I hear freshwater fisherman say, location is everything (Point System). They’re referencing the spot on the spot. Saltwater Anglers talk about how the conditions make the difference (Plus Factors), the situations that change such as, tides, currents, baitfish and kelp paddies. The goal needs to be combining both, being at the right location coupled with the right conditions will place you on a higher level.
Enter the BBZ Point System and Plus Factors. It’s the basis of building a Milk Run and possibly getting into the ‘Zone’ faster than the average fisherman. The combination of both of these disciplines includes evaluating a location and the present conditions combined.
The "Point System" is based on prime structure elements. Locate a long point and give it 1 point, if there are rocks or wood on top of the point then add another point, now it equals 2 points. If the long point drops into a creek channel or becomes a high spot in deeper water add another point = 3 points. This is the basics of building a simple numerical map of your fishing area quickly and it stays permanent as long as the water covers it.
Now for your “Plus Factors" which are things that change during the day, month or year (not structure elements). Examples of Plus Factors are shadow lines, bait fish, current, clouds, wind, tidal shifts, seasonal grass, floating duckweed, tulles, kelp and fish themselves are all Plus Factors and the list goes on. Remember though on Plus Factors, there are no "Negatives" points. Never take away from good structure elements, good spots are always good spots. The only case you could say is that it rained very hard and muddied up the water and dropped the temperatures; then again these are just "Factors" for that given amount of time. Once you start placing "Negatives" in your vocabulary on a body of water you have now just mentally placed yourself out of the game.
By designating a "Point System" and then adding your " Plus Factors" to particular areas, fisherman can assess how prevalent conditions are influencing an area on any given day or during a portion of the day as the conditions are constantly changing. This system can provide an angler with a method of organizing the details, recognizing prime opportunities and achieving confidence.
When you are able to understand all the elements within the "Point and Plus Factors" system you can find yourself catching bigger fish more consistency. A big Shout-Out to Matt Kobzeff for sending in a beautiful photo and congrats on your first place finish. Matt and his team partner definitely understand these concepts and are in The Big Bass Zone.
The reasons a location generates more Points and Plus Factors is the same reason fish are likely using the spot. The higher a spot ranks the greater the potential of a big fish being there. Monster fish always hold the best locations with the optimum conditions.
It doesn’t matter if you’re fishing at your favorite freshwater lake or you’re on the ‘Big Lake’ fishing in saltwater. Using the BBZ Points and Plus Factor system will increase big fish opportunities. The Big Bass Zone = The Big Fish Zone.