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Fish Story: Tournament Tips

One day while fishing Mark Twain Reservoir I was pre-fishing for a tournament and something strange occurred. I drove all night after getting off work, and I had to wait in line because there was so many bass boats launching. After finally getting my boat in the water I headed for a cove full of trees and brush and no other boats around. It had been storming all night and it was a rainy day and right away I started catching fish on a buzzbait. After catch a few dozen bass I noticed it had been so quiet for a long time. This didn't make sense, the lake was loaded with bass boats pre-fishing, and then it dawned on me, everyone must be catching fish. This was a good time to run around and see which spots has the biggest fish, a lesson I learned later in life. This spot I was fishing had big fish but the water rose about 15 feet and this cove looked chocolate milk the day of the tournament. After catching nothing but non keepers for three days of the tournament I returned and caught my only keepers in there. If I would have ignored the dirty water and fished it anyway I probably would have won the tournament which had few fish weighed in. the water was so dirty.

About Tournament Fishing

Fisherman can be successful in several ways, but basically itís a matter of finding the fish are and how to catch them with a pattern that works for you. There are many way ways to get this information, ask people at bait shops or where-ever, or follow fish like so many like to do, or find your own fish which very few people have enough confidence or skill to do. Even if you find fish, that doesn't mean you'll be able to catch them. I have found a lot of spots and the fish were nearly impossible to catch, but then I figured out something that works, something no one else will be able to figure out, and thats pretty much how it works, everyone has certain spots and certain techniques and they run around hitting their spots as others even hit the same spots before or after with their own certain secret techniques.

Watch out for the ones that play dirty and follow the best fisherman at blast-off all the way to their best spots. Never go to your best spot first. Boy do I wish I had know that years before.

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Secrets to Weedbed Fishing for Bass  Weed-bed fishing Under most circumstances I would use a spinnerbait while fishing scattered weeds, next choice might be a buzzbait, but if the fish are in the thick weeds then I would try other methods. I was fishing a weed-bed on the main river and found current coming out in one small area that had clean water flowing out, the water was cleaned from water flowing through the weeds filtering it clean. I caught a few bass in this small spot. I learned a few things in this area. One of the things I learned from this small area with clean water flowing out was that if I casted all around I seemed to scatter the fish, but if I kept casting in the same spot and leaving a fairly loud splashing sound from my lure hitting the water the fish seemed to come to me. So I would sit there and after a few casts I would start catching fish.

There was more than one way to catch fish in this area, which is to buzzbait the edges and weed clumps and pockets. A spinnerbait works also but itís the sound that is important, and the buzzbait is much noisier than a spinnerbait and I could pull fish in from a long ways away. Some areas have thick weeds and lillypads and these areas hold lots of fish but catching fish in such heavy cover can be difficult.

Another technique is to pull your boat right into the weeds and lillypads, and vertically fish with rubber worms. This is another instance where you keep fishing the same spot and try to pull fish in. So the splash noise of the lure hitting the water is a magnet for fish to key onto. There really is no other way to fish except to fish outside edges, but most times the fish are in the thick cover. Only during storms, dawn and dusk do they feed on the edges. Working a spoon works well, just cast it in on the weeds, reel it to the edge and then let it drop straight down and the hit should come immediately.

Rubber mousey lures and frogs work in the small open pockets, but the trouble is when they blow the lure out of the water you are no longer in the pocket. Some people use two lures to try to give the fish a second chance. I prefer to add a large button and peg it 12 inches in front or lure. This lets you bounce and pop the button while the mouse or frog sits in the hole and with a few twitches the fish will eat the lure instead of blowing it out of the water as they arenít sure what it is. The button and lure technique gives the fish time to check it out and entices a bite.

Some places on the river is narrower with stronger current. Some weedbeds have current running along side the pads and weed edges. I like to use spoons and let them drop straight off the edges. My favorite spoon is a mighty wobbler, it is heavy and seems to work better than any other weedless spoons Iíve tried. I add a piece of pork rind or a small twister attached. The trick is to let it fall straight down off the edge of the weeds and pads. The fish sit there waiting to ambush anything that swims by and a falling spoon is irresistible to bass. I have seen fish suck this spoon right through the lillypads as it leaves an indentation because it is heavy enough to do so and being heavy it can fall through some scum weeds in open holes down to where the fish are waiting in ambush.


/ used/spoon 113 88.jpg One day I was fishing a spot that had current running into some lillypads and other weeds at an opening to a lake. A storm was moving through and a feeding spree start on some shad and I just sat and watched in disbelief. I saw bass chasing shad from the open water into the weed edge, and waiting in the weed edge were more bass that would shot out and bust the tight schools of shad resulting it shad laying on top of the lillypads and the bass would then wait and eat the shad as the flopped back into the water. They also would suck the shad right through the pads leaving holes, so if you see holes in lillypads thatís probably what its from. They were actually using teamwork to feed, like a wolf pack. To catch these fish would be easy using a spoon, spinnerbait or what ever you like using.

Another I used like to use to catch weed fish is to use a light, weedless pointed head jig & pig. I designed a special jig years ago and it still works great today. Just work it like a spoon and let it fall in the open holes, and being lightweight with a pork trailer it falls slow giving the fish plenty of time to eat it.

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Walleye dvd
Big Walleye Big Water DVD
Most informative DVD shows many techniques that work on Lake Erie and the Mississippi River. This is not like other dvds which are not real fishing. This is a very passive low key video but the secrets are in there to catch big fish.

lake erie dvd
Lake Erie DVDSee what its like out there in a small boat fishing around the Bass Islands. 2 hours

fillet dvd
How to Fillet Fish DVD
Fillet fish fast with electric knife. Panfish, Bass, Walleye and Catfish

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How to Tie Jigs DVD
New edition is now 100 minutes long. Learn to tie acrylic hair, bucktail, rubber shirt jigs; pour sinkers and jigs; sinker rigs, floater rigs, slip-sinker rigs, crawler harness spinner rigs and more.

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Walleye Trolling
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