Inshore Slam Fishing Tournament: What We Did Right & Wrong

By: Luke Simonds on March 29, 2019
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inshore fishing tournament snook

It’s inshore fishing tournament time again!

The other day we posted about how we prepared for an inshore slam fishing tournament, and today we’ll reveal how it went.

This was a slam tournament in an area that I’d previously only fished once several years ago, and in the video below I’ll break down what we did right and what we did wrong on tournament day.

Enjoy!

P.S. if you’re a SUPER-Community member, click here for the full report, including the exact spots we fished on the map.

Inshore Slam Tournament Fishing [VIDEO]

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Equipment & Lures Used:

Note: I used Pro-Cure Super Gel on the paddle tail baits to add in some extra scent.

The Best Decision We Made

inshore fishing tournament redfish

The best decision we made that morning was to not leave fish to find more fish.

Although we were only catching trout, we were in a good feeding zone and I was confident there were more than just trout in the area.

As it turned out, on our third pass through this area is when I caught the 31″ snook (see first image in this article).

Had we moved on from the area, we likely would not have caught such a good snook.

Our Biggest Mistake

tournament trout

The biggest mistake I made was not planning for the tides well enough.

I had correctly identified where the fish would be feeding (see the trout above), but I misjudged how low the tide would be simply because I had only been to this area once before, and it was at a totally different tide so I had nothing to compare it to.

The tide was too low to get my boat back there, and we missed out on some potentially good fishing.

Later, I learned that there was a small channel that led back there, but since we got there in the dark, and it was a new area for me, I could not see it.

Previously in tournaments with more money on the line, I would pre-fish the area on the same tides as tournament day to avoid this mistake.

Note: Here’s a link to see the short scouting trip that I had (with my dog Otis) the day before the tournament to find some pockets of fish to target for the big day: Scouting Trip Post.

Safety Tip 

how to navigate waters in the dark

If you’re boating in the dark, it often helps to have someone pull out a cell phone with an online map to see where you are.

Although it’s not foolproof, and you still need to be cautious, you can see some sandbars or structure on the map that you may want to avoid.

Conclusion

tournament trout

If you want to give yourself the best chance to do well in an inshore fishing tournament, make sure you follow these two tips:

  1. The best way to prepare for a tournament is by fishing the exact tides you’ll be fishing on tournament day, so you can find the feeding fish and no surprises come up.
  2. Don’t leave fish to find more fish. Doing this can often lead to missing out on fish, like the snook we caught.

Have any questions about tournament fishing?

Let us know in the comments below!

And if you want to get better at catching inshore slams, and see the full reports from trips like these, including the exact spots we were at, check out our SUPER-Community.

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Todd WeitekampLuke SimondsRobert StevensWalter AbramitisRocky Fields Recent comment authors
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Todd Weitekamp
Member

Awesome video guys. Curious as to the depth range you were fishing?

Robert Stevens
Member

Great Job guys!!

Rocky Fields
Member

Luke great info. Appreciate all you do and help you, Joe and members are giving to all Anglers, it is much appreciated. Oh PS: by the way Otis told me (quess he was on computer late) the reason you are such a good sight caster is that he is Spotting for you :).
Tight Lines
Ka-Paw-:)

Barry
Guest
Barry

I have been fishing inshore about 3 to 4 times a year i think in the same area that you were at or really close and I have never been able to catch anything close to what you caught. I have been wondering what I am doing wrong. Catching fish like that must be nice! LOL would you come back and let me pay you to show me how to fish in these areas? PLEASE

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Great info Luke appreciate all the information I am learning from you, the site and the other members. Enjoying all. Oh by the way Otis told me why your such a Good sight caster is that he is Spotting for you 🙂
Tight Lines my Friend
Rocky

Rocky Fields
Member

Great info Luke appreciate all the information I am learning from you, the site and the other members. Enjoying all. Oh by the way Otis told me why your such a Good sight caster is that he is Spotting for you 🙂
Tight Lines my Friend
Rocky

Larry Carr
Member

Have you ever had a Navionics chart on your phone?

Roy Noblin
Member

get job and sorry you didn’t get your red but i love trout and it looks like you were in trout heaven. i’d have stayed right there until i couldn’t catch no more 🙂

Gregory Batchelor
Member

What fun! Thanks for an awesome recap!

Eric Black
Member

Good video. I do love those Gulp Jerk Shad and the Twistlock Weighted Hooks!

Anderson Horn
Member

That’s an awful lot of fun by the looks of it. So, if i’m a newbie to salt fishing, and I only get to go 3-4 times a year, am I crazy if I want to enter tournaments? How do you find tournaments to enter?

Vinson Freeman
Member

This is a silly question. But this is my first year on saltwater. I’ve done 100’s of bass tournaments. Typically … how does weigh in work for slam or redfish tourney ? Most skiffs only have bait tanks. So how do we keep fish alive for weigh in. Or is it some other means of scoring ?

Muskietime
Guest
Muskietime

Nice job and well done. I am a sweetwater fisherman that fishes saltwater for a week or so most years. To me, t are the most important issue when in-Shore fishing. Access to spots and channel shortcuts to where the bait and trophy fish setup all rely on the tides. Only thought I had was that those darn gold spoons seem to work best for Reds!
Ok, one more thought: If you are fishing for money, bring you Dad. Just sayin’.
Thank you for sharing.