Confidence (with Mike Howe)
By angelamontana

Posted: June 2, 2017

There are many slogans and sayings that relate to the word “confidence”, even as far as the saying “Con Man”. A con man would gain your confidence, then take advantage of you when the time was right. The movie “The Sting” was a great example of a “Con Game”, run by a group of “Cons”.

When it comes to fishing, I always tell folks, you have to have confidence in your gear, your spots, your own abilities, and yes, even the fish. Most fish will bite if you put a bait in front of them. You have to work a little harder some days, but fish like to eat, and while some days it seems everything is working against you, most days, if you spend enough time on the water, and you have confidence, you will catch fish.

These days, we have some of the finest tackle ever designed. We have boats and electronics, maps and sonar, that allow us to go right to that perfect spot, hold on that spot, and present our offering to the fish below. Should be a piece of cake. Trouble is, there might be six other anglers with the same info who have worked that exact spot over, with the same tackle you are ready to use. Maybe with success, maybe with failure. You however are armed with one thing perhaps they forgot to bring. Confidence.
May is a tough month to fish in these parts.

Those of us who guide, or just fish Flathead Lake on a regular basis know that there are days where the fish are just off. Weather systems, water clarity, fishing pressure, all play a part in tough days, and we have had our share of them this year. And on those days, all we have is that confidence that we have seen this before, and we have caught fish. We grind it out, and maybe only 3-4 fish get caught, but we KNOW we can catch these fish. Confidence.
Another part of the confidence game for me is knowing I have the right crew of guides working for me. These men have fished these waters most of their lives and have the same attitude as I do, that they can catch these fish. We talk to each other, compare notes and make it happen. We don’t stop, changing baits, changing locations, changing tactics. I have personally had three trips this past week or so, where we really didn’t hit on fish until the last hour of the day, one trip was three fish in the last 15 minutes! I KNEW we would catch them, just kept grinding.

My suggestion to everyone is keep a log book, details of each day of fishing. This then becomes your playbook for the future. We rely on ours a LOT during this time of year, I am finding conditions very similar to my 2010 season, during May, and I am very happy to have that reference. We all experience tough days of catching, when we have to really grind it out and try everything. There is a reason you have the gear you do, that you fish the way you do, where you do. You are going to catch those fish! At the end of the day, be confident that no matter what happens, you will succeed. The odds are in YOUR favor!

Lastly, the Walleye fishing on Fort Peck is on fire right now. If you have ever thought about a trip to Peck, now is the time! Give us a call and we can get you all set up over there with a guide that WILL put you on the fish. I’ll see you on the water!

(Written by Mike Howe)

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