Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Get Tournament Ready

Ready to roll out to the next event
Tournament fishing is not for everybody, but if you share the same passion for competition that I do, your blood starts pumping a little faster when tourney season approaches. In Arkansas there is no "fishing season", all of the kayak anglers I know fish all year round. But most kayak fishing events around the region are all wrapped up by November and don't fire up again until March. So when February arrives it's time to get tournament ready.

I have a few simple things I do leading up to tournament season. Taking the time to do the little things will always pay off on tournament day, and will probably help keep you prepared for all the rest of your non-tournament fishing trips. The list below will hopefully give you a starting point to get yourself tournament ready.                                  
Ready for launch on tourney day
  1. Take Inventory
    • Go through all of your tackle and make a list of what you have vs what you need. Figuring out what you are going to need for the upcoming season makes your weekly trips to the tackle shop much more productive. 
    • Compare your shopping list to your tournament schedule. Stock up on things you will need for the first few events that are specific to the body of water they will be held on. 
  2. Gear Check
    • Look over you PFD, it is probably your most important piece of equipment. Make sure the straps are not worn and there are no rips/tears in the material. When you need it you don't want your PFD to fail you. 
    • Check out your paddle, look for cracks in the blade or the shaft. The paddle is your motor, so a failure on tournament day would be devastating. For the pedalers out there check your drive system for any worn parts. 
    • Give your electronics a tune up. Check and replace any worn wires. Replace your battery if needed. 
    • Give your boat a once over, looking for any signs of damage above general wear and tear.
  3. Study the Schedule
    • Study your schedule close and do research on the bodies of water those tournaments will be held on. Look at old fishing reports, contour maps, if you keep a fishing journal review it from previous years. 
    • Go online and use websites like google earth, navionics, and fishidy to get a better idea of what you will be facing.
    • Whenever possible go pre-fish the lakes/rivers on your schedule. Even though it is winter, keeping in touch with the location of the fish will help immensely when trying to track their movements as spring approaches. Pre-fishing in winter usually means low water conditions as well, take mental notes of exposed cover in areas you may fish when the water is up. 
Of course you can go into much greater detail, but this list is a good start. So as the last weeks of winter drag by, take some time to get yourself tournament ready before the season gets here. Good luck out there (but not too good if I'm in the tournament lol), see ya on the water! 

If you are looking for a kayak tournament near you go to 

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