Many tournament bass fishermen are guilty of eating poorly on the water. Not only is this not good for physical health, but it can also affect your mind. Being able to think on the water and make good decisions is so important in this sport whether you are a Bassmaster Elite Series Pro or just enjoy fishing your Tuesday night jackpot tournaments. I’m going dive into four snacks I always have on the boat that are nutritious, quick to consume, but not totally in the health nut category.
There was a study conducted years ago with Bassmaster Elite Series anglers by connecting them with FitBits and tracking how many calories these guys were burning out there on the water in practice and in the tournaments. The results were pretty staggering. Most guys were burning well over the daily recommended caloric intake which means putting those calories back in were ever more important. Meat is full of protein and let’s face it, who doesn’t like beef jerky? It tastes good and is packed with protein that your body needs and will help with muscle recovery. I try to avoid ones that have a ton of unnatural things in them and keep it simple. I’m a big fan of Dukes and also Epic Jerky as both are not ramped up with a bunch of random ingredients and are also very good tasting.
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2. Trail Mix
Most trail mixes consist of some kind of nuts, like peanuts, dried fruit and oftentimes something sweet like M&M’s. Nuts are also a great source of protein. Dried fruit has good natural sugar which can give you a bit of a boost during the day as well as fiber for afterwards. And the sweet component, like M&M’s adds to the taste and also can give you a bit of a boost. Obviously M&M’s aren’t that healthy, but they generally make up a small component of the overall mix and aren’t that bad. Overall, it’s usually quick to eat and I use small packs that I can open and eat quickly to be more efficient on the water.
3. Squeezable Fruit/Vegetable Packs
This is one I’ve been a big fan of for awhile now. You’ve probably seen your toddler eating these and are thinking you’d be embarrassed to eat kids food. Pump the brakes, and hear me out. These are one of the quickest foods to eat since it’s in a squeezable pouch. They make them now with just about any fruit, vegetable, or combination of the two.
I started out with basic applesauce like the GoGo Squeez which are great, but I feel the ones that are fruit/vegetable mix are best. You get a bit of quick energy from the fruit, and the vegetable component usually helps you feel pretty good and adds key nutrients your body needs. I know, I know…vegetables are gross. Just because your parents tried to get you to eat your peas growing up traumatized you doesn’t mean it’s the same thing. These companies that make the pouches usually hide the actual taste of the nasty vegetables with the fruit so it’s virtually undetectable. Believe me, I’m not a big vegetable fan either, but I love these things and know they can help add to your snack arsenal.
4. Protein Bar
The old reliable is the trusty protein bar. There are plenty of options out there for protein bars with many pretty much tasting like a candy bar. I try to steer clear of those as the crash from the crazy amounts of added sugar is often not worth the short term pleasure sensation of that candy bar taste. I look for ones that have less ingredients and unnatural things in them. I’m a big fan of the Epic bars as they generally only have a few ingredients total, but still taste great. For the record, they are not a sponsor, I’m just a happy customer.
This is what works for me out there on the water. Believe me, I still have to force myself to eat a lot of the time, but I make it a point to do so as the benefits outweigh the short time it takes to eat these few healthy/tasty boat snacks. When you are fishing hard in tournament practice or actual tournament days and burning a lot of calories it is very important to keep fueling that fire and not let it burn out. And hopefully, at the end of each tournament you make some great decisions on the water and feel less worn down afterwards.