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chappy

Hope to start tournament fishing soon...

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Looking for any tips that you can provide.  What are the basic essentials that I may have looked over in getting everything together?  

I have pre-fished many tournaments with my brother before but never have had the availability to make the actual tournament.

Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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Stuff you can NOT do without

Fluids: have drinks with you ...water...lemon aid ...ice tea...coffee... juice...etc... You get the idea... replacing fluids is very important

Snacks: you will need munchies... take them... only you know what you like be sure to have them

Sun glasses: spare sunglass, you do not need to spend a small fortune for them. Wal-Mart and Kmart sell them for under $15.00.

Sunscreen: skin protection is very important. If you are not careful the sun can and will kill you. Skin cancer is no joke. Fishing in the winter you still need to be careful.

Clothing: have the proper outer garments for the conditions. I would like to suggest a set of insulated rain suit. It will protect you from the wind and rain on cold days. A second set for milder climate.

Music roll: definition toilet paper

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Stuff you can NOT do without

Fluids: have drinks with you ...water...lemon aid ...ice tea...coffee... juice...etc... You get the idea... replacing fluids is very important

Snacks: you will need munchies... take them... only you know what you like be sure to have them

Sun glasses: spare sunglass, you do not need to spend a small fortune for them. Wal-Mart and Kmart sell them for under $15.00. (Polarized)

Sunscreen: skin protection is very important. If you are not careful the sun can and will kill you. Skin cancer is no joke. Fishing in the winter you still need to be careful. (Get the sports sunscreen and make sure you cover the tops of your ears. Can also purchase a fishing hat from BPS that covers the ears)

Clothing: have the proper outer garments for the conditions. I would like to suggest a set of insulated rain suit. It will protect you from the wind and rain on cold days. A second set for milder climate. (Definately)

Music roll: definition toilet paper[/quote

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need to take a good attitude too... tournament fishing is a lot different than going out and fishing with your kin... I go soooo frustrated when I first started tournament fishing that I almost quit the club... I couldn't BUY a bite... but I figured "bump it" and just didn't sweat it and enjoyed being out on the boat with my buds and next thing you know... I have a trophy on my mantle and a check for a couple of hundred bucks...

just my .02

AL

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Don't forget it's just fishing...........it should be fun. For some reason bass tournaments can bring out the worst in people.

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Thanks all,

I think I am going to wait it out until the start of next year.  Get some time in on the lakes in the Texas area.  New region for me so different water.  

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Fishing Fishing Fishing!!! If it becomes work you'll hate it!!! I haved fished two clubs for 2 years. This year I'm gonna fish a tourney on Sat. It'll be my 5 for the year!! Can't live on tourney fishing, wish i was van damme and could but when the tourneys come to be work you'll lose it!!! But when ya get the bite and it's a good one your gonna be in  7th heaven!!! Nothing better than betting your buds just don't get cocky about it!!

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Chappy,

Planning.  Lots of prefishing planning.

And details. Pay extra attention to the details.

Here are some suggestions based on my experiences tournament fishing.

Get a map of the waters being fished.

Get two or three maps of the waters being fished.

Study them.  Look for dropoffs, humps, points, stump fields, pilings, sunken boats, navigation hazards, coves, pockets, underground roads, small feeder creeks entering larger creeks; marinas; and so on.

Visit the body of water and look for boat houses, docks, piers, grass, wood, pads, flats, bends and everything you saw on the maps.

Then map out an area about consisting of one or two miles to fish so you will not be running all over the body of water trying to find fish or other places to fish unless you know those places hold fish.

Talk to locals or find a blog regarding the body of water you will be fishing to get some ideas as to where to goand what to throw. Do not ask for exact details but more of an interest in a macro-sort-of-way, as opposed to a micro-sort-of-way.

Google the body of water to see what you can find.

Look through past issues of magazines to read what the writers say about your body of water and time of year you will be fishing.

Call your Wildlife and Fisheries and ask them if there is a Conservation Officer who patrols the body of water and if so, can you call and speak with him about the waters, the launch site and what to throw and where to go.

Ask quesitons on this site about where you will be fishing.  You will be surprised at the number of responses and suggestions you will get. And the guys on this site know more than you would ever think about specific bodies of water and seasonal fishing.

Make sure you have everything you need on your boat as per the federal and state regulations and laws. Even to the point of having a throw cushion out in the open. You do not want to get a ticket and be DQ'ed.

Watch wake zones and speed limits if they are on the body of water.

Wear your PFD when under power.

SPOOL WITH FRESH LINE.

I cannot say that enough: SPOOL ALL REELS WITH FRESH LINE.

This is a must when you go tournament fishing.

CONSTANTLY CHECK LINE FOR KNICKS, CUTS AND ABRAISIONS.  Remove them.

CHECK AND RETIE KNOTS AFTER ONE OR TWO FISH.

BRING ADDITIONAL BAITCASTERS WITH YOU TO CHANGE THEM FOR ONES THAT GET BAD BACKLASHES.

HAVE ADDITIONAL SPINNING REELS ON BOAT IN CASE YOU NEED TO REPLACE A SPINNING REEL DUE TO LINE TWIST OR IF IT BREAKS.

Have all baits organized. You may want to put the hard baits you will be expecting to throw the most, along with its tackle, in one tackle box and have your favorite plastics in one place for easy retrieve and a special tackle box with the plastics' terminal tackle in it.

Tell your partner where the net is located.  It is a disaster to hook into a lunker only to find out that your partner has no idea where you stow the net.  And if you are alone, have the net ready to go where you know where it is.  And don't forget to bring the net, too.  ;D

Tell partner to go slow in boat and not make any noise when moving to net a fish.  You do the same. A LMB will panic if you make too much noise when landing him and she will snap your line or throw your bait.

Have a valid fishing license WITH YOU.

Leave wallet at home and put drivers' license, a credit card, your group health insurance card and your fishing license in your pocket along with some cash. If you have AAA add that card to your collection.

Put a strap around your head to hold your POLARIZED SUN GLASSES so they will not fall into the water.

Put cell phone in one of the lockers and NOT IN YOUR SHIRT POCKET.

Have pliers and sissors ready to use.  I put them in an electrician's belt around my waist so I know where they are and can get to them easily.

Have rain gear on boat if there is a chance it will rain.

Have extra set of clothes on boat or in vehicle in case you get wet.

Have extra battery, charged and ready to go, in your truck.  I have been tournament fishing when we had to stop and go back to the ramp store buy a battery.

Have own plastic bag to carry fish to weigh station from boat for weigh-in.

Check out boat three days before the tournament by testing the trolling motor, lights, and making sure the motor starts.

Check batteries and have them charged to the max.

Check air pressure in trailer tires and make sure trailer lights work.

Check engine oil.  DO NOT FORGET TO CHECK ENGINE OIL.

Fill up boat the night before the tournament so you will not have to stop at a gasoline station on the way to the tournament.

Get to launch site early; launch boat ASAP and tie her to dock; have exact amount of fees ready to pay; be courteous to others; and have a fun time.

And do all of the other stuff they guys tell you.

Set everything up a few days before the tournament.  Make yourself a checklist.  The day before the tournament is not the day to remember to start getting ready for the tournament.

And when you are on the water it is a bad situation when you remember that you left _________ at home or in the truck. So think about being on the water and what you will need during the week before the tournament and add it to your checklist.

Good luck and let us know how you do ;)

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Chappy,

One last suggestion.

PUT  THE  PLUG  IN  THE  BOAT  THE  NIGHT  BEFORE  THE  TOURNAMENT.

Don't forget to put the plug in the boat before you leave for the tournament.

It is embarassing to forget to put the plug in the boat.

Now how would I know?

No idea.  :)

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