When I get ready for a tournament, the first thing is to make a list, check it twice, then start to pack.
You have to prepare yourself for this venture as if you were going on the trip of a lifetime. I try to make sure that I have those extra's, like extra oil, water filter separator, maps,lures, landing nets, rods, reels,spare GPS, backup electronic's, spare boat plugs, warm clothes, rain wear, shorts, extra's, extra's,extra's!!!!!!.
Then the first 50 miles away from home, the idiot light goes on, I forgot my camera, or my favorite hat, or what did I really forget? By the time I get to where I am going, I realized that I will only be here for a week, but I have brought everything but the kitchen sink. You know what though, I got what I need!
Gary Parson's said it best 5 yrs ago, "be ready to fish when you get to the water". And that is the best statement to live by. If you get to the water, and then decide you are first going to get ready, you waste a lot of time, when you could be fishing. Remember this is the trip of a life time. Why waste it.
It takes a lot to prepare yourself. Be ready and you will be a lot happier. While other guys are getting ready, you are already fishing, remember "trip of a life time".
You have to check that outboard out before you go, make sure its ready for that trip, wouldn't want to get there, and find out it doesn't run, now would you? Check the trailer tires, bearings for grease unless you have liquid lube hubs, then your ok, just check the lube level. NOW YOU MIGHT BE READY FOR THAT TRIP OF A LIFE TIME, or are you?
Now you have to make sure you have travel money for the unexpected, because not everyone excepts Master card. ARE YOU READY NOW? Your ready to leave finally, but have you done your homework on the place that you are going to? (maps, local info, baitshops, guides, and finally what are the primary baitfish in the system, that the Walleyes forage on?
Now that you have arrived, weather is great, do you have your reels all spooled, are they rigged, are your batteries charged, what do I need for bait, did I forget the crawlers at home? Did I fill the oil, and finally, DID I PUT THE PLUG IN THE BOAT???
These are just some of the things that go through your mind. Some things get to be like clock work, some I just have to remind myself each time. Some I remember this time, because I forgot them the last time. A list is still the best way.
I have fished over 300 tournaments as a Pro, and i still forget little things, that make a big difference. But there is one thing I never forget, call home every night to tell my best sponsors (my wife and children) that I love them, for letting me do what I do," FISH".
I will leave you with one thought about attention to detail. At a PWT tournament a few years ago, Mike McClelland was leading the tournament after the second day. On day 3, he caught a large limit of fish, enough to win, but when it was time to go in, his starting battery was dead from running electronics', and livewell all day. He hurried up and changed one battery from his electric trolling motor to his main engine. In the heat of excitement, he put the neg wire on the pos post, and the pos wire on the neg post. Engine wouldn't start, but the bendix was spinning, which made him think those batteries were dead also, so he started in with his kicker engine. He was late, and lost his weight, plus the tournament. All because he put the wires on the wrong connection.
The moral of this story is take your time, be prepared, pay attention to detail. I know Mike does now!!!!
Keep a tight Line.