BassWestUSA - January/February, 2011, Page 22

TOURNAMENT WINNING TIPS

BY PATRICK SEBILE

» HAVE A GOAL

When I was younger, for ve years, I quali ed from my region of the country to compete in the national tournament in France for sea bass. Most of the people who have ever won this national champi- onship, I would say it was always won with many small sh. My goal was, okay, if I am to win this great event, I do not want to go on stage and say, “Look, I’ve got a lot of small sh.” I wanted everyone to know, if I was to win, that I won with the real big sh. I wanted it to be something sensational that had never happened before. For ve years, I did not win the national championship, but I was not disappointed either. I enjoyed trying to accomplish my own personal goal that if I were to win, it would be with big sh - it wasn’t just to win for winning’s sake. So what are the tournament shing tips in that little anecdote? First, have a tournament goal that doesn’t just depend on winning. Only one person or team will win. Ev- eryone else will be disappointed if their goal was simply to win. That’s not fun. So have a goal that depends on you, yourself. What do you want? What is important to you? Make it a personal or team goal, just for you. It could be anything - to nish in the top half of the eld or the top 25% de- pending on your experience. So you can win, maybe not the tournament, but win at your goal, and be happy. The goal could be anything, and if you can accomplish it, you’ll feel great.

» TRY SOMETHING

When I started shing for bass, I was young and I could spend the whole day just to catch one bass of 1 or 2 pounds. If I was lucky enough to get a three-pounder, that was a great day, and when I got home, I’d rush to call my ten best friends to tell them that’s what I’ve got. It’s not just me. That’s the way bass shing goes in France. It’s just to explain to you that there are a lot less sh in France or Europe than in the USA. And when you have less sh, and ev- ery angler is trying for a limited catch, then the shyer and dif cult the sh becomes, and this is what happens in tournaments

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NEW

too. The more you have pressure on the sh, the more people target them, catch them, the more you have to understand the sh and also, to understand the lures, the way they swim, and then you must understand by coming at the sh with dif- ferent actions, completely new actions, new colors, things like that can really can help you catch dif cult sh. In France, that ‘something new’ could help you catch one or two bass all day, but in the USA, it could help you win one or more of the local tour- naments held here. So try something new in your next tournament - maybe a new Sebile lure that no one in your area is using yet - except you!

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January/February 2011