Bass tournaments can teach you a lot about bass fishing.
Along with learning about fish finders Out of all my fishing experiences through the years, I would have to say that bass tournaments have taught me more lessons about catching bass than any other.
I doubt if there are more than a handful of bass fishermen in the entire world who have not dreamed of being a pro tournament fisherman. Even though very few who dream the dream ever realize it; most all do try their hand at tournament fishing at some level during their time.
One of the most often asked questions I get from those who are new to the sport of bass fishing is "how long do you think it will take to learn enough to be able to fish in tournaments?" My answer is, as long as it takes you to pay the entry fee and get on the water. You do not have to be a good or even an experienced bass angler to get in a bass tournament. In fact I encourage all beginners to get involved in tournaments as soon as possible.
Now, before you start thinking that my motives are sinister and I want you to lose all your money fishing tournaments that you have no chance of winning, let me explain. I'm not telling anyone to go throw down big bucks to fish against pro's or much more experienced fishermen. I'm simply saying that bass fishing competitions with other anglers whether it be more experienced, less experienced or at the same level as you, is an extremely valuable tool for learning bass fishing even if you yourself do not catch a single fish.
How you will learn from bass tournaments
When you fish at the same time and on the same water with a group of other fishermen who are all willing to share their information with each other, its equivalent to getting a month of experience in 1 day.
Whether it's for money, trophy or just bragging rights, each time a tournament is launched, there are a number of different fishermen using different lures and techniques on different parts of the lake or river and the results of this scenario is a world of fishing information if shared by all. You will learn what worked and what didn't work even if you don't catch a fish.
The best bass tournaments for learning are those that involve little or no money. When dollars are at stake in competition it motivates fishermen to keep the information they gain secret or even worse they lie. As a beginner you should look for small pot tournaments or even start your own. It doesn't take very many fishermen or even any money to have a bass fishing tournament that can be extremely beneficial to all who participate in terms of a learning experience.
How to start your own bass tournament
If you have a few friends who like bass fishing then you have a potential bass tournament. You don't even have to have boats; you can have a bank fishing tournament. Make up your rules, set a date and place, call up your friends and tell them about your tournament. You can buy a small trophy or plaque for $20 show it to everyone and tell them this is the prize for the winner. I guarantee that at least some of them will show up if a trophy is at stake; people love trophies.
If you don't want to buy a trophy you can have a pot tournament. In the pot tournament format everyone puts a set amount of money into the pot. it can be per person or per boat; and the winner gets the pot. the entry fee can be whatever amount you decide on. However I recommend that you keep the entry fees low. The more money that's involved the less willing the fishermen will be to share information. On the other hand, the smaller the pot the less fishermen you will draw to your tournament. But those who are only interested in the money are not likely to honestly share fishing information with competitors so you don't need them anyway.
Whatever tournament format you decide on, since your motive for putting on a tournament is to learn; one of your rules should be that the winner has to tell everyone how he caught his fish. You should make it known to all the competitors that the tournament is about learning to catch bass. and everyone will be expected to share fishing information honestly.
Bass club tournaments
Joining a bass club is another great way to learn to catch more bass. There are hundreds of bass clubs located in most every state here in the US. If you live in this country, odds are good that there's a local bass fishing club near you. While being in a club can be a little more expensive and require more of your time; joining a club is certainly a great way to learn and have a lot of fun fishing. You should understand before joining a club however, most clubs are extremely competitive and not every member will be willing to share information with others.
There are clubs who use a tournament format of fishing against other clubs. In this format the club works together in tournaments as a team to catch more fish than the other club. This format is designed for learning bass fishing and is in my opinion the very best and most beneficial to all who participate. In this format all the members of the club are much more motivated and willing to share fishing information with other members of their club.
No matter what format is used, what the stakes are, whether you just use bass fishing as a relaxation method or you plan to make it a career, a bass fishing tournament is a ton of fun and one of the very best ways to learn and gain experience as a bass fisherman. So no matter what your experience level is, I encourage you to get involved in tournaments at some level.