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Brett Stair

When are you “Tournament Ready”

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Curious to know you guys thoughts on being “Tournament ready”? I’d like to venture into the tournament arena at some point this year (local not professional) as a co-angler but don’t want to waste someone’s time fishing from the back of their boat. I think it might help me learn a lot more and get familiar with finding fish, techniques, and presentations. 

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You dont have to be good , you just have to enjoy it . 

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Back of the boat there are no requirements other than be friendly and helpful.  Be well organized and on time.  Have fun.

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When you can afford it

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36 minutes ago, Brett Stair said:

don’t want to waste someone’s time fishing from the back of their boat

 

You may "waste" your time but I highly doubt you'll waste their time!

 

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I have fished out of the back of a tournament boat one time and the most important two words to remember are “hang on.” Some people aren’t cut out for life on a fast boat and I am one of those people 

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When your confident you can catch a 5 bass limit.

 

 

Dont matter what size. You'll learn from there

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There is no 'qualification' needed, just go fish ;).  Make your gear compact and transportable and have a good PFD and rain gear and you'll be ready to go.

 

26 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

I have fished out of the back of a tournament boat one time and the most important two words to remember are “hang on.” Some people aren’t cut out for life on a fast boat and I am one of those people 

This is good advice also, the first ride in a bass boat can be a bit surprising....Depending on the boat/boater you draw.  

 

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All great suggestions above^^^

 

I promise you, you may not be the best but you won't be the worst. There will be guys of all skillsets fishing around you so just go, be respectful, pay attention and have fun. You will learn a lot depending who you get paired with.

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Nothing special needed to fish a tournament.

 

In fact, it is one of the best ways for a novice (and experienced) fisherman to learn something new about fishing.

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2 hours ago, slonezp said:

When you can afford it

LOL so true. Not every ''tournament fisherman'' is a talented bass fisherman that is for sure. I have met so many people that complete in tournaments that do not even have a double digit bass PB yet they will wear your ear off by telling you how many tournaments they have completed and that they are ''sponsored'' or ''prostaff'' by some lure company. There are also many talented bass fishermen that do not care for tournament fishing and all they care for is catching big bass and lots of them.

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2 hours ago, Logan S said:

There is no 'qualification' needed, just go fish ;).  Make your gear compact and transportable and have a good PFD and rain gear and you'll be ready to go.

 

This is good advice also, the first ride in a bass boat can be a bit surprising....Depending on the boat/boater you draw.  

 

I should have known when the guys boat brand was “beeline” and he said he would race anyone there even though he only had a 200. He was correct, somehow his boat was faster than everyone else. Fast enough in fact to leave the water and fly through the air on a few occasions. Never again hahahahhaba

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17 minutes ago, soflabasser said:

LOL so true. Not every ''tournament fisherman'' is a talented bass fisherman that is for sure. I have met so many people that complete in tournaments that do not even have a double digit bass PB yet they will wear your ear off by telling you how many tournaments they have completed and that they are ''sponsored'' or ''prostaff'' by some lure company. There are also many talented bass fishermen that do not care for tournament fishing and all they care for is catching big bass and lots of them.

I don't know how it is on the BASS, BFL, FLW weekend leagues. Local clubs have winners and donaters. Same guys are in the money every week. The rest donate. Step it up a notch. One of the guys I competed against for 15 years qualified for BASS Elites last year. He was in the money more often than not at a local level. He is currently a donater. I ran into him fishing our local water this past summer and he said it the toughest competition he has ever been in. 

 

Me, I never made money. I was happy if I won enough to have my fuel, ramp, and entry fees paid for the season. I think it's because I never bought a fishing jersey. 

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3 hours ago, slonezp said:

When you can afford it

word

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"Affording it" is all relative too.

 

I don't know how it is in your area, but here there are all sorts of levels to play on.

 

Everything from BFL's, Costa's, and B.A.S.S. opens to $40-$70 weeknight, weekday, and weekend open local tournaments against guys with all kinds of boats and skill level.

 

Get in where you fit in, have fun, and catch some fish. At the end of a "season" if you did well or not, chances are you will have learned A LOT, and become a better angler. Plus you'll make some life long friends. 

 

I prefer to fish in low key, laid back, low cost opens against my friends. It's highly competitive for bragging rights, and small amounts of money. At the end of the day, win, lose or draw, we all pat each other on the back, share what worked and what didn't, and the B.S. sessions before and after are always a good time.

 

If there's nothing like this in your area....do what I did, and start one. Like minded anglers will find you. Tournament bass fishing doesn't have to be about spending money out the wazoo, putting on a show, and cutting the throats of your fellow anglers.

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54 minutes ago, ww2farmer said:

 

I prefer to fish in low key, laid back, low cost opens against my friends. It's highly competitive for bragging rights, and small amounts of money. At the end of the day, win, lose or draw, we all pat each other on the back, share what worked and what didn't, and the B.S. sessions before and after are always a good time.

 

Thats the kind of thing I’m looking for and to work up from.

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Make sure you bring everything you need, including fishing gear, food, water, rain gear, goggles, PFD. Gear should be organized and not excessive. Offer to bring ice or anything else you can to contribute. Be at the ramp on time or earlier. Be respectful of the boater and be a sponge for his advise and experience. Don't boast or talk his ear off. Don't cast in front of the boater. Stay on the rear deck unless he might invite you to share the front deck. Get the net in hand if the boater has a good fish on. Don't step or stand on the upholstery. Don't lean on the windshield. When you grab a drink from the cooler offer him one. Help with launching or anything else at the ramp. Bring cash and reimburse the boater for expenses. Help clean trash from the boat when it's back on the trailer. Shoot him a text that evening thanking him for a great day. The above strategy will earn boaters' respect for the new guy much more than will your fishing ability.

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Find some weeknight jackpot tournaments you can fish with a friend, or find some open tournaments where you fish against other nonboaters and draw for your boater. I started in the latter format when I was 16 but we actually fished against the boaters and nonboaters in that club. I learned a lot, asked a lot of questions, made some mistakes but I think through clear communication with my boaters that I was inexperienced with how tournaments work we were always able to navigate through it without any issues. Did very well my first year with 2 wins, ROY, and 3rd place overall in the club. You never know until you try. 

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11 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

through clear communication with my boaters that I was inexperienced with how tournaments work we were always able to navigate through it without any issues.

This is KEY! And applies to much more than fishing tournaments.

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you're " tournament ready" when you want to go..........just do it........and enjoy it.

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When I joined a bass club we didnt even have a major reservoir to fish in and there was not one bass boat in the club . The lakes we fished were between 50 and 200 acres  and the boats were converted jon boats . i dont think  a single one even had a depth finder . As long as the non-boater paid his way  it was all good . It was good times and  we caught a lot of bass too . I need to scan a photo from those days .

 

 

Here we go . The late 70's . The Nemo Hawg Hunters . Im in back row second from the left  wearing a Manns hat . 

aa  nemo hawg hunters.jpg

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9 hours ago, scaleface said:

When I joined a bass club we didnt even have a major reservoir to fish in and there was not one bass boat in the club . The lakes we fished were between 50 and 200 acres  and the boats were converted jon boats . i dont think  a single one even had a depth finder . As long as the non-boater paid his way  it was all good . It was good times and  we caught a lot of bass too . I need to scan a photo from those days .

 

 

Here we go . The late 70's . The Nemo Hawg Hunters . Im in back row second from the left  wearing a Manns hat . 

aa  nemo hawg hunters.jpg

How cool is that?! Now that’s fishin’!

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On 12/30/2018 at 5:16 PM, riverbasser said:

When your confident you can catch a 5 bass limit.

 

 

Dont matter what size. You'll learn from there

 

This may be the measure for me. Can I? Yes. Confident I will? Uh... dunno... especially from the back of the boat. Guess I’ll keep working until I find that confidence but I did notice that a lot of the guys in these local tournaments get skunked or only pull in 1.

19 hours ago, scaleface said:

When I joined a bass club we didnt even have a major reservoir to fish in and there was not one bass boat in the club . The lakes we fished were between 50 and 200 acres  and the boats were converted jon boats . i dont think  a single one even had a depth finder . As long as the non-boater paid his way  it was all good . It was good times and  we caught a lot of bass too . I need to scan a photo from those days .

 

 

Here we go . The late 70's . The Nemo Hawg Hunters . Im in back row second from the left  wearing a Manns hat . 

aa  nemo hawg hunters.jpg

 

Extremly cool! That picture brings back some good memories for me as well because everytime I went fishing with my grandpa he’d end up having us holding our catch like that at the end.

On 12/30/2018 at 9:41 PM, hawgenvy said:

Make sure you bring everything you need, including fishing gear, food, water, rain gear, goggles, PFD. Gear should be organized and not excessive. Offer to bring ice or anything else you can to contribute. Be at the ramp on time or earlier. Be respectful of the boater and be a sponge for his advise and experience. Don't boast or talk his ear off. Don't cast in front of the boater. Stay on the rear deck unless he might invite you to share the front deck. Get the net in hand if the boater has a good fish on. Don't step or stand on the upholstery. Don't lean on the windshield. When you grab a drink from the cooler offer him one. Help with launching or anything else at the ramp. Bring cash and reimburse the boater for expenses. Help clean trash from the boat when it's back on the trailer. Shoot him a text that evening thanking him for a great day. The above strategy will earn boaters' respect for the new guy much more than will your fishing ability.

 

Mill mind this to a T when I get to that point. What’s a good PFD on the lower end of the budget scale?

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On 1/1/2019 at 2:00 PM, Brett Stair said:

This may be the measure for me. Can I? Yes. Confident I will? Uh... dunno... especially from the back of the boat. Guess I’ll keep working until I find that confidence but I did notice that a lot of the guys in these local tournaments get skunked or only pull in 1. 

If you go and put up a goose egg its not a bad thing,  there's no harm in it as you will caught the experience.

 

I had full confidence in winning the first local tournament.  Caught a 3lb 6oz fish the 2nd cast on a swim jig and was feeling good.  Total weight for the day was 3lb 6oz, but it was a great learning experience and met a bunch of other great fisherman that have become friends.    

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