Tournament bass fishing for want-to-be-pros

Brad Kerr
Just Passin' Through
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So you fancy yourself to be a real bass angler, do you? That makes you a great candidate to get involved in Utah bass fishing clubs, and enter into a few weekend tournaments for prizes and prestige. We’ve all probably fished little personal tournaments with friends to see who the top angler is. But there are some serious organizations out there that put on first-class shows.

The Utah B.A.S.S. Federation is one of those clubs, and likely the most well-known bass club around. They hold monthly fishing tournaments, and hold two-day fishing excursions twice annually.

The Rocky Mountain Bass anglers host tournaments during the summer months; some in Northern Utah, others in Southern Idaho. And both of these clubs can be found on the internet for further information.

The professional FLW Tour gives amateur anglers nationwide an opportunity to fish in a big prize tournament, regardless of where you live. However, you might have to be willing to travel to the southern or eastern United States to get in on the action. The closest major tour event they’re holding this year is in Grove, Oklahoma at Grand Lake. Overall, they hold 191 tournaments annually. Here are some items of what to expect if you choose to pursue such an endeavor:

Co-anglers, the amateur fishermen, must also fork out a $700 entry fee per tournament. But you get to fish with a pro, learning some new techniques and fish locating strategies, and you don’t need a boat. You’ll be going out with a professional. He’ll fish off the front deck of the boat, with the co-angler in the back.

There are three skill levels of tournaments you can get involved in: Weekend Tournaments, AAA Level, and Top-Tier Professional Anglers categories. These host beginners to full-time pros.

The daily competitions last eight hours on multiple-day tournaments, and you’d have a different partner each day. At the first day’s registration, you’d meet your fishing companion for the following day’s action. The pro angler makes the decisions on where to fish each day. You would be at the mercy of his choices, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Can you imagine the excitement of waiting for your takeoff time to come? And the anxious feeling while awaiting the official weigh-in by the tournament director? To have your fish weighed, you are called to the stage to present yourself and your bag of bass.

After weigh-in is over for you, you may be helping get the boat out of the water. That’s always a busy spot, I’m sure. While doing so, you think about the prize money, which ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars. And you have a chance to get your name out there as a quality fisherman who might just want to enter other tournaments.

The FLW tour’s website is www.flwoutdoors.com. Tournament fishing is exciting, and you’ll likely never forget your adventure as long as you live.

Brad Kerr is an avid angler who can be reached at bradkfisherman@msn.com.

Brad Kerr

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