winning or losing

NO BITES in an area is still good info.

I like to poke the guys about their pre-tournament exploits. It’s called “winning the prefish,” where they knock ’em dead in the days and weeks before the contest, or worse yet, go overboard posting their catches with images and videos on social media.

You would think I wouldn’t have to remind everyone: those fish don’t count. And in fact, those images offer clues to where or what others in the field might also fish. That for sure lessens the chance of  the prefish winner duplicating the same success when the real competition starts.

But there’s another side of the coin. That’s when your scouting doesn’t produce much of anything, and in fact, dampens your confidence to even play the game. We’ve seen more of this in the West in recent years as guys test the waters, don’t have a lot of luck, and suddenly, the list of prospective co-anglers exceeds the pro entries.

Gary Klein has probably talked more on the subject of practice, pre-practice or as we like to say, “pre-fishing” than anyone else, and his mantra has always been to either “establish or eliminate.”

The problem is, we tend to be much better at establishing and moving forward with confidence than we do eliminating water to fish. When we get bites and catch fish, we seem to get real smart and accelerate our productivity.

But when we only eliminate areas or baits (by virtue of not catching or getting bit) our confidence sags and we don’t feel nearly so smart. And why not? We’re losing the prefish!

Almost didn't fish...

NOT A BIG DEAL, but I almost didn’t fish last month for a crummy prefish.

And yet, (and I’m talking to myself here, as well) didn’t we actually develop some important intel by determining where not to waste our casts during an event?

It doesn’t matter if you can’t get a bite at “the north end” or the “flat coves” or the “deeper reeds” and somebody else can. You can lose the prefish in those areas, yet losing then, (just like winning then) doesn’t matter until they call your number.

The only thing that matters is that you have your own places and methods to catch some. And then, of course, execute.




4 Responses to “Winning (or losing) the prefish”

Excellent article George. I am glad the other guys fishing tournaments in this area don’t know about your blog. Scott

If what you say is true then I’m a much better fisherman than I thought, I can eliminate water with the best of them!

Great post as usual. Now we just need you to post more frequently and write less WON articles. Your fans demand more than one post a month!

I hear you, Chris. Been out of the loop…but now I’m back. 🙂

I always enjoy your writing in both places, keep it coming.