Check Out Local Fishing Tournaments

By Andy Whitcomb

Feb 13, 2017

There are many types of fishing tournaments. If you enjoy fishing competition, a brief search should reveal one near you.

There are many reasons to fish. Stress release, fun, or the challenge, are some of the most popular reasons. Some anglers even enjoy a fishing competition.

There are hundreds of fishing tournaments organized all around the country. To find the best fishing tournaments near you, start with a search on the internet by region, method, or species. Even the smallest local fishing tournaments may have a web site where they list rules, sponsors, and such. Also watch for ads in your local newspaper or post the question on social media.

In many fishing tournaments, anglers compete while on a boat. This is a simple way to keep anglers confined to the same fishing area. But you don’t always have to own a 70 mph bass boat. There are local fishing tournaments for all kinds of watercrafts such as kayaks, johnboats, even float tubes.

Bass fishing tournaments are highly popular but you may also find tournaments for crappie, walleye, or trout. The Field and Stream Catfish Classic is a huge yearly event near Pittsburgh, PA. Most anglers race to their spots in heavy aluminum river boats but contests also can fish from shore here.

Most tournaments support catch and release. Bass and catfish tournament anglers usually have boats with live wells so that the fish can be weighed and then quickly returned to the water. The Kayak Anglers Fishing Club uses a format where fish are photographed with a digital camera on a measuring board, along with the date and angler id number. Fish are then released immediately and the winner determined by achieving a maximum total length.

If you are interested in a local fishing tournament, attend a weigh in or a local bass club meeting to make sure it is the best fit for you. Some tournament money also supports other causes such as conservation efforts or charities. Whatever the best fishing tournament is near you, you’ll have to have a valid fishing license and boat registration.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.