I’ve always prepared for tournament season about the same every year: Get the tackle I need, prep my boat, etc. This year, it’s different for me. I’m fishing the MLF Bass Pro Tour. Since every second counts, I decided I needed to become more organized in my boat.
For example, in previous years, I’d have a bag of plastics, like Yum Dingers, in one bag. I had a variety of colors all mixed in, and I didn’t know how many I had, or if they were all the same size or not. With the MLF format, I won’t have time to go through a bag looking for a certain size and color.
So now, I have all of my gear organized in sizes, colors, and all that. Every single hook, line, and lure is organized. Before I decided to change how I organized my gear, it was like finding a needle in a haystack at times, but it won’t be like that for me this season.
Now, I also have everything I think I’ll need. Previously, I’d be a minimalist as far as what I’d have. I mean, I had a lot of tackle, but not always everything for any and all situations. I was the guy who’d bum a lure off someone.
With the strict rules we have now, I can’t do that, so I’ve been ordering everything I think I might possibly need.
I actually have a tackle role model. It’s Aaron Martens. He’s very well known as a tackle organizing zealot. When I was younger and traveling on the road with my parents to tournaments, we’d often be in the same campground as Aaron. Sometimes, he would pay me in lures to help him organize something. He’s always up late into the night getting his gear in order. He’d hand me something and ask me to organize it.
Those were great lessons and I’m employing them even more this season.
My newfound appreciation of organization should help me throughout the MLF Bass Pro Tour season and the upcoming event on Lake Conroe. Since I’m guessing it will be a pre-spawn and maybe spawn event, I’ll need my gear ready when I need to switch.
In this event, I believe I’ll need to focus on big fish. Conroe doesn’t have huge populations, but when you catch one, it’s usually a weighable fish. I don’t think the SCORETRACKER is going to light up like it did at the Kissimmee Chain.
From my experience at Conroe, I think bladed jigs and a Colorado blade spinnerbait will play roles as search baits, and a Yum Dinger or Yum Bad Mama will be what I’m using if I’m pitching or flipping. Don’t be surprised if a 12-pounder is caught, because this lake has some huge bass.