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 your day or days of pre fishing, the first thing you should do, as soon as you get back to your house, hotel or where ever you are staying for the tournament is plug in your battery charger.  This will ensure, you are fully charged for the next day on the water and with the Minn Kota Precision Battery Chargers, your charging time can be reduced and your battery’s health and longevity is increased.

One thing to do throughout practice is to be continually backing up and editing your waypoints and tracks that you save on your Humminbird electronics, 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 lifejackets.  Whenever you’ve worn your rain gear, you should hang them up outside or in the place you are staying to dry and air out, this will make sure they are dry and smell fresh for the next day.  Doing the same thing with your inflatable life jacket is a good idea, 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 to tackle (no pun intended) when preparing for an event is sometimes the most time consuming part, this is tackle prep.  Hopefully following prefishing, you have identified the key lures that you’ll be using during the tournament.  This will help cut down on tackle needed to bring in the boat; this reduces the weight and increases the boat’s performance.

You can keep your tackle selection simple and organized by using uniquely sized tackle cases, this way you can customize your tackle system for each and every event you are fishing.  There are a few cases that will always be in your boat, such as my jig, jig trailers, hooks and tungsten weights, these cases should always keep stocked so you won’t run out of a key item during the tournament.

For more specific lures that you’ll only use during the tournament, I’ll put in and remove from the boat, depending on their need.  When it comes to plastics, keeping storage bags in your back compartments 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 your reels is fresh, or at least damage free for the first few yards that will be the key connection to your lure.  The goal, again pending a successful pre fish is to have at most six rods on the deck of your boat come tournament launch.  This will help keep you focused on fishing and not switching rods often, along with keep the deck of the boat organized and clutter free.

If you’ve identified a key lure that you’ll be relying on the majority of the time during the tournament, you should have two to three rods rigged with the exact same thing, maybe a different trailer, size or color, but overall the same lure, allowing you to get right back in the spot should your line break or the lure gets out of whack.

As you prepare for your first tournament 2018, keep these tips in mind and hopefully it will bring you success!

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