by Adam Smith –
For any size tournament it is crucial to do your homework! As a boater there is much more put into this but you should still do your fair share as a co-angler to help put you at the top more times than not! When starting to prepare for a tournament you first want to think about how much you already know about the lake you’ll be fishing, if you have a good amount of knowledge already you will not need to prepare as much. I will be basing my example on the FLW Tour Lake Okeechobee tournament coming up in about a month. This is just about the time that I start to prepare. There are many different places that you can find great information.
The first place that I will start my research is at FLW. Here you can find past tournament results and news. This is a huge factor when preparing. I’ll find the lake I’m fishing and research the winning lures, spots and weights for all the tour events, Everstarts Series, and Bass Fishing League (BFL). Even though I can’t control where I’ll be in the tournament, I’ll know what lures go best where and will give you a step up over competition. You can go back almost 20 year in tournament results! Be sure to try and match the dates of the results to when you will be at the lake, if you don’t there is a good chance it could be completely different. Here is a link to FLW, if you have never visited the site before: http://www.flwoutdoors.com/
2.) Next I go under local fishing forums, this is very helpful. You will probably come across people in the forum that have more knowledge on a certain lake than many of your competitors. Many of the people you meet on the fishing forums will help you out. I never ask certain spots, but try and get an idea of the condition of the lake and what techniques are working best for them right now. Try and tell them you are a co-angler and are just looking for basic information. One tip I will give you is to not go all in on what someone will tell you on these forums. You still need to stick to what you have confidence in. This is just to help out your knowledge and give you a better idea of what to do.
3.) The third place I will do my research is websites known for good articles over lakes, structure, vegetation, and conditions. Try and study all these articles to help with different scenarios while out on the water. One of my favorite sites to do this on is through the growing content on EZ Angler. Other sites include Bass Resource, Bass Master.
4.) YOURSELF. A great way to prepare is reading your logs that you have kept in the past from the lake you will be fishing. Of course if you have never fished the lake you cannot do this, but if you have this will help a lot because you can see what works for you! If you haven’t kept logs in the past its fine but start now because some day they will be a huge help.
5.) The fifth way I prepare is pretty simple but most everyone passes it up - being creative!! Try to find information that others do not have and to to do this you must be creative. Don’t stop digging for more. On example of this is finding studies of lakes by colleges, Department of Natural Resources and get into the science part of it to because it will help!
Thanks for reading and Tight Lines!
About Adam Smith:
Adam is one of the true and up- and-comers in tournament bass fishing. A hardcore tournament angler and native of Napoleon, Ohio, Adam fished over 24 tournaments by the age of 18. In 2014, Adam will be fishing the Flw Tour as a Co Angler. His sponsors include Denali Rods, Power Team Lures, Skinny Bear, JJ Bait by Randy Gross, Eco Pro Tungstun, Bluesports Outdoors, and Ez Angler. Be sure to follow him on his website Adamsmithbass.com and Ezangler.