How To Reflect For Success
Updated: Oct 29
The start of the new year is always a time that makes people reflect on what happened over the previous year and what they hope to accomplish in the next 365 days. We are big advocates for routine reflection and use it as a key tool for success not just in fishing, but in our careers, and personal life. Reflection is not an easy task as you only get benefit if you accept responsibility for your decisions and the outcome of them, good or bad. Many people don't see any benefit from reflection as they are unable to accept that they did anything wrong and this prevents them from moving forward. In order to make improvements you have to be willing and able to accept that you're not perfect, you didn't do the best thing every time, and most importantly that there is room to improve and it is achievable! This is much easier said than done however it is absolutely crucial to your development.
The reason why reflection can lead to improvements in your success is how it helps organize your thoughts, collect information, and look for patterns. All information is valuable, and understanding the context is often the key to unlocking its full potential! When it comes to fishing not catching can tell you just as much as catching! The goal is not to focus on what went wrong or right but to understand the decisions you made throughout the day and how this impacted your results. Mapping out our day with the steps below is how we reflect on every day of fishing to see if there were decisions that contributed to our success or failure of the day.
Where did you go - when? This is your roadmap for the day and main structure of your reflection. It can help to draw a line of your travels on a physical map. Adding time stamps so it is easier to visualize where you were as more information is thought about can be good too. As you get more experienced with this activity you likely will not need to draw anything out and can do it in your head.
Where was the activity? Mark your map with catches, bites, follows. Where did you see baitfish; either with your eyes or on the electronics. Give higher importance to multiple fish areas and big fish ones with bait!
Did the weather change at all throughout the day? If so how and when? Items that should be of key concern are if sun went away, sun came out, wind speed / direction changed. Of all the events the wind speed / direction is one which usually results in fish location changing where as light impacts activity level or depth on the same spot. Other items to consider are current levels and location. This impacts in a similar way to wind changes.
Analyze - Review the decisions made throughout the day and results. If you were catching fish and it stopped was it due to not targeting the same types of areas? Was it related to a wind shift causing the bait and fish to start moving to the other shoreline? Or did you move to the other shoreline out of the wind and away from the fish? Did you spend too much time in an area with no sightings or baitfish activity?
Lessons Learned - From the analysis above try to keep the lessons in mind the next time you're on the water or planning for a trip. Be mindful of your decisions on the water and try to take an extra second to think about what is happening around you and how this could impact the fish behaviour.
Reflection is not an easy task as you only get benefit if you accept responsibility for your decisions and the outcome of them, good or bad. We are big advocates for routine reflection and use it as a key tool for success not just in fishing, but in our careers, and personal life.
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