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Brnnoser6983

1St Tournament

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So I decided to jump at a chance and I am going to be signing up for my 1st tournament. This has me wondering, how do you prep?

So far I have printed out topo maps and have marked steep drop offs near and around points. I have also been looking at satellite images and looking for weed beds, and matching the two pairs up.

But with this tournament not scheduled until early July. What else would you do/should I do?

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If this is your first tournament my #1 suggestion would be to practice like it is a tournament after ice out.  Launch at 7am and weigh in at 3pm (or whatever actual times are).  Keep track of your weights and decisions that led to those weights.  Practicing like it is tournament day also improves your culling technique.  I've seen many times where a coangler wastes 15 minutes or more culling one fish.  It should be less than 90 seconds per fish. 

 

Is it a team or draw tournament?  If there will be another angler with you then take another angler with you while practicing.  This should introduce you to potential problems such as the battery being insufficient to support multiple livewell pumps all day, limited space, gas required to run from spot to spot, etc.

 

Finally I would suggest focusing less on the magic bait, color, etc and more on locating bass.  There have been multiple great structure threads that you can read along with books such as In Pursuit of Giant Bass and Buck Perry's articles (just ordered his guidelines for my off season reading).

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Great advice! It is a team tournament, and my co is my brother in law. We have fished a lot and really play off each other well. I like the suggestion of getting it there. One major thing is this tournament is in the late afternoon. So I will have to get out there at that time.

Locating bass I think is the main point you touched on, and the obvious thing I need to work on.

Again thank you!

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Seeing as how you can't launch your boat for a pre-fishing trip right now, I'd spend my time between map study and research into what it took to cash money in prior tournaments.

 

Does the group you're fishing with have a website?  It can help determine what your goal should be if you know what the competition is capable of producing.

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Seeing as how you can't launch your boat for a pre-fishing trip right now, I'd spend my time between map study and research into what it took to cash money in prior tournaments.

Does the group you're fishing with have a website? It can help determine what your goal should be if you know what the competition is capable of producing.

Nothing. It is ran by a local fishing shop. So I may stop in to see if they have a tourney bag board.

But here in MN you can find some kind of fishing tourney almost every weekend during the season.

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One thing I find really helps is finding the stats on previous tournaments DURING that time of year. I basically look at the weights for the top 10 and make sure I am on or targeting fish of that size. You could be on a ton of fish during practice and know spots but if they aren't in the size range of a good finish you are essentially setting yourself up for failure. But, if you aren't looking for a high finish which may be possible if your goal is ensuring enough points in standings or in your case a first tournament goal might be to weigh in 5 fish even if they aren't winning caliber.

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I think my best advice on top of all that, is to just FISH. Do what you know, and throw things that you are familiar witth. Too many times in the bebinning i got caught up buying dumb baits i heard were good. First time throwing them in a tournament? Not always good lol dont get caught up on what other people are doing or thinking to yourself, are they catching fish? Ive settled down since and i have done much much better! Have fun too!

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I did well in tournaments way back in the 80's . Finding off shore fish was my specialty . I did a lot of map work. Eventually everyone did a lot of map work and all those spots became fished out.  Just saying that sometimes the bad looking spots are better than the good looking spots because it seems like everyone knows what to look for . 

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