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5 Dollar Fishing Game

Is It Impossible?

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I've always wanted to fish a local tournament here in NC. Only issue is I do not have a "super expensive bass boat". I have heard people mention a co-angler scenario, but I really want to use what I have now. What I have now is a 10 foot johnboat. It does have a power plant and a trolling motor. New paint job and two seats custom made with a live well and electronics. I just am curious if I can use this in a tournament to start out. I don't have the funds yet to buy a big expensive bass boat. However I would like to try with my johnboat to start with. Do all tournaments have specific guidelines as to what kind of boat you can use? Thanks! Joe

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I heard that Ike made his start fishing tourneys out of a jon boat, look where hes at now......

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Check with the local clubs on their requirements. Some have minimum and maximum hp requirements. Working livewell is a necessity. The other thing the club will probably require is liability insurance.

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Liability on the boat?

No. Liability that if you damage someone else's boat or injure another person.  You can also check your area for a club that is electric only.  Like in Oklahoma there is such a club called "Belly Boat Club.  You can fish in anything that doesn't have a motor.  The only reason I'm not a member of that club is it is on the opposite side of the state!  

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The challenge is having two people fish out of a 10 foot boat, but more importantly the size of the lake you're fishing.  I use to fish tourney's out of a 16" Deep V with a 60 HP motor.  It worked fine on the small local lakes, but it was tough fishing the bigger lakes.  Why do you ask?  Gas, your limited where you can fish from the bast-off if you only have 10-12 gal.....

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Are there any tournaments that you can do solo? I have two chairs and it holds two adults fine but I didn't know if you can do a tournament by yourself?

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My adivce, fish your boat for fun and practice and learn all you can. Join a club and fish as a co angler on someone elses boat for tourneys. Use your boat for prefish and fun fishin. Being a co angler, you will climb thee learning curve alot faster.

There are multiple clubs in your area, just google. I think there is an actuallyy list of clubs in nc.

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I will surely use it for practice too. I may try the co angler idea here and there. I found some club info on electric only tourneys and also solo only tourneys. Just to get a feel for it all. I just think this project "John boat" is awesome. Lol. It's like my custom little bass monster. ;-)

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If you've never tournament fished before, I'd suggest you start small or as a co angler just to see what it's like. I started tourney fishing in 2005 with my then 15yo son.. I had a brand new 18k 17ft deep v with a 90hp. Our first tourney, the only thing I remember was my son saying "Dad, You have the crappiest boat out here"  We fished against guys who were sponsored up. Real fancy rigs. One guy even had his truck painted the same color as his boat. Very intimidating to say the least. It took us a couple years and a whole lot of work to start cashing some checks. I currently fish against guys in FLW and BFL and regular guys like me. The glitz and glamour you see on tv is misleading. Last year we qualified to fish the tournament of champions on Guntersville against 196 other boats. Still in the same 17ft deep v. Prefishing 12 hrs a day for 4 days is more work than actually working. I have to hand it to the guys struggling to make a living at it. It's tough. It's mentaly and physicaly straining. Good luck in whatever you decide.

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If you've never tournament fished before, I'd suggest you start small or as a co angler just to see what it's like. I started tourney fishing in 2005 with my then 15yo son.. I had a brand new 18k 17ft deep v with a 90hp. Our first tourney, the only thing I remember was my son saying "Dad, You have the crappiest boat out here"  We fished against guys who were sponsored up. Real fancy rigs. One guy even had his truck painted the same color as his boat. Very intimidating to say the least. It took us a couple years and a whole lot of work to start cashing some checks. I currently fish against guys in FLW and BFL and regular guys like me. The glitz and glamour you see on tv is misleading. Last year we qualified to fish the tournament of champions on Guntersville against 196 other boats. Still in the same 17ft deep v. Prefishing 12 hrs a day for 4 days is more work than actually working. I have to hand it to the guys struggling to make a living at it. It's tough. It's mentaly and physicaly straining. Good luck in whatever you decide.

 Good post. i have not entered the tournament scene, but stories like this make me realize i am not cut out for it. Once fishing becomes work, i feel i will lose the love for it.

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I have never done it but I have an optimistic perspective on it.  That's just my personality.  I know of countless people who have done it and some say it was a lot of work but they still enjoyed it.  They learned a lot from other guys and had fun too.  My personality is not one that is intimidated by bigger, flashier, more expensive stuff other people have.  If that is anyone else, then cool.  I for one enjoy seeing the bigger and better to some extent to gain insight as to what others are using.  I would love to enter into a tourney with my john boat,  a canoe, a kayak, or anything else the specific tourney mandates.  I need to at least try.  From there I can see what adjustments I need to make.  The saying goes, "to each his own" and I am just searching for input as to if it is possible to enter in with what I have for now.   Who knows, maybe one day I can be on the Classic with a picture of my first "decked out" John  Boat on the dash of my new Nitro.

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I am game to try the co angler stuff too.  Whatever I can do to gain experience.  I have wanted to compete for a long time.  It also reminds me of the importance of the angler skills.  The boat, tackles, gear, etc. is great, however the skills and knowledge of the sport is vital too.  Reminds me of my previous canoe.  I was on Lake Wheeler here in NC last summer and a few guys were making little comments about my canoe.  Nothing really bad, but they kinda viewed me as "out of the realm" of what needed to be holding my bass fishing stuff.  I saw two of the boats in one of the coves and they could not get into the shallower water.  I got my $19.99 Dick's Sporting Goods paddle and got in there several yards ahead of them.  I casted a white spinner a few times them caught a nice 3+ pounder.  They saw it and one guy said "no way, that's the canoe guy."  they yelled over to me "nice!" and I paddled in.  Good time, but my lats were on fire for the rest of the day.  LOL

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If you've never tournament fished before, I'd suggest you start small or as a co angler just to see what it's like. I started tourney fishing in 2005 with my then 15yo son.. I had a brand new 18k 17ft deep v with a 90hp. Our first tourney, the only thing I remember was my son saying "Dad, You have the crappiest boat out here"  We fished against guys who were sponsored up. Real fancy rigs. One guy even had his truck painted the same color as his boat. Very intimidating to say the least. It took us a couple years and a whole lot of work to start cashing some checks. I currently fish against guys in FLW and BFL and regular guys like me. The glitz and glamour you see on tv is misleading. Last year we qualified to fish the tournament of champions on Guntersville against 196 other boats. Still in the same 17ft deep v. Prefishing 12 hrs a day for 4 days is more work than actually working. I have to hand it to the guys struggling to make a living at it. It's tough. It's mentaly and physicaly straining. Good luck in whatever you decide.

What do you mean slone?  Sounds to me like the "glitz and glamour" you said was misleading was actually true for you, at least to me its true in your case. Hear me out. It may have been some hard work and that was poop, but you and your son got to fish some tourneys and you sound like you got some cash and a good deal of experience.  Your boat couldn't have been too crappy because it got the job done and you will always remember getting on the water with your son.  That's awesome you guys have those memories though.  That is the bottom line.  Our 6 year old daughter LOVES to fish.  Even if we go out and I catch a small one, she FLIPS out and begs me to hold it and then she wants to put it back.  Best feeling to me.  Fun is what I love about this sport.  Winning money is just a bonus.  :-) 

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. I'm not trying to talk you out of it. Just trying to be honest with you. I'm still fishing tourneys 8 years later. It's draining and It's not cheap. I do enjoy it or I woudn't be doing it. The mentality is different when you are fishing competitivly vs fun fishing. 

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True that!  I can imagine that it has its draining parts too.  Check out my 3 posts above this one.  I had added some stuff in response to your original post.  I think it is aweome that you do compete.  Keep in mind I have only been bass fishing 14 months.  I still get excited when I catch anything.  LOL  :-)

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What do you mean slone?  Sounds to me like the "glitz and glamour" you said was misleading was actually true for you, at least to me its true in your case. Hear me out. It may have been some hard work and that was poop, but you and your son got to fish some tourneys and you sound like you got some cash and a good deal of experience.  Your boat couldn't have been too crappy because it got the job done and you will always remember getting on the water with your son.  That's awesome you guys have those memories though.  That is the bottom line.  Our 6 year old daughter LOVES to fish.  Even if we go out and I catch a small one, she FLIPS out and begs me to hold it and then she wants to put it back.  Best feeling to me.  Fun is what I love about this sport.  Winning money is just a bonus.  :-) 

Glitz and glamour to spend 3 grand  to fish a 2 day tournament and come home with nothing is hardly winning money. No, I don't regret it at all. It was quite the learnng experience and if we qualify again I'm sure I would go. As far as winning money, I can normally win enough to pay for my fishing, so I break out even for the year. The crappy boat is going up for sale. I bought a new boat that is more tournament friendly than the last. Boats don't catch fish. They are just a too for a craftsman to perfect his skills

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That's a great point about the tool analogy. The glamour to me is the memories you have competing and also with your son. As for the $3k part, I would feel bummed too. Lol Keep the good work up in the tourneys. You need to get up there at the Classis and fish in 38 degree water temps. I still can't believe they are catching fish the last two days. They look like Eskimos out there LOL!

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My son has turned into a maniac. He is very competitive. Now 23yo, he emailed me a spread sheet with all the local clubs and a schedule of what tourneys we should fish. LOL.  

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I'm 29 and I know the feeling. That's awesome he shares the love for the sport. We have only one kid for now. Even if we don't have anymore I am still very happy and content that my daughter shares the love for the sport with me. If we ever have another child and it is a son he will fish and God help our bank account. Lol

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I have the smallest boat in my club, however there are events where it will be the better boat, when guys dont wanna run their $50,000 rig up into the low rivers. The biggest issue with a small boat/motor combo is someone else will almost always beat you to a prime spot. You either have to be ok coming through second or fish other stuff. Even if you draw to launch first by the time you get 500 yards someone who just pulled out will smoke you in the blink of an eye.

 

It might not seem like much but it can add up quick. You might have to make the best of it and fish 2-3 spots close to eachother where the other guy can run one end of the lake to the other in five mins.

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I have the smallest boat in my club, however there are events where it will be the better boat, when guys dont wanna run their $50,000 rig up into the low rivers. The biggest issue with a small boat/motor combo is someone else will almost always beat you to a prime spot. You either have to be ok coming through second or fish other stuff. Even if you draw to launch first by the time you get 500 yards someone who just pulled out will smoke you in the blink of an eye.

It might not seem like much but it can add up quick. You might have to make the best of it and fish 2-3 spots close to eachother where the other guy can run one end of the lake to the other in five mins.

exactly right!! Thats where knowing the body of water and being a good "junk" fisherman can really play into your hand.

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I wound up putting a seat on the front and a seat on the back I left the center bench empty. It is very stable in the water. I've had several compliments too from the before pictures and after when they see it. :-)

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