Summertime is here and in full effect. I’m currently leaving Columbia, South Carolina after spending a few hot days on Lake Murray doing some scouting for the upcoming Forrest Wood Cup Championship just a few weeks away. I’m excited about this event and can’t wait to compete to try and win a second Forrest Wood Cup, which would be really awesome.
I also wanted to share a few tips that have helped me over the years and could increase your chances on winning a tournament or just doing better and doing well. You know when I look at tournaments that I’ve done well in over the years, it always boils down to a couple key moments or one key moment throughout practice or during the event that dialed me in on something that allowed me to do well or win. We can talk a lot about how to prepare with maps and how to prepare with certain types of lures and all the different things that you go through to prepare yourself to win these tournaments, but it’s those small, enlightening moments during practice that will allow you to do well or even win a tournament. It’s not that you’re catching fish all day long and everywhere you go is telling you something on exactly how to win this tournament. It’s one key thing, whether it’s a bait choice or location choice, just something different that you’ll figure out throughout the day.
But how do you increase your chances of recognizing those opportunities when they pop up? That’s what I want to talk about in this blog. I want to talk about the other side of how to win a bass tournament and how to increase your chances. And that comes from staying properly hydrated, eating the right food and staying on a nice exercise plan.
The last several years I’ve been exercising quite a bit — doing a lot of running, sit-ups — core exercises. Spending a lot of time in the gym these last several years has really helped me do well in tournaments. Because I know spending 12 to 14 hours a day, standing on one leg with one foot on the trolling motor and making thousands of casts can wear you out real quick. Not to mention dealing with the environment and all the other elements thrown at you on the water. But having good physical health, good muscle tone and good stamina can keep you alert and sharp.
Another key point is proper hydration and eating right on the road. It’s funny, I actually lose weight when I’m on the road and gain weight when I go home. Because when I go home, I relax with the family and I seem to find the cookies and all the other things that you shouldn’t eat tempting me. But when I’m on the road, I’m very regimented and my typical day on and off the water starts with a little fruit in the morning and then I snack on protein throughout the day. I love the Bridgford Beef Jerky. I’ve been eating beef jerky for many years and I can honestly say this stuff is awesome. It rocks! I’ll carry a bag or two of Bridgford Beef Jerky in the boat with me and chew on high protein throughout the day and that really helps me stay very even throughout the day. I don’t have these lulls or spikes in energy and then drop offs. One of the drawbacks of eating junk food, like crackers and cookies and sweets or even big sandwiches, is it can slow you down after those big meals and those sugar spikes will slow you down when you come down off that stuff. The beef jerky is great because it keeps you very even throughout the day.
The other thing is proper hydration. I discovered a product earlier this year that has honestly helped me in so many different whether I’m at the gym working out or on the water fishing. It’s called Sqwincher and is a powdered mix that I add to any bottle water for an electrolyte replacement. It’s not an energy drink. It’s not a bunch of crazy stuff. It’s just simply an electrolyte replacement. So it’s high in potassium but the great thing about this stuff is that it’s low in sodium. A lot of the other electrolyte drinks out there on the market are high in potassium but they’re also high in sodium that doesn’t help you much when you’re working hard in the sun. And water can only do so much. You need to replace those electrolytes. For me, Sqwincher is a lifesaver.
Another important tip is that I carry an extra cooler in my boat. I carry a 35 quart Engle cooler that is chock full of ice and cold drinks that I store on my Ranger to keep my drinks good and cold. And that extra cooler is great because it not only allows me to have extra ice for myself but also allows me to have extra ice for the fish. During summertime events, extreme water temps can be hazardous to the health of your catch and keeping that extra ice in the boat can keep the water temperature in your livewell at healthier levels.
So how does all this make you successful on the water? It allows you stay focused and stay enthused out on the water. And that increases your chances on figuring out the little things that pop up throughout the day and can make a difference come tournament time.
So if you follow these simple tips, I believe it will help you catch more fish and maybe even win a tournament. But more importantly, they can help keep you healthy for many years to come. See you at Lake Murray for the championship.
- Scott Martin