It is every anglers dream: Catching that once-in-a-lifetime fish, both for accolade, the thrill of the catch, but mostly, to know that you have attained the highest level of angling achievement. Here are some tips to put the odds in your favor.
Stick to Big Baits
Big fish don't achieve their massive size by snacking on bite-sized nibbles. To catch big fish you need to throw big baits. Oversized crankbaits, monster jigs, and gargantuan bucktails. If it looks small in your hand then you need to take it up another notch.
Big Water = Big Fish
If you search out most of the record fish, the majority come from big water. A combination of increased food source, greater areas to roam, and less angler pressure facilitates this. Up here in Canada, if you're looking for a trophy muskie, the St. Lawrence River, Georgian Bay, Ottawa River and Lake of the Woods all come to mind. Seek out these big water fish haunts. The fish might not come as readily, but the big girls are there for those who put in the time and effort.
Fish the Right Season
Certain species attain massive weight during the various seasons of the year. Fall time is prime for walleye. Same goes for muskie. Winter is a productive time for northern pike, while spring gets the nod for crappie. Keep these prime periods in mind when planning your trophy trips. Your chance for success will increase significantly.
Check Tournament Records
Tournament records reveal a lot about where trophy fish reside. A quick scan of these records will show you the date and lake these big fish were pulled from, giving you valuable information on when and where to start. One bass series here in southern Ontario ALWAYS has monster largemouth bass from the same lake during the late fall period. You can bet I turn my attention to that water when the time is right.
It's All in the Attitude
Trophy fishing is a tough go, there's no two ways about it. Be prepared for many fishless days as well as some below average weather conditions. Those that fish for trophies are a different breed. You need to have the passion, the heart, and most importantly, the hope that that next bite is the big one you've dreamed of. Once one does, the hard work you've put in will be all but a distant memory.