Most people don’t know how much preparation goes into competing in a College fishing tournament, most people think that we just show up and fish, well I’m here to tell you that is very far from the truth well I’m going to tell you at least what goes into my preparation for these tournaments.
For most of these tournaments we have a 5 day off-limits period where we are not able to be on the body of that we are competing on for at least 5 days before the tournament. This evens out the playing field for the college angler but I also think I makes it tougher for the angler competing in these tournaments.
I think that it make it more difficult for many schools because within those 5 days many things on the lake can change also it makes it so that many schools cannot prefish because of how far the lake is from certain schools and how much it costs to tow a boat to certain lakes from your school.
So now that you know some of the conditions that us college anglers are facing I’m going to let you in on some of the pre-tournament preparation that I do before these tournaments, sometimes it works for me and some times it doesn’t. The first thing I do before I go to a college tournament is try to figure out what part of the yearly migration the fish are in.
To figure this out I watch the weather for at least 2 weeks before the tournament starts and I look on a calendar to see what time of year the tournament is in. I check the weather because it can determine what phase the fish are in whether it is pre-spawn, spawn, post-spawn, summer, winter or fall phase.
Once I have put the weather patterns and the time of year it is on the lake it try to start to piece the puzzle together where the fish are located. The first thing I do when I’m trying to figure out where the fish are located is to get a map of the lake that I will be fishing because if I know what time of year and how the weather is on a certain lake I can get a general idea of where the fish will be located whether they will located on main lake points, secondary points or in the back of coves.
After I have determined where the fish will be located I start to gather the baits that I think the fish will be eating for location in which they are located. After all of this preparation the hard part starts, you get to the lake and you actually get to fish. I think this is one of the harder parts because for most of these tournaments we only get around 6 hours to fish and to try to figure out what they are doing, so in 6 hours we have to locate and find the tournament winning fish, which is a very difficult task.
I think this is the most difficult task of all because most of the time before a tournament you get a day or two to figure out where they are located and what they are doing. But with most college tournaments you only get 6 hours to do everything. Hope this helps everyone out.
Mark now competes as a Pro on several circuits.