UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Lanier

Fishing with Confidence

Fishing with Confidence
Grae Buck

I strongly believe that there is nothing more important and indicative of success when tournament fishing than confidence. It’s a given that every one of the anglers on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit knows how to cast at a high level, break down a lake and expertly select the correct lures to catch the biggest fish in the lake. The difference comes down to the mental side of the game, where split-second decisions can make or break your tournament – and even your season.

We’ve all been there. You had a bad pre-tournament practice and the stars aren’t aligning. Maybe you’re even having equipment issues and you just don’t feel prepared or optimistic. That mental negativity is enough to throw off your whole tournament. 

In times like that, a positive attitude can carry you a long way when things aren’t going your way.

This year, I’ve chosen to home in on trusting my gut, even with tough practices. I’m happy to share that I rarely have a practice that’s worth writing home about. It’s just the way it goes, and I’ve learned to not let the discouragement affect the tournament.

This year, I’ve been able to fish with more confidence than in prior years, and it’s paying off for me. I’m currently sitting in sixth place overall in the Pro Circuit standings after the first three events. I was thrilled to start off the year stronger than in previous years. I have made the correct decisions this year when it comes to deciding to stay in an area or to pick up and move, and I strongly believe that having the confidence to trust my gut is critical for making smart calls on the water. 

Grae Buck

Gaining confidence on the water and in tournaments doesn’t come naturally to many. It takes time, experience and, unfortunately, often hard lessons learned. 

Let me give you an example: Last year, I won the Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) event on Oneida Lake and  then followed that up by winning the Bassmaster  Open on Oneida. It was extremely tough to get bites in both tournaments. From my years of experience fishing that lake, and from the practices, I was able to develop two different patterns, which allowed me to locate numerous spots on the lake and run different water in both of those events. I wasn’t catching numbers, but I had confidence that if I stuck to my patterns and ran them all day, I would get the quality bites I needed to win. 

Another very important part of fishing with confidence is having a handful of baits that you truly believe will catch fish anywhere in the country, whenever you pick them up. My number one go-to is the  Z-Man/Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer. I’ve caught more fish – and bigger fish – on a ChatterBait than any other bait on the market. This is a great bait for learning new water, or improving confidence, because it allows you to cover water and catch size at the same time. 

Another favorite lure when I slow down or I just need a bite is the Hayabusa Brush Easy jig head in 1/10-ounce with a Z-Man Finesse TRD. This bait is a confidence-booster that just straight up gets you the bites. A great example of this was last week at the Chesapeake Bay when I was fishing a grass bed with a bunch of boats on it. The pressure got to the fish and they slowed down biting reaction baits. That’s when I dug out my Ned rig and caught fish for the next 15 minutes. Here is a link to that 15 minutes of action.

The bottom line is: If you’re not getting the bites you anticipated and know you should make a move, do it. Tournament days are short enough. Listen to your instincts and not to who else is fishing around you or what you’ve done in the past. Every angler and their strategy is unique, and delaying a decision on the water could cost you the tournament. No matter what level you’re fishing, or even if it’s just for fun, build your confidence with experience each and every time you’re out on the water to put the most fish in the boat.

Tags: grae-buck  blog 

Buck’s Tent Camping Tips

Buck’s Tent Camping Tips

When not on the road for tournaments, my wife and I love to travel, fish and camp together. Our favorite destinations are Oneida Lake and the 1000 Islands in New York, in search of giant smallmouth, as well as National Parks around the country. READ MORE »

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions

Coming into the final Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament event on Lake Erie there were so many things riding on it. Obviously, it was a chance to make a paycheck, but more importantly it was the last chance to earn enough points to qualify for the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota. READ MORE »

Encouraging Youth Fishing

Encouraging Youth Fishing

Not long ago, with support from many sponsors, I had a blast hosting a very successful first-annual Youth Fishing Derby at Green Lane Park in Pennsylvania. READ MORE »

My Mississippi River Game Plan  

My Mississippi River Game Plan  

My plan going into the Mississippi River event is pretty simple. I’m going to have four rods on the deck of my boat: Two flipping sticks and two frog rods. In my experience in western Wisconsin, that’s what will work the best for me to get big bites. READ MORE »

Guiding and Mentoring

Guiding and Mentoring

Now that we are back on track with fishing, and hopefully developing some normalcy to our lives again, I am excited to keep going with what I started talking about at the beginning of the year – mentorship of young anglers. READ MORE »

Super Tournaments: Super Fun and Super Competitive

Super Tournaments: Super Fun and Super Competitive

There’s a big change coming to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, and I’m really excited to be a part of it. READ MORE »

Renewed Excitement for Super Tournaments

Renewed Excitement for Super Tournaments

Like everyone else, I had concerns about when we would be able to resume our 2020 season on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. Probably a bigger concern was what the rest of the season would look like. READ MORE »

Why I’m Excited to be Back with FLW

Why I’m Excited to be Back with FLW

This year has been an interesting one, to say the least. For the first time in my pro career, I’ve been home for much of the spring, and while it was great to fish local waters and get some projects done around the house, I’m ready to get back to fishing tournaments. READ MORE »

Big Changes for the Pro Circuit

Big Changes for the Pro Circuit

Recently announced changes to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit have me extremely excited to get the season back under way. Specifically, a good number of the Major League Fishing anglers will be fishing the remaining three Pro Circuit Super Tournament events with increased payouts. This makes these truly the most lucrative five-fish-limit events in the country, with potentially half of the tournament field being paid $10,000 or more. READ MORE »

My Line-Thru Addiction

My Line-Thru Addiction

Pollen is in the air, on the water and covers my boat on a daily basis. When this happens, it means one thing to me – the bass are on the bed. Now, most people are all giddy about sight-fishing, but that’s not my deal. I can count on two hands how many fish I’ve caught truly sight-fishing. What comes to my mind during this time is swimbait fishing, but more specifically, one kind of swimbait in particular – a line-thru swimbait. READ MORE »

Making the Most of Quarantine

Making the Most of Quarantine

At the beginning of this year I was excited about the opportunity to fish the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and the Bassmaster Elite Series. I was most excited about fishing the spawn in March and April on some of my favorite lakes. When the schedules for both circuits were first released I was feeling very confident about doing some sight-fishing on Santee Cooper, Eufaula and Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »

The Real Reason I love Spring

The Real Reason I love Spring

Fishing for a living is awesome, but when spring comes it can be tough. April is always a busy month for tournaments – and the fishing is usually fantastic – but I really love to turkey hunt and tournaments can put a damper on that. READ MORE »

A Silver Lining

A Silver Lining

From spending some quality time with my wife, Katie, and my dog, Doppler, to organizing my life and fun fishing, there are numerous ways that I have been able to take advantage of our current social responsibility to participate in “social distancing.” READ MORE »

Encouraging the Next Generation

Encouraging the Next Generation

Growing up in the city of Chicago, I didn’t have the outlet to the outdoors that a lot of our youth enjoy while growing up. It often takes hours to travel out of the city due to traffic, and there were no lakes within walking distance from my house. So it’s not like I could swing by the pond after school. READ MORE »

Picking out a New Favorite Rod

Picking out a New Favorite Rod

When selecting a new rod, I consider several elements: action, power, length and components.  Different rods will fit the role, depending on the type of lure, cover and fish species you are targeting. READ MORE »

Always Go Down Swinging

Always Go Down Swinging

Greg Bohannan's late father, Kenny, taught his sons to never take a third strike looking. "If you take the pitch and don't swing, you never give yourself a chance," he'd say. With that lesson in mind, Greg took his cuts at Lake Martin and gave himself a shot to win. Even though it didn't work out, he knows that at least he went down swinging. READ MORE »

How to Catch Your New PB

How to Catch Your New PB

Out of the five biggest fish I have caught in my life, four have come on a ChatterBait, including my personal best – a 9-pounder I caught this year on Sam Rayburn during the first Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event. READ MORE »

Why You Should Reel with Both Hands

Why You Should Reel with Both Hands

Without a doubt, during a tournament day I always get a question from my Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Marshal about why I have both left- and right-handed Abu Garcia baitcast reels. I get comments about the same thing from multiple social media followers if I post a picture that shows my reels. The remarks originally surprised me, but not any longer because of how frequently I see them. READ MORE »

Carrying Momentum into Florida

Carrying Momentum into Florida

Despite the solid start to the year, and the confidence that comes with overcoming adversity, Miles Burghoff knows very well how a good start to a season can either create positive momentum, or open the door to complacency, which often can result in a loss of motivation and focus. With the Harris Chain event kicking off this week, he's determined to keep that focus and motivation. READ MORE »

New Year, Same Feel

New Year, Same Feel

Ending 2019 on a bad note wasn’t how I pictured last season going. I was in contention to qualify for the FLW Cup going into the last FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain, but after coming in 97th at the finale I finished the season 51st in the Angler of the Year points and missed my chance for the Cup. Not going to lie, it stung a little bit and made for a LONG drive home, but it also made me hungry for 2020. READ MORE »