Entering a multi-day bass fishing tournament can be exhilarating and stressful, especially if the fish are initially biting, and then suddenly, they stop. Many are tempted to pull up anchor and try somewhere else. While this may be a useful measure, there might be something that works better: changing lures.
Here are great tips about what has worked for others, including pro angler Mike Iaconelli from his interview in Bass Angler Magazine.
Iaconnelli uses his downtime to study the information about his next tournament’s topography. He studies maps, weather, and any bass fishing reports he can get his hands on for that area. He reviews past weather and water conditions during that time of year.
He also cleans out his boat, inside and out. Organizing his rods, tackle, and lures saves much time when he’s on the water.
DON’T Bring All Your Lures.
Lures come in a multitude of types, colors, and sizes.
Most fishers have over one hundred different types of lures, but it’s ineffective to bring them all with you. First, you won’t have space. Second, you’ll waste time sifting through them. Third, with too many choices, you could spend valuable time vacillating about which one is the best.
Instead, decide on a set number of lures you will bring and stick to that number. Make sure they’re easily accessible from the hatch.
DO Buy “Clean” Lures.
Iaconnelli recommends using lures you know will not snag or require multiple casts to get into tight spots as this is also a time burner.
DON’T Fish Too Long with the Same Lure.
Before the tournament starts, make an agreement with yourself how long you will continue to fish with the same lure. You will need to keep track of the time you reeled in each keeper. If it’s been (x minutes or hours) since your last one, it’s time to change lures.
DO Make Subtle Changes.
Perhaps you change the color or add a rattle if you are staying in the same spot, and the weather hasn’t changed.
DO Remember Fishing Patterns Change as the Weather Changes.
Did it rain hard last night? If so, the water levels may be high, and bass are sensitive to these changes. Wind, heat, sun, and clouds all affect your fishing chances. You’ll need to have a variety of baits on your boat, including jigs, soft plastics, and spinnerbaits.
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