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RHuff

Go big or go home

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Last year during my first season of tournament fishing. My goal, each time out, was to catch a limit. I fished patterns that I knew would produce a limit. I got smoked. I was checking in limits but I was getting my total weight doubled by the winners. I finished in the top 3 in the last 3 of 4 events and I narrowly missed winning my last tournament by a hundredth of an ounce. The thing that changed over the course of the season was that as I got more comfortable, I naturally seemed to become more aggressive. Without doing it intentionally, I realized I was targeting bigger fish with a win or go home mindset. Not only did I keep creeping up the scoreboard, I almost won the final event of the season. 

 

This year, I'm going into our season opener with that mindset. I'm going to fish my single day events with a "swing for the fence" mentality. I'm going to target bigger fish from the get go, especially in early low light conditions and then later on in the day if I still don't have a limit, then I will fish for numbers. Weighing in a small limit is the same as weighing in a no limit. Both results in no check. I think I've learned that playing it safe doesn't win bass tournaments. 

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Keep us up-dated . I always tried to catch a lot of average sized bass and kickers would just happen . 

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Then you'll have a tourney where you put two 4 1/2 pounders in the boat by 8am.

Spend the rest of the day trying to duplicate you morning success with no luck and get beat by a couple of kids weighing in five 2 lbers that cruised around the shoreline all day throwing spinnerbaits jamming rap music.....

 

Oh wait, that happened to me

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I always try to fish for 3 big ones and 3 that measure 17.75". Our tourney has a slot limit and only 3 can be over 18"

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1 hour ago, RHuff said:

Last year during my first season of tournament fishing. My goal, each time out, was to catch a limit. I fished patterns that I knew would produce a limit. I got smoked. I was checking in limits but I was getting my total weight doubled by the winners. I finished in the top 3 in the last 3 of 4 events and I narrowly missed winning my last tournament by a hundredth of an ounce. The thing that changed over the course of the season was that as I got more comfortable, I naturally seemed to become more aggressive. Without doing it intentionally, I realized I was targeting bigger fish with a win or go home mindset. Not only did I keep creeping up the scoreboard, I almost won the final event of the season. 

 

This year, I'm going into our season opener with that mindset. I'm going to fish my single day events with a "swing for the fence" mentality. I'm going to target bigger fish from the get go, especially in early low light conditions and then later on in the day if I still don't have a limit, then I will fish for numbers. Weighing in a small limit is the same as weighing in a no limit. Both results in no check. I think I've learned that playing it safe doesn't win bass tournaments. 

You might want to go back to fishing for little ones if MLF/BPT keep taking over !

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This past weekend we swung for the fences and it paid off. I caught a keeper on a jig in the first 5 minutes of fishing. We fished jigs and cranks for the next 4 hrs without a bite. Come 1:00 we knew we had to do something. We completely changed what we were doing. 1:30 my partner caught a 5lber on a dock. Then the wheels started turing. We pulled up to a bank and caught 3 keepers in 30 minutes off this bank. We only caught 6 fish all day but  We ended up weighing 19.52 and getting second. it was an awesome day. That’s the biggest sack I’ve weighed in so far! Now my goal is to bust 20lbs. 

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Won a tournament a few years ago where I caught a keeper (18" limit), almost immediately on a bladed jig. So we spent the rest of the day catching 15-17 3/4" fish on bladed jigs and jigs. With 30 minutes left, we both picked up Ned rigs, and the rest of our keepers and won by almost 2 pounds. 

 

Go big or go home is great, but it's not always the answer either. 

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If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got!

 

I never start out with the mindset of putting any 5 in the livewell. I start out looking for kicker fish, the bigger your kicker fish is the smaller the next four for can be. 

 

If you fish to be a middle of the pack angler you will be a middle of the pack angler!

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Well my go big or go home got me to go home lol. Tourny #1 was TOUGH. 71 boats and 35 did not weigh in a fish. Lake was still at winter draw down around 80 feet. 49-52 degree water and it was blue bird skies with 30mph+ winds... 12lbs won it. Our next tourny is in two weeks on a different lake that is on fire right now with smallmouth. 

 

 

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On 3/20/2019 at 10:44 AM, RHuff said:

Last year during my first season of tournament fishing. My goal, each time out, was to catch a limit. I fished patterns that I knew would produce a limit. I got smoked. I was checking in limits but I was getting my total weight doubled by the winners. I finished in the top 3 in the last 3 of 4 events and I narrowly missed winning my last tournament by a hundredth of an ounce. The thing that changed over the course of the season was that as I got more comfortable, I naturally seemed to become more aggressive. Without doing it intentionally, I realized I was targeting bigger fish with a win or go home mindset. Not only did I keep creeping up the scoreboard, I almost won the final event of the season. 

 

This year, I'm going into our season opener with that mindset. I'm going to fish my single day events with a "swing for the fence" mentality. I'm going to target bigger fish from the get go, especially in early low light conditions and then later on in the day if I still don't have a limit, then I will fish for numbers. Weighing in a small limit is the same as weighing in a no limit. Both results in no check. I think I've learned that playing it safe doesn't win bass tournaments. 

Check out how Chris Lane has done with this approach over the past two seasons. Chris is a top tier Pro and could probably outfish me blindfolded; but Chris is known for trying to GO BIG OR GO HOME....it rarely pans out. So in my opinion don’t worry about winning every event , focus on qualifying for the end season tournaments if that’s an aspect of the trail you fish. Also playing it Safe is or can be a winning strategy over the long haul. Good luck 

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I scrapped my go big or go home 2 hours after blast off. After that I began just trying to buy a bite. I threw squarebills, jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, alabama rig with no success so then I backed off and slowed down and fished the ned rig and drop shot for the rest of the day with no success. Took one on the chin and decided to call it a day and begin preparing for our next tourny. 

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Some days are diamonds, some days are stones, some day you're better off not leaving home!

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On 4/2/2019 at 10:26 AM, RHuff said:

Well my go big or go home got me to go home lol. Tourny #1 was TOUGH. 71 boats and 35 did not weigh in a fish. Lake was still at winter draw down around 80 feet. 49-52 degree water and it was blue bird skies with 30mph+ winds... 12lbs won it. Our next tourny is in two weeks on a different lake that is on fire right now with smallmouth. 

 

 

Ouch. Sounds like you were damned if you do and damned if you don't under those conditions. 

 

 

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I fish for big ones all day in single day events.  It's worked out for me quite a bit.  Most guys I know and compete against, beat the bank with weightless plastics/wacky rigs etc, looking for a limit and hoping for the rogue 4 pounder. It usually pans out that way but it equates to an 11 pound bag, which gets you nada.  Big jig, bladed jig, and frog all day long for me.

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So far this year the just get 5 method has paid off,  a limit in sub 50 water has been a struggle for the field.  Spent last week nedding a 40 yard area for a 3rd place check, if it wasn't for a final hour A-rig bite the 13lbs would have won it.  The top 3 bags didn't have a fish over 3.9.

 

Temps should be in the mid 50's for this week,  so it will be time to swing for the fences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, WVU-SCPA said:

So far this year the just get 5 method has paid off,  a limit in sub 50 water has been a struggle for the field.  Spent last week nedding a 40 yard area for a 3rd place check, if it wasn't for a final hour A-rig bite the 13lbs would have won it.  The top 3 bags didn't have a fish over 3.9.

 

Temps should be in the mid 50's for this week,  so it will be time to swing for the fences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Are you fishing Summersville on Saturday? 

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29 minutes ago, RHuff said:

 

  Are you fishing Summersville on Saturday?  

Negative, only spent 4 years in the great state of West Virginia.  I don't think I ever caught a bass there either...was too focused on trout. 

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29 minutes ago, WVU-SCPA said:

Negative, only spent 4 years in the great state of West Virginia.  I don't think I ever caught a bass there either...was too focused on trout. 

 

 

 Ahh. The way you described last weekend I thought maybe you fished TOD at Sutton and was fishing Summersville this weekend too. 

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Rick Clunn recently made a statement that he didnt fish for big bass and look where it got him . I dont even know how to fish for big bass ,   I fish high percentage spots and catch numbers with kicker thrown in . If I was to put an x on every spot i caught 5 lb plus bass at the lake I frequent there would be x's all over it . 

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Catch big bass when they are catchable on their time table, not yours.

Lure size should be selected to catch bass on what they are feeding on. Throwing big swimbaits when the bass aren't there and feeding elsewhere on threadfin shad or crawdads isn't a good game plan IMO.

Tom

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