By Steve Graf
Now that Christmas is behind me, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming fishing season. Every year now, tournament trails are starting up earlier and earlier. Most trails used to start the first week of February but now, it’s the first week of January! Why? Well part of the problem, there’s too many circuits. There is only so many weekends in a month and I applaud anyone who is a tournament director and trying to schedule their respective events especially on popular lakes like Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn.
That being said, anglers now have to choose well in advance what circuits they want to follow so they can register and find places to stay. This requires a lot of pre-planning and spending time on the net looking for adequate places to accommodate the number of anglers in your party. A lot of anglers today travel in packs just like bass. They stay together and help each other with costs and maybe share a few ideas as to what the bass are doing…. but only with guys they trust.
That’s a big word…TRUST! No other sport has the secrecy that bass fishing does and anglers will guard those secrets with their life. They would literally sell their wives for good and accurate tournament information. Lol…just kidding! That’s only true for just a handful of anglers I know. But we are a strange bunch when it comes to info. I can only think of about four people that I truly trust when it comes to tournament information and how accurate it might be. Some anglers will tell you just enough to throw you off your game and get you going in the wrong direction. Some call this “dock talk” others call it BS but no matter what you call it, you have to be careful and cautious. With my buddies, I’m not looking for what baits to throw or how to catch them. I’m looking more what depth and type of area my they might be catching them. I’ll figure out on my own what I need to throw in order to get the right bites. Because even though some of my buddies might be catching fish a specific way, all of us have certain things we like to do and each of us are all a little different in our own approach. I don’t want to know where they are catching their fish because then I’m restricted as to where I might want to go. If we happen to land on the same group of fish…so be it. We’ll decide later in the event who gets the spot based on the standings. I’ll give up a spot we might be sharing if one of my buddies is in position to win.
Today, this small click of guys you trust is so important because tournaments are so competitive and anglers are so good now, that you almost have to team up to get a win. While no one will truly help you win an event outright, sometimes it’s a minor detail in something they said, something they were doing, that you might be able to apply to your own approach in order to help you get a win. My advice to any angler starting to fish the boater/pro side of a circuit, find the right click. Find a true friend or friends, people you know…. who won’t lie to you. In today’s competitive angling world, that can be hard to do but you must find people you can TRUST.