The Lost Angler: Attention to Detail

The Wheels are Coming Off

Attention to detail is the phrase that comes to mind as I scroll through my GoPro footage of a recent outing on the lake, I come across this clip that is a representation of how life on the road has gone the past few weeks. In the clip, I make this awesome cast. I mean a long bomb cast with a light crankbait that I never thought I’d be able to cast that far. You know the cast I’m talking about.

The cast where you are lined up perfectly and you get a little anticipatory and giddy because you know you are going to bounce that crankbait right down the sweet spot. Even though I got the extra distance on my cast, you see me kneel with my rod tip in the water ensuring the bait gets deep where the giants live.

After a few moments, I get up feeling the bait bounce and deflect off the rock bottom. Suddenly, what we all wait for, I felt my line hop and go slack like it only does when a largemouth inhales the bait. I reel up and lean into the bite with my rod in the perfect position. I could feel the rod load all the way to the backbone as the fish gives the first few headshakes realizing it’s been hooked. This could be a big one.

attention to detail angler caught largemouth bass

The Perfect Match

I had just bought the crankbait I was throwing that day. I’d never tried this bait before and while driving to the lake, I had been thinking about it. I had matched up with the perfect rod and had put new line on my reel.

It was a perfect cast. I put in the extra effort of kneeling-n-reeling to get the bait deeper and made a perfect sweeping hookset. The kind KVD would admire. This fish catch was definitely going to make my Instagram page.

The bite and headshake were the last thing I felt as my line broke moments into fighting the fish. No Instagram fame for me!

What you can’t see in the video is my rushed thought to make that cast. The wind was ripping, and I was quickly drifting over the juice. I didn’t want to miss the cast, but I hadn’t checked my line for frays after bouncing it off hard cover and a few small fish catches earlier in the day.

I made all the major preparations leading up to this bite, but sometimes not paying attention to detail is what costs you.

When things get hectic

The past few weeks have been hectic. I’ve had the same rushed mindset as when I made that cast. I had flown home and back for an event, (Side note: It was amazing to see my dog, family, friends, and yes, probably in that order), and then drove two days straight to start practice for the MLF Toyota Series at St. Lawrence River.

On the first day of practice, I figured out how to catch them pretty good and was getting super excited for the event. On the second day of practice, I blew up my motor and lost the extra excitement.

I managed a plan of attack to finish the event and did well enough to qualify for the championship. I made an appointment to get my motor fixed and planned to not miss any remaining events this year.

professional bass angler kyle gelles

Pay Attention to details

My planning has been spot-on lately, but just like in the fishing clip, I have been rushing and not paying attention to details.

While traveling to get my motor fixed a bearing on my trailer failed and the wheel fell off. Thank goodness the fender protected the boat, and the wheel bounced its way into the median without hurting anyone or doing property damage. But it ruined the trailer axle in the process.

Yup, I limped all the way to Wieda’s Marine one wheel shy of a full set. It’s embarrassing when it looks like the wheels have literally fallen off the bus.

I’ve had a handful of trailers and fixed many bearings. I always keep an eye on my bearings when I travel. This one gave none of the usual warning signs beforehand, but it had been in the back of my mind that I needed to have them checked. Just like the cast, I’ve been rushing and putting it off.

attention to detail broken trailer axle missing wheel

order more than one

We are all busy, but I would encourage you to take a second and reflect on the minor things you have been rushing and putting aside lately. Whether it’s in your everyday life or in your fishing gear.

The result may not be as dramatic as preventing your wheel from falling off, but it’s a possibility. If I had paid more attention to detail, I could have prevented that lost fish or a missed event because of axle problems.

With my downtime, I will be tidying up some of the other minor things I have been putting off. I’ve decided the moral of the story is, to quit neglecting the minor details and order TWO new crankbaits next time. You know better than to only order one and if you do happen to break off, you have a spare to keep on catching them.

For now, you’ll see me fishing from the bank.

attention to detail angler fishing


I have been trying out a couple of new baits lately: The Nomad Design Atlas 55 and the Beast Coast Tungsten Finesse Jig. They both seem legit and more importantly, they are catching fish. Also, here’s a link to my other blog from last fall: 3 Lures to Catch Big Fall Bass

Picture of KYLE GELLES


I’m an average angler who loves to tournament bass fish. I left home to chase my dream of competing full time against the best anglers in the country. Most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing, and this is my behind-the-scenes story of life on the road, fishing, and learning a little something along the way.


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