Learn a bit about how the pros prepare for fishing tournaments.
Entering any sporting event can be exciting as well as a little stressful. With a little pre-tournament preparation, your fishing tournament can be successful and fun without the game stress.
Here are a few ideas leading up to the tournament that may help.
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Patterning bass requires that an angler knows what he is looking for in the water. With the new fishfinder/GPS combos we have on the market, gone are the days of bringing a topographical map on the water, but it may not be a bad idea to have one at home so you can make a plan prior to the tournament as far as key spots you may want to hit during the tournament.
The online satellite and hybrid imaging that show what the lake looks like in real life as well as in topo style is outstanding. If you fish clear water lakes, you'll even be able to identify mid-lake ledges and humps that ultimately may lead to catching big bass. Its also a great way to learn a lake you may not be familiar with, and rule out water on that lake that may not be conducive finding keeper size bass.
There are only so many hours in a day, and the tournament day is even shorter. To make best use of your time while on the water, your tackle, gear and equipment should be organized in a manner that it is accessible as fast as possible.
Label tackle boxes so you know which box you are grabbing when you need to retie. Be sure to put the boxes you will most likely use ahead of the ones you may not use.
Have a bag for soft plastics so they aren't strewn across the boat. Keep scissors, pliers and other necessary equipment near you on the deck so when it comes time that they are needed they are within arms reach.
Rubber band treble hooks on all hard baits so that they don't become a balled up mess in your tackle box. Remember, there is no worse feeling than losing a five pounder at the boat with a big tournament on the line because you just barely hooked him with dull hooks. Replacing old treble hooks on crankbaits with name brand hooks ensures they are sharp.
Sharpening hooks that are on current baits with a simple file can maintain sharpness for many a cast.
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Most bass fisherman these days are keeping logs on the boat of the fish they caught. This is a really good idea; when it comes tournament time, you can look back and see what you were doing last year at that time to put fish in the boat.
Make sure to record date, time, lure selection, retrieve speed, depth the fish were holding and the structure you caught the fish on. Some anglers have libraries of info so they can read up on what caught fish at a certain time of year on a given lake.
These are all pretty simple things an angler can do prior to launching the boat. What do our readers think? Do you have any pre tournament rituals you do before your get on the water? We would love to hear about them!