Bass Tournament Confidence

I Fished our MediaBass bass tournament this past Sunday. This circuit draws out our best local fisherman because the payback is very good. Safe light is here, and it’s time to go, I was sitting in my boat with my lifejacket on, kill switched hooked up, and listening for my number to be called. The tournament director calls out your name and number to avoid confusion during blast off. I am number 27 so I have some waiting to do. I hear names being called that are very competitive and usually are in the money in every event they fish.

I know for a fact that many anglers that showed up to fish that day were beat before they even got to their first spot to fish. Simply because they heard those names and let the intimidation factor get into their head and they start worrying about what the other anglers are doing and not paying attention to what the fish are telling them. Most had already put it into their head that they were just fishing hoping to cash a check, winning was not an option just because a couple people showed up that always win?

So many times we practice and find some quality bass, however, come tournament morning you’re an hour into your hot spot and haven’t boated a bass. I will bet that over half the field in any given tournament has donated after this first hour. For the rest of the day, they are thinking about what so and so has, wondering how others are catching bass, when instead they should be thinking about what their bass are doing. If you caught bass in an area 3 or 4 days ago, they didn’t swim to the other end of the lake? They are still there somewhere, and you just have to refine or redirect your pattern. If you’re worried about the other fisherman, you’re not figuring out what your bass are doing.

My number is called, and I take off. Arriving at my first spot I am relieved that I am alone, no one beat me there. I had been catching bass on a spinnerbait slow rolled along some rocky shorelines and was excited to get this pattern going again. The weather had been cooperating, and everything was lined up to be perfect for this pattern to continue to work. However, an hour into my favorite bank line and nothing.

What’s changed? Water temp is down 2 degrees. There are not as many shad in the area; there are some but not as many. The grass that was growing around the rocks is starting to thin out pretty good, and the water is clearer than the previous trip. They don’t want the spinnerbait, which would imitate a shad. The water temp has dropped too 57 degrees, which is still a good range for our bass. Experience tells me that if they won’t take the spinnerbait in this situation then it’s time to break out the cranks and rattle traps. Since there is still some scattered grass, I opted for the rattle trap.

It didn’t take three casts, and I hooked up with a good bass. Within an hour I had a limit, it wasn’t a big limit, but it was a limit. Now it’s time to hunt up some bigger fish. I spent the rest of the day covering water under this pattern while also swimming a jig hoping for a bigger bite. I ended up in 5th place out of 45 and won enough money to double my gas and entry fee.

Instead of worrying about the rest of the field I kept my head down and kept digging, just like my old football coach used to tell me. “You can get anything in life if you keep your head down and dig, but right now I want you to get that !@# Quarterback!!!” Well in this case the Quarterback is the bass, and when you get the Quarterback you get a Win!

I didn’t win this event, but I sure gave it one heck of a run. The points I earned will go nicely towards the end of the standings and hopefully with enough points I’ll be able to fish the national championship!

Get the Net it’s a Hawg
Mike Cork

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