Types of Fishing Tournaments
No matter how much or how little fishing experience you have, there will be a fishing tournament that suits your abilities and interests. There are kids fishing tournament events, bass fishing tournaments, catfish tournaments, and saltwater tournaments. You can find the best tournament to start with by considering your experience level and the type of fishing you most like to do.
The most important tip to remember when fishing in any type of tournament is that safety should always be the top priority. Create a checklist of tournament fishing safety gear that you'll need to bring along (examples: PFDs, first-aid kit). Since the days leading up to a tournament can be filled with excitement and preparation, a safety checklist will be helpful.
While there are many different types of tournaments, two of the most popular types of tournaments are kids tournaments and bass tournaments.
Kids Fishing Tournaments
Kids fishing tournaments are set up to help provide children with a safe and fun introductory fishing experience. In most cases, kids fish from a bank or shoreline for easy-to-catch species such as bluegill, catfish, or rainbow trout. These types of events are occasionally referred to as kids fishing derbies.
Because the largemouth bass is America's favorite freshwater game fish, it's no surprise that there are hundreds of bass fishing tournaments held every year in almost every state. These tournaments are set up to involve anglers at every level -- this includes high school events that are part of the Bassmaster Tournament series. In addition, there are bass fishing tournaments held by small local bass clubs across the U.S.
Do you like to catch catfish? Do you have a competitive nature when it comes to fishing? If so, you might want to consider entering a catfish tournament. Catfish tournaments are increasing in popularity across the country. You can start fishing a regional or local catfish tournament, and then advance on to national events if you enjoy the competitive experience. As with any national fishing tournament series, these types of events generally require travel time and practice time.
How to Participate
If you're not sure where to get tournament information, don't worry because there are plenty of resources available. Local bait and tackle shops will often post a fishing tournament schedule that provides the dates for upcoming events, or you can check a list of fishing events in your state. You can also ask an experienced tournament angler if they would mind guiding you through the process for the first time.
Tournament Schedules & Dates
Remember that every fishing tournament schedule will be different and dates are subject to change from year-to-year. Once you find a fishing tournament or event that you enjoy, it's always a good idea to stay in touch with the organizers and check the tournament website. Examples of a few top fishing tournaments in the U.S. include the Bassmaster Classic that takes place in March, the King Kat Classic in September, and the Ike Foundation Kids Fishing Tournament that is held in May.
Learn Tournament Rules
When participating in any tournament, be sure to read through all of the fishing event rules and learn about the fishing regulations that will apply. If you plan to participate in a tournament that is to be held in a different state, be sure you have valid fishing license for the specific state where the tournament will be held.
Learn more about the best times to fish and other information on when to fish in our next section.