In a bass tournament, all the prep work is useless if you don’t execute when given the opportunity. The day before the big event, put fresh line on the rods that need it, retie all your baits, sharpen all the hooks you might use, and set up the boat’s game plan. Prior to this I spent two days prefishing, marking boat roads and driving lanes, studying maps and Google earth. However, it all boils down to putting the fish in the boat when they strike.
My tournament this past weekend was pretty important in gaining some points I needed to make the Championship for the Media Bass North Louisiana Singles Division. Everything started out great; I got to my spot, had no company, and the water temp was up another 2 degrees from 57 assuring me that even more fish should have pulled up into the back of a creek I had found.
My first pass through it did not produce a bite. Not a big deal as I was working a spinnerbait and vibrating Jig trying to get a reaction strike, warmer water? Why not? Turned around and went back through it with the jig that was working before and picked up three, a 3 pounder, a 2 pounder and a 1.5 pounder. I’ll feeling pretty good now. I gave it a break and work back through it, catching another 3 pounder.
Then I hit a dry spell and wasn’t bit for some time. I moved from the creek and worked a flat that I figured if they got in the mood they would pull up on to spawn. In thirty minutes, I lost three fish. Two of them well over three pounds each. That’s fishing. I checked my jig thoroughly; hook is sharp, weed guard is correct, and the knot is tied correctly. Only thing left is my confidence in the bait. Snap out of it and get to fishing again.
I go back to the creek and put my fifth fish in the boat along with two others that just didn’t help. My total weight for the tournament was only 13.20. It took 14 to take a check and only fifteen pounds to take second. First blew it out of the water at 20 pounds. Had I boated either of those 2 pounders I would have been second or third for the tournament. Coulda Shoulda Woulda…
When fishing a tournament, you have to stay focused and alert. The first fish I missed simply caught me off guard. I had pulled my bait over a cypress tree limp, and she hit when I had a lot of slack in my line, poor hook set. The second fish hit while my bait was over a limb as well, felt the tap set the hook and the fight was on. Got her all the way to the boat, had the net out and she turned and just swam away? I have no idea what happened there except it wasn’t in the cards.
Prep work, keep your head straight and execute! That’s what it takes to win tournaments!
Learn More about Mike Cork
As an Amazon Associate Ultimate Bass earns from qualifying purchases.