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BackwaterBassin

Tournament Necessities

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I was wondering what is all needed for fishing bass tournaments? I already have a nice scale and measuring board, what else is needed? And for a weigh bag, what do you guys recommend?

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Backwater, you prepare for a tournament weeks before. Here are some of the things you can do:

 

1.  Maps. Get a paper map of the water you will be fishing and study it. Look at the contour lines, creeks, sunken boats, roadways, ramps, bathroom facilities, hazards, and anything else you can see on the map. Find the blast off area and anything you can see or consider shown on the paper map. Mark it up with different colored markers so noting the places that are of interest to you. And then after the tournament mark it up as to where you went and if you caught anything.

 

2.  Go to Google Earth and view the water from above. Look for places you found on the map that are of interest to you or places that the map is not showing. Study the Google Earth maps to get another feel of the waters.

 

3.  Recon the blast off sight. This means getting into your vehicle, putting the address of the ramp into your GPS, and driving to the ramp. Remember two things: First, the ramp may not have an address so you do what you can to get as close as you can; and second, you will be driving to the ramp in the dark on tournament day so you want to have a basic idea of how to get to the ramp without getting lost. Finding the ramps can be easier said then done. Worth every penny of gas for the peace of mind in finding the ramp.

 

4. At the ramp, check it out and be sure to double check if there is a ramp fee so you will have the exact amount. Have a pen with you to fill out the parking pass data. Check out the parking areas and how the ramp is designed. Look for the port-a-potties or rest room faculties. Check out any lights on light poles to help you launch in the dark. And see if there is a place for you to park your boat as you wait for first light and blast off.

 

5.  Do all of your research on the body of water, focusing on baitfish and crawfish. What do the fish eat? What bait would mimic the forage the best? What bait colors depending on the water clarity? Try to keep it simple as you can really drive yourself nuts if you take too many baits.

 

6.  Presentations. How many rod and reel setups do you need? What would work best: baitcasters or spinning rigs or a combination of both? Remember, room is scarce on a bass boat and having too many rods and reels can really make a lot of clutter and mess up your mind.

 

7.  Line cutter, needle nose pliers, strap to hold your glasses, polarized sunglasses, a cap, sunscreen, one extra baitcaster and one extra spinning reel spooled and ready to go in case one of the ones you have breaks, hand held scale, hand towel, lunch, snacks, bottled water, ice packets to keep food cold in your small soft sided cooler, JJ's Magic for color, MegaStrike for scent, and anything you usually take with you when bank fishing.

 

8.  Know how to net a fish. It is easy but it can be difficult at times and extremely stressful. Ask the boater where he keeps the net and to get it out at blastoff so you can have easy access to it.

 

9.  Your tackle boxes with the baits you will be throwing in a special tackle box. You have to plan what you are going to throw first, second, third, etc. So you start with topwaters; go with spinnerbaits; then hit wood and creek mouths with plastics. You set up your patterns and fish them until they stop working and you go with something else. Be ready to change if the setups you start with do not work.

 

10.  Many tournaments ask you to use their weigh-in bags. If you can use your own, go to a local tackle shop and see what is available, with the understanding that they will have leaks in them as the bass' fins puncture the sides with small holes.

 

11. Float Plan. Leave a "Float Plan" at home so your family member will know where you were going, what time to expect you back, and the cell phone number so of others fishing the tournament or your boater in case of emergencies. Always do a "Float Plan" for every outing on the water. Even non-tournament fishing.

 

Plan. Plan and then go back and plan again. Be ready to change baits, colors, and techniques as the ones you select prior to being on he water will probably fail during the tournament. Happens to all of us. Just don't load yourself down with 50 pounds of baits, ten  to fifteen rods, and a picnic basket.

 

You will find that no matter how much gear you bring, you will settle down to two or three baitcasters/spinning combos and two or three plastics and hard baits. It is going to boil down to confidence in what you are throwing during the tournament.

 

So start planning to be a tournament guy. Think through a day on the water in detail and what you will need. Always bring your needle nose pliers and your fishing license. Two very important and simple things that we forget.

 

And remember, the above items are a start. As you get deeper and deeper into tournament fishing you will know what works best on what waters during what times of the year and weather conditons.

 

Good luck.

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Don't be the guy who forgets his PFD.

Download Navionics onto your phone.

 

 

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Everyone thinks in terms of what tackle do I need to catch bass during a tournament.

The difference between a weekend angler and earning a check tournament fishing is catching every bass you hook, can't weigh them if they are not in the boat. Everyone can lose a bass and it happens, but during a tournament the one that got away is always remembered and is usually the difference maker.

So what is the most important item between you catching and losing bass? Line.

Always respool your reels with fresh new line appropriate for the presentations you plan to use. Line is your connection between you and the bass.

Sharp hooks are next, make sure your hooks are sharp and strong. Never start tournament fishing without re tieing new sharp hooks and checking each treble hook before re tieing lures with trebles. 

Fresh line, sharp hooks and correctly tied fresh knots are essential to catching and landing every bass, that is your goal.

Tom

 

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Man you opened a can worms are you fishing as a boater or non boater? There are tons of similar post to this on here. I’d say on a side not don’t forget water and sun screen. Two things easily overlooked in the fall that can lead to an unpleasant day.

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