Contributed by Thomas Philippi, Wilderness Systems Pro Staff
Competitors are always trying to gain any edge they can to defeat their foes. Professional athletes talk trash trying to intimidate their opponents. Gamesmanship, often called smack talk, can even be heard in local kayak fishing tourneys. Here are a few “mind games” that seem to work pretty well if you want to climb into someone’s skull.
“Hey Bubba. I see you got yourself one of those new inflatable PFD’s…sweet! I think I read somewhere that they can blow off be mistake even if you don’t get them wet. I bet that would scare the crap out of anyone! I think you should be fine though…didn’t you get a pacemaker with a defibrillator a few months ago? You should be good to go! Jimbo knows CPR…I’ll have him keep an eye on you!”
“This is gonna be your day Zeke! You’re on fire; in the zone; dialed in boy; killing it this season! Don’t even think about skunking here last year. Pretty much everyone caught them but you…that couldn’t possibly happen again, could it?”
“Hey everybody; I pre-fished here last week and there are quite a few hornet nests in those trees along the west side of the lake. They are really hard to see but they are in there! They might even be killer bees. I got stung and spent a night in the ICU. I know it looks fishy under the shade of those tree branches, particularly on a sunny day like we have, but I’d think twice about fishing there if I were you! I’m kind of immune to their stings now so I’ll fish it and let you know how I do!”
“The latest doppler is showing a severe thunderstorm heading this way in about 2 hours buddy. I don’t think you should try to paddle all the way back to those lily pads today. I’m worried about you. It looks like you’ve put on a few pounds and you’re not paddling as fast as you could last year. Those big hawgs probably won’t be eating frogs today anyway.”
“Yo Freddie-boy, you’re not looking well buddy. You feeling OK? Maybe you’re a little dehydrated. It’s gonna be a scorcher on this lake today. Gotta drink plenty of water. I hope your prostate isn’t acting up again. You’ll have to pee every 10 minutes if it does. I guess the water noises don’t help either. Is it hard to concentrate on fishing? Heck, I’m amazed you’re still out here at your age!”
“Have you ever seen water this clear Buck? You’ve never fished here, right? You would think that in this clear water you’d need to use small, natural colored baits. You’re probably thinking drop shot. WRONG. Take it from me buddy. I’ve fished here a lot with good success and you need to go big and go gaudy! Big jigs and swimbaits in bright colors is the way to go. The more the sun shines the shallower they’ll be. No need to thank me for this advice, let’s just see how you make out today.”
“How are you liking your new pedal kayak Herbie? Looks like you’re flying out there. I’m gonna try to get to the back of this lake ASAP this morning. I think there should be an awesome topwater bite near those stumps. You shouldn’t have any issues; you can clearly see where those stumps start. You can just motor on back there…I’ll get there as soon as I can.”
If you have the mindset that you want to win at all costs, try a few of these tactics before your next club tourney. They all work but don’t expect to have any friends afterwards!