Ultimate Bass

Bass Tournament Pre fishing

Prefishing seems to baffle a lot of novice bass tournament anglers. The word prefishing is confusing. The better way to think of it is preparing. When you are fishing a tournament at a brand new lake, the actual fishing part of it is…

Prefishing seems to baffle a lot of novice bass tournament anglers. The word prefishing is confusing. The better way to think of it is preparing. When you are fishing a tournament at a brand new lake, the actual fishing part of it is…

Prefishing seems to baffle a lot of novice bass tournament anglers. The word prefishing is confusing. The better way to think of it is preparing. When you are fishing a tournament at a brand new lake, the actual fishing part of it is a very small amount of the time spent prefishing. A professional angler spends about 10 hrs researching to every hour of fishing. Let’s take a look at the steps needed to be successful.

Step 1

Order maps! Get on line and Google the body of water and you should be able to find every map source available. You want to get every map available to you for that body of water. I know this sounds like overkill but once you get the maps you will see the wide range of info available on each map will be slightly different. If you just buy one map you will miss a lot of valuable information. Maps are available in a wide range of prices. Starting at $4.99 for your typical low end weekender map and go as high as $150 plus for the top of the line book style maps with nearly every piece of cover on the lake mapped out for you in GPS coordinates along with landmarks and lineups to accurately fish every piece of cover in the lake. If you are fishing your local club these higher end maps are probably not necessary, but if there are thousands of dollars on the line they are absolutely necessary.

Step 2

While you are waiting on your maps to arrive in the mail; get out your pen and pad and start researching the internet. You will want to go through these steps with multiple search engines. My favorite is Google, but I will use many, because you will find new info on each one. You want to research the water for reports for the month prior during and after the month of your tournament. This will allow you to do two things. It will prepare you for the varying seasonal conditions and it will allow you to get a good idea of how the fish move in the lake you are going to be fishing. I organize my info as to water temperatures, location and baits. While you are researching you can get a good feel for the people giving the info. Just watch how the other anglers on the site react to them.

Step 3

Your maps have arrived! Start studying them for irregularities. This is where you will find structure that other anglers miss. I like to go through them and pick the worst one and use it to mark up. I will take info from all the other maps and transfer it to this one. Then I will start taking my researched info and transfer it over. This will start giving you a visual pattern to look at. From this you can start forming a prefishing plan. Make a list of areas that look like they will produce from your map and stick to them.

Step 4

You arrive at the lake. Go talk to the local tackle shops and marinas. They should be able to give you a good idea of what the current patterns are. You will be surprised at how much good info you can get from the local tackle stores. Now put your boat in the water and start checking your spots. Once you pattern the fish and have caught a few, that will give you an idea of the size fish in that area, go to your next spot. Do not sore mouth any more fish than you have to.

Step 5

This is the most important thing you need do while prefishing. Now that you have your fish located, you need to come up with an alternate plan for adverse weather. Where is the first deep water your fish will move to should a cold front arrive. Most of this can be done with your map. But it is always a good practice to go locate these spots in your boat and set waypoints. This will save valuable time on tournament morning.

This should give you the basic tools to make a great plan for tournament day, or even a great start to fishing new water.

See you on the water!

Shawn



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