Bass Angler

Pre Fishing

know that this has been over and over again but I thought that I would try and describe to you how I go about pre-fishing for an upcoming tournament. Everybody has different methods and there really is no right or wrong way to pre-fish. It just boils down to an angler’s ability to find fish in a short period of time.

The first thing that I do when I’m going to be fishing a new body of water is I will look for a quality map of the lake. Now is some cases the particular body of water may be very large. The Great Lakes as an example of a body of water that can/is very intimidating. What you have to do in that instance is break the lake day into seasonal patterns. By seasonal patterns I mean pre spawn, spawn, post spawn (spring time), summer, fall and winter months. Although in Canada we do not fish for bass during the pre spawn or spawning season but if you fish lakes/rivers or reservoirs in the United States you may be faced with fishing during unfamiliar seasons. By breaking the lake down into more manageable sections it takes away that intimidation factor. It also can make pre-fishing more informative because you are not fishing unproductive water.

There are some anglers like New Jersey Pro Mike Iaconneli that will gather maps from different sources and cross-reference them with one another. Some maps have better contour lines than others, while others have better detailed information about the bottom composition of the body of water. So by gathering multiple maps you can get the most information about that body of water before ever leaving home. You want to do as much of this work as you can at home. This way your time on the water is just solidifying what you have figured out during your at home preparation time.

Once you get to the body of water and you are out in the boat. The next step that I do is go to the sections that I have selected during my map study at home and go over these areas while watching my electronics intensely looking for any irregularities in depth and in surface temperature. By doing this you once again eliminate any unproductive water and you turn big water into more manageable water.

Another thing that I do while I am not is I will look at old magazine articles, or look on the internet for information about that particular body of water that I will be fishing. I will then take all of that information that I found in article, the internet, newspaper articles and I will look for some key words. These key words are the type of bait that was used, the conditions on the water or conditions of the day. I will take all of these key words and put them into a notebook. For example if I look at an article or website and it says that bass were caught in 1-3 foot of water on black and blue tiki-sticks fished weightless. I will take this information and write it in my notebook. Note just because a specific bait was used in the article, doesn’t mean that the fish are still there or that they will even want that same time of bait. These are just general information that we are getting for this body of water.

Once I have all the information that I need, I am finally ready to head out to the water. Here you are watching your electronics to see any sudden drop offs or submerged flats. Another thing that you should do is not to be afraid to make a long run.

I think that if you spend a little bit of time doing some at home work before you get on the water, you will be better prepared to systematically dissect any body of water that you will be fishing. Which in turn will improve your success with finding fish during the pre-fish period but also you will gain confidence going into the tournament day(s). Confidence is half the battle sometimes. Give it a try this season and I’m pretty sure that you will have a more productive pre-fish and perhaps a better outcome tournament day(s)

Until next time, take care and good luck.

By Peter Larmand


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