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c34hels

Getting my start in tournament fishing

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I am a senior at Penn State University and grew up in Central PA.  Im 22 years old and have just recently caught the bug for tournament fishing.  I want to fish at the highest level I can, but to be honest I do not know where to start.  Any advice on some initial steps I should take to begin my competitive fishing career?

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You should become a member of the Bass Angler Sportsmens Society (B.A.S.S.) if you are not already, then that will allow you to join your local bass nation club. Check out the following link for specific PA info. (http://pabassnation.com/). Expect around $100 in annual dues plus a fee for every tournament as well as gas money for your boater. Fish as a co-angler for your first year and learn how the tournaments work and you will learn an incredible amount from your boaters every tournament. From my experience, fishing tournaments with others is the fastest way to increase your individual skills as a fisherman. Good luck!

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Fish as many tournaments as possible. NHbassin is right, join a local bass club. From there you can fish club tourneys while learning a ton of info. Its also a great way to meet friends who you then could fish open tournaments with. In my experience the more $ an open tourney costs to enter the more difficult it is to win. Once you start doing well in 50-100 boat tourneys then it at be time to think about doing some trail series.

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I started in a Jon boat with a cooler livewell, then I progressed to a small aluminum with outboard/trolling motor and livewell, and now a bassboat. All I can say is start within your budget and comfort zone, no need to buy an expensive bass boat and try to compete in federation tournaments or the likes. 

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If you've never fished tournaments before, it may not hurt to look into local clubs to you as well. I grew up south of State College in Bedford. I know the TMO series fishes around Bedford/Somerset area. Jim's Achorage holds tournaments on Raystown. There may be more clubs around State College, but I am not familiar with them. 

 

We are!

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I live about 20 minutes from State College, and I grew up around here, so I know the area very well, along with some of the bigger name lakes close by that host tournaments (Sayer's Dam, Raystown, Glendale, and Curwensville are all within an hour of here). Would be more than willing to share some knowledge to get you started at these areas.

There are multiple bass clubs in the area around here, I belong to Tyrone Bassmasters. In case you didn't know, Tyrone is a small town about half an hour southwest of State College. We are always accepting new members, and you can join as a boater or rider, dues are $105 for the entire year, plus 20 dollars each club tournament. We have guys of all experiences, from guys who have sponsorships, to guys who seem to "zero" a lot. We fish most tournaments at the lakes mentioned above, however we also do two "away" tournaments, where we travel to lakes, this past year we went to Deep Creek, MD, and Chautauqua Lake, NY. At the end of the year, we do a two day, "Classic" where all anglers are paired up, and everyone gets some money. Further, we are members of both FLW and The Bass Federation, and you will have the opportunity to fish district tournaments in order to qualify for the State, National Semi Final, and National Championship. 

If you are looking for something closer, Penn State has a bass fishing team as a club sport, one of our former members is in it, and went very far this year. 

PM me if you'd like more info. 



 

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