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Tournament Prep

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Would love to hear what everyone does as far as tournament preparation. How do you guys break down a body of water in the off season and try and pattern fish for different times of year? How do you pattern where you think fish will hold pre-spawn, spawn, and post spawn. I haven't done much map study but am hoping to learn. Any tips would be great. 

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Get as many maps of the water you will be fishing.

Go to Google Earth and look around.

Match what your map shows with Google Earth.

Compare each map with each other.

Decide how many miles you want to travel to hit places that look like they will hold fish.

Decide if you need to fish around the blast off/weight-in location and then head to your next location.

Decide if you need to hurry to another location that you think will hold bass such as a blow down, submerged roadbed or bridge, a point, stumps, creek mouths, etc.

Plan your attack using the maps with a "Plan B" ready to roll if "Plan A" fails.

However, nothing compares with  being on the water.

The more time on the water the better your results can be.

As for the bass' routes to and from the spawning areas, try to follow the contour lines as best you can and look for places they will make their beds be it in the creeks or on main lake flats.

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Fishin' in the Mitten!  Unless the DNR changes its stance on a possession season, almost every inland lake in the LP is going to be at either late spawn or post spawn by the time the Memorial Day weekend opener.  My records show the spawn always takes place between May 15th and June 1st in the west central part of the state.  This year's opener is the earliest possible date and then next year it becomes the latest possible date.  With all that said, here is what I would suggest.

 

Try to find maps that actually show bottom content, and look for areas with a hard bottom.  This is where you'll find the majority of fish during any of the spawning stages.  Then after ice out, get on the water to confirm your map study.

 

But, the kicker is that you should be spending a lot more time looking at those maps to key in on where summer weed beds will form.  Goggle or Bing aerial pictures will show many of these if they approach the surface.  Those pictures will also show you where potential docks are located.

 

Bottom line is that the tournament season here isn't going to give you much in the way of bed fishing unless the calendar happens to give you a weekend or maybe two where fish will be tied up in the spawn.  I'd spend more time studying summer and fall locations.

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