Introduction Bass Fishing Tournaments: A Complete Guide | perch fishing life (2023)

The glitz and glamor of casting for cash attracts thousands of bass anglers. Bass enthusiasts of all ages will want to test the waters of tournament bass fishing, but may not be sure where to start.

Anglers new to tournament bass fishing should start small. Fish at local events or go out with a friend and host a one-of-a-kind boating event. Testing your skills in different weather conditions will help you know which skills need practice and which skills are ready to compete.

Everyone's path to tournament fishing is different, but this guide will answer most questions and give future tournament anglers a path forward.

This is how you can tell if you are ready to start fishing for tournament fish.

Every competitor has asked this question at some point, and that's quite natural.

This checklist can go on for miles, but it really boils down to two basic questions that you need to be able to answer.

  1. Do you have a burning passion for competition?
  2. Do you catch bass most days?

Passion for competing with other fishermen and with yourself.

Some people are driven by competition, others are not. This basic internal engine to constantly test yourself is a must.

The passion for competition is applied internally and not against other fishermen.

As you delve into new techniques, fish different types of waters, and always strive to become a better angler, you will want to learn. This is how anglers compete against the best.

Perch fishing appears on the surface as one fisherman trying to take down a hundred others. He's really a fisherman trying to figure things out on his own. If that is the approach and the bass anglers can do it, the weigh stage will take care of itself.

If you are fishing on the lake when no one is around because the conditions are not comfortable, then you have what you need.

Introduction Bass Fishing Tournaments: A Complete Guide | perch fishing life (1)

Do you play bass regularly?

There is a turning point in the growth process of every bass angler when the days they return to the ramp without a fish are rare.

No matter the conditions, no matter the season, no matter the location, the fish will be caught.

This self test shows what adjustments can be made.

Bass fishing is a game changer. Nothing stays the same for long. A pattern can last two days or two hours. The way in which anglers adapt and adapt makes all the difference. Almost every tournament winner can look back and identify a key moment that changed the outcome of the event.

Until the advent of Major League Fishing, the idea of ​​catching bass consistently meant five fish a day. And for most events, this is still the case.

Do you have the attitude to work until the last minute looking for five good bites? Let's give some thought to Major League Fishing's fish as much as possible format as more events transition to this type of format.

At what level should I start competing?

(Video) Getting Started in Bass Fishing Tournaments

This is a great question and different for everyone. It depends on several factors. And by "at what level" I mean the choice between local club events or more regional circuits or power circuits for the big time.

What is your low budget for tournaments?

Some anglers have the time and financial means to enter a larger tournament circuit from the start. Other anglers need to start with local club events.

The only benefit to starting with a regional circuit is the idea that you are forced to fish in new waters and meet a larger community of anglers. Otherwise, either way is fine.

The budget for low-level tournaments goes well beyond the entry fee.

Extra expenses are those that can weigh on your pocket if they are not accounted for. Fuel, oil, equipment, tires, hotels, meals, licenses, time off from work, etc. While this list sounds overwhelming, it's not all that impressive once you prepare for it.

Club events can have an entry fee of $20-$50, regional tours are usually around $1,500 per event, and if you're lucky enough to make it to an invite-only level, it's not uncommon to pay $5,000. by event.

Research your area. There will likely be events and tracks that hit several different price points, and one of them will match your expendable income.

Pro-Am-Bass-Turniere vs. Team-Events

On a traditional Pro-Am course, you will be asked to choose the sailor side (Pro) or the non-boat side (Amateur).

Make no mistake, the amateur crew has plenty of top-tier competitors who don't bother to bring a boat and all the hassles that come with it. I learned a lot from the so-called hobbyists on the back deck of my ship. In fact, some of the best anglers I've ever fished with are listed on the no-boats page.

No matter which side you choose, keep an open mind and keep learning.

Whoever is a sailor or professional has control of the boat and decides where to fish. The non-boater fishes from the back deck and needs to be prepared for where the angler in charge wants to be.

Non-boaters can be excellent shallow water anglers, but the boater they are paired with may choose to fish deep offshore structure all day. Those who do not sail need to have the tackle with them to be prepared for any possible scenario.

Most Pro-Am events pair sailors and non-sailors with different anglers each day of the tournament. All the details of how this works will be discussed at the pre-tournament meeting, which usually takes place the night before the first day of competition. For smaller one-day or club events, the pre-tournament briefing is usually held on the ramp just before kick-off.

Each angler in a Pro-Am event has their own side of the pond and the fish are kept separate.

Team events are very different. Anglers often fish with friends and the rules change from five to six fishing limits.

In team events, anglers can fish the entire deck of the boat and the team can decide locations, fishing techniques, and all other decisions on the water.

Team events are a great way for anglers to get startedcompetencefish if you want to immerse yourself in the competitive world in a less stressful way.

Kayak Bass Fishing Tournaments

The competitive kayak bass fishing scene has exploded in recent years. In fact, major tournament organizations like B.A.S.S. have entire courses just for kayak anglers.

This competitive style of bass fishing has opened up the sport to more people who may not have had a bass boat equipped.

Chances are you can find a quality kayak tour close to where you live.

These tournaments are catch, weigh, measure, photograph and throw competitions.

The tournament director will have special weigh-in sheets for anglers to use. Most of the time, the catches are recorded on a smartphone app, which the tournament organizers will explain to you.

Many kayak bass tournaments also allow anglers to drive up to the ramp they wish to launch from. In a traditional bass tournament, everyone gets off the same speedboat and has to go to their place in the water.

Introduction Bass Fishing Tournaments: A Complete Guide | perch fishing life (2)

This is what a typical tournament week looks like

For this section I mean a normal regional event, which can be a two or three day competition.

(Video) Bass Fishing at Leaser Lake, XZONE - Drop Shot Action

Most mid-size or regional tournament circuits have the option of practice days. Sometimes these are "official" training days with strictly prohibited times, but more often they are sometime before the event.

In a three-day event, if the official competition starts on a Thursday, most anglers arrive the Sunday before and start training on Monday or Tuesday.

Pre-tournament meetings for this type of schedule are held on Wednesday nights. This is where the Tournament Director goes over all the rules and pairings for Pro-Am events are made.

What do the anglers do during the training days of the tournament?

If you have a background on the lake or river you are racing on, the practice is to review what you know about the water.

Where are they? So deep? What are you writing? Are they traveling or are they in a general area?

When fishing in new waters, the practice is very different. Most anglers go all over the lake checking everything they can. Practice days in this situation are dominated by sitting behind the console and looking at the electronics.

When anglers find an area they want to check out, most will crush the chips or bait without a hook. These fishermen are looking for snacks and any other information they can get. Tying your line directly to the o-ring of an idler rig is a common way to check for bites.

Getting every fish in a possible range while practicing is a surefire recipe for tournament day disaster.

Training tournament days are for information.

Things are always changing.

In training you can find a lot of fish, and on the day of the tournament the wind changes direction and your place is empty. Or you have terrible training and you have no idea, and then your first place in the morning of the tournament gives you a big bag.

Use your practice to learn and adapt to the water. As a new tournament angler, play to your strengths and ignore what you hear and see from other anglers that day.

Build confidence as a tournament angler

I can't tell you how many times I felt good after practice, went to the tournament session and listened to all the "dock talk" and then freaked out.

There are so many ways to get the bass. There are always fish at the bottom. There are always flat fish. Some anglers will get nothing while others will break the £20 mark in the same event. Happens.

Do what you can, stay focused, make every cast count and don't let the stress of the event make you fish too fast. Easy to say, but certainly challenging.

Fishing relaxed and trusting your instincts is the secret to success. Of course the adrenaline will rise and the excitement will take over, but the best anglers in the world have an uncanny ability to do their thing.

For some, it is perhaps ten or twelve techniques and methods that they master. For others, it may be three techniques.

You'll learn new things and expand your tools and methods while spending time on the water. That's how I learned to release shot fish. My non-navigator had a limit even before she took a bite. Needless to say, I learned how to use this subtle beginner technique very quickly in the early 2000s and now rely on it all the time.

What happens on the morning of the tournament

The output takes place with safe light. For most organizations, that means about thirty minutes after sunrise. Weather conditions such as wind, fog, and storms can delay a start or even cancel a day of competition.

Participants arrive at the boat ramp early, usually around 4:30 am. The starting line can be long with over a hundred boats and trucks waiting to enter the ramp.

This is also the time when sailors meet their non-sailing companions.

As a sailor, it's good etiquette to leave non-boaters with an open rear compartment to store their gear, lunch, and water.

The Liberation

At the pre-tournament meeting, each boat will be given a number. When the boats are thrown into the water, the fishermen manipulate their gear in a rough numerical order. When the tournament director calls for the number one boat, the others follow, passing a pier or pontoon. Tournament administrators will verify that liveries are in good condition, life jackets are on, and that the external switch is connected to the driver.

Once the participants have left the no-navigation zone, the anglers are free to put their boat on the plane and head to the first spot.

(Video) 90% of BASS FISHING in 15 Minutes

How is the day of the tournament?

Depending on the size of the competition field and the area of ​​the lake, competitors may encounter other anglers fishing around or near their site.

General courtesy rules the day.

If a ship is sailing towards the coast, do not get in front of it and cut off the path.

Keep a reasonable distance and on the last day of competition it is an unwritten rule that competitors vying for victory are entitled to a place above a competitor who is far down the ranking.

There are times when disagreements about fishing space arise, but such cases are rare.

Tournament anglers need to keep an eye on the clock. Most events have severe late check-in penalties. Anglers must also adhere to no-take zones. This can include things like private marinas. All this information will be discussed during the pre-tournament meeting.

Introduction Bass Fishing Tournaments: A Complete Guide | perch fishing life (3)

The weigh-in process for low-level tournaments

In a traditional weigh-in tournament format, anglers receive a weigh-in bag upon registration.

The fish is bagged and sailors and non-seafarers go to the same weighing station.

There will be a long line of tanks for the anglers to hold their weight and keep the perch in good shape.

After being weighed, the fish are taken to a release boat and then returned to the lake.

The release order for day 2 is delivered and the process is repeated the next day.

In most multi-day events, only the best anglers fish on the last day. In events I've fished at, this meant the top 50 anglers kept going while everyone else packed up and went home.

Introduction Bass Fishing Tournaments: A Complete Guide | perch fishing life (4)

Judging after the tournament for perch anglers

Emotions run high after a tournament.

Anglers are either delighted with their performance or disgusted. Alright. It is part of the process.

Hindsight is a tool that can be used to prepare for the next event and become a better angler.

One of the things I learned early on was that tackle preparation is much more important than I originally thought. The amount of time wasted on a competition day retying or digging to find the right plastic bag can significantly reduce the number of throws thrown in eight hours.

Team preparation prior to the tournament can have a direct impact on the angler's bottom line.

A single powerful bass can catapult a contestant from missing the cut, making it, and taking home a check. Twenty more sets in one day can catch this all-important fish. Proper tackle preparation can allow for those twenty extra throws.

The Right Mindset for Bass Fishing Tournaments

Tournament anglers can rethink things.

I know. I have often gone down that rabbit hole.

While preparing for my first major tournament, I was lucky enough to film a TV show with recent Bassmaster Classic Champ and Angler of the Year Mark Davis just a week before my debut in the tournament world.

I asked him what he would do.

He told me to keep it simple. If it was him fishing Grand Lake O' the Cherokees in August, he'd cast a Carolina rig and a deep-dive crankbait. And the.

He told me to fish with my strength and enjoy it.

(Video) How to Get Into Kayak Bass Fishing Tournaments

I fished with my power - onesquare swing. In the end I was ranked 38th among almost 150 fishermen. Mark was right.

Another great piece of advice came from fan favorite Shaw Grigsby. He spoke about the extreme cold while attending a Bassmaster Classic on the same lake in February.

A reporter asked him about the terrible conditions.

His response has moved me ever since.

He paraphrased that someone will win. Beat the conditions and just fish.

She had lost so many competitions because she couldn't stand the brutal wind, the incessant rain, or the numbing cold. Shaw's advice is perfect.

There will be events where you are mentally better than others, but the more you can relax and enjoy a day of fishing, the better off you will be. Experienced anglers benefit from this review.

The nerves will explode. The adrenaline will skyrocket. Everything's fine.

Those are all good things, but most important: your fishing! Have fun.

Other Things to Consider When Entering a Bass Fishing Tournament

There are a few other areas I'd like to address that beginners may not be aware of.

Insurance for tournament anglers

Most organizations at lower level tournaments require their competitors to carry some liability insurance and provide proof of insurance during the registration process.

If an event occurs in the Great Lakes, the insurer will likely require additional coverage as well.

Registration for tournaments

Local club events are managed by that organization's Tournament Director, but larger regional events have entry deadlines and a deposit is required.

Most major power circuits will announce next year's schedule in the fall or early winter.

Anglers who want to catch an entire series can register first, and registrations for individual events are possible later. Carefully review the organization's websites. The popular circuits fill up quickly.

Bass Fishing Tournament Rules

As mentioned, the tournament director will cover all the rules before the official event starts, but there are some guidelines that are pretty universal.

  • Fishing licenses are required for all waters fished. In other words, if you are fishing in Mississippi, you may need Wisconsin and Minnesota licenses.
  • Some states have rules that prohibit killing. That means as soon as the fifth fish is placed in the pond, that's it. Any fish caught after the quarter has been placed in the box should be carefully inspected.
  • Networks may or may not be allowed. Carefully review the rules of the organization.
  • If a bass dies in the nursery then it willshould notthey are discarded and a penalty is imposed at the weigh-in. Fish care comes first.
  • During theTo appearSeason when bass can be attached to beds, most organizations require the hook to be on the inside of the mouth. Dirty catching or fishing is not allowed and bass must be returned to the water immediately if caught this way.
  • Some lakes and rivers have strict restrictions on fishing in or near marinas.
  • Life jackets must be worn when the outboard motor is running.

Each tournament organization has posted the rules on their websites. Read them and ask questions if necessary.

final thoughts

Tournament bass fishing is not for everyone, but if you want to give it a try, I encourage you to.

My skills as an angler developed incredibly fast in my first few years of competition.

Being forced to fish in a variety of waters and conditions sharpens our skills and gives us a lot of experience to draw on.

Remember, someone will win. It could very well be you.

tight lines. Stay safe and remember to cheer someone up today. You never know how it could change your life forever.

Isaiah 6:8

(Video) Winter Bass fishing in the North East. #bassfishing #fishing #bass #fishingtips


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