Thursday, November 26, 2015

No Offseason

Arkansas really has no fishing "season", we don't experience a hard freeze on most of our water here, and Northwest Arkansas even has a hot water lake to fish during the winter months. As far as the tournament scene goes though, the schedule only runs from March through early November. With the cold weather coming in and holiday commitments taking up our schedules, anglers just won't get on the water as much over the winter in general. But just because there are no tournaments scheduled, or your time in the yak is limited, don't think of this as the off season. I really believe this is this time that anglers can take their skills to another level by focusing on some areas off the water that will really improve their tournament fishing come spring. I have compiled a short list of the things I will be focused on over the winter to have me prepared to come out strong at the first event of 2016, hopefully it can help you as well.

  1. Give your motor a tune up - New Years resolution time is right around the corner, instead of an empty weight loss promise, make a fitness resolution centered on kayak fishing. I treat competitive kayak fishing like a sport and train for it as such. My workouts consist of weightlifting and a variety of cardio exercises 3-4 days per week. When the wind gets strong or I have a lot of distance to cover on tournament day, it  makes me thankful for the time I spent in the gym. 
  2. Take Inventory - Most of us are borderline hoarders when in comes to tackle and equipment, take the time this winter to sort through and organize your gear. When I get this done I know exactly what I need to re-load on the next time I hit the tackle shop instead of just grabbing the shiniest object on the shelf and adding it to my pile-o-lures.
  3. Rod/Reel Maintenance - It's easy to put off minor repairs, cleanings, etc... when you are hitting the water often. I use the winter time to deep clean my reels (I pay someone to do it), check the guides on all my rods, and of course spool new line. Our rods and reels are the most important weapon we have on the water, taking care of them now will prevent a failure come tourney day.
  4. Study up - The schedules are already out for most of the major tournament trails. Even though the first event on the calendar over three months away, start studying up on those bodies of water now. I use Google earth, the navionics webapp, and of course good ole paper maps to research areas I may target in the spring. This is also a time I watch a lot of videos and read articles on techniques I may want to try in the new year.
  5. Overhaul your yak - Now is the time to look over your boat and make changes to the layout. Adding rod holders, anchor trolleys, etc.. can all be done and tested outside of tournament season so your modifications are ready to roll come spring. Then you will be able to focus on the task at hand knowing your boat is set up to perform perfectly.  
Of course the number one thing you can do to become a better fisherman ... is go fishing. But in the winter, when the weather or the limited daylight hours won't allow you to get out there. Pick something from the list above and get to work, remember there is no off season...

I use performance elite  products to take my workouts to another level ... 
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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