Tournament Angler Guide
Fine-tuning your tournament fishing approach SOUTHERN BAY
When it comes to tournament fishing, successful anglers are always looking for that edge to get one up on their competitors. Quite often, it can be the subtle differences that can make or break a tournament result. If you have been in the scenario before, you would know full well how much of a change one bite can make to your day’s fishing. Catching that kicker fish is not just a gain on the scoreboard, it’s also a mental gain. Once that fish is in the well, your tone changes, your thought process changes, and you suddenly feel more energized. You are far more attentive and you know you are back in the game; it’s amazing what adrenaline can do! So how can you increase the chances of this happening? When competing against a high quality field of anglers, there aren’t too many 4
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secrets, everyone is using the same lures, techniques and more often than not, fishing the same areas. Being able to find a niche and zone into a pattern is what will make you stand out. So here are a few ideas that can help get you a step ahead I won’t go into too much detail (I could fill up a book), but my hope is that this will start a change of thought process to get you thinking of ways you can give yourself an edge. DO YOUR HOMEWORK While it will ultimately come down to tournament day, putting in the early preparation work will reap dividends when it counts. Often anglers will associate the early prep work with fishing new systems, or systems that you may not regularly fish. Early preparation, even for local events, is a great starting point, as it helps get you thinking and in the right frame of mind. Resources such as Google Earth, Nearmap and Marine Maps are all great places to start. If you have access to Nearmap, it provides amazingly detailed
satellite imagery and is great for finding new fishy areas. I like to look at the moon phase, tides and also look at weather patterns. These are all variables that will affect your event, and understanding them and learning how to adapt if this changes is very important. Looking through previous tournament results is also a good idea, as this will help when it comes to lure selection, and give you an idea of what to expect for the time of year. Stock up on the gear you love. I’m sure there are a number of anglers who have been left short of their favourite lures due to them being sold out. A good example is the Cranka Crab – a must-have on the bream tournament circuit. It is also a lure that at times has been hard to come by. Whatever it is, be sure to get it well in advance to save you scrambling around the week before the tournament! Keep your fishing gear organised. Store your lures neatly, ensuring they are rust-free and ready to use. Having all your gear neatly
Storing everything so you can find it easily will ultimately mean more time spent fishing and not rummaging around in the boat.
packed in the boat means that when you need to find a particular lure or tool, you can easily get to it. There is nothing worse than having to go through the whole boat to find that pair of split ring pliers or that pack of trebles that you were sure you packed! Being organised will save you time on the water. UNDERWATER EYES It’s hard to ignore the technological advances in fish finders these days – it’s an important aspect to anyone’s fishing. A quick look through the boats at a tournament and you will quickly see that the majority of anglers are kitted out with some of the latest and greatest gear. Some anglers will never use their sounder to its full potential and some will rarely take it off the GPS screen. Sounders are our eyes under the water, and in my opinion, heavily under-used when it comes to tournament fishing, especially in the bream circuit. Here’s a few ways you can make the most of the technology. Side Scan Technology