Using Boats to your Advantage

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A week ago I fished a tournament on J. Percy Priest Lake in Nashville, TN. I always like to prepare for my tournaments by studying Google Maps, Navionics, and prefishing at least one night. I was quite busy the week prior to the tourney so the night before was the only night I could make it out to check out the area. I usually am not a fan of prefishing the night before, but it was all I had. One thing that I love to do when prefishing is watch other boats. I have heard many kayak anglers complain that there were too many bass boats in the area that they were fishing. Well, when I see that, there are a few things that I do to use those boats to my advantage.

First I am always watching to see if they are catching any fish. Whether it is the night of the tournament or prefishing, I am always watching. Because you might see them pull in a few good fish. And if you do see that, look at what they are throwing. You may be tossing a creature bait, but the guy in the boat is hammering them on a buzzbait. Well switch to a buzzbait ASAP! Another thing I observe is what kind of water they are fishing. Maybe I am pounding the bank and they are out on a hump. Or maybe I am fishing grass, and they are on a riprap point. Well if they are catching fish and I am not, the first change I make is find an area like they are fishing and start throwing what they are throwing!

Back to last weeks tourney. I was prefishing the night before and I had a little cove picked out that I wanted to fish. I was headed that direction when a bass boat tourney took off from a nearby Marina. One of the boats headed straight into that cove. At first I was bummed out. But after they stayed in this tiny cove for over 45 minutes, I new they either were on fish, or had been in the past. I patiently fished the area around the cove until they left. As I paddled in the cove I fished it hard and saw a ton of structure. I liked what I saw, and the 3 lb largemouth that I caught on as I was leaving the cove was enough to give me the confidence to get in there the next night!

Well the tourney started at 5:15. At 6:01 I had 2 very good fish that were enough for me to take first in the event. Seeing that tournament bass boat fly into that cove gave me huge confidence without even paddling into it!

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The speed of my Jackson Cuda 14 also got me to the spot before anyone else did. That Cuda is the perfect tournament boat for me, its FAST, still stable and is easy to paddle long distances.

So next time you see a bunch of boats fishing your area, don’t get frustrated, use them to your advantage!

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