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Tournament Strats?

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I have a few more tournaments before I go to the championship in April. I'm just scraping by with the things I'm doing to catch fish in the 8 hours I get to fish for the LMBs. I'm currently sitting at 17th out of 115 boats in my tournament trail. Just would like to see how other tournament anglers break down a lake. Since of school, I only have Friday to pre fish. So guys lemme know what you guys do. I'm all about trying to figure out a easier way to catch fish. It's really hard for me this past few weeks.

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There is sooooooo much that goes into dissecting a lake or river that it would be impossible to have a set plan in place before you go out.  It would depend on so many factors, time of year, location, water temp, water clarity, seasonal pattern, and on and on.......I have said in the past, when guiding, every day is like a tournament and I start with a clean slate.  I consider the day like a 500 piece puzzle and start putting the pieces together.  The more of the pieces I can get, the clearer the picture and the better chance I have on finding fish.  

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5 hours ago, TOXIC said:

There is sooooooo much that goes into dissecting a lake or river that it would be impossible to have a set plan in place before you go out.  It would depend on so many factors, time of year, location, water temp, water clarity, seasonal pattern, and on and on.......I have said in the past, when guiding, every day is like a tournament and I start with a clean slate.  I consider the day like a 500 piece puzzle and start putting the pieces together.  The more of the pieces I can get, the clearer the picture and the better chance I have on finding fish.  

Thanks I will try to look at it that way. 👍 I'll just a have to fish hard and just grind.

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One of my things is divide the lake into thirds. Lower, middle and upper. Do your map study on Navonics and go check out the areas you find interesting (humps, points, flats and structure). I check for water clarity in each of the thirds and the presence of bait/bass food. One of the most key items I look for is vegetation. Does it have pretty green growing healthy plants? If it does you can almost bet there is bass there.

Good luck,

FM

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Okay take this with a grain of salt since i have never fished a tournament but my approach would be this. Since you only have one day to fish i would take the Gerald Swindle approach to practice and cover as much water as humanly possible. Depending on the time of year and location of the lake you can probably eliminate some presentations, which can also eliminate parts of the water column. Study each lake as much as you can online before going, but at the same time don't stick to any preconceived notions of what they might be on. This is one of the most important things to remember, you are always going to need to be flexible in your game plan, sticking to something that isn't working can hurt a lot more than it can help at times.

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Are you fishing Ross Barnett Reservoir? When is the tournament?

Looking at a lake map to determine where the largemouth bass should be during early winter seasonal period is what I would to start with. Ross Barnett looks like a tough winter lake to me because it's shallow and wide with little structure elements. You 2 choices IMO 1) jigs or T-ririgged soft plastics targeting wood and any rock areas, 2) shallow crankbait like a square bill to cover water faster targeting the same type of wood or rock areas. Baitfish are the prey that the square bill replecates and crawdads with jigs and worms. 

I would try to eliminate where the bass are not located during practice to determine where they located. The center of this lake has a creek arm, I would start there and meter both points and channel working the windy side first and try both presentations. Next I would run to the dam area and meter it then try similar the same lures and if they don't work it's trail and error until you find something the bass react to. Deeper structure lake I would add structure spoons if Shad are the baitfish, Barnett looks too shallow, 8' deep, for spoons to me.

Tournament fishing is about time management and using lure and presentation you are confident with and fish where you know has bass.

Good luck,

Tom

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After my recent disastrous trip to Table rock Lake I would look for some stained water so I could fish shallow and cover water .😖

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I would spend the day graphing areas & marking fish.

 

Do not! Stick any fish! 

 

Put together a milk run of at least dozen or more spots. 

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On a big body of water I like to take one arm that seems to have it all and learn it.  Only way I know to help fish against local knowledge.

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