So last Tuesday I started my blog series and started off with a topic I think is absolutely critical to success in anything you do in life. That is the concept of efficiency. I touched upon several major categories of efficiency as it relates to fishing. This week I'm going to dive deeper into the first one which is pre-tournament preparation.
Here's the deal, ol' man winter comes to us all - for those of you lucky enough to live in a latitude where your lakes don't freeze over, then don't sit idle for months just because it's cold out - make sure to continue to put time in on the water. But as a general rule when winter comes so does bad weather, short days, and fishing fever. Take the time in the Winter to prepare for your upcoming tournament season. I really see this in a few stages:
1. Assess what you've got
This is where I'm going to go through all of my tackle, all of gear and figure out what I need to resupply, what I need to perform deep maintenance on etc. I will make a list of all baits, terminal tackle, etc I need and then watch for sales and fill in my needs. Any rods or reels that need some serious TLC I will set to the side and perform the repairs when I'm looking for something to do. I will re-supply any boat or marine supplies I need, consider sending props off for repair.
2. Organize what you have
This is a really long process the 1st time you do it but it will pay off huge in the long run. I've been tweaking the way I organize my gear for years now and have a system I feel best fits me. I use to organize my hard baits by style for the most part - ie all Fat Free Shad together, all 4s square bills together etc. I've changed that system - especially now that I also paint baits with OG Bait Company. Most of my crankbaits are now separated by color. In this way I can load in colors I know work for a lake without dragging the other colors along with me I know don't work. For me, I do still put lipless crank baits together and some square bills simply because I'll usually have them in the boat all year, and they stay in my day box for quick access. I'm not saying what I do is the perfect way, but it is for me. You'll have to figure out what works for you. You'll probably have to do it several times before it really starts to click for you, but you'll know what works for you because you'll notice it is taking you less time to prepare for a tournament, load your boat, and find what you want on the water.
LABELS!!! Can't stress enough how helpful they are. label your tackle boxes. label your reels with what line is on them. Again, less time guessing, more time fishing!
3. Don't overlook the small things
Don't forget to check the water in your batteries. Don't forget to lube your reels. Don't forget to test all of the guides on all of your reels with a q-tip for scars that could cost you a fish. You want to try to think of anything and everything that you might ever need to fish or to get there or back and make sure you've checked anything that can go wrong with all of it. Fix it, replace it, or it may cost you dearly.
So much more to talk about but gotta run. I may try and get another Blog in this week - I'm heading to Keystone on Friday looking for 20+ lb bags on Saturday and Sunday. We will see... I will tell you this, I am prepared and loading my boat will take me all of 5 minutes because of some of things mentioned above.
Until next time - Tight Lines!
Josh "Ogdog" Ogden