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Author Topic: bass tournaments and pre-fishing  (Read 6341 times)

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bosshawg

bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« on: March 19, 2006, 09:06:42 AM »

 just curious to hear from others and what amount of time you spend pre-fishing a lake before a tournament. i don't really like to or go hit a lake the day before as many do.
 let me first say when friends, family & other non-fishing people hear me mention pre-fishing or scouting a lake, the looks or comments i get is something else, but thats another story. usually i don't have alot of time to go out on a tournament lake to do much pre-fishing. which x-plains why i don't always do so well.  i try to make sure i have a topo map, check fishing reports or wonderful forums like this and to do some homework before hitting the lake so that i'm not totally blind when i get there.
 but lets hear some scenarios on lakes you've fished before or new lakes never been on. one of the other posts  is running a seasonal pattern thread and need not duplicate, but more do you have a routine you follow every time, 1day,2days a weekend on the water. in advance thatks for comments and its only a matter of time now.
spring is here tomorrow.....
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ronhuntfish

Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2006, 06:20:10 PM »

I have the same problem (time) for prefishing.  I try to gather as much info on the lake as I can with maps and internet stuff. Most of the time I don't get out prefishing untill the day before the tournament. If it is a Saturday tournament, I beg my wife to let me go on Friday.  Since it's the day before, I try not to stick a lot of fish. If I catch one or two in an area, I make a note on my map and head for another area. I try to cover as much area as I can. Even if I find an area that looks good but did not catch fish, I note it on the map also.  Then, I try to make a logical game plan for the next day. 

dcain

Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2006, 09:20:25 AM »

I ahve found the best thing to do is take a spinner bait and buzz bait, pick an area that looks good and start searching. If you get a bite chances are there will be more there. Start in transition areas and cover.

And don't be afraid to thow a buzz bait in 50 degree water. I know that sounds crazy but they will hit them and they are usually quality fish.
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Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2006, 11:31:08 AM »

Even though time is tight and gas money is even tighter, I try to pre-fish a lake a week ahead of time.  A lot can change in a week, but at least I can get the lay of the land which can be more important than finding fish if you don't have much time to fish the lake anyway.  At least then you can make an educated guess on fish location when the tourney day comes.  That happened to me at a fun tournament I fished last year.  I was the only one to pre-fish the lake.  The end result?  I won.  I didn't really kick butt, but since no one else pre-fished the lake, they spent most of their time trying different patterns while I stuck with one and caught fish all day long. 
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Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2006, 10:45:16 PM »

This is always an interesting topic. A lot to it - I know about the looks too when I say I'm practicing. People don't understand - mostly because they have a simple preconceived notion about fishing that has little to do with competition. I think it shows a lack of creativity since every single sport in this country has a professional competitive side and most people don't have too much trouble understanding that more than luck is required to excel in those.

Here's an article I just received from FLW Outdoors related to this topic - great timing I think.

Performance Psychology and Tournament Fishing: Practice Schedules that fit you
by Jay T. McNamara, Ph.D., L.P. - 09.Mar.2006
Achieving maximum efficiency in practice sessions

http://www.flwoutdoors.com/article.cfm?id=144008&nid=43
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Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.

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Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2006, 10:48:49 AM »

Last years season i made it a point to pre fish all of my clubs tournamnet lakes right before the cut off limit. I basically knew how I would fish on tournamnet day so I made it a point to fish differently on the practise days. I ended up with the Mr. Bass title for my efforts. In the small inland lakes i think it is always a good idea to practice them as much as possible just to get a feel for how the fish move location when the pleasure boat traffic gets high. If you dont practise the lake you wont know that the point or drop off you want to fish on tourny day is the main drag for the ski course and you might be a little ticked if you wait until 10 am to hit it while dodging the ski boats.
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MBell

Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2006, 11:30:11 AM »

I practice as much as I can, anything helps.  Last summer I won a club tournament on an hour and a half of practice after work 5 days before the tournament.  I didn't even catch a fish, just eliminated a lot of water.  If you've been to an inland lake a few times practice isn't as important, fish locations are more predictable year to year on smaller lakes.  You can't practice enough on the big lakes as far as I'm concerned, especially in the summer when fish can be moving a lot.  I don't care for circuits who make the lake off limits, as I see it practice is part of the game.   
-Matt
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Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2006, 11:48:50 AM »

I do alot of research via the internet, old articles, etc.  then i try to get on the water twice before the tournament, once a few days early whenever i can and the other preferably the day or two before and run the practice just as i would the tournament (launchtimes, length, etc.)

bosshawg

Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2006, 12:05:46 PM »

good stuff here. flw site from dan's thread had some interesting stuff to read over. i agree on inland waters fished before you don't have to spend alot of time on. you pretty much know where to go, what your going to use. but practice still makes perfect.  our club doesn't have off-limit rules, but again i stay away from the day before stuff. we're doing a saginaw bay this year and never fished before - don't have a good weekend to spare to scope out as of least right now. hoping to get up there when time allows before tournament. when i do pre-fish, i'll usually start w/the flats and shallows. if lakes have humps (love to fish humps), i'll scope those out. always have gradual slopes or drop-offs. always look for some slop to fish (another great technique). but like i said, i get maybe a saturday or sunday before to get out. on days off/holidays, i hit the lakes even thou tournament may be weeks away. 
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Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2006, 10:23:54 PM »

Learn something every time you fish.
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Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2006, 07:39:29 AM »

Learn something every time you fish.

thats probably the best tip of all, if you can accomplish this every trip is a success.  the hardest part for all of us (IMO) is deciding when to abandon the method that we know works so well but for some reason won't catch fish that day...listen to the fish, fish in the moment.. 

i've got to learn that Zen stuff that Rick Clunn uses, maybe start doing yoga from the front deck of my boat... i wonder what it would be like retrieving a jerkbait while being in a crouching tiger / swooping crane position....

maybe i should stick to the agile hippo / sprinting turtle position...kind of a slow, clumbsy, outstretched neck in attack position...

wow what a tangent... :-\' I apologize..

Potter

Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2006, 10:49:49 AM »

I try to get in 3 days of practice if possible on a new lake and 2 on places I am comfortable with.  On the first day on an unfamiliar lake I hope to find fish in areas I have researched with baits I am confident with. The second day (1st day on familiar water) I hope to confirm what I already have tried in the past.  On the last day (a day or 2 before the tournament) I run all new water.  You can never know too much about a lake!

Potter
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Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2006, 11:30:17 AM »

That sounds like a sound strategy Potter.  I wished I lived closer to all the Oalkand County lakes I fish so that I could do 3 days of practice.   :(
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joshimoto son

Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2006, 04:18:21 PM »

When it comes to pre-fishing, I always try to get a day in on small tournaments (club) and at least three days on bigger tournaments (Federation and bigger).

I always try to fish the day before any tournament, to me that is the best time to figure everything out. Even if a cold front comes through over night... and if...I found fish the day before I'll have confidence that I know there's at least fish in the area (greenies anyway).

Okay!!! before you shoot me... I DO NOT catch fish on the day before a tournament. One of my biggest pet peeves is people that go out and "whack 'em" the day before and then complain when they come in empty handed.

I am absolutely famous for cutting or bending my hooks. I won't even be one of those guys that say they just shake em off... there's still a chance for the fish to swallow the hook.

I fish for bites the day before and not fish, I also do a tremedous amount of looking!!!
I'll just stand on the trolling motor with a rod tucked under my arm and stop when I feel the need.

In my opinion, the best day to pre-fish and get the most up to date info on a spot is the day before. I think a lot of people may not posses the reserve to keep from swinging away and maybe they know that and just stay away.

It doesn't bother me to not catch fish on the days it doesn't count. I think I learned that from being a hunter, if that big buck is out of range, you don't just go shootin at him anyways and hope he'll come back the next day, you wait for the right time and make the shot count.

And on my bigger tournaments if I've found fish, I'll be checking out plan A and B on the day before, but I won't spend much time there. After that I'll be looking for plan C and D.

This works best for me, I know, because I've had to fish tournaments when I couldn't fish the day before and the results were poor to say the least.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts.

Joshimoto son ;D
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BigSmallie

Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2007, 08:15:34 PM »

Well...let me see.........first off, nothing beats time on the water.   The more time you have on the water....the more in "touch" you are with what the fish are doing.

My pre-fishing is a bit different for our club tourneys.  Our  club has an "off limits" 1 week prior to the tournament date.   So if  our club tournament is next Sunday....my last day to pre-fish is this Sunday.  What I found that works for me is to pre-fish on Thursday and Sunday...the week prior to our club tourney.  I usually find the fish Thursday and then use Sunday to button down the pattern and look for other consentrations of fish.

For larger water....say 8,000 acres and up.....I like to have 3 to 4 days just prior to the tournament.....but I've gotten very efficient with my time on the water due to our club rule...so I usually only need 2 or 3 and the 4th day to button things up.    ;)
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yukonjack2

Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2007, 02:30:31 AM »

I wish i had the time you guys do to spend 3 or 4 days ahead of time just checking out water.  I got burned at Burt/mullet laast year without enough time on the water - had 1 1/2 days up ther befreo the bfl - and the weather made it impossible to find beds, nonetheless even stand up front in 4 footers - ugh .  Sorry for the digression.  I too spend as much time ahead of a tourney looking at maps, seasonal patterns ( where the fish should be).  thats the place I'll start the first and only day I usually have to practice.  If its a lake I have not been to before, do not hesitate to get out there for a day a month or more ahead of time - and just troll the docks and edges all the way around looking for key docks and areas of deeper water and/or homeowner placed structure.  Not all are created equal, and the local knowlege will clean these out first on tourney day.  then I check out any interesting topo features - creek channels, stump fields, lilly pads, humps,..etc a day or two before the tourney.  I too - like josh mentioned cut the hooks right off - not worth sticking them a day before the tourney.  Hope this helps.

Jack
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gr@ssmonkey

Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2007, 12:11:30 AM »

one of the best prefishing tools i think you can use are the 3 hour tourneys that there are so many of.go fish one of them on the lake you are fishing your other tourney on and you can get a pretty good idea of what the lake has to offer and what size fish you need to find ;D
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Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2007, 07:38:16 AM »

That's a great point - those tournaments are inexpensive enough where you could justify spending the $20 or $40 to be on the water and observe, learn, get a feel .... etc.

Good point gr@ssmonkey!
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Re: bass tournaments and pre-fishing
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2007, 05:56:13 PM »

pre fishin or no i go thar an do same thing everie times  ;) ;)
i keeps on chuckin them spinners bait up long the bank  ;) ;)
i starts out chuckin an i ends up chuckin spinners bait ;) ;)
tourine starts out you see an i juss starts to goin with me trollin motor on medeum speed an i chuck aways  ;) ;)
i juss go aroond the lake butt on big lake i go till i runs out of time,i then fire up me big motor an race into wayin  ;D ;D ;D
wurks fur me bout everie times fur pre fishin or tournie fishin  :D :D

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