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Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys #13263982 08/29/19 06:55 PM
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texasfisherman1 Online Content OP
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I was curious if anyone's practice strategies change for big bass events. Planning on fishing fork a good 3 days or so before the sealy's.

Do you find any merit in shaking fish off/no hook at Fork?

Appreciate it

Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: texasfisherman1] #13264006 08/29/19 07:24 PM
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Odds of me hooking a 24in fish is so low, I just try to find fish in as many places as possible. Because every good spot will have 10 boats on it, so I try to find as many places as possible. I put them in the boat everytime. I caught some drum one time I thought were big fish, but you don't know unless they get to the boat. I don't stay though once I start catching them.

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: texasfisherman1] #13264020 08/29/19 07:35 PM
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Big Fish are very Leary and if you hook one just prior to the tournament it will be very difficult to get that fish to bite again. Over time they become less cautious and you can catch them again using the same technique.Three days out from competition in my opinion is not enough time for them to forget. Keep in mind that usually a big fish is very hard to catch because they are well educated or live in places with limited fishing pressure. Fork gets a lot of pressure and the Big Bass are well educated.
Likely to catch one they must be actively feeding or have just chomped down on some bait fish. You got to get one to make a mistake while they are feeding. The other strategy is to have confidence you have located a piece of structure that is hold a big fish and meticulously pick that structure apart at different angles. When you feel like a big fish is looking at your bait dead stick it some much slower than you normally fish. Just let it sit there. If that does not work try to get a reaction strike by using a sharp twitching action but try not to move the bait very far. very short but crisp twitches.
This is my experience: while pre-fishing if I do not allow the fish to feel my hook - I have been able to go back during competition day and catch that same fish!
If you don't want to ruin a bait you can strip the plastic covering off of electrical wires then cut them into 1/2 inch sections and place the tubular section over your hook points. When you are ready to fish the tournament the sections can easily be removed from your hooks. This will maintain the proper action and lure weight. Be careful not to alter the action, weight, or profile from what works pre fishing to tournament day as this could cost you a big fish. If you are unsuccessful after a reasonable period you may try altering the bait or change color. If you do so alternate between the new and what worked for you while pre fishing.
While pre fishing when I get a fish to grab my lure i simply hold my line slightly taught with a little pressure, grab the line between the reel and first guide pull the line back, add a little more pressure, let the line go giving the fish a thump or two, & they usually let go. If they are determined you may have to repeat until they drop the bait.
Hope this helps and good luck!

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: texasfisherman1] #13264023 08/29/19 07:36 PM
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Jeff From Iowa Offline
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How many entries usually for this one?

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: fishingrodude] #13264029 08/29/19 07:45 PM
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Wow, great info! Thank you

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: Jeff From Iowa] #13264031 08/29/19 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff From Iowa
How many entries usually for this one?


Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but usually around 2,000 boats - with up to 3 people on each.

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: texasfisherman1] #13264088 08/29/19 08:35 PM
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Bobby Milam Offline
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Last year Sealy had 2398 entries and that was during bad weather. I think the 2000 was entries not boats and every year it seems to get a little larger. It's been a few years since I went to one but other than the boat ramps and the boat lanes, you'd never know that there were so many people out there.

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: fishingrodude] #13264106 08/29/19 08:55 PM
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Jeff From Iowa Offline
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Originally Posted by fishingrodude
Big Fish are very Leary and if you hook one just prior to the tournament it will be very difficult to get that fish to bite again. Over time they become less cautious and you can catch them again using the same technique.Three days out from competition in my opinion is not enough time for them to forget. Keep in mind that usually a big fish is very hard to catch because they are well educated or live in places with limited fishing pressure. Fork gets a lot of pressure and the Big Bass are well educated.
Likely to catch one they must be actively feeding or have just chomped down on some bait fish. You got to get one to make a mistake while they are feeding. The other strategy is to have confidence you have located a piece of structure that is hold a big fish and meticulously pick that structure apart at different angles. When you feel like a big fish is looking at your bait dead stick it some much slower than you normally fish. Just let it sit there. If that does not work try to get a reaction strike by using a sharp twitching action but try not to move the bait very far. very short but crisp twitches.
This is my experience: while pre-fishing if I do not allow the fish to feel my hook - I have been able to go back during competition day and catch that same fish!
If you don't want to ruin a bait you can strip the plastic covering off of electrical wires then cut them into 1/2 inch sections and place the tubular section over your hook points. When you are ready to fish the tournament the sections can easily be removed from your hooks. This will maintain the proper action and lure weight. Be careful not to alter the action, weight, or profile from what works pre fishing to tournament day as this could cost you a big fish. If you are unsuccessful after a reasonable period you may try altering the bait or change color. If you do so alternate between the new and what worked for you while pre fishing.
While pre fishing when I get a fish to grab my lure i simply hold my line slightly taught with a little pressure, grab the line between the reel and first guide pull the line back, add a little more pressure, let the line go giving the fish a thump or two, & they usually let go. If they are determined you may have to repeat until they drop the bait.
Hope this helps and good luck!


Thats a great post, very informative and enough info to make a guy think.

Thank you I enjoy posts that spark my thought process.


Ive shook some fish off and man I swear it was more fun than catching them. I got on a bunch of 4.5 lbers feeding, caught three and thought hey Ill try to shake some off and the first one seemed like it took minutes to let go.. the second wasnt so bad but it was fun as heck.

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: Bobby Milam] #13264114 08/29/19 09:00 PM
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Jeff From Iowa Offline
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Originally Posted by Bobby Milam
Last year Sealy had 2398 entries and that was during bad weather. I think the 2000 was entries not boats and every year it seems to get a little larger. It's been a few years since I went to one but other than the boat ramps and the boat lanes, you'd never know that there were so many people out there.


Thanks thats about what I thought. I tried to pay attention to these last year and was going to do the March one but smoked a stump two days before it..... It didnt look too crowded from shore and launching and the lot where I was parked with the rv wasnt particularly over crowded or busy.. It is a BIG body of water.

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: texasfisherman1] #13264119 08/29/19 09:04 PM
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Seems like every year the deep bite stops with the first major cool front each September, normally one or two days before the tournament or during it. Haven’t fished the tournament in a while but for many years the winning fish typically was caught in less than 6 feet.

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: LostHubbardFisherman] #13264126 08/29/19 09:08 PM
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Jeff From Iowa Offline
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Originally Posted by LostHubbardFisherman
Seems like every year the deep bite stops with the first major cool front each September, normally one or two days before the tournament or during it. Haven’t fished the tournament in a while but for many years the winning fish typically was caught in less than 6 feet.


That sucks. I dont beat banks but I love docks since we dont really have them up here where I live.

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: texasfisherman1] #13264145 08/29/19 09:21 PM
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Where you can find creek channels close to secondary points in the 5-9 foot area over last five years at Fork has paid money during Sealy’s. Bladed jig each year also a recurring bait that folks are catching fish with during the extreme pressure and boats moving about.

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: texasfisherman1] #13264338 08/30/19 12:34 AM
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Can't tie em to a tree for later unless you boat them. My 2 cents

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: LostHubbardFisherman] #13264373 08/30/19 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by LostHubbardFisherman
Seems like every year the deep bite stops with the first major cool front each September, normally one or two days before the tournament or during it. Haven’t fished the tournament in a while but for many years the winning fish typically was caught in less than 6 feet.

This doesnt happen on just fork. The fish push shallow a lot earlier than we think a lot sooner than we think. This week a "cold" front hits and it will trigger the migration

Re: Pre-Fishing for Big Bass Tourneys [Re: texasfisherman1] #13264390 08/30/19 01:25 AM
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On a lake like Fork with the Slot, swing for the fences. Odds are your bigger fish will be slots. Every fish you catch tells a story. If you get two bites in quick succession that are money unders, leave and try and replicate elsewhere. Then go graph to find concentrations of bigger fish.


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