How do you go about winning a fishing competition?
This question has been on the minds of the anglers, both beginners and professionals, in every generation even though the actual wording may differ. There is, however, no tailor made answer or trick that can be used to become a winner.
Nevertheless, there is one important tip that all professional anglers will agree with: Take part in the fishing tournaments as a co-angler or amateur, gather all the information you can from your partners who are pro and get trained to rise up the tournament ladder as a professional.
All professional anglers have their own style or method to tip the fish scales in a favourable position. There are, however, few common advices that all professional anglers will agree can help increase the chances of your success in the tournament.
1. Basic Fish Info
One of the most important things to know is how your fish behaves in different situations. Understanding this will give you an advantage over your competitors. You must understand how the fish behave in different seasons as well as the oxygen level of the water, water temperature and vegetation. All of these will add up to being the difference between your win and loss.
2. Local Tournaments vs Other Tournaments
Beginning your career with local tournaments will help as it will be easier for you to test the water temperature and other related factors without having to travel too far. If you have a water body near your town, then it becomes easier for you to take part in the annual local events or tournaments that are club sponsored. Even regional tournaments and national level tourneys can make a stop near your town, making it easier for you to participate. You will not only gain experience by playing these tournaments but also save on time and money because of the proximity of the tournament venue.
3. On the Job Training
As a beginner, the best way to learn the inside tricks of the trade is by doing an on-the-job training with a professional angler. Your senior pro will act like a coach to you without you having to spend too much. It is a learning curve that will give you a feel of the real tournament. You can get this pro share his tricks and strategy with you while you observe the technique that he uses in different fishing situations.
4. Familiarity with Water
Another important preparation that will help you prepare for the tournaments is getting to know the tournament water. Try to get the map of the water and understand the depth, flats, channels, structures, shallows and daily conditions. This is only the beginning of getting yourself familiar with the water. Get charters and guides in order to get more info about the structure, patterns, roadbeds, man-made structures that are hidden under the surface, among others. If you are determined to grow as a professional and win tournaments, then do everything possible to understand the water and the conditions in which the fish behave differently.
- Go to the retailers and find out which bait pattern and colour is most in demand. Look for the bait patterns that are mostly used in that area.
- Another sure way to learn the tricks is to observe the locals. Watch them carefully as to how they move their bait to get fish for their dinner. These locals fish all their lives and are more than willing to share with you their fishing experiences.
- Make sure that you have a proper game plan before you get into the tournament. A game plan can make or break the chance of winning the tournament of any amateur or seasoned pro.
- If there are fish in your area, then make sure you are patiently waiting for the fish to come to you. Also do not choose an area where you have to run from one end to another for a secondary spot. Observe around and then select three or four spots close to each other.
- Participate in as many tournaments as you can. There are grass root tourneys and clubs which offer divisional competition for the participants where they can sign up for the tournament series. These series hold up to four or five tournaments every year, giving the best chance to players to qualify to the next level.
- Get pro with one division for starters. It is important to test your skill and ability as a player no matter if you qualify for the next season or not. It gives you the right indication if you are ready for the next level of the competition or if you still need to understand the fish in different seasons and settings.
- Do not concentrate on sponsorships. Remember, once you become a seasoned and accomplished angler and have the required social skills, then you will not have to worry about sponsorship. Keep your focus on learning the game. As and when you improve your skills and start winning tournaments consistently, the other aspect of fishing, which is sponsorship, will become a certainty.
Good luck with your fishing competition endeavours!