Shaw Grigsby: Taking a Chance

All of the Elite Series anglers are thinking the same thing that I’m thinking now. We’re now into the second half of the season, and the next three events will set the stage for who makes the Bassmaster Classic and who won’t. I’ve had a decent first half of the year. I’m 19th in the standings, but that doesn’t mean a thing. It’s the next three events that matter.

I’m fishing as hard as I can, and I’ve had some really good successes tagged on to one disappointing event. At Bull Shoals, I caught 60 to 70 keepers and still didn’t make a check. That was discouraging, but again, we’ve got three events left, so we’ll see where it goes from here.

I’ve actually not yet put together what I would call a good three- or four-day tournament. I’ve had several good days, but I haven’t put the whole package together. Every tournament is a challenge. We started in Florida with a lot of shallow water, then we went to Bull Shoals, where the water was deep and clear. It was sort of the same deal at Douglas.

All that goes to show is that every tournament is different. The challenge is to try and focus as hard in the second half as in the first half, and I’ll try not to stub my toe. I did that last year at West Point. I just crashed. I don’t want it to happen here.

The Major League Fishing event helped me, but it helped in a way you might not expect. While I was at Amistad, while I was competing, I felt like I made adjustments. I thought I did everything I could to make some things happen. But then I went back and watched the event, and I realized that wasn’t the case. I took a lot away from watching it, even more than I did fishing the event. I watched McClelland and Kreit, how quickly they made changes. And Kevin, who’s the best, he would fish for 15 minutes or so, and if something wasn’t happening for him, he would make an adjustment.

Our eventual champion, Brent Ehrler, I watched him barely make the cut the first day. Then he started making adjustments. He started dialing in on a pattern. He would run the banks, then he would change up and work a tree. It was just awesome watching the adjustments everybody made and how fast they were.

I’m a slower fisherman. I process things a little slower, and I’m not as quick to abandon what I’m doing. But I learned from Major League Fishing that you’ve got be willing to change up. You’ve got to have a fearlessness. You’ve got to be willing to go with your gut. You know, it’s often fear of failing that stops us from taking a chance. You just can’t think about that.

The hardest thing in fishing is to focus on what you have in front of you. You just have to do that, and then you try to put all the pieces together. So I’ll go out and practice, see what’s working, eliminate a few things, and refine all that into a plan.

I know this. I can’t rely on my history. I’ve just got to go out and see what’s happening.

And from watching Major League Fishing, I know I’ve got to be fearless about taking a chance.