Have a Backup Plan

By Jay “Striker” Barnett

There are times when I have mapped out my entire fishing trip to a tee. I have made up what I’m going to throw and what areas I’m going to fish, and I cannot wait to get to the lake to start fishing. Everything seems to go as planned up until when one of the conditions change. The weather patterns may vary, the sun comes out, the wind picks up, or perhaps the lake authority starts to pull water. No matter the reason for the change, many anglers become frustrated because the fish are not cooperating. Trust me, the fish are still there, and instead of force feeding them, consider the changing conditions and react to them, not the fish.

Allow me to discuss further the importance of having a backup plan. What is a backup plan? Is it the next thing you have to do to change a bad day of fishing into a good day of catching?

If you’ve been practicing for a tournament and have the fish dialed in, this is the first sign you will most likely need a backup plan. When you put down the baits, you get results and find new baits and areas to fish. The competition today is so good that the chance of other anglers who have seen that spot is very likely. One of my go-to plans is finding a different location that looks totally opposite to what I have found in the primary place. It is because it forces me to use totally different baits and different techniques in other areas. My plan might be somewhere in the back of the creeks when everyone else is focused on the main lake points. Or perhaps I may need to fish a Carolina rig and fish secondary points all day. I can’t tell you how many times my backup plan became my primary plan.

So, if you are fishing and the bites get tough, especially while competing, have a backup plan. It can get you a few key bites and not leave you scrambling, due to not capitalizing on your key pattern. You cannot control the conditions, so be sure to take the time to fish them in different ways, because those who can adjust to the conditions can do well and turn a bad day into a great one.

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