I sit here wondering if it is just me, or does every tournament fisherman question their fishing ability in the days and weeks before a tournament? I feel like I know how to fish as I have won numerous tournaments over the years and placed in the top five of numerous others, but in the days before a tournament I find myself searching Musky 360 and reading articles on what to throw, where to fish and how deep.
I second guess myself all the time, even the morning of the tournament I find myself throwing all my plans out the window that I worked so hard on in the days prior. Here is my best advice to you. Just do what you do and don't worry about everyone else. Fish how you know how to fish and do what you are comfortable doing. Personally, I love bucktails and crankbaits. I absolutely hate throwing rubber. Rubber might be what's hot during a particular stretch, but if I am not confident in what I am throwing I feel like I will never catch a fish. My baits of choice for most of the tournaments I fish are the 700 series bucktails and the Shallow Raider from Joe Bucher Outdoors. I fish these consistently for a variety of reasons.
The first reason is I am confident in them. They are my number one fish producers. The second reason is everyone is always throwing rubber and big baits to go for the big fish. In my opinion a fish is a fish in a tournament. I am still wondering to this day what is better between quality fish or quantity. Either way the points all add up. The last reason and probably most important reason I use these baits is I can cover water. I can fish fast or slow, shallow, or deep. I go out and fish how i know how to fish and it works for me. The last little thing I must mention is change it up. I would not hesitate to do the opposite of everyone else.
We are fishing pressured waters, so if other boats are out on the deep edge of the weeds, fish the inside edge. Find areas on the lake that you never see people fishing. You might just find a fish laying there. One other thing to mention is do not be afraid to fish an area that another boat just went across 10 minutes before you. I have caught so many fish by basically fishing an area that was just pounded by the fisherman in front of me. It's my feeling that if the fish was there and did not hit their baits that maybe they got it aggravated enough to hit mine and let me tell you it works. So to wrap this up, do your research, fish with confidence and most of all have fun. You never know with musky fishing if your next cast is going to be the fish of your dreams. Stay safe, and remember to catch, photo and release.
Chad Rosinski @ The Musky Champ