One could say there are two types of fishing: Fishing for fun and fishing under pressure.
We've all experienced the fun part — and probably the pressure part, too; in varying degrees.
Think about it: If you've ever felt obligated to put a family member or visiting relative on some good fish, then you know what I’m talking about.
And of course, if you're a guide, you know exactly what "fishing under pressure" means.
Benefits of fishing under pressure
We all want to have fun when we go fishing, and I do every time I go, but there are definite benefits from fishing under pressure.
See, I wasn't bad at inshore fishing when I started guiding in 2011. But by the time it was over in 2013, I had improved significantly.
That’s because I had no choice but to work hard to put fish in the box.
This made me a phenomenally better inshore angler, and forced me to find and catch fish in new spots, and in new ways.
These are just some of the improvements I made:
1. Keeping my cool.
2. Learning what to look for in new places.
3. Making the best judgment calls; when to leave a spot or when to stay.
4. Expanding my anglers’ network.
The best way to fish under pressure
In 2016, I took it a step further when I fished the Louisiana Saltwater Series.
The series took me from Hopedale to Venice, Dularge and even Big Lake out west, where I was forced to find very specific redfish in foreign waters.
That led me to adapt my tackle, learn new techniques and gain a more complete understanding of Louisiana's coast.
In comparison to guiding, I feel this is actually the best way to improve by fishing under pressure.
Here is why:
1. You don’t have to quit your day job.
2. You have no obligation to customers.
3. You aren't fishing one area, but many.
4. You get to meet pros and learn from them, and make new connections.
Unfortunately, the Louisiana Saltwater Series was disbanded later that year, spurring one of its anglers to step up and create a new tournament trail.
This new series is called America's Redfish Cup, and I'll be fishing it this year with my tournament partner, Capt. Kevin Wartberg.
Let's put a face to the name
I enjoy writing for Louisiana Sportsman, both here on the website and in the monthly magazine. It means a lot to me that you take the time to read my articles, so with that in mind, I think it'd be pretty cool if you came out to watch a weigh-in and say hi.
I didn't fish this series last year, but I still went because everyone I know in the inshore world was there. It was good to catch up while enjoying free drinks and catered food.
You can learn more about the series here. The next tournament will be held out of Coco Marina in Chauvin on May 12 - hope to see you there.
Tight lines, y'all!
Editor’s Note: Devin Denman is an avid inshore fisherman who writes the Louisiana Fishing Blog. To read more of his articles, visit lafishblog.com