Early Season Prep – Organize…Stock Up!

There’s still time to take one more pass at organizing your tackle before things heat up and old angling habits take hold.  Sure, we all have more baits than we use but there may still be a few gaps that can be filled.  Before buying the latest and greatest bait designed to catch anglers let’s look at the baits we have first, then decide which way to go?

FALLING SHORT

An angler calls me one day, early in the week to ask me if there was anything special going on.  There was a definite buzzbait bite going so I put him on that pattern.  That weekend he called me on the way home from a tournament to tell me that he followed my advice on buzzbaits and came in 2nd place.  Good right!  It could have been better.  He told me that he pulled up on a spot and boated a 4 lb. smallie on his first cast: then a 3 lb. smallie.  On the next cast the bait broke off so he ties on his only other buzzbait and puts another 4 pounder in the boat.  On the next cast he hits another nice fish but the buzzbait broke in half.  He couldn’t get them on anything else so he headed back to the launch.  Before pulling out of the water he added one decent largemouth to his bag and finished second.  If you have a confidence bait have plenty available. I can tell you that this angler didn’t usually throw buzzbaits so his supply was limited.

LOSING WEIGHT

Going through a lot of jigs isn’t new to tournament anglers, but there are times when we might take our inventory of jigs for granted.  I’ve been on the water more than once without an ample supply (and I’m in the business!).  It comes down to keeping tabs on the terminal tackle to be sure there are enough of each weight and size to survive a robust tournament day.

#1 BAIT OR COLOR

It’s also good to keep in mind that the buying cycle for distributors who stock fishing tackle can run up to May or June.  If a bait or color runs out in July or August, it probably won’t be restocked until the following year.  Over the last couple of years there has been a trend where anglers stock up early.  This can help to keep you on fish in the later months when you might be in the hunt to qualify.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

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