Tournament Preparation


I've had a lot of guys in the kayak world lately ask, "What do you do to prep for a upcoming tournament?" It is a bit of a drawn out process, but can be easily accomplished by going over this short check list.

First, I start at least a week before the tournament, NO LATER. I google map the lake or river I will be fishing just to get a layout of the area that I will be able to reach in a kayak in the given time allowed for the tourney. I usually look at a 5-7 mile area for spring/fall and a 7-10 mile stretch for winter tournaments. I look at structure, docks, points, coves and any other areas I think may hold fish given the time of the year. Whether it be spring and looking for flats or winter and looking for deeper channels and deep docks or points, you have to have a idea where and what your going to be fishing first when the tournament starts.

Once that is settled, then you can concentrate on the fun stuff, like choosing your arsenal of baits for the particular body of water. Once you have a solid game plan of what structure or area you want to fish and the typical water temperature and clarity for the area, then you can base your lure selection on those details. Lure selection of course is usually based on the season, however not all the time. We all know bass are living and HAVE to eat to survive. It's their natural instinct to eat when hungry.

Lure choices should be based on water clarity/temp and forage that is in area you're fishing. You're not going to throw a crawfish pattern on a sandy flat bottom. These are the types of things you want to think about when choosing each lure for the weekend. Later in the week prior to the tournament, I'll begin studying the Navionics and the depths in the area I will be fishing. I usually mark key points, such as depth changes or any "humps" in the bottom that I find along the way.

Usually a day or two before the tournament I get out and paddle and use the Down scan feature on my fish finder to mark areas or structure along the way also keeping track of time needed to get to and from these areas so I can manage my time during the tournament and not kill too much time in one area. Then, the real planning begins. I then have to lay out what I've came up with on paper and make sure the logistics of the trip I've mapped out are possible. I make notes on key areas or structure that I want to hit at given times throughout the day. Certain areas might "heat up" as the sun comes up and some areas might be the go to spot early on while there is not quite as much sunlight.

The night before the tourney I check the weather, barometric pressure, and solunar for the next day. I go over all the lures that I've tied on and check and make sure basically everything is perfect and loaded up. I check my notes one last time before I lay down to sleep and make sure I'm well rested. The next morning I make sure I eat a good breakfast and basically rehearse everything that is about to go down.

This is just my version of a pre-tournament preparation. So it may not be perfect, but it has served me well so far in many tournaments on the water.

Jeremy Williams


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Follow Us