Of the many mitigating factors related to fishing success, few anglers pay much attention to one of the most important aspects of all — attitude.

Sure, finding a fish-holding location and dialing in nitty-gritty presentational details are important to catching fish. But if you become discouraged or worse yet upset about the way things are going, you’ll be much less effective — and have a lot less fun — than if you keep your chin up.

Everyone has trips when nothing seems to go right.

After a few setbacks, it’s only human nature for our moods to sour. In short order, what should be a great day on the water turns into a frustrating ordeal. And even when lady luck does give us a chance to turn things around, the negativity makes it hard to capitalize on the opportunity.

On the flip side, if we stay positive and have confidence in our fishing programs and our ability to put fish in the boat or on the ice, great things can happen, even when things seem to be going south.

A prime example happened during a national walleye championship a couple of seasons ago on Wisconsin’s Green Bay. More than 200 two-person teams from across the continent had gathered to battle for hundreds of thousands in cash and prizes, not to mention the grassroots walleye crown.

One team from Michigan never led the three-day event. In fact, on Day 2, they boated just five fish in more than eight hours of fishing. They left the dock on the final morning trailing the leaders by nearly 10 pounds. Still, they stuck to their game plan of trolling crankbaits over a main-bay sand point.

As it turned out, the tournament leaders stumbled and the Michigan team charged up the leaderboard to win the crown — worth a cool $30,000 in cash plus two brand-new boats valued at $60,000 each.

Besides being one heck of a payday, their persistence proved the power of positive thinking. It’s a good lesson to remember, whether you’re  jigging late-winter crappies through the ice for one last winter fish fry or competing for a world title.