I discovered recently how important pre-fishing really is. There was a time not too long ago when I thought I was hurting myself by pre-fishing. I would go to a location during practice, catch a 5lber and then on tournament day go right back to the same location and not even get a bite.
My problem the entire time was that I was pre-fishing the wrong way. Your goal during practice shouldn’t be to catch 20lbs of fish. Your goal should be to find a pattern. What lure gets you the most bites? What color seems to be more productive? The answers to those 2 questions are key to your success.
Most people want to pre-fish to find a specific location where the bass lurking. While that is VERY important, I’ve found that Bass have a tendency to move from a specific location overnight. That’s why you hear so many anglers say, “I caught 17lbs here on practice” and then don’t weigh in a fish on tournament day. It’s best an angler uses traditional seasonal patterns to locate the fish on tournament day.
Even if I’m fishing a small local club tournament it’s rare that I don’t pre-fish for it now. It makes no sense to go fish a lake or river with no knowledge of what’s going on at the time. Bass fishing is a chess game and you need to be the first one to check-mate. Pre-fishing and practice days can help you do that.