Live now : Walmart FLW Tour 2016 Lake Okeechobee

Momentum

Editor's Note: The writer's opinions and observations expressed here are his own, and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views, policies or positions of FLW.

There is a famous quote that is true in most things, but especially in fishing: "Success breeds confidence, and confidence breeds success." You see it time and again when anglers will get in the groove and fish well for several events, a season or several seasons. It's often referred to as being "in the zone" or having momentum.
When any angler has this kind of momentum it becomes easy to make decisions on the water and not second-guess yourself. It gives you the confidence to believe in your instincts and make game-changing decisions without hesitation. Let's face it, fishing is very instinct-driven, and if you can trust those gut feelings and go with them, good things will happen. At the Classic this spring we heard Randy Howell talk about how he was headed for his planned starting spot, and on the ride there he changed his mind, made a U-turn and headed for the spot where he eventually won the event. He had an instinctive gut feeling, and it worked out. Decisions like the one Randy made are easier when you have momentum to give you the confidence to make them.
Last week when I pulled the Chevy and Ranger to Sam Rayburn for the third stop of the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour, I had gone through more than two full seasons of FLW Majors without missing a check. I didn't really think about it, but that is a streak I am proud of, and a lot of it was a result of momentum or being in the zone. I can look back across those 17 events and point out many decisions that I made that changed my outcome in the event. At Sam Rayburn, I was all set to continue the streak, but things didn't go very well this time. For the first time since mid-2011, I missed a check at a Walmart FLW Tour event. Did I lose the momentum? We'll see, but I'm hoping to keep the momentum alive heading into Beaver Lake next week where I can start a new streak, a streak I hope will include more wins.
As a competitor first and fisherman second, I want to win events. It's easier said than done, as the expertise of fishermen continues to curve upward. After all, there is only one winner per event and more than 150 non-winners. So the odds of winning aren't good, but I like the challenge and I am challenging myself right now to get more wins over the next three years.
Just how do I go about fishing to win more? That's the million-dollar question. Do I take more risks? Truth be told, I don't have a formula for how to win more. As I look back over my career and my two FLW victories, the Forrest Wood Cup win and the Bassmaster Classic victory, I don't think I fished any differently than I do now. In fact, I think I'm a better, more well-rounded angler today than when I won any of those events. Things just have to go exactly right for anyone to win.
One thing is for sure, though, it becomes easier to make winning decisions when you have the momentum to drive your confidence level up. With the confidence to make what are sometimes rash decisions based on gut feelings, intuition, instinct and knowledge, I can put myself in position to win more.

Chevy pro Luke Clausen

Tags: luke-clausen  blog 

/tips/2016-02-05-an-ill-wind-at-okeechobee-

An Ill Wind at Okeechobee?

The wind can be a bass fisherman’s best friend or worst enemy. On its best behavior, it creates a temporary current, positions baitfish and helps an angler move around more stealthily in shallow water. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-04-aquatic-plant-id

Aquatic Plant ID

Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Lures and winner of the 2015 Costa FLW Series event on the lake, knows as much about the Big O as anyone and is an expert on finding and targeting bass in its various grasses. When we had the opportunity to ride along with him for a tour of the lake and to learn to identify some of the grasses, it was a no-brainer to accept. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-poche-services-set

Poche Services Set

Funeral services for Dylan Poche, the 18-year-old Bass Fishing League angler who was stabbed to death Saturday night, are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Freedom Life Church in Natchitoches, La. Visitation will take place at Freedom Life beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-time-to-shine-for-setzer

Time to Shine for Setzer

With three years on Tour and a Co-angler of the Year (COY) award under his belt, Braxton Setzer believes now is his time to start casting from the front. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-01-ambassador

Ambassador

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/tips/2016-01-29-glenn-browne-s-timeout-is-over-

Glenn Browne’s Timeout is Over

By his own admission, Glenn Browne isn’t the most organized guy. After the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee, he spent hours returning stuff to its proper place and tossing out the usual flotsam and jetsam that accumulates in a bass boat during a tournament. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-flw-podcast-109-mike-surman

FLW Podcast 109 - Mike Surman

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/tips/2016-01-28-john-cox-gives-himself-a-makeover

John Cox Gives Himself a Makeover

Last fall there was a rumor going around that John Cox was entering the electronics age and souping up his boat with sonar gear. Just to clear the air, the Florida pro reports that though he did flirt with the notion of incorporating an offshore strategy centered on depth finders into his act, he eventually abandoned the idea. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-austin-felix-is-ready-for-the-big-time

Austin Felix is Ready for the Big Time

Back in the spring of 2014, Austin Felix and his University of Minnesota teammate Chris Burgan were on the top of the FLW College Fishing world. With a win in the National Championship on Lake Keowee, Felix was headed to the Forrest Wood Cup as a pro. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-flw-canada-sets-tournament-sites-dates

FLW Canada Sets Tournament Sites, Dates

FLW Canada, one of four partners in FLW’s International Division of the Costa FLW Series, recently released its 2016 tournament schedule. The season includes three two-day regular-season qualifying events and a three-day championship. Anglers fish as two-person teams. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-26-jigging-spoons-for-winter-bass

Jigging Spoons for Winter Bass

Of course, the application of the spoon hinges on finding bass in the first place, which is the biggest challenge. Walmart FLW Tour pros Jason Johnson and Clark Reehm are experts at finding winter bass in their respective regions of the country and offer FLW readers some advice on where to look and how to get them to bite the spoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-24-how-bryan-thrift-got-to-be-so-good

How Bryan Thrift Got to be so Good

My No. 1 focus out here is to support my family and make a living. Whatever I have to do to make that happen, I’m going to make a valiant effort. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-high-school-fishing-makes-the-grade

High School Fishing Makes the Grade

Jacob Smith and Daniel Clark are typical teenagers, at least in everything except bass fishing. In that, they are above average, as the two juniors from Travelers Rest High School in South Carolina proved in the TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida Open held Jan. 17 on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-flw-mexico-at-the-starting-gate

FLW Mexico at the Starting Gate

Our excitement is so great that we wanted to share this important news with all of you. Believe me, fishermen in Mexico are talking it up as if it were dock talk surrounding the Forrest Wood Cup. What really matters at the end of the line is knowing that FLW is showing its true devotion to promoting bass fishing and making it a truly international sport. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-making-the-case-for-haynes-as-aoy

Making the Case for Haynes as AOY

As many have noted, the Walmart FLW Tour schedule for this season looks a lot like it did in 2014. Back then, in his sophomore year on Tour, Randy Haynes had one of the strangest seasons you’ll ever see. He finished 104th at Okeechobee, 149th at Sam Rayburn (ouch) and cranked out top-30 finishes everywhere else. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-21-flw-podcast-108-jason-lambert

FLW Podcast 108 - Jason Lambert

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/tips/2016-01-20-bfl-choo-choo-division-postponed

BFL Choo Choo Division Postponed

The FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Lake Guntersville originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23 has been postponed due to impending inclement weather. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-tigerodz-aligns-with-auburn-team

TIGERODZ Aligns With Auburn Team

Custom fishing rod manufacturer TIGERODZ of Scottsboro, Ala., has signed an agreement to become the official rod brand for the Auburn University Bass Sports Club. Scott Dobbins, president of TIGERODZ, is an Auburn alum, and he says the pairing involved a natural progression of involvement. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-becoming-aware-of-your-angler-strengths

Becoming Aware of Your Angler Strengths

The ongoing sentiment among fishermen is that versatility is the key to becoming a successful professional angler. While I’m certain that statement holds some weight, I think there is an alternate perspective that is worth entertaining. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-18-pundits-picks-for-aoy

Pundits Picks for AOY

Winning the Angler of the Year title is a tremendous feat. It can solidify a budding career or affirm a veteran’s status among the best. It also comes with a hefty reward – $100,000 and early entry into the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup. READ MORE »