We all have those days when nothing seems to be going right.  The fish do not bite, the wind keeps blowing us off our spot, and we lose concentration for what we should be doing.  It is hard to maintain a good mental attitude under such conditions.

Attitude is important in fishing according to tournament pro Jay Yelas.  Yelas has won numerous tournaments on the B.A.S.S. and FLW tournament trails.

“I don’t know if there is anything more important than attitude,” exclaims Yelas.  He believes that having a positive attitude and a bright outlook is so important because there are so many days when thing just do not go your way.

By way of explanation, Yelas says “It seems like your just fighting the weather and your fighting the fish not biting good and the wind might be blowing and it might be raining or cold or hot.”  Some other situations might mean that you lose fish or another angler gets on your best spot or you motor breaks or trolling motor breaks.  There are millions of things that can go wrong.  Not many times do you go out there and catch fish all day long.

Yelas maintains that every other angler in the world has experienced anything that goes wrong in his boat.  “Today might be my day for things to go wrong,” says Jay, “but in the course of a tournament season everybody is going to have these things happen to them.”

The important thing is not that things go wrong but what you do about them.  Yelas does not let such things bother him.  He tries to maintain an attitude where he does not get too excited if he has a great day and try not to get too down on himself when things are not going his way.

“I just as I try to have an even keel and I try to remain confident that I know how to catch fish,” explains Jay. “I have done it for a long time and try to reason out what is going on and just try to adjust what I am doing to current conditions.”  He maintains that it is not that difficult if you think about it.  Usually just a small minor adjustment in the depth you’re fishing, or the lure that you are using, or whatever and you can start catching fish.  The important thing to him is to keep an even keel out there.

Yelas believes that in fishing, emotion is more of a distraction.  Unlike other sports like football or basketball where emotions play a larger role, fishing is more like golf where you just need to have an even temperament.  He just tries to figure out where the fish should be and deal positively with the bad things that might come his way.  He does not let them get him down and he just keeps plugging away.  Jay does admit that it is easier said, than done.

Jay admits that even after 17 years, he still has times on the water when He does not have a clue to what is going one.  “You just have bad days but that happens to everybody,” admits the pro.  He tries to remember that it only takes 10 minutes to catch a limit of fish if you get in the right spot at the right time.

Finally, Yelas also remembers that as far as attitude goes the last half hour of the day is worth just as much as the first hour.  Just do not give up.


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