Alton Jones Heads into 2020 with Lessons Learned - Major League Fishing
Alton Jones Heads into 2020 with Lessons Learned
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Alton Jones Heads into 2020 with Lessons Learned

Image for Alton Jones Heads into 2020 with Lessons Learned
Alton Jones learned a few lessons from his first season on the Bass Pro Tour. Photo by Garrick Dixon
September 22, 2019 • Mason Prince • Angler News

Alton Jones entered 2019 preparing for his 28th season as a professional angler. Although he had plenty of experience before his first season on the Bass Pro Tour, the budding new league has taught him a few valuable lessons over the past seven months.

Expect the Unexpected

Jones had fished MLF events prior to the Bass Pro Tour, but in the previous MLF Cup format, was unable to practice before competition. That all changed this year as the 80-man field was allowed two practice days before the start of the Shotgun Rounds. Some days Jones used his practice time wisely, others not so much.

“It’s so important to develop multiple patterns during practice when fishing on the Bass Pro Tour,” Jones explained. “That helps you compensate for changing conditions, which there were plenty of this year. The only thing that doesn’t change is that everything constantly changes. The slightest change in the weather can require you to make a lure change. Being aware of those changes can help you be one step ahead of the competition.”

Keeping Eyes on Your Equipment

Fishing on the Bass Pro Tour obviously requires plenty of skill, but it’s not always about skill. Jones knows that not only does your fishing equipment play a key role in success, but also the equipment you use to get from point A to point B.

“Keeping your equipment in tip-top shape is so important,” Jones warned. “When I say ‘equipment’ that includes your rod, reel, boat, and motor, but it also includes your tow vehicle. When I was on my way to Raleigh, North Carolina for Stage Three, I had an almost catastrophic breakdown in my truck that almost made me miss the event. Now, I meticulously examine my vehicle and make sure that everything is running smoothly. I recently made the switch to PowerStop brakes and it gives me great peace of mind when traveling and towing my rig, no matter what the conditions are.”

Organization Will Set You Free

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Every minute spent organizing is an hour earned.” Jones agrees with that statement because he’s seen what a bit of discombobulation can do to even the best angler during competition.

“I learned to use my off days to prepare and organize my tackle to become more detail-oriented,” Jones said. “The reason I do that is to maximize my efficiency on the water. It’s really easy to become unorganized very quickly in the middle of a bass tournament and end up with a spaghetti bowl full of tackle in the bottom of your boat. It’s important for me to put everything in its place in the days leading up to the event so I don’t waste time looking for a specific bait. Every wasted moment looking for a bait is a cast that I’m not making.”