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vmabuck

Getting Started In Tournaments.

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I do plan on getting in on some tournaments here in the near future as soon as I repair the livewells on the Cajun.

 

I am assuming the best route would be getting in on locally run tournaments? Or should I just enter anything and everything I can afford?

 

How did you get started?

 

I am in NE OK and there seems to be plenty of tournament action around me. I live about 5 minutes from the southern most boat ramp on Grand Lake of the Cherokee. And I live about a thousand yards from the banks of Spavinaw Lake...

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If I were you I'd get into a small club somewhere.  Start off fishing small tournaments about 15-50 boats.  Then if you have success at that level move on up to maybe a tournament trail with 100-200 boats.  There is more money to win in the larger trail but it cost more and it is a lot harder to win it, so working your way up is the best way to go.

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That is what I was figuring.

Now I need to figure out all the non fishing stuff I need like culling gear and weighing bags etc...

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That is what I was figuring.

Now I need to figure out all the non fishing stuff I need like culling gear and weighing bags etc...

 

Most of the tournaments are going to have weigh-in bags for you. 

 

Culling beads and a culling beam can be very helpful. You don't need to put every fish on a culling bead. If you know your waters you will know if you will be culling that 3lber or not. 

 

Okie is a pretty good BFL division. Look into that as well. Wouldn't hurt to fish a year or two of it as a co-angler.

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Okie is a pretty good BFL division. Look into that as well. Wouldn't hurt to fish a year or two of it as a co-angler.

 

For sure!

 

I'll be a co-angler as long as it takes!

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Ok, so after a little research it seems I am a little late to get into this for this year.

 

Seems a lot of the series action started around Feb for the local tourney scene. I'll have to start asking all these guys I see at the boat ramp and see what they are into. I see plenty of people out here that look like they are more than recreational anglers.

 

I know I have heard some local guys talk about potlucks? Whatever that means...

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One tool that helps speed thing up is a Berkley Lip Grip Digital Scale.  You simply grab the fish get a quick weight and throw it on a culling bead.  It makes things go much smoother.

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Just jump right in and test your skills against the other anglers .  If you can catch bass you can compete . 

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I'm assuming the "potluck" you are talking about are jackpot tournaments. Usually a weekly tournament with a cheaper entry fee. They usually take a little out of the entry fee for a "end of year fish-off/classic", then they pay big bass and a few spots depending on how any boats are there. There are no membership fees or any of that stuff, just a bunch of guys out fishing. It's basically half fishing half social. 

 

As far as the other tournaments that have already started around you, it's really never to late to join. Even if you only get to fish in a few more for the remainder of the year, that adds experience and confidence. Then start with them next year and take AOY and ROY  :respect-059:

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As far as the other tournaments that have already started around you, it's really never to late to join. Even if you only get to fish in a few more for the remainder of the year, that adds experience and confidence. Then start with them next year and take AOY and ROY 

 

Ya, good point I suppose.

 

Either way if you place in one or two you place in one or two. I'll get to work on those live wells this weekend. There are a few coming up in the next couple months close to me...

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Talked to an ole boy this afternoon and he turned me on to a local Jackpot (don't know why I thought potluck LOL!) on Lake Hudson every Wed.

 

Hudson was #63 on that top 100 bass lakes. Have not fished it yet.

 

I'll have to start hitting those up!

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Start something small like a max 20 boats. Once you are cashing checks move up to bigger ones.

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That's about the size of this one I think...

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That should be perfect for a starter like you, that's the size I fish in some of my tournaments. 

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All you need to get into local club tourneys is a boat and the money for the entry fees. You don't even have to know how to fish.

 

A culling beam is more accurate than depending on a scale. Around here, weigh in bags are supplied at the ramp. This is to prevent the spread of invasive species and disease. 

 

When you are searching out clubs, pay attention to the amount of payback at the ramp. It's not always cut and dry. The club I fish claims something like 85% BUT that is not at the ramp. Some of the entry fee is allotted for the purchase of 3 prize boats at the tournament of champions. The ramp payback ends up being around 70% +/- If you are competing for a weekly check, this is not the way to go. If you want to possibly move up into the "big leagues" Then consider this option.

 

Mostly, just try to have fun. There are guys who get so consumed in the competitiveness, they are miserable on the water when things don't go as planned

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Good info, thanks!

 

Defiitely plan on having fun!

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I just joined a small local club and they only have 4 tourneys left. I called the president and talked to him and he welcomed me with open arms. Find one you want to join and call or email them, good luck!!

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I fished my first tournament tonight. It was a local buddy tournament, cost $25.00 to enter per boat. A friend went with me. Although we used my boat I let him take the bow and I co angled. There were 30 boats entered. We weighed fish and I had a great time. Another thing is that once I got going my fishing was much more focused than normal and I think i added about twenty feet to my normal casting range. My time to tie on a new bait also got a lot faster.

 

I made some mistakes and learned a lot. I will certainly do it again it was a lot of fun.

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I fished my first tournament tonight. It was a local buddy tournament, cost $25.00 to enter per boat. A friend went with me. Although we used my boat I let him take the bow and I co angled. There were 30 boats entered. We weighed fish and I had a great time. Another thing is that once I got going my fishing was much more focused than normal and I think i added about twenty feet to my normal casting range. My time to tie on a new bait also got a lot faster.

 

I made some mistakes and learned a lot. I will certainly do it again it was a lot of fun.

I know what you mean... your time on the water goes a lot faster than normal. It's weird the next time you go out on the water after a tournament, it feels like something's missing without the pressure.

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