How Long To Sit, When Tourney Fishing?

Discussion in 'LOCAL OHIO TALK' started by catfishrollo, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    One of the most difficult decisions that I have ever had to make when out fishing is simply, "how long before I should move?" I have been fishing many local weekend tournaments for years, and that question is still the biggest question I deal with. How long should I give a proven spot to produce before moving to the next? Hummn... Well, I have learned alittle about this, not that I have the right answer, but have formulated an idea on how I should go about it. First of all, Flatheads are the hardest fish I have ever tried to pattern. Just when I think I have a pretty good idea on their movements, I can hear the utter laughter from below sending my blood pressure high. Flatheads unlike channel cats, do not like to go out and chase their prey very far. They moreless like to ambush them. They however do move to feeding areas, and some day/nights simply move around more than others. Alot I feel has to due with weather patterns, possibly moon phases, and simple eating patterns they have developed for themself. So, my assumtion is to move and move often! Don't get me wrong, there are nights to sit up on areas and wait, but if I want to have a shot of catching numbers of fish usually, I have been more sucessful by moving from spot to spot. I try to target each spot to the best of my ability, feeling I have covered it well before moving. It is hard to put a time limit on each of these, due to every spot is different. But, I try not to waste more time then needed while fishing each. It seems to me, usually the active fish will bite right away. Now, back to step one. It is very important to have a layed out plan for the evening. Knowing your river well will help you to do this. I always sit down with my fishing partner to discuss the section of river we are going to fish that night, and have an A, B, C etc. plan layed out. This is essential in not wasting time looking, but covering more area to maximize your time! Most tournaments I fish are 8 hour tourneys, if I fish in an "all-nighter", which is usually 12 hours, then we can formulate a better plan for the night, either fishing more spots, or we can set up on a known spot to produce longer. I know I have wrote this before, but you have to be versatile, and not be single minded when fishing in a time limit. This is why I rarely see bankfishermen consistently winning this tourneys. Nothing against them, but they are at a true disadvantage not being able to fish for active feeding fish, and sitting to wait for them to arrive. It all comes back to knowing the area well, esp. if you are fishing in the dark. And setting up properly to cover these areas. The ones that seem to use this strategy seem to be the ones consistently placing or winning these tournaments, and the ones that don't usually are wondering why... even though I did get my butt kicked some last year lol:wink: goodluck to you all....rollo
     
  2. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Nice post Rollo, it seems to me anyway, that everytime I have been fishing lately I have been staying put shorter and shorter intervals. I think last time out was about 20 to 25 minutes per spot. I just cant stand setting up on fish that aren't feeding, so if I dont get results quick I am gone. Especially with Blues, when they are on you will know it within 5 or 10 minutes. Flatheads may be a little different but not too much, atleast in my experience. This will be my first year in the Tourney's, and I am glad I am teaching myself to go with my instincts now, so it won't be so hard for me to pull anchor then...
     

  3. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Travis, If you are fishing Blues. Move often if you aren't gettin bit. 15 to 40 minutes depending on the circumstances should suffice. Now if you are on a giant snag, which you KNOW has to have a 30 or 40 or 50 lb + Flathead laying underneath, you may have to sit all night. You might have to sit a couple nights in a row before he hits. That is the main reason you don't see 3 or 4, 40+ pound fish on the stringers at the weigh in. THEY ARE HARD TO COME BY. They stake out a log jam, (driving off smaller fish), and they don't feed every night. In the last ten or so yrs I have caught more multiple BIG fish in the spring when they get together to spawn. After summer and thru the fall you will only catch one in an area at a time. So if you catch a big one right off the bat, best bet is to move. If you catch a 30 or under within 20 minutes of anchoring at a spot, MOVE. cause a 40 or 50+ wouldn't let that little punk hang around if that was a good spot lol.
     
  4. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    I think another problem is when tournament fishing, you need to distinguish when its time to leave as well on a fast bite!.. I have experienced the quick bite on certain areas, and over stayed my welcome thinking it was going to continue! As fast as the action can start and be for a while, it can drop and not pick back up! Don't bank on a fast bite on one area, and consider it the "place to be" all-night! This can cause you misery also......rollo:big_smile:
     
  5. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    Great insight guys. I bank fish a lot and even in a tournament I will move a lot. I will usually give a spot an hour and then move. Whats important also is that you don't have to move in distances of miles, sometimes yards can make a difference.
     
  6. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    You got that right, I have found that moving 20 yards can put you right back on the action in a real hurry..:roll_eyes:
     
  7. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    I fish in a couple tournaments each year. What I like to do is have a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C.

    Plan A is where I have the most sucess at dusk.

    Plan B is where most of the biggest fish are caught.

    Plan C is if you get to play C, start saying your prayers and pray!
     
  8. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    thats right, sometimes only moving yrds. is the best way to target a known good area. the fish can just be ft, from your bait at times. i try to do that from my boat sometimes using slipfloats to move baits over larger areas to save time. just seems there is never enough time to cover every hole, every spot..lol... rollo