Tournaments vary in kind

Published 7:54 am Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bass tournaments have been around for many years, but there are also crappie tournaments, catfish tournaments, walleye tournaments, and a variety of different saltwater tournaments. All of these tournaments are similar in format. They all have a start time, a finish time, and the winners are decided by the weight of fish caught and weighed in. Each of these events will have a limit to the number of fish that can be weighed in.

Bass tournaments are the most common. At one time bass tournaments were based on a twenty fish limit, and after weigh in the fish were cleaned and took home to eat. This is no longer a common practice. Original tournament formats damaged the fish populations, and made bad relationships between tournament anglers and people who just enjoyed fishing. Catch and release has been the common practice now for over twenty-five years.

Most tournaments today are based on a five fish limit, and there are penalties for bringing a dead fish to weigh in. All fish are released back into the lake they came from. Today’s tournament results are used to study our lakes, and help determine the general condition of the fish as well as fish populations. This data is gathered and recorded by programs such as B.A.I.T. (Bass Anglers Information Team), and an annual report is released to the public. These studies, along with help from state biologists, are used throughout the state of Alabama to improve our lakes. These improvements are made through joint efforts involving local tournament anglers, bass clubs, and the state’s wildlife resources departments.

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BASS has used several Alabama lakes to host some of their largest tournaments in recent years. The next Bass Masters Classic, February 2010, will be held in Alabama for the third time since 2002. This is because Alabama is home to the greatest bass fishing in the southeast.

Today’s tournament anglers are conservationist as well as competitive athletes. The competition is what draws most anglers to tournament fishing. Many of these anglers competed weekly and even daily through sports growing up. As we all know, you can only play football, baseball, and basketball for so long. Many of today’s tournament anglers were once athletes of a different sort, but they never gave up their competitive attitudes. One of the great things about tournament fishing is your age doesn’t matter. Although skill is a major factor, it does not decide the winner. Winning a tournament is a combination of four factors, skill, knowledge, weather, and luck. You do not need a $50,000 boat, fifteen $400 rods and reels, or $10,000 in fishing tackle to win tournaments, you need Mother Nature to cooperate, the knowledge to put yourself in the right place at the right time, the skills to make the right cast, and be lucky enough for the right fish to bite. You also need a personality that allows you to get beat, or lose without loosing your spirit to compete. It may take time for you to put together what it takes to win.

If you would like more information on tournaments that are available in your local area or any information regarding Bass Anglers Team Trail please contact:

John McAlpine 334-217-0604 or 334-289-5892