When you watch Bill McFarlane & I catch Walleye this week on TSN, keep this in mind.

Posted on July 30th, 2009

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When I fish with guests I often tell them that it takes a lot of faith to catch fish.  I’m not talking religion here, what I’m saying is that if you are on a large body of water, like this week on the Lower Bay of Quinte, and I’m casting my Rapala Tail Dancer along the weedlines with my friend Bill McFarlane (who has such a busy schedule he hardly gets to fish), and there are only about 10 miles or so of weedlines, and we are hoping for or lure to get close to one walleye at a time…..it takes a lot of faith!  I know most guys that will fish for a couple of hours and if they don’t catch fish, they loose so much self-confidence (I’ll call that faith that they are actually going to catch a fish), that even though they keep fishing, they are already done.  You know what I mean?  They have such a negative attitude and they start telling themselves they are just going to keep casting and the likely hood of them hooking nothing is literally 100%. 

I have learned over the year that confidence is the most important thing not just in fishing, but in life.  You sell stuff for a living?  You better have confidence in what you are selling.  How do you get confidence? You learn as much as you can about a thing.  In my case it’s fishing.  You fish as much as you can and put the things you have learned to practice.  When you don’t catch fish you try and understand why and try different tactics, until you catch fish.  You fish in different weather conditions.  You fish throughout the year, on the hottest days, and on the coldest days (through the ice).  You fish in windy conditions and calm conditions, and you do all this until you get really good understanding of this fishing thing and how to catch fish….that’s how you build confidence.

OK, now back to this weeks show.  I was filming with Roger Cannon for largemouth bass the day before Bill McFarlane came down.  Because we were fishing shorelines trees with plastic swim baits for largemouth, I really did not get a chance to pre-fish walleye weedlines for the next day.  That was OK since I have fished the Bay of Quinte since 1976 (wow, that’s 33 yrs. of practice there!!!), I had a pretty good idea of which weedlines are the most productive in Aug..  Also, the wind was from the west for the last few days, and that usually produces consistent fishing action (a north-west wind in Ontario usually means we have a stable weather system).  So I meet Bill the day of the walleye shoot and the wind picked up and switched to the north and eventually it switched to an east-wind (not good, means a cold front will move through and the fishing usually becomes tougher).  So we start fishing and Bill catches the first fish after about 10 min. of filming and we have one fish for the show.  Well, we fish, and we fish, and we fish those weedlines.  You know I said there are about 10 miles of weedlines, we must have fished at least 5 miles and no fish!  We literally fished all of the spots I know, but continuously, even though we were not catching fish,  I kept encouraging Bill that we just have to keep cranking and fishing different spots, even different spots than I have ever fished in my 33 yrs., and that eventually we would find them.   Well, by about 2pm (we started fishing around 7am), we hit a weedline that held walleye off of Sherman’s Point (north point at the mouth of Hay Bay).  It was a big weeedbed/weedline, but we only caught fish on about  a 50 yd. stretch.  The wind was blowing so hard by than that we would get about 10 casts in and had to power the boat back up (too windy to use the electric to get pack up into the wind), and make a big circle to get back above the productive part of the weeds.  Each time, I would hook a fish or Bill would hook a fish.  The show turned out excellent with lot’s of great action and tips that I did back at the dock.  Even though we fished most of the day, the bulk of the show was show in about 1 hr. (from 2-3pm).  So what’s the moral of this story?  Especially as a professional angler, I have to have so much confidenca/faith, that when I’m fishing I have the anticipation that I’m going to hook a fish on every cast.  That dosen’t often happen, but I’ve learned that that’s the attitude I need to have to consistently catch fish.  So, next time you are on the water, and you are not catching fish for a few hours, don’t get discouraged.  Remember my story and don’t stop fishing.  Just keep casting away, work on thinking positive, expect to catch a fish on each cast, and one of your “next casts” will probably produce a fish!  Enjoy that show, we enjoyed the hard days work that went into it!

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