Fishing Outside Your Comfort Zone – Shawn Overton

Fishing out of our comfort zone… Most of us don’t like to do it. Whether you get caught up fishing yesterday’s pattern or you can’t seem to put down your favorite spinnerbait, stepping away from these “comfort zones” may help you finish higher on the leader board. Some might call it hardheadedness, but most of us are so set in our ways that we don’t even realize we are doing it. A lot of the time we pick up that spinnerbait and just go through the motions.

You need to be versed as an angler with the ability to realize that the cold front that came through yesterday has the fish in a negative mood or that they are on beds and they aren’t eating your bait, just slamming it as it goes by. You may need to slow down or even offer a different profile.

One of the biggest ways you can be out of your comfort zone is when you go to a new body of water. One example is going from a river system to a lake or vice versa. You have to be able to adjust to the water whether you are going from a muddy river with current like the Mississippi River, or a highland lake such as Dale Hollow, with clear deep water. You have to adjust, not only to conditions but also to forage and cover/structure.

These are some of the situations I will be encountering in 2015. After qualifying for the All American in 2014 out of the Great Lakes BFL Division, I don’t want to miss another chance at fishing the most prestigious event for co-anglers. There are many reasons making the decision to fish body’s of water I’ve never fished.

1. First is conflict of schedule, when I saw the first BFL in the Great Lakes Division was on the same weekend as the first Rayovac in the central division. I’ll be fishing the Rayovac central division again this year so I started thinking about missing my chance at making the All American. After I studied the 2015 schedule, I decided to fish the Mountain Division in the BFL.

2. Second, The first two Derbys are on Dale Hollow in March and April and  the potential for smallmouth at that time of year on Dale Hollow is second to none.

3. Third reason is to fish out of my comfort zone. If I can go fish bodies of water that I’ve never laid eyes on and do well enough to qualify for the regional, I’ll have another shot at the All American. This will also give me the confidence to fish outside my comfort zone and the confidence to go to any body of water and do well.

Next time you’re on the water, try something outside of your comfort zone. You never know how much you’ll gain from it. And don’t forget to follow me this year as I try and make back to back All Americans.


Circuits fished:  Flw Rayovac, Flw BFL, and local club events

Years co:  Two years in the BFL and one year in the Rayovac

Favorite technique:  Flipping a jig

Hobbies:  Spending time with my family and playing hockey

Sponsors:  Livingston Lures and Chit Chat Chaw Resort