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Preparing For A Bass Tournament
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Preparing For A Bass Tournament

Tips to enjoy a trouble free day on the lake.

There are many little things you can do in preparation for a bass tournament or any trip to the lake, to make it a trouble free and enjoyable day on the water. After all you don't want to get to the lake and find your big motor want crank or there isn't enough juice left in the trolling motor batteries to push your boat around during an average 8-9 hour day of tournament fishing..

Check your fishing log.

It is a great idea to keep a little journal about your day on the water you can refer back to in preparing for a bass tournament. This can be a simple notebook and pencil kept in your boat or vehicle. There is even software available you can load onto your computer to add the information. This can be a very valuable resource over time.

It doesn't have to be all that elaborate. Simple things like weather conditions and water conditions and temperatures. Was it a clear, partly cloudy, or overcast and rainy day. What were your lure choices, area of the lake and techniques used to catch the fish. Even if not so good a day then write that down also.

Boat motor and trolling motor.

When preparing for a bass tournament I always make sure my big motor will crank. Just hit the ignition switch and as soon as it fires then turn in off. Test the tilt and trim on the motor. Is the lower unit oil OK?

It's a good idea to pull the hub and prop off your trolling motor from time to time. Old fishing line and even some moss can get caught up and spun onto the shaft causing the motor to work harder and drain the batteries sooner. It's a good idea to keep an extra trolling motor prop, shear pin, and hub bolt in your boat just incase you loose or break one.

Batteries.

If they aren't sealed or jell cell batteries you will need to check the electrolyte level at least once a month. Fluids are lost during charging and recharging. Once the fluid drops below the inner plates of the battery it may short out and not give proper voltage to the motor or trolling motor. Or not even work at all. Simple testers or volt meter will tell if the battery is holding a proper charge.

Rods and Reels

Test your reels to ensure they are working properly. A small drop of oil on the spool bearings and worm gears works wonders for any reel. Reels are expensive and complicated so a professional cleaning about once a year will help keep it trouble free for many years. Does it have plenty of fishing line on it? Having a correct amount of line on the spool will definitely improve performance and cast ability.

Rods are pretty durable but it's a good idea when preparing for a bass tournament to check and clean the line guides. Many modern line guides on rods have a ring of ceramic around the inside of the guides and do break from time to time. The guides are easily replaced with new ones.

Lure selection.

I always choose which baits to start the day with and have them tied on even before I leave the house. I primarily use bait casting type equipment and but also have at least one lighter spinning rod rigged and ready. I recommend on having several rods for different lures. I usually have at least 5 rods rigged up and more in my boats rod locker. Saves time from having to constantly change baits throughout the day. I usually have a rod rigged for plastics, one or two for crank baits, one for a spinner, one for a jig, and a spinning rod for finesse fishing.

When setting up my rods I always retie every lure on them prior to the tournament. Check for frayed line several feet up from where the lure is tied on. Monofilament lines can weaken and fray over time and use. It's also a good idea to totally replace the line periodically.

Plan your day.

Before even leaving the house you wand to have already decided where start the days tournament and the baits to use when you get there. Mother nature may have other ideas so plan for the unexpected. Windy conditions may force an angler to start in another area. An overnight rain may really muddy up an area. Rainy weather and even pre- or post frontal conditions can really affect bass behavior.

Good preparation for your bass tournament, and planning how you will fish it can really make the difference in your tournament success and may even give you that little edge over the competition. It's the little details that can really make a difference in your tournament success. And with that being said I do have some things to attend to as I do have a bass tournament in the morning. :)


Street Talk

Great advice there is nothing worse than planning a fabulous day on the water and then forget something or not check everything first.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Nothing worse than getting out on the water for some hard core fishing and your battery's are dead or the big motor is not working properly or live well is not pumping water....it is a must to get these things done before getting out on the water....and yes a lunch is a must.....after all it is a live release tournamnets...if not a shore lunch would be in order....lol...lol another informative article Kevin....it make sense and makes your day much more productive....I like the fact of having my lures already tied also and I like to have about 5-6 rods set up too....better than changing in mid stream.....

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Loved it. As an amateur who hasn't cast a line in decades, I was hoping for more prep-advice--what bug repellent, what kind of lunch, cooler, sunscreen--basic stuff, but important (to me, anyhow).

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Well...I did ice down some cokes and a chicken salad sandwich...:)....Thanks for visiting Christopher

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Your article instills a lot of confidence. I grew up by the ocean and my mother's earliest lessons included don't turn your back on the sea. This was just to enjoy a swim, but the message to respect the water is a good one. My dad always tests the motor before leaving home and has been grateful for that on more than one occasion. Brought back some memories. Thanks Kevin.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

That's great Heather..... I love my time when we vacation on the beach but the Ocean does have many more dangers than most lakes and rivers....Glad you enjoyed the article...

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I love the way you expound this subject, I've said it before, I'm not a fisherman, but if you and Wayne are going to get together, count me in, this should be good.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Anytime Rob....:)

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Wayne took my words....I was gonna say the same thing.....Great job. Great article.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks Dr. Becky and appreciate the visit

Reply
  about 8 years ago

We need to exchange notes brother, and prolly some stories (I have good ones!! lol) You are the only person I know that can make a boring bass tournament sound interesting! Thanks

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I do enjoy them Wayne...BTW...I did win..:)

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I agree. A little preparation can go a long ways towards a good fishing trip

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks John

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks! Good tips. Nice article.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks Cynthia

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Sounds like there is a lot to do to prepare for a tournament. Thanks for sharing!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks Rebecca..when I get to the lake I just want to fish with hopefully no unexpected surprises....thanks for visiting..

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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