If you have a question you would like to submit, email us and we will get our bloggers to give you their take on your question.
Question: I was thinking many pros visit the lakes that they will be fishing in the circuit next season just to get the feeling about these lakes and contact local experts before the no information rule becomes effective. What is the truth?-Rick N.
Some do “pre-fish” lakes with which they are not familiar. I did this occasionally, but most of my wins were on waters with which I was unfamiliar. It seems that more time spent pre-fishing is a good thing nowadays because of GPS equipment that can “remember” the spots better than I could in the old days.
I’m sure local info plays a role in some anglers’ plans, but I hardly ever had any outside info in my tournament planning.
I would say 50/50 on visiting lakes. If there are numerous new lakes on the schedule, there might be more. Those seasons like we've had the past few years when they majority of the events were on lakes we've been to numerous times, not so much. Probably 70/30 on getting info before the off limits. Some guys want to get as much info as they can on any given body of water, especially new venues. They'll talk to anyone and everyone who has ever caught a bass. Other's just want to get an idea of which areas of the lake typically produce the best at the time we'll be there. There are others, myself included, who may visit a lake and just ride around it for a couple of days to see what is available to fish. This may be more helpful than trying to find fish, especially if the tournament is during a totally different time of the year, as they usually are. River systems probably get more visits and more calls for info than lakes, as rivers generally take much more time to navigate safely and find productive areas.
This is all over the map. Some pros visit all the lakes but get no help. Some guys call around to the lakes and talk to everyone. Most pros try to visit any they have not seen and seek some type of local info as a source to start from. For me, I may visit 1 or 2 ahead of time. Fishing with a local on the lake is the only thing that is worth any effort to seek. Not all info and locals are any good. Most of the time, conditions are weird or crazy so info can be thrown out the window. Also for me, I will talk with someone about a place we are fishing if I know someone that fishes that place all the time. I very rarely seek out people I don't know for help on a place. It is too big of a gamble and can lead you astray. From my experience, the best thing to do is to get a clue of what most people do at a given place then figure it out on your own. You will be much better off in the long run. It is very funny how many times the best days I have on the water all year is when I throw out what I learned before cut off and during the 3 day practice and just "go fish" in completely new water. Yes, it takes a big hairy set to do that when you have about $6500 invested in that one tournament, but it pays off when you trust that you will figure them out.