Have you ever wondered if it’s better to be lucky than good? I have always believed that luck comes into play when you have been educated, prepared, and place yourself in the right situation at the right time more times than not.
During a walleye tournament on Lake Oahe out of Mobridge, South Dakota, the first two days of the tournament were cancelled due to 60 mph raging winds. On the third day, the wind subsided to 30 mph and the tournament winner was to be determined in one day.
I had spent several days in preparation and had found fish prior to this storm, so I still felt confident in going to a key spot 25 miles down the reservoir.
Since I had been sitting on shore for two days, my task now was to brave the remnants of Mother Nature’s fury and motor down the lake while pounding my boat into the still, choppy waters. I trudged on as wind-swept water spray splashed into my eyes, making navigation incredibly difficult. Every minute was consumed with doubt as to the conclusion of my mission.
Would my fish still be there or was I taking a beating with no hope of reward? The spoils of victory seemed incredibly remote as my spine was being crushed by the pounding of every wave.
I finally arrived at my Shangri-La of spots. This is THE spot of all spots and the answer to my dreams of glory and riches. But, I knew I had to catch the fish first.
Once there, even getting the rods out of storage and putting bait on my hooks proved to be tough. The wind was still strong and the waves rocked me ever so violently.
Catching fish quickly became an issue as I had not caught a single one in several hours. The thought crossed my mind to change spots, but to move would require time and the deadline to get back to weigh-in was coming up soon.
Not only was time slipping away, but so was my trolling motor battery. I was slowly losing ground to the wind on this incredible spot that was so good during practice. With less than an hour left, I had to do something.
Time to throw the anchor… but it wouldn’t hold. It was losing its grip on the slippery rocks below. Tossed the anchor again. No luck. One more toss or I’d have to find some place closer to the weigh-in to fish. Finally, the anchor held. I had 45 minutes left to fish, and then it would still be a race to get back.
Now that I was anchored, I wondered what to do? The spot hadn’t given up a fish in over 5 hours! I was already “all in”, so it was time to just sit back and fish. Incredibly, Lady Luck arrived …and I started catching fish after fish!
There was just enough time left to race back, weigh the big limit, and then reap the riches of fame and fortune. Was someone looking out for me that day or would you call it just blind luck? I would argue that it was being prepared and in the right place at the right time. Luck happened to be in the right spot as well!
By Ted Takasaki
Ted Takasaki is a motivational speaker. He enjoys both business and fishing, and has over 10 years’ experience as president of a major tackle company, is a professional fisherman and is in the Legendary Angler Fishing Hall of Fame.