Don’t be afraid to just go fishing

So you had a terrible practice.  Trust me, it happens.  Maybe you tanked on the first day of an event and are looking up from the bottom of the standings.  Maybe you struggled a whole lot more than you should at a certain time of the year and the only chance you will have to win is if you miraculously catch a giant to go with your squeekers even though you had nothing to make you believe you can.  Come tournament day, just go fishing!  Don’t be afraid to throw most of your practice away and use the tournament day as another practice day.  That might mean for you to take a look at a different section of the lake if you feel that you had the right pattern dialed in but didn’t have the quality to show for it.  It could also mean that you need to go a drastic direction and fish a completely different style.
    A prime example was a regional championship a few years ago where I found myself sitting in 72nd place after the first day with a whopping 1lb 12oz.  Probably a good time to pack it in and get ready to haul bass out of town after the second day weigh in muttering something about “I’ll get them next time” right?  I chose not to and decided to scratch what I had done the day before and relocate to an area that I hadn’t fished in practice but had a gut feeling that it would produce.  The second day results proved that it was the correct move as I shot all the way up to 3rd in the standings with the largest bag of the event.  I went from thinking about making plans for trip home to making plans to fish the national championship the following January all in one day.  
    When I say that you can scrap what you figured out in practice or on day one of a multiple day event, I’m not saying to just randomly drive somewhere and hope for the best.  You have to use what information that you have gathered from the water, even if it isn’t much to go on.  In my case, I noticed that the water had dropped four or five inches over the course of the first tournament day so I relocated from shallow, slow tapering banks to a rip rap retaining wall that had a much steeper drop off because it offered the fish more protection from the falling water.  I proceeded to box the largest bag of the tournament by 11:30 and spend the rest of the day conserving fish and trying to expand my pattern.
    Just remember, failing to adjust will send you packing with your tail tucked more times than not!  You know what they say a definition of insanity is right?  Doing the same thing over and over but hoping for a different result.  How many of us just found out that we are less sane then we had thought?