Skunkset: Staying Positive

Not a Skunkset!

The dreaded Skunkset picture. You know, the one that you post on social media when you went fishing but didn't land anything. Almost every one of us has had this awful experience. We load our gear, double check to make sure we have everything we need and want to bring. We get to the launch, load our kayaks with our gear and push off in hopes of catching a new personal best. After throwing lure after lure we start to get disheartened. We push on, tie on a bait we rarely use in hopes it would work. Nothing. Then we finally tie on our good ol’ sure-to-produce lure. Aaannnddd nothing.

Experiences like this can be extremely disappointing and make one of our favorite pass times that is suppose to calm us do the exact opposite. It makes us irritated and wondering why we even decided to take it up. Sadly these experiences don’t just happen to on the water. They can happen with anything. For example: running, learning a new subject, construction, and so much more. The below tips although directed more at fishing they can apply to any part of your life that you are experiencing this disappointment.


Yes, you read that correctly. Breathe. Take a couple seconds, close your eyes, and breathe. It may sound ridiculous but it will work. So close your eyes, open your ears to hear the sounds around you, and breathe. Then open your eyes and look at the beautiful place you get to fish. You are able to be there, catching is secondary at best. Use this time to connect with nature. Look at the water, shoreline, sky, all of it and breathe all while listening to the sounds of nature. All around you. Clear your mind and just let your surroundings entrance you. After a couple breaths, breathe one more time and then go back to fishing.

Change Got to Get

As hard as this is to say and accept, especially when you’re feeling the skunk make this one change. Instead of saying “I got to catch a fish” or “I need to catch a fish” say “I get to go fishing”. It’s a blessing that you are able to go out and fish. Let’s put some perspective on it. Some folks may be stuck at work, have family commitments, or who knows what. They may much rather be out there on the water, even if they aren’t catching. You are lucky to have the time and everything it takes to be able to chase our hobbies. It’s not a necessity, you don’t need to, and you don’t have to catch a fish. You get to go fishing.

Original Reason for this Passion

When I get extremely frustrated with not having success I try to think back on why I originally took up this hobby. Personally, I took up fishing because I couldn’t find a summer job after graduating college and wanted something to help me pass the time in between applying for jobs. As soon as I hit the shore and started casting I remembered how I used to love the outdoors. Something I completely forgot about for 6 years. I love being in the fresh air, relaxing, and enjoying nature. So when I get frustrated with a lack of success I go back to that feeling. The love of being outside. Then I breathe, intentionally smile, look around at the beautiful place I get to fish, and remember that I took this hobby up to pass the time and enjoy nature. Why waste time getting mad or upset. Just be outside and enjoying life.

Now all this is easier said (written and read) than it is to do. I understand that. Even I struggle with staying positive when I’m getting skunked. I do my best to follow these three tips and I usually end up happy again and enjoying my time on the water. I get to fish in amazing area's with great friends, and I’m able to be lucky enough to take the time to enjoy this hobby. So don’t let the frustration get the better of you. Remember to enjoy being outside, breathe, relax, and take in the fact that you get to do this!