Tournament Preparation… Beyond Pre Fishing
When preparing for a tournament, the obvious and most important thing to success is to have a good pre fish, meaning you find the quality of bass it will take to cash a check or better yet win the tournament. But there are many other things that go into having a successful tournament besides just finding fish.
Following my day or days of pre fishing, the first thing I do as soon as I get back to my house, hotel or where ever I’m staying for the tournament is I plug in my battery charger. This will ensure, I’m fully charged for the next day on the water and with the new Minn Kota Precision Battery Chargers, my charge time is reduced and my battery’s health and longevity is increased.
I’m also continually backing up and editing the way-points and tracks I save on my Humminbird unit, this will help for easy identification and use come tournament day.
One thing that many anglers forget about or neglect to do is to dry out their rain gear and life jackets. Whenever I wear my Onyx Pro Tech Jacket and Bibs, I’ll hang them up outside or in the place I’m staying to dry and air out, this will make sure they are dry and smell fresh for the next day. I’ll do the same thing with my Inflatable Life Jacket, to make sure it is ready to go for the next day.
Doing a walk around your boat and motor is very important to make sure everything is in order and in safe working order. Items to check include the nuts on your motor, jack plate and shallow water anchors, doing this simple task, can save a major headache later. Checking your oil level is also important so you don’t run out while on the water.
The next item that I tackle (no pun intended) when preparing for an event is sometimes the most time-consuming part, this is tackle prep. Hopefully following my prefishing, I’ve identified the key lures that I’ll be using during the tournament. This will help cut down on tackle needed to bring in the boat, this reducing the weight and increasing the boat’s performance.
I like to keep my tackle selection simple and by using Plano Stowaways, I can customize my tackle system for each and every event I’m fishing. There are a few cases I’ll always keep in my boat, such as my jig trailers, swim jigs, TroKar hooks and Lazer Sharp Tungsten Weights, these cases I always keep stocked so I know I won’t run out of a key item during the tournament.
For more specific lures that I’ll only use during the tournament, I’ll put in and remove from the boat, depending on their need. When it comes to plastics, I keep two Plano Elite Speed Bags in my back compartment with different color choices and options to go to during the tournament should the need arise.
When rigging rods, the first thing I do, is I make sure that the line on my Wright & McGill reels is fresh, or at least damage free for the first few yards that will be the key connection to my lure. My goal, again pending successful pre fishing is to have at most six rods on the deck of my Ranger come tournament launch. This will help keep me focused on fishing and not switching rods often, along with keep the deck of my boat organized and clutter free.
If I’ve identified a key lure that I’ll be relying on the majority of the time during the tournament, I’ll have 2 – 3 rods rigged with the exact same thing, maybe a different trailer, size or color, but overall the same lure, allowing me to get right back in the spot should my line break or the lure gets out of whack.
Glenn has been fishing tournaments for over ten years, spreading his passion and knowledge of the sport via articles and videos, for more information check out glennwalkerfishing.com or on his Facebook page, facebook.com/GlennWalkerFishing.