Greg Vinson lists the things he has to do to get ready for the 2020 Bass Pro Tour season. Photo by Phoenix Moore

In bass fishing, it’s always important for me to be proactive instead of reactive. That philosophy is no different for me whether we’re in season or out of season. It takes a lot of work to get ready for a bass fishing season. You have to get your boat ready, organize your tackle, and you need to be prepared physically for the marathon that you’re about to endure.

Getting the Boat Ready

I’m more than capable of getting my boat ready for tournaments all on my own, but I won’t ever turn down some help when it’s offered. I’m really fortunate to have a great team around me that helps me get everything on my boat set up before I even touch the water for the first event of the year.

I especially want to make sure that all of my electronics are hooked up correctly and my images are clear. It’s really important to me to make sure that my depth shading on my Garmin electronics is the way that I want it. Having my presets the way I want them is huge for me as well. Those minor details are not something that I want to be worrying about when I’m trying to break down a lake at a tournament.

I make sure to spend my time in the offseason working on the little things so the big picture becomes that much clearer come February.

Time-Consuming Tackle Organization

Tackle organization is easily the thing that takes the most time for me to get ready. That entire process for me begins in December. That gives me about two months to sort through boxes and boxes of tackle. I, like pretty much everyone on the Bass Pro Tour, have so much tackle just because we are fishing such a variety of fisheries.

I try to take a two-pronged approach when figuring out which tackle I want to bring with me to each event. I start the season with a loose plan of what I expect I’ll need at each event. That way I have an outline that can adjust as needed. Once I get closer to the event, I take a final look at the tackle and make the changes I need depending on all different kinds of variables we can expect at any given body of water.

I try to start my organizing by separating each bait into a specific category. Once they’re all separated, I categorize them by depth, color and size. Now that everything is organized how I want it, I can easily find baits I want and build a specific box depending on when and where I am fishing.

Bass Fishing Shape

One thing that fans might not think about as we prepare to get ready for another season is how important it is to get into what I call “bass fishing shape.” It’s kind of like trying to get in shape for a marathon. There are days where I spend a lot of time out on the water, getting used to casting and catching fish again. But I also need to make sure I’m putting the work in off the water to stay ready.

I use resistance bands to strengthen my arms, shoulders and back when I’m at home. That training has helped me a lot over the last few seasons trying to stay fresh. I don’t really like to run long distances, but I will run some sprints when I feel really motivated to try and get the heart rate elevated. I don’t always want to do it, but I’ve come to realize just how important it is for my health and fishing stamina.

I’ll continue to try and get all of these things done to the way I like it as I prepare for the 2020 season. February is coming up quick and it will be here before I know it. I’ll see you all in Alabama.