Fit for Fishing
Part II – Boat Food

I find it interesting that we as anglers often put more thought and effort into taking care of our boats, tow vehicles and fishing tackle than we do our own bodies.  It’s absurd really.  What good is our equipment if we’re not in the proper physical and mental shape to use it? Not much.  
I know the scenario. You pull into the gas station on the way to the ramp in the morning to fill up the boat then run inside to buy some drinks and snacks.  Instead of picking up water you reach for a 32 oz Monster because you know the absurd amount of caffeine and sugar will help bring you out of the afternoon lull that always seems to hit in the afternoon on a long day on the water.   Then you debate(for a brief second) whether to grab a bag of trail mix or the king-sized Snickers bar filled with sugar and salt wrapped in milk chocolate staring you right in the face—easy choice.   By the time you make it to the counter you ignore the fruit filled basket figuring “why bother” at this point.
I used to rely on energy drinks and salty snacks to get me through my fishing day, but grew tired of my energy levels rise and fall like the tide on the James River.  So I stopped drinking sugar filled energy drinks and eating heavily processed foods.  I’ll admit unsalted almonds didn’t stimulate my taste buds quite as much as potato chips, but after a brief period my taste buds adapted and I no longer missed the excessive amounts of sugar and salt I had consumed.  Something else started to happen.  My energy and focus stayed consistently high throughout the day.  I felt better and therefore could fish longer.    
If you peek inside by boat cooler here’s what you’ll find: water, a bag of almonds, fruit (avocadoes are my favorite) and canned salmon or tuna pouches.  During my tournament practice I make it a point to keep my body fueled with foods that give me sustained energy throughout the day.  This is important because I often spend 10 to14 hours on the water each practice day.  I want to make sure I’m physically and mentally strong so I can perform at my peak level.
Fishing is all about controlling as many variables as you can.  The more variables you can control the better position you’re going to put yourself in to have a productive tournament. Properly hydrating and fueling your body are some of the easiest variables to control, so take advantage of doing it.