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William Wessels

Boat for Tournament

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Ok, so this is my first post on here. I have been fishing bass in table rock lake since I was old enough to cast. The only boat i have is a little 16ft aluminum boat with a 20 hp motor and a trolling motor on it. I would love to fish a tournament but i am a little embarrassed to use this boat in one. What does everyone think? opinions?

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Steve Kennedy got his start in a borrowed aluminum boat. As long as you don't have to accommodate a co-angler and your live well is in working order you should go for it. Any embarrassment you may feel will be long gone when you beat guys in sparkly rigs. Good luck!

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I've tournament fished for 37 yrs with numerous wins and I never owned a boat longer than 16' and it was an Alweld 1652 V-Nose Modified V bottom tunnel with a Tohatsu 40 hp; the bass boat I own now is a 1996 Stratos 258V which is only 15' 8 with a 70 hp Johnson.

The key to fishing tournaments in a small boat is entering tournaments that allow trailering and then learn all available launch sites.

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If you are embarrassed that's a personal problem you need to address. You are probably misjudging the guys in the larger boats. They have all been there and only a very small percentage will think that. Get in the game and have fun. You'll probably make some new friends.

Good luck.

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Well you guys are all right. Thanks for the help. I plan on fishing the big bass bash in middle may on table rock. I read some info about it and it seems like its all up for grabs by anyone. Not really  tournament just a big fish competition but with lots of oppurtunity to win.

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Never be embarassed by what you have---with that said...

The only issue you may have is that a lot of tournies and clubs have length and horsepower requirements for safety reasons so you may want to check if the tourney you're entering as such requirements.  

Remember---the boat does not make a fisherman.  I have caught some of my biggest fish out of a float tube!!

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"People in life who are the happiest don't have the best of everything; they make the best of everything they have"

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The goal is to put fish in the boat.    Do that and I don't think you'll care what anyone thinks.

For some added confidence, Mark Menendez just won anBASS  Elite event fishing out of a 17 ft G3 aluminum boat.

By the way, Ike used a jon boat he modified into a bass boat to work his way up the Federation ladder.

  It can and has been done.

  Good luck

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what they said! i have a small boat too and no one will point any fingers at you. if they do those are the people your gonna beat anyway. if someone pulls up in small dingy, im kinda intimidated cause i know they're locals and prob know thier stuff! go have fun.. ;)

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The first tourney me and my buddy won we were in a 14ft jonboat fishing against about 30 other guys. the thing was we knew this lake like the back of our hand. we caught 12lbs and won it. the key was skipping black and blue jigs under docks no one else even tried that. every dock had bass under it. my dad had put a cooler in it and a pump we already had a deck in it and put a bow mount trolling motor on and we were set. we fished in that for a whole summer.

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Last weekend while fishing a tournament on Sam Rayburn with over 7,500 entries a 14' jon boat with a 35 Mercury that had to be at least 25 years old came running up this creek I was fishing. When he turned sideways I noticed he had Arkansas tags on his boat. I ask him if he towed down here to fish and he said he did. Took him nine and a half hours to get to the lake. It was not bothering him at all that he was in that boat. Personally I hope he won some money.

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if those guys act stupid and laugh at you or whatever...just tell them that they probably arent laughing when they make a 500 dollar boat payment every month.

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My son and I have fished local tournaments in the chicagoland area for the past few years. The first larger tournament, I'll never forget the first thing he said to me. "Dad you've got the crappiest boat here" Three years later we're still fishing in that "crappy" boat. Haven't won much money yet but we finish better every year. Our first tourney this year is on Sunday and my crappy boat will be there. Last year we finished 10th out of 40 boats for the season. Makes me feel good that I'm able to out fish guys with $40,000 boats. The latest issue of Bassmasters Magazine covers this issue with Rick Clunn.

The only one that will hold you back in life is YOU.

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Who cares what everyone else thinks!!!

Most guys (and gals!!) started with a smaller boat and then get "the bug" to upgrade. If you feel that strongly about it, borrow someones bass boat for the tourneys. If you fish on Table Rock, you must have connections. A smaller boat, nothing fancy, can also be a good way to stay under the radar and then come in with a 20 lb. sack!!!

Good luck!!!  ;)

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I have a 16 foot Nitro and have had many good finishes with it.  A smaller boat has it's advantages, you can get into tighter spots than those 21 footers.  Tournament fishing is about catching fish, not what your boat looks like.  So what if those $50,000 boats pass you at blast-off.  You may be more limited in where you fish for the tournament, but if you are on fish, they don't care if you are in a 21 foot boat or a 14 foot jon boat.

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just find spots near the launch site...on my home lake....two really productive spots are in the area of the two marinas that the most tournaments go out of....i guess you could say its kinda like fishing a stocked pond haha...i know all of the fish dont stay...but alot of them will stay for at least a week...plus you know that thes fish are vulnerable and they will bite..

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The fish don't know what kind of boat you have.  Take you little boat and go kick some but in it.

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Man, I would be happy to have any kind of boat:

Give me a Jon, Canoe, or Kayak, and I would be happy!!

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I fished out of a 14' jon for many years. It always gave me a little cheap satisfaction to have someone in an expensive bass boat ease up close to see what I was catching them on.

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This is a good thread. I fished club tournaments for many years out of a 16.5' G3 with a 40Hp. It is tournament ready, but I never entered a large tournament like a BFL or BASS Weekend Series in it. However, that will change in June. After attempting to be a Co-Angler for the past couple of years, I realized that I need my boat. I put in a lot of time on the water and know how and where to catch the fish.  I mainly fish the Potomac and I can run where I want, it might just take a while.

For years I thought my boat was too slow, didn't have enough range, and the gets a little wet in a rough ride. BUT OH WELL. I made the decision to go as boater last weekend and this thread just helped reinforce it. I also didn't want to upset any co-anglers who go paired with me, but OH WELL. If we are catching fish, then there are no excuses. Thanks for the thread guys!!

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well man i have a 16 lowe jon boat with the tunnel drive on it with a 25hp johnson and i also have a 1988 glass stream bass boat with a 90hp on it and hands down no matter what kinda fishing im doing i always catch more fish out of the jon boat for some reason.

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