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Tyler882

Need Some Help Please!

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I'm new to Tournament fishing and need some advice. Me and a buddy have had two tournaments so far and have only caught 3 keepers in each one. Is there anyone out there who has some advice on where to look to get 5 keepers in the shortest amount of time. Where should we start our mornings? What should we look for? Etc.. Also, just any helpful tips and tournament advice would be extremely appreciated!According to other guys we fish with our competition is getting their limit very quickly in every tournament. Thanks for any tips/tricks you have!

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If I'm going to try to get a limit quickly, I would be going out and fishing smaller stuff. Finesse plastics like Stick Baits, Ned Rigs, Mojo Rig, or Split Shot Rigs. I would also want to cover water quickly, while still fishing small, so I would probably fish a smaller size Silent Running Squarebill. These are all good baits to catch a quick limit. Covering water to find active fish is key, then slow down from their. The second key is to fish small... Get bites, then once you get a limit start to target bigger fish and cull.

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In 40 plus years of fishing tournaments I never fish for small fish!

Now if you are happy being an also ran then target small fish!

I start my day on offshore structure & end my day on offshore structure!

Throw Texas Rigs, Jig-N-Craws, Carolina Rigs, Deep Cranks, or Swim Baits.

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Get some practice in beforehand

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I'm new to Tournament fishing and need some advice. Me and a buddy have had two tournaments so far and have only caught 3 keepers in each one. Is there anyone out there who has some advice on where to look to get 5 keepers in the shortest amount of time. Where should we start our mornings? What should we look for? Etc.. Also, just any helpful tips and tournament advice would be extremely appreciated!According to other guys we fish with our competition is getting their limit very quickly in every tournament. Thanks for any tips/tricks you have!

 

Welcome to the forums! Would help if you gave us an idea of the waters you are fishing.

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What Are The Water Temp's Of The lakes Your Fishing ?  At This Time Of Year I Fish A Lot Slower Due To The Lakes Water Temp / Post Spawn.  

 

My 2 Cents

 

Mike

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No help from me as I don't fish tourneys... But there

are plenty here who do that *can* offer help!

 

Seeing this is your first post, welcome aboard!

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I'll touch more on what Catt said....

If you're ain't first, you're last. Points are for arrows. The biggest change I had to make i tournament fishing was learning to fish for the WIN. To do that, you have to fish for quality bites. Once you can wrap your head around that, you will see success. Why "waste" time in the beginning of the derby catching fish that you know you will need to cull to be competitive? Know what it takes to win on your lake and build your game plan ( I assume you practice?) around getting those bites, even if it is just 5 bites all day.

Also, be prepared to be humbled. It doesn't work out all the time. If it was easy everyone would do it!

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Welcome to the forums! Would help if you gave us an idea of the waters you are fishing.

I am fishing TVA reservoir lakes in East, TN. Water temps today were ranging from mid 60's to just over 70. The fish we did find and were able to catch were shallow and in pockets near the main lake. I appreciate all the help keep tips coming if you have some more! And thanks for the welcoming as well!

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I'm new to Tournament fishing and need some advice. Me and a buddy have had two tournaments so far and have only caught 3 keepers in each one. Is there anyone out there who has some advice on where to look to get 5 keepers in the shortest amount of time. Where should we start our mornings? What should we look for? Etc.. Also, just any helpful tips and tournament advice would be extremely appreciated!According to other guys we fish with our competition is getting their limit very quickly in every tournament. Thanks for any tips/tricks you have!

 

I could care less what the water temp is, what baits you're using, or what time of the day you are fishing.  If you aren't where the fish are, nothing else makes any difference at all.  There isn't any shortcut to time spent on the water learning where fish actively feed, and where they reside when they aren't feeding.

 

The next time you find yourselves in a tournament where you can't figure them out, spend the last half of the day going for a boat ride.  Look to see where the others are fishing.  Are they pounding docks, fishing deep breaklines, working large flats?  I'm not suggesting that you crowd into someone else's water, but it should give you an idea of what you should be looking for the next time.

 

At this point, you would be better off thinking of the money you are paying as Tuition rather an Entry Fees.  Make your time on the water a learning experience!

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Whats the length limit ? What have the winning weights been ? 

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Every tournament but one , that I did well in, I was not running all over the lake. I either fished a particular spot  or area . Once I started running around , it was over for me . The lone exception I was point hopping .

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I could care less what the water temp is, what baits you're using, or what time of the day you are fishing.  If you aren't where the fish are, nothing else makes any difference at all.  There isn't any shortcut to time spent on the water learning where fish actively feed, and where they reside when they aren't feeding.

 

The next time you find yourselves in a tournament where you can't figure them out, spend the last half of the day going for a boat ride.  Look to see where the others are fishing.  Are they pounding docks, fishing deep breaklines, working large flats?  I'm not suggesting that you crowd into someone else's water, but it should give you an idea of what you should be looking for the next time.

 

At this point, you would be better off thinking of the money you are paying as Tuition rather an Entry Fees.  Make your time on the water a learning experience!

 

X2

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Whats the length limit ? What have the winning weights been ?

The first lake we fish has limits of 12" largemouth and 18" small mouth. The second lake we fish has 15" largemouth and same 18" smallmouth. They both have 12" spot also.

So far the winning weights have been in the 12's. And the second place had been in the 10's.

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Did you pre-fish? If so, what did you learn?

The first tournament I did get a chance to pre fish and caught almost 13 pounds on a spinnerbait in lay downs in shallow pockets and coves. Went out for the tournament and it changed. The second tournament I did not get a chance to prefish and I really wish I would have because I know that may have helped tremendously.

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Just remember that the 5 best win it. I see people who get too caught up on wanting to get a limit, and then target bigger fish to upgrade. This might be a good, "not look bad at the weigh-in" strategy, but it's not a "winning" one. I don't like the idea of wasting some of the best fishing time of the day just trying to get 5 "keepers." What usually happens is you spend more time than you planned getting those 5. If you start with a strategy to target winning fish from the beginning, you will get 5 in the process, if you ever had a chance of winning at all.

 

As far as what those strategies are? There's too much I don't know about where and how you fish. I'll just say; do your research on the body of water you are fishing, how it typically fishes that time of year, etc...; get some maps and formulate a game-plan for how you are going to make efficient use of your practice time; pick Plan A, B, C, etc... (Preferably techniques you are somewhat proficient at. Tournament day is not time to learn a new one, even if it is what everyone claims is red hot that weekend), and go in with confidence.

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It sounds like you simply need some more time in the water and also a few more tournaments under your belt to get comfortable with all the stuff that comes with them...The time limits, competition, fish care, etc are all things that are distracting you, whether you realize it or not. 

 

You found a good pattern but it changed on you before the tournament...Happens to all of us!  With more time on the water you will know when to scrap your plan and go with a backup or make other adjustments as needed. 

 

IMO you have a good goal of trying to put a limit in the boat...As a tournament rookie, I would set that as your first goal and then make progress from there.  I still keep a goal of trying to weigh a limit each tournament day and I've got a ton of tournaments under my belt.  If you don't put 5 fish on the scale, you're leaving weight out there, no matter how small.  The caveat here for me is that I fish a trail with the ultimate goal of AOY, so a poor finish hurts an entire season not just an event.  If you're fishing a single event for the cash only it can change the game. 

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Couple of opportunities to consider as you are probably concentrating on heavily used water.

 

  • Move out a little deeper and concentrate on structure such as  hard wood stumps & trees, larger isolated rocks, man made brush piles, old channel edges and the deep end of points with larger baits e.g. power worms, jigs, large brush hogs etc.
  • Develop and use a  research network for each lake being a personal log or other fishing people that live , work or fish the lake more often than you do.
  • See attached09 update glaze brush.doc

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If all these forumites were fishing a tournament against each other there would only be one winner. Sometimes it  takes a lot of weight to win and sometimes scratching out a limit wins.  

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Sounds like 2lbser for the win. Tva lakes find off shore structure!!! Also prefishing and finding fish is a must!!!

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A good way to ensure a limit in my part of the country is start off in the grass in the morning and throw a texas rig, spinnerbait, or topwater.  Then once the sun comes up or you get a limit start moving to deeper water throwing jigs, deep divers or texas rig. (Unless it is the spawn of course!)

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