Very few anglers have dedicated as much time to the sport of bass fishing as Paul Elias. Paul has left a mark on nearly every bass angler who has picked up a rod since the 1980′s. The next time you pick up a deep diving crankbait take a moment and consider where it came from. That entire genre of lure was born from Paul’s Classic win in 1982. In recent years Paul set the all-time heavyweight record in a BASS event proving that after 30 years in competition, he is still a force to be reckoned with.
Is there anything else Paul could do to gain our respect? How about I let you in on a little secret; he’s a trophy bass angler too. Paul is one of the most well-rounded and universally-respected anglers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
During a recent discussion with Paul he agreed to share some insights on the upcoming Bassmaster Classic on the Louisiana delta. Its a unique look into the mindset of a champion. Have you ever wondered what it would take to compete at the national level? This clip will shed some light on the preparation that is required to remain competitive.
Now that you’ve seen the video I’d like to lend a few more insights into what Paul is saying. If you watch it once you will hear some great information but I encourage you to go back and view it again. Its staggering just how much information is packed into this clip.
When the average angler prepares for a tournament they come up with the best game plan they can, hopefully with some sort of back up plan, and then wait for the day of the event to see how they rank. Paul is talking about scenarios that you and I would likely never consider. I hear him saying “Yes, I’ve got a plan… but what if my boat breaks down, what if its foggy, what if the fish move, what if, what if, what if.”
For the average guy any one of those scenarios would derail the plan if not completely wipe the angler out mentally. Paul is thinking so far ahead that months before the tournament even arrives he knows what to do if the weather shifts. I’m confident that if something goes wrong on the final day of competition and everything is on the line Paul won’t panic. The reason for this is simple: Preparation. He has already prepared himself for each of those scenarios so that nothing can derail his mind from his ultimate goal. His own words sum it up best, “I’m going to think WIN the whole time. You’ve got to do that if you’re ever going to be a winner.”
What more can be said? Watch the video as many times as you need to until you realize that these elite anglers are not just getting lucky. Things go wrong for them just like they do for us but through constant preparation and planning they are able to regroup and move forward more quickly than everyone else.
Paul, thank you for taking the time to share these insights with the Tactical Bassin community. I look forward to sharing more of your insights in the coming weeks and months. I wish you the best at the Classic and will be following the results closely.