had opportunities, I’ve dropped a handful of fish and I’ve sighted a few and despite my casting being decent up until that point, I’ve messed up the last cast or had the fish look at my offering with distain! To regain my confidence I’ve been trying spots closer to home, but again no luck, stalking carp in the creeks around Melbourne, again, things just haven’t clicked, striking to late, to early, spooking fish… I’ve been seeing fish, getting fish to eat my fly, but just keep cocking it up…

I thought a trip to Eden would fix me. Known turf, some good secret spots, surely, surely I would get back my jive… But no, two sessions chasing sea mullet that were in the mood, but no fish. Again, I got strikes, I got the big super spooky sea mullet (which all would have been easy PBs on fly) to actually eat my offerings (which is no mean feat a lot of the time- its friggin hard, nigh on impossible most of the time), but I just couldn’t stay connected to a goddamn fish! A few months ago, those sessions would have produced 3-4 fish, I had something intangible back then that just made things work, but that is long gone. Maybe chasing salmon off the rocks. Nup. No dice. Hours of swoffing away with clousers of all sizes and colours for one measly follow. Maybe out on the ocean? Nup, the kings were on, but we missed them, two hours jigging and one fish landed between the four boats, surely it was safe to leave. Nup, just after we left mayhem. Once the kings knew I was gone they apparently went berserk. Sure we got 20 flathead and a few snapper and morwong bottom bouncing as a consolation prize, but bottom bouncing hardly counts. I’m at a loss. Its not like there aren’t fish, its not like I am not having opportunities, getting fish to have a go at my offerings even, fish are there, eating my flies but I cannot for the life of me land a fish… Bad luck? Bad juju? Lack of any discernible skill? Maybe I’ve always been a terrible fisherman who has just been super lucky for 20+ years? I just don’t know. The only thing thats obvious is I can’t land a thing to help myself.

So how the hell am I going to fix it? How do I get out of the rut I’m in and start catching fish again? How do I regain my once unshakable confidence that no matter what, I would probably catch something, that has been replaced with the nagging thought that I’ll probably blank even if there are fish everywhere… As far as I can tell, there is only one solution. Keep fishing and eventually start catching fish and shake the self doubt. So the solution, as far as I can see it, is keep fishing 🙂 which isn’t a bad outcome really…

I’ve also been pretty melodramatic in this rant… Fact is, despite the fact I have no mojo, I’m still having a great time on the water… Fixing my bad run and getting my mojo back has become an almost enjoyable challenge… Hopefully it returns soon and I can blog about actually catching fish not just complaining about my inability to 🙂

Cheers

Hamish

Update: Well, things are slowly improving- still struggling to land much, but getting closer and closer to re-finding my mojo. It appears the worst of my form slump is beginning to fade away… We had a trip to Bright a few weeks ago for Lee’s bucks party… Fishing was tough, with only 7 trout landed over the weekend between 5 fishermen. And yes, I sucked, missed a handful of strikes, saw a lot of fish and dropped a 40+ cm model at my feet when trying to pick it up (if we hadn’t have needed dinner and were C&R fishing it totally would have counted, I touched it after all. Or if I had been organised enough to have net…)…. Since then had a few sessions on the carp and at least hooking one a session… Got absolutely monstered by a genuinely big fish that would have easily pushed 10kg yesterday arvo, but that serves me right for fishing with a 4 weight…. Went out again this morning before work and dropped a 3-4kg model at my feet, my knot departed after I’d done all the hard work, he was well and truly defeated by the time he won his freedom… In any case, I feel my luck has “turned” and its all up from here… My mojo is coming back!

Update 2: Just went out for a 5 min fish, to see if I could finally crack it… ~75cm (measured on the rod so not exact). WOOT first carp on fly!

First carp on fly. On a 4 weight- easy 😉

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