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NEjitterbugger

First Tournament Help...

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Hey guys, I'll be fishing my first tournament May 9th. I have never fished a tournament and was wondering if anyone could give me some tips/background on tournaments in general...

 

 

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It really depends on the rules of the tournament. College tournaments have similar rules to FLW/ BFl etc but high school tournaments differ from state to state.  I would suggest learning the rules first because you can lose for something really stupid like not wearing your life jacket with the big motor running.  Pre fish the tournament and create a pattern. Have those baits ready to go tournament day. There is no need to have winter baits like say a shad rap tied on when the bite has turned to a bait with a wobble like a dt 6 or strike kind xd series ( it may be colder by you but this logic applies all year round, it doesnt make sense to throw a topwater lure when the fish are slow, sluggish and deep)  Have all of your  rods ready and tied on and have a day box with your lures / plastics you are going to use. Go through your box and learn where every single lure is at. Bring a watch, time management is key. If you are fishing as a co-angler listen to your boater. If he is fishing a crank bait or spinnerbait up a bank there is no point to throwing a shakey head because you will not fish it properly. If your boater is throwing a white and blue spinnerbait try and throw something a little bit different to see if the fish will bite that.  I hope this helps a little bit, any specific questions though?

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my advice is dont over think things snd fish every hole as thouroughly as you can

most importantly, have fun

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Where is your tourney ?

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all ya need on the whinni is a chartruese spinner bait! lol

 

last time i fished winni (may 2005) my partner and i scored well on pointer 110 ghost minnow, x-rap black and chrome, black and blue jigs, drop shots (green pumpkin worms) and chartruese w twin willows in silver or chartruese

 

had to look in my old fishing diary for that lol

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Theyre on the jerkbait bite here for sure but they will be on beds in the next couple of days. Water changed that drastically.

 

 

If you share a livewell you better have a marker system

 

Know the legal limit on the lake including size, it can change in places month to month.

 

If you have 5 rods, tie on five things you think are going to work, losing time changing out lures will kill you over the course of a day.

 

If they dont provide a weigh bag you will need your own.

 

Some tournaments require you to show proof of insurance with minimum amounts especially if youre the boater.

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I wasted more time second guessing myself and tying on different lures in my first year tournament angling last year.  This year I committed to minimizing the amount of lure changes as much as possible on competition days.

 

Try and stick with confidence baits and work them hard!  Enjoy the experience ... there is nothing quite like tournament competition.

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Know the rules. What Felix said, fish your strengths.  Tournaments are not a time to try new tactics.  Most importantly have fun, don't get so worked up about competing that you lose the fun part of it.

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I agree with Felix too. Id say do some research, and have a pretty good array of lures tied on that you have confidence in. Be able to cover different situations. If it's a pre draw tournament and you're a co angler, ask your boater what he plans to do vaguely. If he plans to fish horizontal baits, have some tied on, if he's going vertical flipping and pitching be ready for that. You should still carry a couple of both though, that way if he or she changes their mind and switches their technique, you won't be retying.

 

 

Above all else,

ENJOY IT!

 

Good luck, let us know how you do!

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I agree with Felix too. Id say do some research, and have a pretty good array of lures tied on that you have confidence in. Be able to cover different situations. If it's a pre draw tournament and you're a co angler, ask your boater what he plans to do vaguely. If he plans to fish horizontal baits, have some tied on, if he's going vertical flipping and pitching be ready for that. You should still carry a couple of both though, that way if he or she changes their mind and switches their technique, you won't be retying.

 

 

Above all else,

ENJOY IT!

 

Good luck, let us know how you do!

 

Will do..

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Best of luck. Please let us know how you do.

 

Now for some suggestions to consider for tomorrow's event:

1.  Don't panic. Just keep fishing and looking for the patterns and trying different baits and techniques.

2.  Be polite.

3.  Keep mouth closed and eyes and ears open.

4.  Make a mental note of every place you or your partner caught a bass and mark it on your map when you get home. Add in the baits that were productive along with all fishing conditions at the time the bass were caught.

5.  Don't make a mess in the boat. Clean up after yourself and put all trash in a bag or someplace where it will not blow out of the boat.

6.  Don't take 20 rods and 100 pounds of baits. Slim down. Take an additional baitcaster and spinning reel just in case one of the ones you are using gets a serious backlash or fails. One pack of each plastic you want to throw should last you all day.

7.  Don't be bashful and not change baits on your rods. You can use a crankbait rod for more than crankbaits.

8.  CHECK THE LINE FOR KNICKS, CUTS, SCRAPS AND ABRAISIONS ALL DAY LONG. By doing this you can remove line that has been damaged. Keep line and don't throw it overboard.

9.  RETIE AFTER EVERY TWO OR THREE FISH. Yes, retie your hook's knot after two or three fish.

10. Know where the net is located in the boat by asking the boater. Have the net ready for him to net your big ones and you to net his big ones. Ask  him how he likes his fish netted. Some guys want the net in the water so they can lead the fish into it while others want the net out of the water so you can jab the net at the bass to net it.

11. Have your fish markers ready so you can put them through the gills and into the livewell to note your bass.

12. Have sissors and needles nose pliers with you at all times.

13. Know the local watercraft safety rules. In Virginia it is illegal for anyone to be on the gunnel or back of the boat when the power motor is running. This includes sitting in your seat in the rear of the boat when the trolling motor is down and the big motor is running to move the boat a few feet. When the big motor is on everyone has to be in their bucket seat.

14. If you have your own weigh-in bag bring it with you.

15. Ask where you can store your additional gear in the boat. Be sure to have rain gear if there is a chance of rain. Bring drinks, snacks and lunch. Have additional food and drinks in the car so you can get to them for the weigh-in and on the way home.

16. Bring your PFD, cap, poloraized sunglasses, and a strap to hold your glasses tight to your face. if you have a BUM wear it!

17. Talk to your partner if he wants to talk. Shut up if he does not want to talk. Concentration is the name of the game.

18. If you know your partner give him a call today and ask him how he plans to fish. Fast (crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, buzzbaits, lipless crankbaits, etc.) or slow (plastics, Carolina rig, pitching and flipping, shaky heads, Senkos, etc.) If you want to flip and pitch or throw a drop shot and he has control of the boat and wants to throw search baits you have a problem. Just be ready to throw the techniques he throws using different styles or colors to find the fish.

19. If there is a nonboater fee please give it to the boater at blast off without having him asking for it. This will start your adventure off on the right foot.

 

Just be yourself. Be friendly. Listen to what the other guys say at the weigh-in. Casually walk around the boats during weigh-in and look at the baits still on the rods. You will be surprised as to what you can learn by looking at the baits, especially on the boats with the guys who nailed them that day.

 

And if the boater starts to clean off the water and **** off his boat please help him by wiping down the other side.

 

We look forward to reading about your first tournament on Friday. Please make sure we can find the post in the tournament section.

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One more suggestion to consider.

 

For your crankbaits consider having a snap at the end of your line.

 

A snap allows you to change lures fast and without retieing.

 

All the best for a fun time and success.

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I'll post my results here... I should be home some time tomarow afternoon to make a post. Waking up at 3am leave at 4am, inspection at 6 - 730, fish from 8-2, results, then come home...

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Super fun day, don't know what place we got yet but our bag was 7.3 pounds and the winner was a 12.4 bag.... We could have upgraded or smallies but went for a kicker largie at the end of the day... I got a big pickerel and my partner hooked a 5 pound lake trout but lost him at ther boat, definatley planning on fishing more tournerys in the future...

 

tourney boat

 

touney

 

tourney3

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Super fun day, don't know what place we got yet but our bag was 7.3 pounds and the winner was a 12.4 bag.... We could have upgraded or smallies but went for a kicker largie at the end of the day... I got a big pickerel and my partner hooked a 5 pound lake trout but lost him at ther boat, definatley planning on fishing more tournerys in the future...

 

Sick boat your boater had. Pretty sure you listed to his advice lol Nice bag 

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Great stuff guys. I'm going to be fishing as a co-angler on a tournament trail for the first time in my life starting in July and I was pretty nervous about what I should know and do. Some great tips and advice!

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Great stuff guys. I'm going to be fishing as a co-angler on a tournament trail for the first time in my life starting in July and I was pretty nervous about what I should know and do. Some great tips and advice!

i did my first two co-angler tournaments this past week, and let me say two things.  Follow what these guys posted in this thread, some great into.  Also, you will realize you are smarter and better then you think.  I fished with a great guy, but i thought i was going to be wowed, I wasn't.  He actually made some bad decisions on the water that cost us fish.  But, the experience was fantastic, and will really help me in my tournament this weekend where I am the sole boater, no co-anglers.  The one thing that was odd for me what the angles, you just aren't used to fishing at the angles you will fish at.  But, it doesn't take long to get used to the new angles.  

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Nice report back, and nice work getting your feet wet in competitive fishing.  As long as you keep it loose, fun, and find your confidence, you'll do well.

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