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Pressure and sight fishing shots

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Paul Arden
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Pressure and sight fishing shots

#1

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:03 pm

Hi guys,

It’s always a tough problem. Many people freeze or throw wild shots that are easy to make in practise but tough when it comes to throwing at a fish. I’ve seen people struggle with the mental game in competition, in the Salt, in NZ and of course here where it’s as hard as anything you can imagine :D

How do you deal with it? How do/did you personally break through this problem? And even more importantly, how do you teach someone to get through this problem and put his best shot in?

I’m sure there is not one answer and certainly not a cure-all :p

Cheers,
Paul
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Graeme H
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Re: Pressure and sight fishing shots

#2

Post by Graeme H » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:45 pm

Okay, well since nobody wants to own up, I'll start ...

I mentally distract myself with something less exciting, preferably something that is a normal part of my routine when there are no fish around. Usually, it's watching my back cast or my loop rather than fixating on the fish. Or it could be something as mundane as my breathing rate.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Re: Pressure and sight fishing shots

#3

Post by Paul Arden » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:47 am

This is actually very similar to something teach, ie to make the focal points of the practise routine mirror the shot and then focus on only these when the fish appears. Mostly it’s really picking the front target first, imagining your back target and then making the shot (remembering to slip line of course!).

I’m not sure about the mundane, I think these are the essential elements! :)

I know when I do it, I actually don’t care about the result; I only care about putting the shot in. I feel that if I put the shot in properly then I did everything possible And if the fish doesn’t eat then hats off to him. I get very pissed off with myself if I don’t put the shot in but that’s another story :p

I never actually had the problem here in Malaysia, although I nearly once fell out the boat with Gordy Hill in Florida when a hundred 100lb+ Tarpon porpoised past the boat and my knees gave way. Fortunately there was a a second shot and I made that one count :D

I think that the key is just not to forget your cast. Sometimes I see people “freeze” and forget to cast entirely! Ronan says to “find time to take your time” and “make haste slowly”. Richard - who is an auctioneer- says “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast!” I say, “just put the bloody shot in”.

Cheers, Paul
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Graeme H
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Re: Pressure and sight fishing shots

#4

Post by Graeme H » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:10 am

There's a guy in our club who gets so muddled under extreme fish pressure that he has - twice - released his grip on the rod instead of the line when attempting to shoot line during the cast. That is, he has thrown his rod at sailfish instead of the line. Luckily, he held onto the line long enough to retrieve his gear both times ...
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Re: Pressure and sight fishing shots

#5

Post by Paul Arden » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:22 am

I guess the fish didn’t eat? :)
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Re: Pressure and sight fishing shots

#6

Post by Paul Arden » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:58 am

The guy who got me into distance casting was a chap called Jon Allen (lots of pics of him back in SL history). Before flycasting competition he was into Archery. He was the first guy to shoot only bulls eyes in comp, while competing against the Americans. When he talked about this he says he “willed” the last six arrows in. Knowing Jon I have a pretty good idea what he meant.

He says after the comp the Americans immediately all came up and shook him by the hand, but the Brits didn’t because they were too jealous! Anyway the point of the story was that determination is really what is required to make high pressure shots.

In competition accuracy in the fly casting games no one has yet gone clean at a World Championship. Steve Rajeff was bloody close once in Norway with 78 out of 80. In fact watching that round inspired me to practise!

Here where I teach I commonly see either wild shots or shots on the fish’s back. If it’s on the back they’ve aimed at the fish (and the fish moved). If it’s wild then they have completely failed to pick a target before beginning the cast.

The other things I see are forgetting to lift, forgetting to slip line, forgetting the backcast, and finally I see the “freeze” where they forget to cast!

It’s not easy.

Cheers, Paul
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Graeme H
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Re: Pressure and sight fishing shots

#7

Post by Graeme H » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:29 am

Paul Arden wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:22 am
I guess the fish didn’t eat? :)
I reckon both the fish and the fisherman were spooked by the strange turn of events! :D
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Re: Pressure and sight fishing shots

#8

Post by Nick » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:51 pm

Competitive archery does have some similarities to fly fishing. Mostly in the mental side of course. Visualization techniques and mental practice are useful. Spend a lot of time going through the process in detail in your mind visualizing yourself getting it right.

Proper practice is also important. A lot of people practice by making cast after cast after cast, whereas in a fishing situation you might be standing there looking for fish for an hour, and then need to make one cast perfectly. Obviously you don’t stand there doing nothing for an hour in practice, but you might wait a minute or two between casts.

Once you are confident that you actually know how to cast, then it’s much more important to practice strategically than to just keep on working on muscle memory.

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Re: Pressure and sight fishing shots

#9

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:46 am

That’s an important point regards waiting Nick.

Zhongxiang brought a whistle, I’m not sure why. So for practise we waited and waited and then I would blow the whistle to signify the shot. Shot taken. We would then take this to the fishing around babies situation and when the adult appeared I would blow the whistle :laugh:

ZX considered the babies shot to be like a penalty kick in football, which is from where the idea of the whistle came. The free-risers has been likened to the whack-a-mole fairground game :D

Cheers, Paul
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