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bassmanohio

What To Expect During My First Tournament

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Ok so I'm sitting here in ohio sicker than I've been in years. Our nightly lows over the past 30 days on average have been around 0 if not colder. I also have to have wisdom teeth cut out in the next month. Needless to say I need somehing to look forward to lol. And with family fishing this summer and my first set of tournaments set for this year I do have a couple things. However never fishing a tournament before what can I expect as a non-boater in tournaments?

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There are a lot of ways to answer that. Can you be more specific?

I suggest you search this forum. There are several good posts along those lines.

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Nope not completely I know everyone in the club but I don't talk to them all day ever day . Anyone have ideas on what to take for food ? I'm sure I won't eat much but what's good and easy to take on a boat to eat? I don't want my pole out of my hand for to long.

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Talk to the boater before hand find out what he plans on fishing then adjust tackle from there if he's throwing a crankbait your not going to be able to effectively fish a jig as for food light stuff like crackers chips etc.. Things you can eat while making a run

Tight lines

Andrew

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  When it comes to club fishing I would say your first year out to just go have fun. Some of the guys are going to be serious and some will be there just to have fun and hang out with the guys. Your just going to have to get to know them. I use to fish Federation clubs about five years ago. Fished the state team a couple of times and met a ton of fisherman. Many are still good friends. Now I fish Team Extream and a bunch of local stuff. The traveling just got to be to much. I like this better. The guy I partner with I meet back in the club days and we fish well together. But it is a great way to meet new friends. So I say go have fun and enjoy.

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Water, Mountain Dew & jerky! Will keep you going all day!

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Here are some tips as a nonboater.

1.  Call the boater as live to fish suggests and find out what he is going to throw. Take along those type baits plus others and don't be surprised if he throws something he never mentioned to you.

2.  Get a map of all of the waters you will be fishing and mark it when you get home illustrating all the places you fished that day.

3.  Keep a log of the adventure so you can start your library on that specific body of water at a specific time to use as a future reference.

4.  Find out if you can ride with the boater or meet him at the dock.

5.  Finding the launch ramp can be a challenge on a new body of water. if possible, drive to the landing before the tournament so you will know where you are driving to a new place in the early morning darkness.  It is easy to get lost and it can be difficult finding some of the ramps where the tournament blasts off.

6.  Bring drinks and lunch of your choice. Put waste in your tackle box or take a trash bag with you.

7.  Arrive at the launch site about an hour before blast off. If you can help the boater launch the boat please do so. Remember, a lot of tournament guys are on the water a half hour before blast off and if everyone is there and ready to go you can blast off earlier than advertised.

8.  Ask the boater where the net is. Ask him how he likes his fish boated. Some guys want you to just hold the net in the water and they will bring the fish to the net. Others want you to actively run the net under the bass and bring it up with the fish in it. Just clarify it and know where the net is so you don't panic when he yells, "get the net!"

9.  Try not to get any hooks in his seats.

10. Use MegaStrike so you don't spray all over the place with spray type scents.

11. Be quiet in the boat. When going from the rear deck to the middle try to be quiet. When you open your tackle box try to be quiet.

12. Bring needle nose pliers, a scissors, and your Personal Flotation Device plus your culling system. Don't forget your hat and sunglasses.

13. Try to go to the bathroom before blast off and don't overload on the coffee. You may be fishing places with houses or camps and you don't want to put on a show that could get the young ladies all excited and have them jumping into the water to come and see you.

14. You will get snagged. Ask the boater for help in getting you unsnagged.

15. Watch and notice everything the boater does. His rods, reels, baits, techniques, hooking methods, changing of baits, skipping, etc. Learn all you can from the trip.

16. Wear a watch to make sure you are not late to the weigh-in. Tell the boater when  you have a hour to go as some boaters get so hung up on fishing they forget about the time.

17. If fishing in cold weather bring along a change of clothes and a towel in case you get wet so you can change into dry clothes.

18. Just be polite and be yourself.

20. If there is a nonboater fee please give it to the boater before blast off without him asking you for it. Very important and can sour a day in a heartbeat if you don't pay or the boater has to ask for the money. If the boater has to ask for the money he will be tight lipped for the rest of the day or PO'ed that you have not paid him. So cough up the dollars and go out and have a blast.

21. Bring a cell phone in case of an emergency.

 

Let us know how you do. And remember, you are not going to win the tournament unless you get extra lucky. So enjoy the experience; learn from it; and build upon it for future tournaments and fun fishing.

 

All the best for a fun and safe time.

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And what can you expect?

 

Expect to be "back boated" by the guy on the front deck.

 

It comes with the territory as a nonboater.

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So what do I do if he places me in non fishable water? I'm suppose to get front of boat for four hours . What if he don't let me? I don't want to snitch I'm not that way .

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In my experience, MOST all boaters won't rear end you too much. Some will but not think about it, just bring it up jokingly and they will realize. If it anything like my club and your a new to the club they will help you out in more ways than some, most of the time.

 

Another couple things...In my club, you have to have your own PFD (pretty self explanatory) but also a weigh in bag.

 

Ask the boater about his cooler space and that will determine if you can bring a sandwich, several drinks...etc.  I ALWAYS have 2-3 Nature Valley bars and 2-3 cans of Vienna Sausage, because their nonperishable, and can keep them in my bag.  Some boats/boaters will have whole lockers or a lot of space for your extra tackle, food, rain suit/jacket, etc...But don't count on it...again just talk with him pre tournament.

 

I ALWAYS, take the straps & motor toter off the boat, unless they just want to, and put it back on after we take out...just courteous. But NEVER unstrap the main winch unless your asked or ask if he wants you too. It's always better to help the boater out with small stuff like that and running lights...etc in the long run

 

As far as tackle/rods/reels..I have a good amount of stuff in those categories, but limit myself to 5 bait casters and maybe a spinning setup.  I started out with a backpack/tacklebox from spiderwire that would hold 4 reg sizes boxes and all the extra plastics etc i needed. BUT found a much better way, depending on the amount of tackle you have and want to bring as a non boater.  A medium size Bass Pro Shops yellow boat bag will hold a ton and is not too big.  It will also hold a jacket, rain suit and weigh bag along with all my tackle and accessories.  Its waterproof and all in one place...ive found that a lot easier, again if you want to bring that much and the you and the boater agree that its not in the way.

 

In my club, we have the right to run the front of the boat and the non-boaters spots for half the day, which I've never used the option personally  The only time I've been rear ended, and it's hard not to, is in the spring when they are on bed.  But as all the posters have said...BE A HUMAN SPONGE and not only learn how to fish better, but tournament fish as well.  I joined a 40-50 member club 4-5 years ago and was that sponge and made the top 10 and fished our classic last year, so learn, learn, learn!  Good luck and tight lines.

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Thanks for all your info guys. I always learn I do anything I can to put myself in learning situations. My first tour is 4/13/14 and I'm excited and nervous. I'd love to win the first one but I would be just as happy if I just catch one keeper. I want to be competitive and not look like an idiot and not fall in lol.  

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Great info from you guys, I will be fishing my first tourney next month as well.

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From my years of tournament fishing, my advice is really just to keep it simple.  It's a day on the water where there just happens to be money involved.  If you have a good day of fishing, you may end up at the top.  If you have a bad day, you'll finish near the bottom.  Don't blow it out of proportion.  They are fun, but really, it is just 8 hours to see what you can do.

 

Fish the moment, don't fish history.  Make sure your gear is good to go the night before just like you would on any normal day on the water.  

 

Good luck and I hope you enjoy it!  They sure are fun.

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