Today was the day Team Bass started it's tournament season at the Apple River Flowage. I elected not to fish the tournament due to gas costs along with WI upping their Non-Resident license cost to $50. Also subsequent to my decision, was the little matter of being DQed for this tournament for my fun fishing at the guy/gal tournament last year. Anyway here is how the season shakes out.
May 20 Team Bass Apple River Flowage
June 3rd Team Bass Lake Osakis
June 10th Team Bass Lobster Lake
June 12-15 GEM Pepsi Challenge Tournaments Longville Area Lakes
June 17th Fishers of Men Club Twin Cities Buffalo
June 19-22 GEM Pepsi Challenge Tournaments Pine City Area Lakes
June 24th Team Bass Jr. Angler Upper Mississippi
June 26-29 GEM Pepsi Challenge Tournaments Pine City Area Lakes
July 3-6 GEM Pepsi Challenge Tournaments Longville Area Lakes
July 8 Team Bass Horseshoe Chain 1
July 10-13 GEM Pepsi Challenge Tournaments Longville Area Lakes
July 22 Team Bass Guy/Gal Upper Mississippi
July 29 Team Bass North and South Center
August 5th Team Bass East & West Rush
August 12 Hillman Lions Platte Sullivan Pike Tournament
August 19th Team Bass Horseshoe Chain 2
August 26th Team Bass Sauk Lake
Sept. 16th Team Bass Big Marine
Sept 23&24 Team Bass Tournament of Champions
Sept. 29&30?? Fishers of Men Club Fall Outing Tournaments and Fally Walleye.
Oct. 7th Team Bass Super Stars (for Top 10 in pts regular season)
Man that's a lot of tournaments.
GEM Tournaments Outlook: Last year Mitch Norman's boat was on fire. He won the lions Share of the Pepsi Challenge Tournaments for his own glory and the kids. This is gonna be my summer I can feel it.
Fishers of Men Tournaments Outlook: If I catch any fish I will be happy. I will look to dominate at the Fall outing.
Lions Pike Tournament Outlook: Looking to improve on last years finish in the money.
Team Bass Tournament Outlook:
I am looking to step up my game from 2005 where my results were usually less than satisfactory. In 2004 I accumulated 272 Pts in my Best 6 Tournaments for an Average 6th place finish per tournament which placed me tied for 11th out of 59 overall; in 2005 I dropped to 265 Pts (Avg 7th Place Finish) for a 14th Place Finish out of 48 overall. Two of the Teams that placed in front of me in 2005 will not be fishing Team Bass this summer and over all there will probably be a couple less teams with maybe a new team or two in the mix. The Team Bass roster for 2006 only has 40 names on it, which means there will probably be about 15-16 boats per tournament instead of around 20. The opportunity is definitely there.
Apparently the Roster was not finalized so my intel was bad. One of the teams that finished in front of me is out and one is half in and another quality team that I thought was out is in. The roster has 43 people on it which mean 17-19 boats per tournament.
The big question: What do I need to do to improve in 2006?
I want to shoot for 278 Pts in my best 6 tournaments which would averaging slightly better than a 5th place average place per tournament. To get there I think I need to do these 4 things.
1. Catch Limits- Got to start with the basics and catching a limit is the most basic component of being successful. Last year I failed to get limits at Bone, North South Center, Platte/Sullivan and both days of the TOC. One key to keeping a low average place per tournament is limiting the depth of the basement you must dig yourself out of. In Team Bass we get 3 throw away's; with the DNF at Apple River I am now down to 2. Catching Limits will hopefully allow me to stay away from the basement.
2. Catch Kickers- Last year I only had 1 fish at 4lbs and few fish in the 3lb class. Kickers are the way to lift the Fish Weight Average (FWA) and the FWA is the way to placing high. Not to mention the fact that there is cash for 1st and 2nd place Big Bass. I need to catch some big bass and have that mind set each and every time out.
3. Pre-fish smart- Pre-fishing in 2005 did me very little favors and hurt me in some cases. I need to turn that around. I probably will not get to pre-fish every tournament but when I do I've got to make it count.
4. Keep my focus- This has many demensions. Tournament Fishing is very much a mental game and keeping yourself mentally focused is huge. Proper rest, Big Fish mindset, consentration on the task, decisive decision making, Pre-fish scouting with a purpose, endurance for the long haul, dealing with weather conditions, dealing with adversity and more are a part of keeping focus. If I want to do well I will need better focus than I had in 2005.
Part 2 will be a Pre-view of the Team Bass Lakes