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2016 Bfl Gator As A First Tournament?

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Hello and thank you in advance for any advice. Im currently looking to register for the 2016 FLW BFL Gator division as a co angler for april 23 and sept. 17-18 on Okeechobee. These two would be my first "real" tourney experiance beyond some weekly 4 hour bass clubs. My question is would these be too much for a first timer to take on? Ive never had the opportunity to fish Okeechobee before and would love the chance to learn from the back of the boat of someone who has. Now I understand im not gaurnteed a spot as a coangler in either tournament unless linked with a boater when I register? Any advice on being a Co-angler for the time and tournament fishing in general would be much appeciated; including any other tournament suggestions you might have other than the BFL?

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The experience of fishing Okeechobee will be worth the price of admission!

Sit back & enjoy the ride. ;)

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When I fished BFL tournaments (admittedly in Missouri), I didn't have a guaranteed boater most of the time.   I always got in.   Granted, this was several years ago.  The only time I saw guys not get in ( boaters and/or co-anglers) was when they showed up late, after registration was closed, and they hadn't pre-registered.

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"Too much for a first timer"? No, not at all.

The conventional thinking is that the BFL circuit is for the more experienced angler, while the TBF and B.A.S.S. Nations are for the less experienced..

I fish them all and have for years and IMHO that is not true at all.

Some may disagree, but there seems to be more rules savy angler's in the BFL, mostly on the boater side, but that's about it.

In any Gator Div. BFL, Your chances of fishing are absolutely increased if you can find a boater to link with. I and many other co anglers have been shut out by waiting too long to register without one.

(And that includes the Florida Bass Federation (TBF) and to a lesser degree B.A.S.S.'s BASS Nations circuit)

My advice is to start looking for one to link with now.

If you can't, then as soon as priority registration opens for the tournament you want to enter, call FLW's office direct (270-252-1000) to resister.

Don't do it on line or through the mail!

And do it at exactly when thier office opens, don't wait around. You will be put on a waiting list in the order the calls come in.

Try to enter them all if you can, even if you don't get to fish them all.

If you register for them all and fish as least 2 you will be eligible for the Wild Card tournament which is held somewhere centrally located.

This year it was on Lake Hartwell in SC, in 2014 it was on Kentucky Lake.

Good Luck, and stay in touch if you have any other questions.


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Called and registered first thing this morning so now we wait and see if I get in! If anyone is a boater looking to link let me know as I believe I can still link even after I register? Also if anyone has a boat and is going to be pre fishing Okeechobee or just fun fishing between now and april and would be willing to let me tag along I'd be happy to pitch in trip expenses.

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