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#10928492 - 06/19/15 02:11 PM When do you prefish?
everett69 Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 480
Loc: freestone county
If there are no off limits for your tournament when do you like to pre fish? when and why?
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#10928557 - 06/19/15 02:35 PM Re: When do you prefish? [Re: everett69]
Donald Harper Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 12243
Loc: Justin, TX.
It is not so much prefishing it is about selecting a very few lakes and working them as often as you can fish. Spreading yourself thin over many lakes will only make you a contributor to the tournament pot. Start with one lake fish it until you can win on it and only fish tournaments on it. Then move on to the next lake. Winning is about being able to keep up with the fish and always knowing where they are going to be. Getting them to bite is a different story.

Your odds of getting bit is much greater if you have 3 levels of fishing structure to go to and several places at each level.
- The shoreline cover for top water and the early morning bit. You will have time to make two of these spots every morning to get your 5 keepers in the boat. Your partner should be throwing something different like a spinner bait or crank bait. Picking up a couple of good fish is the key in these spots. Don't settle just for spots that produce fish. You are looking for the big bass in the cover close to deep water that will stay there for a long time. Every lake has a couple of these spots; you just have to find them.
- Moving to the second drop and fish the last line of brush. The bass in these spots will also remain there for a longer period of time. There is an abundance of these places now that the lakes have filled; so many hours must be spent to fine two or three of these mid depth areas that are holding fish.
- Finish on the deep structure where the big bass live. Work the maps, fish the contours, and learn to be able to stay out there in the wind. Learn every irregular feature that your lake has to offer in 20 to 30 ft. of water.
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#10928575 - 06/19/15 02:43 PM Re: When do you prefish? [Re: everett69]
Donald Harper Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 12243
Loc: Justin, TX.
To specifically answer your question; I do not like to catch the big fish the day before the tournament and it happens many times. Shaking fish off doesn't tell you what size they are. Size is everything. Do your work all year long. Find those best spots and saver them for tournament day.
_________________________
Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.

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Shallow Water Mapping - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic



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#10928940 - 06/19/15 05:02 PM Re: When do you prefish? [Re: everett69]
Outdoordude Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1959
I like fishing trails rather than sticking to one lake all year. I usually go a week or two in advance trying a variety of things and focusing on one area of the lake, basically trying to establish a pattern more than "spots." A spot may or may not work on a given day, or even a given time of day, but patterns usually hold together consistently in the summer and winter. Once a pattern of quality fish is found, and hopefully more than one pattern, I'll scout the entire lake to find spots the match the patterns and save them to memory or waypoints. When the tournament comes, I'll pick which pattern and set of spots matches the weather conditions and see what the fish are up to that day. In the spring and fall, I try to figure out what stage the fish are along their migration routes first. Then, find nearby places where the fish will probably be by the time the tournament gets there. Not that I'm a reputable source, but I do read what the pros say about their approaches to scouting. A common phrase is "burn a lot of gas," meaning see as much of the lake as you can.

I prefer scouting a week or two in advance because I don't want to stick fish that could help me during the tournament and because I feel a little less rushed/pressured when the event is still a week or two away.

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#10928964 - 06/19/15 05:24 PM Re: When do you prefish? [Re: everett69]
bassdoode Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 02/06/12
Posts: 593
when i pre-fish i try to get on the lake as many times as i can prior to the tournament and as close to the tournament as possible. many people will be prefishing the lake before the tournament as well, so fishing the lake the day before will give you an idea on how the fish might react during the tournament due to the pressure put on the lake during the days leading up to it. I will fish a spot, and see if i get bit. catch one or two on a spot and then move to the next.


Edited by bassboy22 (06/19/15 05:29 PM)

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#10929124 - 06/19/15 07:13 PM Re: When do you prefish? [Re: bassdoode]
everett69 Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 480
Loc: freestone county
I fish a club and we fish a different lake every month, we choose a lake and then have three weeks before the tournament. Mr Harper I understand completely what your saying but that wouldn't help me in the aoy standings. Lol I have a tournament in the morning and I went today, don't know if you would call it prefishing or scouting. I did fish some but mostly checked on water conditions and clarity and then spent time graphing looking for fish deeper. I did catch two fish absolutely trying not to hook them. I never set the hook and still couldn't get them to let go. It's tough finding fish and trying not to catch them. Lol just was courious what most of you do.


Edited by everett69 (06/19/15 08:07 PM)
Edit Reason: Typo
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#10929400 - 06/19/15 09:46 PM Re: When do you prefish? [Re: everett69]
Der Vorsteher™ Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/11
Posts: 20772
Loc: The 903
I haven't fished tournies much the last few years. The ones I do fish are actually all up in Massachusetts because I spend my whole summer there. I fish with my BIL as a back seater or we team fish. I always do very well in tournaments with him because he, as Donald said, has narrowed it down to about 6 or 7 lakes and he knows them inside out. The advantage there is the lakes are small, the biggest one we fish is about 800 acres. So it doesn't take long to graph them and he knows them all. Momma didnt raise no fool. I watch what he is doing and do the same thing and always have success. I have twice lost ABA tournaments due to losing good ones but he had us on them. I just recently got another boat and had side scan installed so I plan on going to a couple of lakes and not even taking a rod, just drive around and graph the lakes and learn them as best I can.


Edited by Der Vorsteher™ (06/19/15 09:47 PM)
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#10929445 - 06/19/15 10:10 PM Re: When do you prefish? [Re: everett69]
Chasin Hogs Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 2622
Loc: Earth
I usually get online 2 weeks before
a tournament and tell everyone I'm
takin my kids out and need tips.

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#10929452 - 06/19/15 10:16 PM Re: When do you prefish? [Re: everett69]
bassdoode Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 02/06/12
Posts: 593
Originally Posted By: everett69
I fish a club and we fish a different lake every month, we choose a lake and then have three weeks before the tournament. Mr Harper I understand completely what your saying but that wouldn't help me in the aoy standings. Lol I have a tournament in the morning and I went today, don't know if you would call it prefishing or scouting. I did fish some but mostly checked on water conditions and clarity and then spent time graphing looking for fish deeper. I did catch two fish absolutely trying not to hook them. I never set the hook and still couldn't get them to let go. It's tough finding fish and trying not to catch them. Lol just was courious what most of you do.
thats exactly what pre-fishing is for me, scouting. even if i don't get bit it helps to see the structure and get a feel for the lake. good luck in your tournament!

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#10929586 - 06/19/15 11:44 PM Re: When do you prefish? [Re: Chasin Hogs]
Razorback Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 08/31/01
Posts: 3435
Loc: Tyler, TX, USA
Originally Posted By: Chasin Hogs
I usually get online 2 weeks before
a tournament and tell everyone I'm
takin my kids out and need tips.


You forgot your grampa who suffered burns over 80% of his body pulling blind school kids out of a burning bus...LOL.

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#10931009 - 06/21/15 07:27 AM Re: When do you prefish? [Re: everett69]
Big Red 12 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 45340
Loc: Crandall, TX
I try to prefish the day before if permitted. Sometimes two days before if I have the time. I want as close to the conditions I will be fishing on the tournament as possible. Many times it is a process of eliminating water as opposed to finding fish. I don't want to fish dead water and waste time on the tournament day. I just need to get them in the boat. Snake bit on getting them in the boat the last two tournaments. Enough to have won the last two tournaments.
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#10935167 - 06/23/15 12:21 PM Re: When do you prefish? [Re: everett69]
Razorback Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 08/31/01
Posts: 3435
Loc: Tyler, TX, USA
I don't like to prefish the day before the tournament because then I'm rushed to get everything ready for the next morning...especially if I have to go to a pre-tournament meeting that night. I would rather fish two or three days before. That gives me time to go buy anything I decide I will need as well as get the batteries charged, re-tie everything, and have a day or so to rest before tournament day.

Unfortunately the circuit I fish voted in off-limits Monday-Thursday of tournament week this year. The weather was terrible on a couple of the official pre-fishing Fridays. That's another consideration...not having to pre-fish in sleet, rain, or high wind.

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