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Starting Tournaments

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I'm just starting to enter tournaments since I'm starting to be able to drive and take my boat out without my dad and I was wondering if anyone has any tips since I'm younger than most other people in the tournaments I'm in. Any suggestions can help haha

Thanks

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First and foremost, pre fish the lake you are going to have the tournament on. With some well spent time on the water beforehand you can set a loose plan of attack for the "big day."

 

Be nice and cordial to everybody and don't be cocky. Ask questions pertaining to the tournament rules but don't ask questions pertaining to what lures to use and where to fish.Don't believe much of what you hear before the tournament starts regarding techniques that are catching fish or the size of fish being caught. Some of the best anglers I fish against are notorious for spreading false information and playing head games before, during, and after tournaments. Set realistic goals and don't plan on getting rich solely from tournaments. Keep a positive attitude throughout the day. Even if you haven't caught your limit, or any fish, and theres only 10 minutes left in the tourney all it takes is a couple minutes and you can fill your livewell quickly. Withing the last 10 minutes of two different club tournaments this year I boated my biggest fish and those fish are the ones that propelled us to a divisional championship. As the lunatic Ike says, "NEVER GIVE UP!"

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I agree with what indianabasshunter said. Some of the dock talk is very cliquish. It may take some time to break into the clique(s). Don't let them push you around. Worry about you beating the bass, not the competition. Never leave fish to find fish. Time on the water is more beneficial to you than anything else. When you become an elite pro, don't forget the guys on BR who gave you advice. 

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When you want to fish a dock, pier, wood or other structure along the bank point the boat directly at the bank, turn off the motor about 100 feet out and go in with trolling motor. Quiet entrance and the wake will not bounce you around.

 

Have your rods set up. At least four with you in the front of the boat and the remaining 1,000 organized and leaning on the passenger seat.

 

Have net ready to go at all times and in easy reach.

 

Be a gentleman at all times, as you are. Smile and listen to the old goats even though they may be fibbing a little, or a lot.

 

Have your game Plan A ready and Plan B in your back pocket so when Plan A goes down in flames you have a backup. You plan by looking a all maps of the waters you will fish; Google the name of the body of water for fishing reports; Google for the name of the guides and visit their web sites to see if they have information and tips. Use Google Earth to view the waters. The Google Earth maps may be outdated but you can still see a lot of data.

 

Since Simpsonville is in the middle of the state near Clepson you do not have tidal rivers which is a plus. However, in your part of the state you will be fishing a lake so get to know the lake. If possible prefish the lake. Get to know all you can about the lake, its cover, its structure, docks, piers, marinas, ramps, blowdowns, humps, piers, moored boats, sunken boats, trees, grass, pads, drop-offs, creeks and most of all the cleanest water you can find and the water temperature. Check on local guides' website, too, for their fishing reports.

 

This is your homework and you have to do homework on the body of water or you will be lost when you get there for the first time.

 

Open your well before blast off so the officials can check your well to make sure it has no water or fish in it.

 

As for your competitors, be nice and friendly. Being a young guy they will want to meet you. Young guys can out fish the old goats, especially if you have a faster boat.

 

WATCH ANY OTHER ANGLERS AND NOTE WHERE THEY ARE FISHING AND WHAT THEY ARE THROWING. If you see a big white glump of bait then it is a white spinnerbait. Why is he throwing a white spinnerbait? What does he know that I don't? And why is he throwing it to the bank and back? Sunken trees or brushpiles? Get the drift?

 

Once you find the pattern stick to it until it changes. Be patient. Don't panic. Give yourself time to get back to the ramp before weigh-in. Ask someone to back your truck and trailer onto the ramp so you can trailer the boat. And have someone back you in at blast off and then get the keys from him. And don't be late to the blast off. Get in line and prepare the boat for launching so when it is your time you are ready and have someone to back you in and park your rig.

 

DO NOT LET ANY BAIT HIT THE WATER BEFORE BLAST OFF OR AFTER WEIGH - IN TIME. And remove all baits from your rods for weigh-in so no one will know what you were throwing.

 

Give other participants a wide berth, at least 50 feet, if you meet them on the water. Go wide around them. Slow down so you don't throw a big wake as you speed by them. Say hi and ask them how they are doing. Tell them how many you have in the well, too. And try to notice the baits they are using.

 

In simpler words, be courteous towards the other participants but try to gleem as much information without asking as you can and use it to your advantage.

 

Learn from the experience. Have fun. Don't get frustrated if you don't win or don't do as well as you would like.

 

And most of all let us know how you did.

 

All the best and Tight Lines.

 

Geaux Tigers!!!!!

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WATCH ANY OTHER ANGLERS AND NOTE WHERE THEY ARE FISHING AND WHAT THEY ARE THROWING

Sam, I wouldn't teach anyone to be a bent rod!!

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