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AustinHellickson

New angler wanting to start tournaments

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Hello everyone, i am a new angler (2nd year) and I want to start tournaments. I have a decent arsenal of lures and rods. For tournaments do I need to have a boat? I have a canoe to use but no boat. Any info that you guys may have would help. I have no clue where to start.

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How old are you, if you don't mind me asking?  The reason I ask is that tournament fishing can be extremely draining on your wallet and mental stability. I fished my first tournament as a non-boater when I was 16.  It was such a rough experience I actually didn't fish another one for like 5 or 6 years.  I absolutely bombed and that was with 7 years of experience bass fishing behind me.  I was, however, able to bounce back after I honed my skills and have enjoyed quite a bit of success over the years.  My point is, starting out in the tournament scene too early can be pretty frustrating and heartbreaking.  I'd hate to see young anglers get turned off to the sport so early because they aren't prepared mentally, physically, financially, etc.

 

With that said, if you're looking to start, a local bass club is always your best bet.  Many of them follow a boater/non-boater format which allows folks without a boat the opportunity to compete from the back deck of another members rig.  You can also check out the ABA (American Bass Anglers).  It's a national organization that have divisions all over the country.  They follow a boater/non-boater format as well.  Going as a co-angler/non-boater is important when you're just starting out.  It'll allow you to see how an actual tournament is run.  It also gives you insight as to how experienced tournament guys prepare and execute during a tournament day.  

 

Tournament fishing can be incredibly fun and rewarding.  I'm absolutely addicted.  I hope you find as much enjoyment in it as I do.  If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.  Good luck! 

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1 minute ago, RichF said:

How old are you, if you don't mind me asking?  The reason I ask is that tournament fishing can be extremely draining on your wallet and mental stability. I fished my first tournament as a non-boater when I was 16.  It was such a rough experience I actually didn't fish another one for like 5 or 6 years.  I absolutely bombed and that was with 7 years of experience bass fishing behind me.  I was, however, able to bounce back after I honed my skills and have enjoyed quite a bit of success over the years.  My point is, starting out in the tournament scene too early can be pretty frustrating and heartbreaking.  I'd hate to see young anglers get turned off to the sport so early because they aren't prepared mentally, physically, financially, etc.

 

With that said, if you're looking to start, a local bass club is always your best bet.  Many of them follow a boater/non-boater format which allows folks without a boat the opportunity to compete from the back deck of another members rig.  You can also check out the ABA (American Bass Anglers).  It's a national organization that have divisions all over the country.  They follow a boater/non-boater format as well.  Going as a co-angler/non-boater is important when you're just starting out.  It'll allow you to see how an actual tournament is run.  It also gives you insight as to how experienced tournament guys prepare and execute during a tournament day.  

 

Tournament fishing can be incredibly fun and rewarding.  I'm absolutely addicted.  I hope you find as much enjoyment in it as I do.  If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.  Good luck! 

thanks! i am 15

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Find a club and fish as a non-boater. That's what I did when I was 16 and it taught me a ton. 

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Yep. Find either a BASS or FLW affiliated club and join as a non-boater. You will learn a ton from your boaters. Soak up as much as you can.

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Don't want to be the spoiler here but due to liability issues most clubs/tourney trails will require you to be 18 years old. Some will allow you at 16 or less but may require an adult to be with you or have a parent or guardian sign a waiver. Also many tourneys will have rules against fishing from a canoe again due to liability issues. Most have mentioned joining a local bass club which is great advice. These days there are loads of kayak clubs that may allow a canoe, but again may not allow you to fish alone until a certain age.  

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On 8/23/2017 at 3:38 AM, Bluebasser86 said:

Find a club and fish as a non-boater. That's what I did when I was 16 and it taught me a ton. 

 

This is what I do and am quite a bit older than you. 

 

 

Mike

 

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Do the math.  Expenses for tournament fishing,  at the club level aren't appreciable different from expenses incurred fishing at the semi-pro level like BFL.  Entry fee might be a little higher, but travel costs will be the same, lodging costs will be the same, boat gas will be the same . . . .You aren't going to fish with any less expensive baits/gear just because it is a club tournament.

Most club guys won't mind carrying you once - for a single tournament, lodging, food, gas, whatever.

For a whole season that is definitely out of the question.  So - do the math and make sure you can afford it.

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8 hours ago, Mike L said:

 

This is what I do and am quite a bit older than you. 

 

 

Mike

 

X2. this is the way to go. also pay attention to what everyone is doing.don't be afraid to ask questions. after all it's a live forum.

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I don't believe that insurance requirements would allow a minor to participate.  On the outside possibly, your guardian would have to sign off.

Additionally, being a 2nd year bank fisherman, I think your time is better spent having fun and enjoying the sport.  Competitions can be very stressful for experienced guys.

I also think this would required support from your folks too

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B.A.S.S. Junior Bassmaster Clubs is what ya wanna look at!

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Have you checked with your school to see if they have a club you could join? Around here some schools offer a bass fishing club. Not sure if they do that country wide or not. Might be worth checking into. I'll be 46 in November and I've only been bass fishing since late March of this year. I've been looking for a local bass club to join and found one that at least the President and Vice President are here local in Pineville. I was checking out their tournament schedule and probably the furthest place I would have to travel to would be Toledo Bend Texas side something Bridge Landing, can't remember the full name, was the location there. I was checking out the rules and in order to be a member it looked like however much the dues are had to be paid before the first tournament in February of this year. However there is a possibility I could do one tournament as a guest. I wouldn't be awarded any points like members, but I believe since I would have to contribute to the side pot(total weight $25) and also maybe the big bass pot($5) that I would have a chance to win some money. Not completely sure though. I sent them an email asking about requirements for joining the club and also being a guest. May be tomorrow before I hear back from them since I just sent it about an hour ago. The next and final tournament of this year is not far from my house at all. It's at Saline/Larto Lake in Deville, Louisiana about 20 mins from me. Hope I can meet requirements for being a guest. I think it would be pretty awesome to participate in it and win or lose it would be a great learning experience plus would let me see first hand if joining a bass club now is something I could handle and afford. Hope you find something that's right for you. Good luck!

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I joined a club at 18 . There were no bass boats in the club   , just converted jon boats . It didnt cost a whole lot to fish that way . There were no large reservoirs nearby but a lot of small lakes with 10HP limits so big fiberglass rigs were just not  bought . 

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