This past week I was looking for a little advice I could pass along about the things that make or break a day on the water, a vacation or a tournament, but from the Elite angler Dean Rojas perspective, the key is always centered on your choices.
While I was hoping for a “short list” of two or three things that might prevent you from having success in a limited number of hours to fish, Dean cut right through it saying, “It all boils down to decision-making.”
As in: “When to stay? When to go? I’m constantly reading the water, always listening, always looking for those things that will translate into the decision. Sometimes I read ‘em wrong, and sometimes I’m right on.”
One of those things that can effect a decision is the weather. Said the 8th place finisher in this year’s U.S. Open, “Like the second day (one with forecast dark skies and wind) I needed to catch a big bag. I thought that would be the second day.”
Interestingly, those conditions were also the forecast for the first round, but as he noted, “That didn’t happen.”
However, he made a point that sometimes one’s past decisions affect the choices you make in the moment. “Like maybe you’ve learned from experience,” he explained, “you don’t fish a certain bank in the wind because it muddies up and so you tell yourself, ‘I’m never going to do that again. I’ve learned my lesson.”
But there is a great irony to saying that. According to Dean, “The bad part is it closes your mind. You know that eight out of 10 times, that’s the right decision (not to go there), but then someone goes in there and catches them on that [muddy] bank.”
That is the challenge of on-the-water decisions. On the one hand, he says, “You don’t want to close your mind. On the other hand, you’re dealing with percentages–the two out of 10 when you should fish a bank (versus the eight out of 10 when you shouldn’t).”
When you step back away from the immediate issue of the choice, you get a clearer view of why some decisions can be so tough. Looking at the eight out of 10 choice to stay away, for example, may be enough reason to fish elsewhere. However, having the muddled water might be considered a plus for some anglers–and the fact that at least others have scored (that two out of 10) tells you that timing or some other factor or factors may be in play, with accordingly good or bad results.
I guess the good news is, even a seasoned pro is obligated to make decisions without knowing the results ahead. The bad news is, we can’t escape decision-making either.
One Response to “Dean Rojas talks decision-making”
Seems like I almost always make bad decisions.