How to Enter Ultralight Fishing Tournaments

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Close image of man's hand holding a trout fish and a net.

Every year, all across North America, anglers participate in the seemingly endless number of derbies and ultralight fishing tournaments. The tournaments are often focused on catch and release, while the derbies typically require or allow the fish caught to be kept. Most tournaments are local one-day events while some others, primarily walleye and bass tournaments, are popular circuit events were the champions are often series winners at multiple events.

ultralight Fishing Tournaments are alot of fun
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The Amateur Angler

Fortunately, there are rich sources of wonderful fishing environments located all across the United States and Canada. Because of that, anglers do not have to go far to find a local ultralight fishing tournament. Any town in North America with a body of water close by will usually have a fishing tournament. Many of these local ultralight fishing events are sponsored by local clubs while others are national or regional circuit events that are held annually or semiannually.

The ideal way to get into tournament ultralight fishing is to begin as an amateur individually, or as a team member. In any event, it is best not to take the position of needing to operate the tournament boat. This will provide the amateur the opportunity to focus primarily on learning better ultralight fishing skills from any member of the team that has more experience.

Many times, new tournament participants will often feel the pressure because of the money involved. However, when participating in an ultralight fishing tournament, you will be essentially dealing with fishing conditions, the day’s weather, any experienced or inexperienced fishing partners, and the clock, all of which are out of the amateur’s control.

Being a non-boater or co-angler allows the amateur to stay close to the team’s more experienced anglers. It will provide the opportunity to see exactly how experienced fishermen handle the work conditions and the pressure instead of letting any of the uncontrollable conditions work against their favor.

Many of these ultralight fishing tournaments have the advantage of allowing the amateur and the pros to combine their catches rather than simply weighing the fish the pros caught separately from what the amateur catches. These types of tournaments offer the ability for the team to be the winner of their division even if the amateur has not caught a single fish, and can rely on the partner’s catches entirely.

You dont have to be a pro to enjoy an ultralight fishing tournament
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Selecting a Partner

Selecting the best partner can make all the difference in winning or losing an ultralight fishing tournament. It will also include the need to set aside much time for practice. The best partner will also be one with a personality that blends well with the amateur, especially under difficult and high pressure conditions. Having the right kind of chemistry will provide the opportunity to trust one another when seeking the best opportunities for maximizing the number and size of fish caught.

The chemistry shared between the beginning amateur and the experienced angler will focus on the patterns of how each one fishes. If both anglers are comfortable casting their lines off the bow of the boat, they will likely be in the others way. Selecting a partner that can complement each angler’s fishing style is better than one that simply mirrors it.

Finding the Tournaments

Seeking out community ultralight fishing tournaments is easy. Simply asking about tournaments at the local tackle store will usually point the amateur toward all the available local clubs. There are also circuit tours for bass anglers that have relatively low entry fees and quality sponsors.

In the United States alone, there are well over 500 tournaments held every year. Many of the national championships invite anglers that have participated in at least five tournaments in a year, and end up listed with the highest points (typically the top 500 high scorers).

Participating in an ultralight fishing tournament can be an enjoyable experience filled with the competitive spirit, while making new friends.

Here are just a few links for some popular ultralight fishing tournaments throughout the USA:

Crappie USA
Host various Crappie tournaments which are a great introduction to ultralight fishing tournaments.

USA Bassin
U.S.A. BASSIN is a fishing team tournament trail, catering to the weekend angler and our youth.

Bounty Fishing
A tournament with a different spin where you can compete from anywhere!

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

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