6 Time-Saving Tips When Entering Your First Bass Fishing Tournament

A good fishing tournament allows you to test your angling skills, provide an environment for friendly competitions, and, if you are lucky, even win a cash prize!

If fishing in a one- or multi-day tournament has always been your dream, this is a perfect time to set your sites on making tournament participation a reality.

Here’s what you need to know.


Six Fishing Tournament Tricks


  1. Start by asking around at your local bass club.
    Chances are members of your organization have been in tournaments and can recommend the best ones for first-time participants. If your club isn’t meeting face-to-face yet, put out your question on social media or an email thread.
  2. Once you have a few tournaments in mind, check out the area’s website and obtain a waterway map. You want to understand how big and deep the waterway is, what accommodations are available, and things your family can do while you are fishing (if this is a family outing).
  3. See if there is going to be a tournament at one of your regular fishing spots.
    If so, you will have the upper hand because you have fished there often.
  4. Once you have made up your mind, register early.
    Tournaments fill up fast, especially this year. Most registrations can be handled online via secure websites or PayPal.
  5. As the tournament approaches, pack the right gear.
    Here’s a list of what you will want to have on your boat:

    1. Tacklebox
    2. Braid scissors
    3. Pointy nosed pliers
    4. Two rods – one stiff spin rod and the other a lighter one
    5. A wide selection of lures, including spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, jigheads, and tail spinners.
    6. A net
    7. Long-sleeved clothing that has SPF protection.
    8. Waterproof rain gear
    9. Hat
    10. F.D.
    11. Phone in a waterproof sleeve
    12. Waterproof boots or shoes

Overall, stick with rods and tackle you are familiar with and have used often. Tournament fishing is often about speed in catching the big fishes, so you don’t want to be fooling around with untried tackle.

  1. On tournament day, be sure to give yourself extra time to get your boat in the water.
    If you check-in the day before, find out the earliest you can enter the water and see if there are multiple launching sites. If there is only one or two, give yourself enough time to get your boat safely in the water.


Two National Tournaments You Might Want to Consider


  1. The Big Bass Bash
    There are three separate tournaments in April, May, and October in Missouri and Oklahoma. Amateurs are welcome to join in, and it only takes one prize-winning fish to win big.
  2. Bassmaster Opens
    You do need to be a B.A.S.S. member, but it is open to anyone. The tournaments take place in Florida, Tennessee, and New York.


Competitive bass fishing is a fantastic way to test your angling skills against amateurs and professionals. Don’t delay – sign up for a tournament today!


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