Fishermen have a sixth sense - called by some intuition, the voice of God, a strange notion or an idea that’s popped into their heads. This sense defies reason. Probably the first professional fisherman to discuss this sixth sense was Rick Clunn, who’d won tournaments fishing places he’d not planned to fish or had any reason to fish. The 2019 Bassmaster Classic champion, Ott DeFoe, defines this fishing phenomenon as, “trusting your gut.”
One of my advantages that I have in tournament fishing is that I’ve learned how and when to trust my gut. I define trusting my gut as having a thought go through my mind that I can’t explain. I think tournament fishermen have learned to rely on this phenomenon, possibly more than weekend fishermen do. I’ll get a thought like, “Fish this point you’ve never fished before,” or, “Use this lure that you’ve never thought about fishing.” When you get that thought, sometimes you have to trust it, and your doing that may pay off big.
Sometimes trusting your gut means: pulling up your trolling motor on a bank where you’ve been catching bass, reaching into your rod locker and getting a rod a reel and a lure you haven’t considered fishing, or maybe moving to a new location that your intuition or that unknown sixth sense has alerted you to do.
Trusting your gut doesn’t always work, but when it does, it can be huge. I won this year’s 2019 Bassmaster Classic by trusting my gut, and I know several other tournament pros who’ve won Classics and major events by trusting their guts and sometimes defying reason to go to a spot or use a lure that’s turned out to be successful. If you fish long enough, you’ll have some of those “ah ha” moments that are hard to explain, but that can lead you to success.