How to Practice for a Kayak Bass Fishing Tournament

How to Practice for a Kayak Bass Fishing Tournament

Everyone has their own strategy when it comes to practicing for bass fishing tournaments. But that strategy can change drastically when fishing a kayak bass fishing tournament.

You do not need a full article explanation detailing the differences of a boat versus a kayak. You know that with a kayak, you are restricted in the amount of area you can cover in a certain amount of time. Therefore, there is a stronger emphasis on the importance of your “pre-practice”: your map study, forage research, and what everyone utilizes now… YouTube videos.

Locating Prospective Areas

Let’s say on average you have two full days to practice for a tournament. There is only so much ground that you can cover in a kayak. Plus you still have to take the time to not only discover the quantity and quality of fish in that area but also to understand how they are behaving and what is going to make them bite. Here is a recommendation on how to organize your strategy when practicing for a kayak tournament; keep in mind, this can vary on the person and body of water.

The first order of business is going to be opening the Navionics App or ANGLR app, to begin researching viable ramps and sites that you can launch a kayak at. This is important because if there are 15-miles between 2 different launches, a spot in the middle of the two may be out of reach and which could be a huge waste of time if it turns out to be a ghost town. 

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In your map study, be looking for areas that could have the potential for the time of year that you are fishing. 

Typically, you should try to come up with at least 5 different prospective areas that are within 3 to 4 miles of a launch (This distance can vary on the angler and the mobility of their kayak). Once you have that, you should make a layout of how you are going to run your prospective areas, almost like a tentative schedule.

Determine Your Baits Based on Forage

The next order of business will be researching the forage that lives in that body of water, determining what could play during that time of year, and therefore, rigging up baits that will mimic that forage. Now, that being said, this can change once you arrive at the lake and have seen and discovered a different pattern. 

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However, researching forage is a great starting point to find what the fish might commit to when you hit the water.

Hitting the Water for Practice

Once you have completed your pre-practice and have rigged up your baits, you will head to the lake and begin to run your prospective areas. Now when you are exploring a certain area, stretch, etc., you should be doing a multitude of things. 

Pay close attention to your electronics, paying attention to visual and audible cues, and unless you are strictly graphing, have a moving bait in your hands and cover as much water as you can. Now, this can alter depending on if you are running shallow water versus deeper water. 

In deeper water, you are typically graphing until you find fish and/or structure, then with that you can decide to take a few casts versus with shallow water you will likely be constantly casting and using your eyes to try and find clues.

Nearing the end of your practice day, you should evaluate the clues that you have gathered to try to formulate if you have found a pattern or even just high-quality areas, and if not, what should you be looking for or doing differently. These are important questions because they can help you narrow down what you are looking for, making you more efficient. 

If you have not found anything, it can help you re-focus. Should you have the information you need, you will determine your plan of action, the location site you will launch your kayak, and with that you will hopefully have a successful tournament day!

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If you are following these steps and asking yourself the right questions, it can help you become a better tournament angler and make your practice more efficient!


This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert

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Bailey Eigbrett

ABOUT Bailey

New York native with a massive passion for chasing brown and green fish around all of our Finger Lakes and Great Lakes. I am very passionate in learning bass behavior and being as analytical as I am, the ANGLR app and the Bullseye helps immensely for me to do just that.

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