I’m just going to say it. It’s all in his head. We had the same kayak, the same gear and the same lures and we were never more than 100metres apart for the entire kayak GF. I can understand his state of mind a little bit. In the lead up to the grand final my interest just wasn’t at it’s peak either.
Regardless of how the fishing was it was going to be a very tough comp as Marlo is only a small arena and we knew there were going to be more than 110 kayaks on the water. I would put the average range on a comp day at about 5km and I would say 70% of the field in any kayak event wouldn’t get much more than 3km away from the start point. To put it lightly, everyone with their thinking caps on knew it was going to be shoulder to shoulder. Add to that an international contingent that would only have ever read reports of how it had been won in the past and probably go there and there were a few spots Chris and I ruled out about 9 months ago. I could have told you back then that the area around the mouth of Lake Corringle had the fish to win the event (and in the end it did) but we figured that its close proximity to the start line and past record meant it was going to to be very over crowded diluting the chance of catching a big bag of fish. if there are 20 fish over a kilo available to be caught in an area on a comp day and you are the only on there, chances are you will average over 1kg per fish and be throwing fish over a keg back. If there are 40 anglers in the area, then you might have a 50% chance of getting one for your bag (probably not how it might be in reality but you get the general idea we were thinking. In any case there is probably less chance)
Add to this the idea that it was in the very real danger of being shortened to a one day comp with a gale warning in effect for the Sunday and Chris and I decided to go for it. To roll the dice and put everything on the line for day 1. We made an 11km (each way) paddle to the mouth of Lake Curlip hoping for a similar setup to the much closer Corringle but being pretty much assured of having it to ourselves.
To cut a long story short and keep the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” to a minimum, I think the plan was pretty sound and on a different day where everything went my way (which is usually the kind of days on the water you need to win a comp) who knows what could have happened. In reality, if someone else landed every fish they hooked they may have won. Blah blah blah….. coulda, shoulda, woulda…. but didn’t. The point is that the plan wasn’t completely bad and there was no chance at all.
I don’t believe Chris when he says that it is anything other than a “mental block” and I would urge you next time you are fishing, as I am trying to remind Chris now, that confidence is the single greatest fish catching tool any angler has. Unfortunately, I really don’t think there is a 5 step guide to getting “confidence” but I do know for sure that there is no way it can be “given” and you just have to find it yourself.