Fishing close to a tournament takeoff area has its advantages.
If the takeoff site has several tournaments held there each week, it has more relocated bass in that area. Release boats have helped distribute bass better during larger tournaments, but a lot of bass clubs and smaller events still release a lot of fish at the access areas.
Fishing close to a popular tournament access offers more advantages when fishing larger reservoirs. If you locate bass close you can avoid making long runs and getting stuck on the water during boat breakdowns or if severe weather occurs.
During tough fishing conditions, you also have an advantage finding spots near the takeoff area because you don’t have to run all over a lake to find bass. Plus, the more time you’ve got your line in the water the better. You can maximize your fishing time and sometimes save as much as an extra hour of fishing time if you target released bass at a takeoff site.
Having more than one spot close to the takeoffs helps your odds. If you can find two or three spots within a half mile or mile of the takeoff area, sometimes you can make a little milk run out of those places.
Increased boat traffic near tournament takeoff sites can make it uncomfortable to fish, but it doesn’t usually affect bass there. Certain times of the year the wave action from all the boat traffic can work to your advantage because the waves force shad up to the surface and bass start feeding when the baitfish start moving.
In many instances there is actually less fishing pressure around takeoff sites because many tournament anglers have a tendency to run 10 miles away from the takeoff area before they start fishing. So there is a lot of obvious good spots close by the ramp that area overlooked. The only fishing pressure the takeoff site gets is in the afternoon from guys who are running in from farther up or down lake and they only have about 10 more minutes to fish. So it looks like a takeoff area is getting a lot of fishing pressure, but it’s actually only getting pressure for the last 30 minutes of a tournament.
Staying close to tournament takeoff sites could be your short cut to finding bass if you can determine which sites are the most popular.
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