by Dave Landahl
Before heading out for a fun day of fishing, or competing in a fishing tournament, we all have "must have" items we need to bring with us. Zoneloc fishing hook pro and Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Alton Jones Jr. is no different. Of course, for him, "must have" items take on a new meaning. They can sometimes be the difference between cashing or not cashing a check at a tournament, or even potentially winning one.
This week in "Zoneloc on Tour", Alton Jones Jr. shares four of his "must have" items for each and every tournament fishing day.
"I put on sunscreen before I go anywhere when I'm fishing a tournament or anytime I fish," said Jones. "Getting a sunburn when you are out for 12 hours in a day is something really bad. It's worse than the typical sunburn.
"I also use various buff-type neck and head coverings.
"Professional fishing doesn't make good looking old men when they don't use sun protection. Some guys look like they're 80 and they're only 55. Sun can be really damaging."
"Whether I'm fishing a 10-thousand acre lake or a 300-thousand acre lake, I start each day with a full tank of gas in my boat," said Jones. "You'd be amazed at how many anglers say they are only traveling a few miles and don't fill up. It's pretty shocking. What happens when you need to go further or run around?"
"Every tournament day I fish, I have a spinning rod and a Zoneloc Drop-Shot Rig ready to go," said Jones. "Over the course of a 4-day tournament, you will usually encounter some sort of grinder day where the conditions are tough.
"That Zoneloc Drop Shot Rig can save the day when you need to scratch and claw and get what you can get."
"Before every day of practice, and during the tournament, I study my Garmin maps," said Jones. "I take that extra knowledge onto the water each morning.
"I'll pick a creek, or other area to study, and place waypoints on areas that interest me. It's like having your "Plan B" already programmed in your electronics, just in case your primary plan isn't working."