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I have heard alot of debates over this topic this year should there be a off limits before a tourney or should you be able to prefish up till the night before the tournament. my club has a 48 hour off limits period before every tourney do I agree I would have to say yes and no. I do not think there is a major advantage for fisherman who prefish the day before a tourney because alot of fisherman dont know how to prefish and they stick alot of fish and end up hurting themselfs for the tournament and also if a tourney is far away I would like to make the trip a two day event I hate driving a long ways to just fish one day. I do agree with a off limits on small bodies of water like mahopac since the lakes fishing can be effected from alot of fishing pressure .I know that when foxwoods was around guys would camp out on a lake like candlewood for a week leading up to the tourney and still do bad well the major reasons for doing bad was J.J. and Dave Wolack LOL not because of prefishing. When the team tourneys for the new jersey fed come around we definitly need a week of prefishing to figure the lake out since we fished places like lake George and Kerr Res and possibly Champlain this year these bodies of water are big enough you could fish a different area everyday and still not cover 1/4 of the lake LOL. So the question I am asking is how does everyone else feel about prefishing
 

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5bass said:
if a tourney is far away I would like to make the trip a two day event I hate driving a long ways to just fish one day.
I'm with you there. Living on Long Island all of our tournaments are a trip. I like to fish at least a couple of days.

We used to have an off limits......Not any more :)
 

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Sure...but be smart about it

I don't want to beat up the fish a day or two before a tourney, I usually fish the weekend before.....or maybe the Wednesday of the tournament....but not that close to the event. Why hurt the lips on the sally I want to weigh in on Sat. or Sun. ? When guys tell me, "I was here yesterday and it was awesome...but today it sucks", I figure they get what they deserved....later...Mark
 

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This is interesting topic

At the club level we do not allow pre-fishing as there is an offlimit period from Midnight Monday preceeding our tournament on Sunday. (Simply means you can't be on the tournament waters for 6 days before the tournament).

Advantages:

Levels playing field for those who have to work or have families and can't spend as much time on water as those that are retired or have significant vacation/off time.

Don't have to worry about your club anglers sore mouthing a bunch of fish.


Disadvantages:

If you have long travel distances you need to make special trip before offlimits to practice.

Water/fish can change significantly in one day let alone 6 days (so your fish may move on you). So pre-fishing trips may not have as great a benefit.


Is there a right/wrong answer: not exactly. Kind of like the points vs. weight issue. You either like no offlimits or some offlimits.

I can definitely see both sides, but I've always been an offlimits kind of guy.
 
G

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As a club we dropped the off limits ...

.... because it was next to impossible to police. While most guys honor the rules, occaisionally a bad apple spoils the barrel. In the spirit of good will and fun it was easier for the T director not to have to be on the look out. Hence, no off limits. We also drop one T, which makes it easier on all if you can't make an event during the year.
 

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Since I made the rule for our club, you know how I feel.

Here is my reasoning. With a majority of our club members working, it is difficult for them to get a Fri or weekday off. It is not fair to the other members who can not get time off but still want to be competitive.

I feel (if it is done right) prefishing the day before is a HUGE advantage over someone who has not been on the lake since a week ago. I don't know about you, but the last thing I want to tell my wife is that I leaving Wed. or Thurs. nite to practice for a club tourney. I think she would RAMBO my boat!! :firing:

We keep our tournament distances to 2 hours or less driving time, so it is not like there is the need to have to stay over in order to fish.

I agree if we traveled longer distances to our tourneys then we may have to change our rules but, at least I don't have to worry about someone yanking all the fish out of a spot I like the day before!!
 

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as a non tourney guy, I will offer an unbiased opinion on this:

everyone should have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the water.....

but there is no need to pound it the day before.......

I believe in major BASS tournies, prefishing is allowed for 3 days and then off limits 48 hours before the tourney......

seems fair all around to me....
 

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Re: Sure...but be smart about it

MarkNJBass said:
I don't want to beat up the fish a day or two before a tourney,
Good point. Me neither. I usually spend my practice time scouting out new areas and figuring out a pattern, not sticking all the fish I can. If you wanna check some of your regular honey holes just bend the hooks over. It'll give you an idea if anybody's home. ;)
 

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JOHN G said:


I believe in major BASS tourneys, prefishing is allowed for 3 days and then off limits 48 hours before the tourney......

seems fair all around to me....
That's fine for the pros but my reasons for pre-fishing besides finding fish are to have a nice long weekend with some fun and relaxation. A 48 hour off limit would kinda put the kibosh on that.:(
 

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I am also in favor of prefishing although you do need to be careful as to not sting yourself when it comes time for the TX. Last year, Tubeking and myself prefished on Bantam early in the year, 3 days before a club tourney. Thinking that 3 days would be enough time for the fish to recover, I amassed a 16+ lb limit.
On the day of the touney I went back to my spots and only managed 4 smaller fish. A lesson to be learned here.
 

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HAHAHAH, Leigh, you really crack me up!

do you really think the very same fish that you caught the other day were just waiting there at your spot but they were too tired and not recovered from you catching them? LOL.......

if it is a "spot" that can hold quality fish, I am sure MANY fish frequent it at various times.......

Plus: the fish you caught, and other quality guys, might have simply moved off that spot for various reasons ( weather related)........

I doubt very much if you hurt your chances that day.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
leigh and fish gone

Dont laugh at liegh John I have seen to many times when I am fishing a hump or a weedless point I will stick a couple of fish and then get a smaller one and when I release it back I dont get another bite this happens on points and humps when fish are schooling up . The only time I have never been effected by released fish is when I am fishing weeds or isolated structure.I do believe that fish release a chemical or other fish can sense trouble. I do agree with you about the fish moving and weather changing fishes moods but be carefull sticking fish while prefishing and the best advice I can give is if someone is in a school of fish do not release a single fish back until you are done catching them . . 5bass
 

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The Anti-Senko
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I personally think that the supposed damage that one can do while prefishing is exaggerated. In the beginning of July, I could go to Rockland Lake on any given day and bang out hogs on the same spots day after day. This was a post spawn pattern the was terrific for about 2 weeks. Then things changed. IMO fish will relate to specific structure or cover during specific times. If you catch them at the right time you will find them there for several days. When they suddenly "disappear", it is not because their mouths are sore, but I believe it is due to an event related to nature that causes them to move or not be as active.
 
G

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3 years ago outside Rondout Creek

I caught a 14" smb while prefishing on the Sunday before a T. The fish had a metal lip tag and I recorded the #. The following Weds I caught the same fish, on the same bait in the same area. The next Sunday for the T, I caught THAT smb again on the same crankbait....these fish stay put for a while, especially in the river. Many years ago i was fishin the Ct River with Frank G. (Paco). Many of you know how great a fisherman Frank is. He flipped a jig between two pilings and had a 3 pound lmb take the jig, get hung on a piling and break off. Frank ( afer he stopped cursing ) re-tied a new jig, pitched back and caught THAT fish again...complte with the first jig still pinned to its' jaw. Again another river, maybe thay are different from lakes.
 

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The Anti-Senko
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Paladin...the same jig scenario happens on lakes. During one of the Rockland small boat tournaments this year, one of the participants said he had a fish break him off on a jig. He then left the spot and came back later. He caught the fish and recovered his jig. When fish are hungry and aggressive their stupidity shines! LOL!
 

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At lake George I used to stay at the Hague motel for the federation opener in June. The day after the tournament the kids (and me) used to catch the heck out of the largemouth right at the dock and adjacent weed bed where they were all released. And that was after they had an all day ride in the live well. The smallmouth must be a little smarter though. Never caught any of them.:cool:

That's also why most two day tournaments have an off limits near the release area on the second day.
 

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John,
I am a firm beleiver in the theory that you can sore mouth fish on a particular spot and keep them from biting for a day or two. There are always exceptions to this of course. I also agree that a hooked fish that has been released to its original location will emit a chemical or behavioral alert to the other fish in the same area that can shut them down in an instant. So there!:p
 

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Who knows? Last summer on Whaley I caught the same 1pounder 3 diferent times during 1 tournament. The reason I know it was the same one is because one of his gills was hanging out.
 
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