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When The Pressure Is On

By Laura Gober


May 18, 2009

How many times has this happened to you: You’re fishing a tournament, the day is passing by fast, and you don’t have your limit?  You know family and friends will be at the weigh-in and you don’t want to disappoint them?  What do you do?

As a tournament angler we all put pressure on ourselves to do well.  When I find myself under pressure to perform I go to my confidence bait, the Senko.

Recently a gentleman from an outdoors magazine called me to do an article for their May issue.  I was a little nervous but excited that he called me.  He mentioned they wanted to put me on the cover if I caught a big fish during our day on the water together.  No pressure there, right?

I met the writer as scheduled and we caught fish right away but nothing impressive in the way of size.  Finally I caught one that he thought would work for the cover shot.  Not as big as he wanted (a 4-pounder) but it would do.  I was ecstatic – I’d been successful!

A week later the writer called me back to inform me the picture wasn’t what they’d hoped for and he really needed a little bit bigger fish.  I mentioned I’d be fishing a tournament the next day and offered he might get some pictures at the weigh-in. Again, no pressure, right? Right!

I had been catching my fish on a jerk-bait during practice but the day of the tournament that technique failed to produce.  At 11:15am I only had one fish in the boat and I was starting to panic.  I thought, go to your confidence bait, put a Senko on.  I Texas-rigged a watermelon red/black flake 5-inch Senko with a 3/8oz. blood red Tru-Tungsten sinker (this works everywhere with minor adjustments) on my Dobyns Champion Series 766 flipping rod.  By 11:45am I had a 5.18-pound spotted bass in the boat and the pressure was off.

Not only did we get the cover shot we needed, I won big fish for the tournament and finished 5th overall.  Remember when the pressure is on go to your confidence bait. In my case that’s always a Yamamoto Senko.