You seriously have to ask the question, why do we fish these damn fishing tournaments. In many ways, it is similar to gambling. Huge investments with small returns and it certainly is that way for every tournament angler. The hope that tournament fishing would pay for itself certainly intrigues many onlookers but anyone who has experienced it, knows that it is something that requires regular topping up from a personal bank account rather than from sponsors or tournament winnings, let alone, hoping to live off it.
I look at the recent Forster Megabream event, the attraction for me was certainly not monetary. In many respects it is about improvement and achieving personal goals but I had a realisation some time ago that I could never put into words. After my recent success at the Georges River kayak event, I thought that I would have been on a high that I had been aiming for, for some time but realised that I experienced that same euphoria at “succeeding” during the Australian Open.
It wasn’t until what I call “the mad minutes” (the last hour) of each day of the Megabream tournament on the weekend that I realised that it wasn’t the win I was chasing, it was in fact the ‘eustress’ associated with “doing it” rather than having “done it”. The high of a tournament win washes away pretty quickly these days, being the latest winner lasts as long as it takes to hop in the car and start driving home because everyone starts focusing on the next one but the memories, enthusiasm of fishing and ‘eustress’ makes me want to do it all again. The heart rate, expectation, time management, boat control and those other challenges make the memories greater, but for me, that’s exactly what I want.
It could be the additional pressures of racks fishing in a fibreglass boat, the “big ticket” atmosphere of Megabream or just the higher expectations that we put on ourselves but now I sit here, I really enjoy the pressure cooker moments of tournament fishing, the moments that cannot be replicated while social fishing. I say this now that I sit in the comfort of my own home, without wind blowing my boat into racks or putting a cast off course, without the pressure of the “one more fish” and “am I retrieving too fast or slow” thoughts rattling in my brain.
Now, we don’t do it for the money, we do it because we love it and if you do happen to do it for the money, I’ve got some bad news for you…