Don’t Lose Before You Leave the Dock

I’ve been tournament fishing since the early 80s in contests for everything from Bass to Blue Marlin. There are many factors that you can’t control in tournament fishing like the weather, the “bite,” what everyone else is doing, etc. but two very important factors that you can control are preparation and attitude. Everyone should have a good understanding of what adequate preparation is - from making sure that your equipment is ready to pre-fishing and having the best baits possible. A positive attitude is also very important – don’t enter any tournament with the notion that you can’t compete regardless of your circumstances. We have won marlin tournaments fishing a 25’ center console against a fleet of 50+ ft sport fishermen, and we’ve lost plenty of king tournaments in our triple engine 36’ go-fast CC to teams fishing single engine 20’ boats within a few miles of the weigh-in. Many times we have arrived at the scales with our 50 pounder that we caught 100 miles away only to find Cecil Capps or Fred Watkins at the dock weighing a 60 caught in their 23 foot boat within 30 miles. Don’t be intimidated by the boats that your competitors are fishing or how many decals they have on their hulls – go in with the mindset that you are better prepared and will out fish everyone else.

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