I sat in my garage last night going through my fishing gear in preparation for our annual Fall n Tide Kayak tournament. Kayak fishing has become an extension of my life and I truly enjoy every aspect of the sport. Fishing from a Kayak allows me to compress a lifetime of fishing knowledge into a few hours and feel completely one with my surroundings and tune out my worries and hectic schedules. It’s an amazing feeling. However, my lifelong competitive spirit typically kicks into overdrive as we approach tournament time and my senses and preparation become much more fined tuned.
I am fortunate to be surrounded by some very experienced Anglers who excel at every outing and have the awards and championships in honor of their hard work and dedication. These individuals inspire me and unknown to them, push me to improve my skills and compete at a higher level. As, I was doing my final inspection of my kayak, I finally realized that I am never really competing against other anglers. I am truly in competition against myself, my own high standards. It’s about self- improvement and about being better than I was the day before. It could be slowing down and mentally logging that missed hook set or taking note in the small changes in tide and water clarity. Either way it’s about expecting more of me each and every time I am out.
In the end the equation is very simple and straight forward. You have to keep doing better to reach a level that goes beyond the best performance of others who compete against you. As I keep improving I am confident the rewards will come, but my happiness is just loving the sport and having fun performing.