Catfish Basics #025 – Reduce Tournament Stress – Melinda Folsom─ Cedartown, GA

For most participants, tournaments are fun and exciting. I also think they can be stressful. One of the things Bryan and I do prior to a tournament, to relieve possible stress, is come up with what we call our “Game Plan”.

Our Game Plan defines how we are going to fish in the tournament. Everyone likes to fish the techniques that work for them. So do we, and we take what we know about catfishing and our experience in catching fish and we use it to fish a tournament.

Our Game Plan allows us to layout our thoughts and put what we know into strategies. We both throw out ideas; areas to fish, depths, techniques, etc. Since we know the weather affects how catfish behave, we start by looking at the forecast. We take the forecast and discuss where we think the fish will likely be and start discussing what depths to fish. For example, if it’s going to be hot and sunny, our first instinct is to fish deep.

I like to use the Navionics App on my phone to look at the bottom contour of the body of water we will be fishing. A lot of depth finders have some sort of map card that allows you to do the same thing. If you don’t have that available and don’t want to download an app, Google Maps can also show you bottom contours of most water systems.

I look for deep holes, thinking the fish will hold up where the water is cooler. That covers what area and what depth we are going to fish. Then you take what you already have and throw in your preferred technique.

I would suggest you do what you know and are comfortable with. We have tried new techniques during tournaments and it ended up hurting us more than helping. One great thing about having a Game Plan is that you and your partner, if you fish with one, are already on the same page with where you are going and what you are doing. There’s no confusion and you have boosted your confidence in the process.

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