Winner Anthony White asked…What do you do when the you get on a pattern or figure out what they are doing and it shuts down?
Brandon Palaniuk answered…Anthony White great question! Establishing a pattern during practice is much easier to change with and adapt than a specific spot. The first thing you need to do is identify why those fish changed. Wind, sun, clouds, water level change etc.? When you identify that you will be able to make the changes needed. Sometimes you have to slightly alter the depth or just the cover they are using in that pattern or it could be a bait change, but I will do all of these things until I dial the fish back in! Thanks for your PROcise Outdoors Logic question!
Pat Schlapper answered…Anthony, This is a common scenario every fisherman will encounter at some point. As a tournament fisherman, preparation for situations like this starts with pre-fishing. Often times people get comfortable when preparing for a tournament once they “figure it out.” However, once competitors become comfortable with one pattern or scenario they often set themselves up for failure. When that pattern fails come tournament time, anglers “spin out” mentally and often times can’t recover. To avoid this situation I always try to find at least three different patterns when preparing for a tournament. I’ll always look for a deep pattern first, because I prefer fishing deeper water when possible, then I’ll try to find a shallow pattern as a back up. Once I establish a deep and shallow pattern I’ll start to dissect each one to find “micro patterns” within them. Maybe my primary deep pattern is rock. However, I might also have another deep pattern that includes isolated weed patches. The same goes for my shallow pattern. I might find fish in matted milfoil, but also have a stretch of docks or laydowns that are also holding fish. Its amazing how many tournaments I’ve won with my “back-up” or secondary pattern. I have rarely fished a tournament where all of my patterns have completely failed. Its amazing how much better you will perform when you have at least one back-up plan in your mind. Hopefully this strategy helps you out, I know it has helped me throughout my tournament career.
Scott Pellegrin answered…Hello Anthony White, What a good question! I’ve had this scenario happen to me a few times now. Guess the first thing I try to figure out is what changed. Did the weather shut them down and they’re still there? Did the water level or flow change if its a river situation? Is it just a seasonal movement kind of deal? Or did the weeds die in a lake situation? In any of these scenarios that’s where I start, I try to figure out what changed. From there I begin to adjust baits & locations and start to hunt again. I don’t always get it figured out but you have to start somewhere. The biggest thing is to not get stuck mentally. You have to keep thinking and trying. I always tell myself the fish cant grow legs and walk to a different lake. They are still here in this body of water I simply have to hunt them down again. Lets see what the rest of the PROcise Outdoors Pro Staff has to say!