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Fishing with Kenny: Confidence, Character and Other Things That Matter

By Meagan Russell
In Fishing with Kenny
Apr 30th, 2019

article by Kenny Covington

I am older. I’m not old but nor am I young and I am okay with that. The great Billy Joel once sang, “I’m young enough to still see the passionate boy that I used to be, but I’m old enough to say I got a good look at the other side” and how right he is. The older I get the more I realize just how much I didn’t know about fishing when I was younger and that is a good thing. What makes it bad is when I don’t adjust to what is new.

In bass fishing nothing is ever new. Things are simply re-invented and, most of the time, made better than they were before. That doesn’t mean that the old ways and old techniques won’t work, it just means that in order to make them work, you may need to think outside the box and do so with confidence.

It has been said the best lure in any angler’s tackle box is confidence. Anyone who fishes, be it the casual angler or the tournament competitor, has a handful of lures they will fall back on in times of trouble. With this being said, why didn’t we choose these lures to start our day to begin with? Fishermen as a whole are always looking for the newest, brightest and best secret lure. Such a lure doesn’t exist or we would win every tournament we enter or catch fish every time we go.

In a technological advanced world such as ours the one thing I have noticed about younger fishermen is they are sound when it comes to the nuts and bolts of fishing. When it comes to fishing technology such as graphs, down imaging and side scans they are far superior to those of us who are much older. The advantage is on their side. What I have also noticed is that they are easily mentally defeated and lose confidence quicker when they can’t use technology to their advantage. Confidence is something you can’t be taught.

Recently I was fishing in a charity tournament when I had an issue with another tournament competitor. As I idled my boat to a particular area I was going to fish, I noticed a boat on the other side of the cove turn and head towards the area I was headed. With his trolling motor on high, the angler did his best to beat me and proceeded to begin fishing in front of me less than 50 feet from my boat. I asked him why he would cut me off like that and his response was, “Man, I never even saw you.” While some of the younger anglers may lack confidence, many more of them lack character and sportsmanship on the water.

I was taught not to intrude on another person’s fishing area. I believe in giving my fellow competitors and anglers their room and not to get in the way. If something happens and I have to move across their area to get to mine, I do so in a manner not to disturb where they are fishing if all possible. It is only after watching the repeated actions of some of my younger competition, and some of the older ones too, that I have come to grasp that this is just how things are these days. I understand I can’t change it but that doesn’t mean I have to embrace it either.

Boat ramp etiquette is another sore spot among anglers. Unhooking your boat for launch or removing your boat after a day on the water is a fairly simple process, or at least it should be. Remove your tie downs, transom saver, put your plug in if need be, load any need equipment, check for life jackets, and any other small tidbits you may need BEFORE you ever position your boat on the ramp to be launched. When loading up after a day on the water, put it on the trailer, attach the front strap and move to an area that is out of the way to keep from interfering with boat ramp traffic. These simple steps make a world of difference and will minimize boat ramp confrontations.

Boat dock owners are interesting people. Of all the years I have fished I can count on one hand the times I have had or heard negative words with or from landowners. I understand they have property on the lake and I respect that but I am causing no harm by fishing around or underneath their docks but some to them don’t understand that. While they may own the dock, they don’t own the water it is on.
When dealing with disrespectful landowners I have found the best way to handle whatever the situation is to be as kind and polite as possible. It doesn’t do any good to get into a shouting match with someone who believes they are right to begin with. Confrontations can’t always be avoided but if possible please do so. Don’t allow something or someone trivial to ruin a good day on the water.

When you are out on the water, within reason, help others when you can. You may not can do anything but at least have the decency to ask if help is needed. I have towed in boats before and on more than one occasion I have heard someone say, “I’m glad he came by because no one else would stop.” That doesn’t say a lot about our society as a whole and it makes me sad to think it’s the mindset people have on the water.

Well it looks like we have run out of space again for another month. Time and space flies by when you are having fun! I hope you are able to enjoy being on the water this month as we are in between the freshness of spring and the dog days of summer. Wherever you go please be careful and, if possible, catch one for me!

See you next month!