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Clark Stewart

12 hour night tourney

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My wife told me that her uncle may fish a 12 hour, 7p-7a tourney up in North Alabama this coming saturday - that if he didn't have a partner he didn't have a partner he wanted me to fish it with him. We heard this from his wife who said he keeps flip flopping over whether or not to fish it so we don't know about partners or lakes or anything.

That being said how would you fish a 12 hour tourney? It sounds awesome to me for this reason. You could catch a quick limit and then spend 8 hours culling for the big bite. I'm an optimist but confidence is what our sport is all about. That being said i don't think we'd have trouble finding fish to cull. But how would you guys fish it? Seems awesome to me. I feel good about our odds as he is a semi-pro tourney guy. He's fished stren and flw for years and got a few invites to no boat on the bass tour. I've learned a lot from him.

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it can be great unless you have one like we did this past weekend. 2 bites in 12 hours. 12 pounds won, 4 pounds came in 2nd and half the field zeroed. not much fun.

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The 12 hour 'ironman' tournaments give you the best of several worlds. You get the dusk bite, the late night shad bite and the topwater morning bite. You just have to be in position to be on the fish when the bite turns on.

Make sure you've got good batteries and they are fully charged. A 12 hour marathon with lights going, livewells going and blacklights and such will run the batteries down fast.

Take a light that you can clip on your hat too. It's a real challenge trying to tie a palomar in the dark.

As for baits, I'm not one that is obsessive about using dark colors at night but I do generally throw bigger baits that move lots of water.

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I always carry a jump pack with me. I run my black light off of it. I missed a weigh in once when the crankin battery was dead.

I have optima batteries now :::knocking on wood::: I believe it is dern near impossible to kill them! But I still carry that jump pack for the long night tourneys.

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Pace yourself - from 2 am till sun rise will feel like 12 hours ;)

Putting 5 in the boat early is always nice but I tend to target areas known for quality over quantity.

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Our club is renowned for it's 12 hour marathons during the summer at night, till this year that is we are only having one.  If the fish are biting and you can get 3-4/hour and keep your interest peeked then it will go by fairly easily.   I do recommend taking along a couple of 5-hour energy's and not RedBull or any of the other dozens of "energy" drinks.  I usually wait till around 3:00 or later to drink it since it is not usually hard to stay up that late without getting tired.   Also don't forget the drinks (water) and something to eat.  

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Vey good info in the above posts, I fished my first Night tourney a few weeks ago and i thought the same thing it should be good we get the night bite and early morning bite, I had never fished the lake before and was going as a non boater(draw trail). That would be the first thing i would do differently is prefish the lake, you have morning/night bites but you need to be on the fish at the right times. The first fish i caught was about thirty minutes into fishing a small keeper just over 12 inches, the sun went down and i did not get another bite untill around 2a.m. a smallmouth on a jitterbug, to small to keep. fishing was extremley slow my boater did not land a fish or even get a bitein 12 hours. Next advice was already mentioned by Urleybay, keep your batteries charged. The boat i was on( a brand new skeeter)cranking battery died, after connecting one of the trolling motor batterys we got back to the launch one keeper in the boat :( a booster pack may be a good idea to bring just in case.

good luck

-matt-

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I find night tournaments to suck 85% of the time, be ok 10% of the time,  and good 5% of the time.

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