Tournament Bass Fishing 101

Tournament Bass Fishing 101


If you are like me, you may have watched a professional bass tournament on television or online. Whether it was the Bassmaster Classic or the Elite Series, FLW or Major League Fishing, the opportunity to watch people competing to catch the biggest or most fish and the intensity of it all motivates some to get out on the water and chase that dream.

I started fishing in tournaments a few years ago. Before that, I just fished for pretty much anything that would bite my hook. Then, I started getting more into targeting bass and watching fishing pros on YouTube. I’ve been a fan of Bill Dance since I was a child. I began watching YouTube videos from Roland and Scott Martin, Gene Jensen a.k.a Flukemaster, Jimmy Houston and others. My passion for bass fishing grew and it seemed like the next logical step was to try tournament fishing and see if I could do it. I joined a local club and my first tournament was a two-day long competition. I learned a lot in those two days. It’s not as easy as pros make it look. If you are interested in getting into tournaments, here is some things that will make the transition smoother.

Sam Sobieck Tournament Angler

Do Your Homework

Search for any local fishing clubs that do regular tournaments. Clubs have options where they pair up boaters with non-boaters (co-anglers) and some do team tournaments. Usually, clubs are the most inexpensive option when first starting out. You will learn the most common rules every tournament follows and boating etiquette. It will lay the foundation on what to expect and you can learn in a less stressful environment than if you tried starting out in a big event. Many anglers have made that mistake and it set them back in the learning process.

Watch Your Boater

You will learn invaluable lessons by simply watching someone else. You will learn from their successes and mistakes. The angler at the front of the boat is engaged in their own learning process. They have a lot of responsibilities and things going on all at once. You, as a co-angler, can help so both of you are less stressed and can enjoy the day out on the water. Be ready to help net their fish, clean up the boat during and after the tournament and keep your tackle neat and out of the way.

Learn To Be Adaptable

If you are fishing from the back of the boat, you have to be fine with not being in control. You will need to be able to cast from angles and locations you are not comfortable with and not always having access to prime targets along the shoreline. Be prepared for anything. If you can work in tandem with your boater, you will both be successful.

Tournaments test your skills. Learn all that you can and even more along the way! Your journey is what you make of it. Keeping a positive mental attitude when times are tough, being prepared, learning from observation and being adaptable will be the keys to success on the water and in life. Tight lines and good luck out there!

Carrie Cates Bass Angler

About the Author: Carrie Cates is an avid female bass angler and tournament fishing fanatic. Follow her on social for more tips and tricks to help you land a MONSTERBASS!

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