Pre-Fishing Key To Success

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

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The All-Star Team season was completed with the seventh bass tournament at Roosevelt Lake.

With each contest, points were earned that were determined by how well a team fished at each particular event. Local angler Andy Shelton teamed with Rod Nelson of Buckeye to win the prestigious title of Anglers of the Year for 2007. This was their first season of fishing as a pair on the All-Star circuit.

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Andy Shelton and Rod Nelson were recently named "Anglers of the Year" by AllStar Bass.

The key to winning this award was to fish consistently well throughout the season, which began in November and ends in June of each year.

Andy and Rod did just that and actually won two of the tournaments during the season. They never relinquished first place in the points race the entire year, which is seldom accomplished on a bass fishing circuit.

I asked them, "What was the key to your success?"

They both agreed that there were three significant areas that made a difference for this new team in 2007.

1. Pre-fishing

2. Developing a strategy

3. Versatility on the water

"Spending quality time pre-fishing a lake before the actual tournament makes the difference," Andy said.

Knowing where big fish can be caught is a real confidence builder and can only be done with hours on the lake investigating every possible spot. Many of the newer bass boats have a GPS, which will establish waypoints that will mark the spots for a later tournament.

Obviously, this saves time, which is extremely important during the competition.

The total bass weight caught by both fishermen makes it a team effort.

Consequently, a strategy must be determined for an eight-hour day on the water that both must agree upon.

Fishing partners that enjoy each other's company not only make the day more pleasant, but very likely more productive as they fish and carry out their strategy.

They both agreed that sometimes a strategy may not produce the results needed -- to catch big bass -- which may mean an alteration in plans.

Weather changes may make a difference and sometimes fish just don't bite.

These decisions are a team effort that needs to be discussed quickly, so very little fishing time is lost.

As all fishermen agree, "The best way to catch fish is to keep your bait in the water."

I did ask Andy and Rod for a summer tip to catch Roosevelt Lake bass.

They both quickly agreed. Their advice is to be on the water at first light and look for shad busting the surface. Then, have that top-water lure ready to throw and chances are very good a hungry bass will attack your bait.

A Rebel Pop R or a Heddon Zara Spook will do the trick.

Thank you for the tip and congratulations to Andy Shelton and Rod Nelson for a successful bass fishing season.

This weekend, enjoy an early morning bass fishing trip in God's creation.

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