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Thad

Want to start tournament fishing more seriously.

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Spending the past week "babysitting" my grandfather really got me thinking. Life is WAY too short to not do what you want. I'm 21 and I'll be attending my 3rd college this year and I'm majoring in advertising. I have loved fishing ever since I can remember and I also can't remember a time when tournament fishing didn't fascinate me. Competition is what I live for, I went to my first school to play football before getting hurt. I have fished in a few local tournaments and my fathers annual 12 to 15 boat work tournaments. They have been running for 7 years now and we have won 6 of them. My only club tournament this year was with an old high school friend in which we won and I caught biggest fish. I know all of this is small and means nothing when it comes to "real" tournament fishing.

I have looked into BASS's Weekend Series and Federation Clubs and FLW's BFL. I only have my dad's Crestliner with a 90 on it so Co-Angling is my only option right now.

For you older guys, if you were starting over now what would you do in my situation?

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First of all, DONT DO IT, the bait monkey will get you....

But if you must, check out the ABA for  a local divisionl.  It is relatively inexpensive and I have had nothing but good times with them...

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Southwest Virginia.  Hummmmm.

I would suggest getting your degree; getting your career started so you can bank some funds; do not get married or have a serious girlfriend as she will dampen your fishing excitement if not kill it; and move closer to Richmond or head down south where you have more places and time to fish.

Then, do a number of things.

1.  Join a TBF/FLW bass club and fish their club tournament and Region tournaments and try to make the Six-Man Team.

2.  Fish the open tournaments, such as the Castaways (James River) and Eagle Rest (Chick Lake) plus others.  You may want to test your talents fishing the Fishers of Men Tournament Trail which is excellent and very competitive.

3.  If you do well and move up in your Club's standings and do well in Region tournaments, then you can try to make the Mr. Bass or Six-Man Team and fish against the best anglers in your area.

4.  To double your fishing outings, create a B.A.S.S. Club inside of the TBF/FLW Club (if the guys vote to do this and join) and fish the B.A.S.S. Region tournaments, too.

5. After a few years (don't think you will rocket to the top overnight) and with some luck you will win the Mr. Bass and Region Tournaments and catch the eye of the professional tournament sponsors and start to get sponsors.

6.  Then, you move up and fish the lower level B.A.S.S. and FLW Tournaments that will cost you a fortune to fish but at least you will be fishing with the semi-pros up and down the east coast.

7.  If you do well in the semi-pro tournaments, you may qualify to fish the B.A.S.S. or FLW higher level tournaments.

8.  You are in college so you do the math as to expenses, insurance, fees, fuel, mental health counseling, purchasing a boat, boat, motor  and tackle maintenance, lodging, food, tackle expenses, mental health counseling, clothing, rain gear, mental health counseling, tires, truck costs to pull the boat and did I mention mental health counseling?

Please get that degree.  You don't see any dumb pro bass fishermen. They all speak well; dress well; and represent both B.A.S.S. and the FLW in a professional manner.

Good luck and have fun in school.  College is the best five or six years of your life.  ;D

P.S.  Hang up your jock as you will not be doing much of playing any sports if you want to be a professional bass fisherman.  All of your time will be on the water or getting ready to go on the water plus the time you have to put in your career.

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8. You are in college so you do the math as to expenses, insurance, fees, fuel, mental health counseling, purchasing a boat, boat, motor and tackle maintenance, lodging, food, tackle expenses, mental health counseling, clothing, rain gear, mental health counseling, tires, truck costs to pull the boat and did I mention mental health counseling?

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Thad,

Have some fun and visit these two web sites to see what the guys are catching in both the B.A.S.S. and FLW tournaments.

You do not have to log in as shown.  Just go to the tournament results and see what is going on.

B.A.S.S.

www.vafederationnation.com

FLW

www.vabass.com

You can see the tournament results on the various bodies of water.

And remember, you can reach a lot of places to fish within 100 miles of Richmond, and then go to Smith Mountain Lake for tournaments, too.

:)

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Thanks for the help Sam. Its as if the fishing gods are looking after me though. Today my dad (almost 60) got promoted which means he gets to make his schedule. This is great now because he has always wanted to fish more tournaments and now he can. So now I don't have to start alone and either does my wallet.

Too late for the girlfriend. We've been dating for over 3 years and I she wants me to do what I want and she understands. But the great thing is she will be going to dental school in a couple years and guess where, Richmond! So that means I will be moving to Richmond for about four years. So looks like i have a plan at least.

After school we are wanting to move to Lake Norman. Love the lake for recreation but not for fishing. At least I will be within a couple hours from all the good SC lakes.

Thank again.

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Thad,

If you end up around Lake Norman you will have more bodies of water to fish than you can even begin to think about.  From Charlotte you have Norman, Wylie, High Rock, Badin, Tillery, Mountain Island, and Tuckertown just to name a few within 45 minutes to an hour drive.  It is a great area for fishing.

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Spend wisely.  Only buy the best equipment and gear.  Maintain and take care of it.  Wasting money on garbage tackle can hamper you in your goal.   If you see the Bait Monkey..... RUN!

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That's some excellent advice leaving me little to add so here is my short list

#1: buy a used name brand boat because most offer bonus money for winning Local and Regional tournaments in their boats this will help offset the cost and will help get your name out there.

#2: while fishing as a Co-angler helps with the cost of tournament fishing you need to learn to depend on yourself so enter the angler side.

#3: while larger sponsors are wonderful small ones are just as important and easier to obtain. I have 3 construction company owners who pay $25 each which pays for gas in the boat.

#4: stay an active member of Bass Resource so we can all say I knew him when  ;)

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Hello I am just now starting to fish in a tournament on lake stillhouse and Belton lake. To try to qualify for the tuff man competiton on lake belton this year. I have been fishing since I was 10 and yes I have did prety good at catching fish but not in a timely manor. that just makes me nervous. any sujestions. :-/

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Hello I am just now starting to fish in a tournament on lake stillhouse and Belton lake. To try to qualify for the tuff man competiton on lake belton this year. I have been fishing since I was 10 and yes I have did prety good at catching fish but not in a timely manor. that just makes me nervous. any sujestions. :-/

56 years old, dozens of tournament and I still get nervous   ;)

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I'm in my second year of college, work about 25 hours a week at UPS, and I fish the Bassmaster Weekend Series along with a few other little tourney's. I will tell you this, unless you really really want it, don't do it. I have been on the road most of the summer and it is expensive if you are not cashing checks and exhausting. The exhausting part is the worst though. Fishing 13-15 hour days, hardly eating, driving driving and doing more driving. And if you are not in a truck driving you are in a boat driving, driving, and driving. Then after to fish the tournament, you weigh-in, leave at around 5pm for the 6 hour drive home, and ave to be up for work in 3 hours. It will tire you out in a hurry. But when you get the big check and the trophy it is all worth it.

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