Dealing with Adversity: Professional Angler Pat Slater’s Tournament Tip of the Week
By Matt Schauer

Posted: June 20, 2012

Tournament number two is in the books…Walleyes Unlimited of Montana’s Tiber Walleye Challenge hosted by the Great Falls Chapter was held this past weekend. 89 teams launched Saturday morning and the competition was tight. When the final weights were totaled Sunday afternoon, a mere 2 pounds separated 1st place to 5th place. Congratulations to Ray Cole and Steve Thomas, both of Great Falls winning with 27.52 pounds. My partner and I finished in 6th place Sunday; combined with Saturday’s weight found us in a 10th place tie overall.

The Great Falls group did an exceptional job running the tournament and my personal “THANKS” to them and the many sponsors!

Tiber is fishing very well now so if you have the opportunity to go it would be worth the trip, just hang on to your hat, seems the wind never stops!

Some lessons learned this past weekend may help you next time you’re fishing in tough conditions. First is being prepared for adverse conditions, knowing what you need to do if (when) the wind comes up suddenly and strong. It means being observent of conditions around you; checking weather forecasts before going out, watching for rising dust clouds or bending tree tops in the distance on shore. Lightning can be out in front of storm clouds as far as 20 miles and although, many scoff at the possibility of being struck, a fisherman was killed on Canyon Ferry just few years ago.

Second would be have a “plan B”, a second and even third technique for fishing if your first choice isn’t working due the wind. It’s difficult to vertical jig in strong winds, however you may be able to wind drift lindy rigs and slow your boat with a drift sock or 5 gallon bucket. Trolling crank baits is another option. You can locate water near a bluff, which may still have the wind but not the big waves. While not the perfect day to be on the water, strong wind doesn’t mean you can’t be fishing, you just need to be flexible in your approach and tactics. Know your equipment, it’s capabilities and limitations and use good judgement. There isn’t a fish swimming that is worth your life or the life of a loved one.

We will fish the Canyon Ferry Walleye Festival this weekend! Next week, I’ll let you know how it went!

Til next time….Be Smart and Be Safe!


This post was provided by Pat Slater, Pro Staff: Mack’s Lure & Ranger Boats, National Professional Angler Association #757

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