PMA “The #1 Tool in the Tackle Box” - Anthony Notaroberta
When it comes to bass fishing there are thousands of lures, rods, reels, lines, you get the idea. However, the most important tool you can have in your arsenal, doesn’t cost a penny and it is greater that all of the gear on the market. That tool is a Positive Mental Attitude.
Your mind is the greatest weapon in your arsenal. You could have a$60,000 dollar bass boat, the most expensive rods and reels money can buy, but if you get to the lake with a negative attitude, you are already beat. Staying positive, even in tough situations is going to allow you to think clearly, make the necessary adjustments, and get on the fish. It is not always the easiest thing to do, trust me we have all been there. As bass fisherman we have all had that big one jump off right at the boat. It sucks, especially when you are in a tournament. However, losing that big fish at the boat is not what is going to make or break the tournament. It is what comes next. Do you allow yourself to say” Well that’s it that was my shot, I fished for hours for that bite and lost it, I’m done. “This is the easiest way to go, it’s easy to accept defeat and get frustrated. Ask yourself this though, do you think that the top anglers in the world ( KVD, Edwin Evers, ect) don’t have this happen to them all the time. I mean they do this for a living; they definitely loose fish a lot. The difference is they have learned how to remain calm and keep pushing forward. That is the difference between winning and loosing. That’s why you see the same guys on top all the time. They are just wiggling a plastic worm, swimming a swimbait, or flipping a jig the same exact way as the rest of us. There is only so many ways you can take a rod and wiggle a piece of line to make a lure move. The bass are not that smart to know the difference. It is the mental attitude of the angler to stay clear headed and open minded that allows him to rise above the rest. We all think clearly when we are calm, but as soon as that anger gets ahold of us, we loose that clear picture and start making mistakes or forcing things to happen. This is a recipe for disaster.
Ok so I have rambled about this subject enough, but you have to practice what you preach right? Here are two examples from my 2017 season where PMA was the difference between winning and losing. The first one was during the KBF Trail Event on the Peconic River. I began the tournament horribly. I would go long periods of time without a bite, and every time I got a bite, I’d set the hook and loose the fish at the boat. This went on from 6am to about 930 am. I lost 3 or 4 nice fish; one was in the 3lb to 4lb range. I kept shrugging it off, saying they are going to stick; the next one is going to stick. I could have easily snapped a rod in half by this time, especially with $1,100 on the line. I just kept my cool and kept fishing. Then the light bulb went off, I was throwing a 6” Neko Rig. So I said to myself, well if they are not taking it, let’s throw a 4” Neko rig. Once I made that adjustment, I started wearing them out and I ended up winning the Tournament.
Second example was our LIKBF Mahopac tournament.. I had a spot where I caught a few in the morning, nothing great and I ended up venturing off for most of the tournament. The wind kicked up on the main lake mid-morning and I was catching a ton of short fish throughout most of the day. I decided to go back to my morning spot for the last hour and a half of the tournament. As soon as I got back to that spot, I hooked up with a fish that took my lure to the bottom and I fought this fish for 5 mins. I felt it kicking and shaking and then the hook popped out. I could not get this fish up out of the grass and I never saw it. Talk about stressed, two casts later, I hook up with another fish, I saw this one, easily 4lbs. I’m fighting the fish and she jumps and throws the hook. I literally paddled away from the spot, stood up in my kayak and stretched out. I sat back down, cracked open a Monster and just looked out at the water and watched the birds flying around. I took some deep breaths and thought about working the next day and having to go through my regular routine for the week. Then I came back to the kayak and thought, I am happy to be out here. I looked at my watch and had 30 mins left. I went back to the spot and began fishing the same lure I was throwing. I caught 2 fish in that last half hour that culled out 2 of my other fish., One of the fish I caught at the end ended up being 19” and Big Fish for the day. I went from 8th place to 2nd.
My point is I could have easily blown both of these Tournament finishes. Hell, for most of the day I was probably sitting in a worse position than the angler who ended up finishing 3 spots behind me. What allowed me to win was remaining calm, keeping a positive mind, and fishing hard right till the end. That’s it, it’s just fishing guys. In the end, we are out there on the water and we are doing what we love. Now, things won’t always work out like they did in these two scenarios, I know that. I am by no means saying that if you have PMA you are going to win every event. However, I gave myself a much better opportunity to win by thinking positively. If I let it get the best of me it wouldn’t have mattered what lure I was throwing and it also gave me an edge over anyone who was about to blow their top after not having a limit in the first two hours. Even though it doesn’t work all the time, it will allow you to enjoy your time on the water more, and it will pay off more than you think.
I hope this helps and it is something that I strongly believe in. I have been tournament fishing for a very long time, and I have been the one to break a rod or two in the past. PMA is actually a technique that I learned in a training seminar for a sales position that I had. If you create a sense of excitement about a product, people will purchase it, even though they don’t need or want it. They are buying your Positive Energy because they want to be a part of it. This is a key technique used in the business world. Well, I found out that this transfers over into fishing as well. Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope that this helps you on the water and even in your everyday life. Tight Lines Guys..