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Home / Fishing / Articles



Give Away Some Hints and Win More Tournament Cash!

  by Ken Warren

For those of you that compete in fishing tournaments this title may seem to counterintuitive. I bet you are asking how does giving away spots, revealing a proven technique, or showing a hot bait help you to win money? In fact, I would wager that many of you are responding Over my dead body. I worked too hard to find those spots. Regardless of your response I am sure this article will generate a good deal of controversy. Before you decide I am a fool and quit reading please give me the benefit of the doubt and read on.

First, I am sure you would agree that if there is more money

available for payout and/or more places paid out your chance of cashing a bigger check will increase. One way to do this is to turn pro I guess but a much easier way for the weekend angler to do this is to bring in new people. I am not talking about recruiting from other trails but instead I refer to bringing in new blood. The sport is growing but, I feel it would grow even faster if we would help out the new guy instead of attempting to sabotage his day.

Not everyone is like this but let me describe a hypothetical experience that a new tournament angler could experience in any region of the country. John decides he is a good bass fisherman and as he is watching Bassmasters on TV says to himself, I could do that. He is realistic and realizes he needs to start somewhere at the local level. He goes to the local tackle store and talks to a couple of guys there who recommend a local team trail. He takes a flyer and calls his fishing buddy Mike when he gets home. They decide they will give the next tournament a try. Now comes the hard part, telling their wives that they will spend $150.00 for the entry fee. Of course they follow up with, We always catch fish on Lake XYZ. We will do well. The wives reluctantly agree.

Tournament day finally arrives and Mike and John arrive early and have memorized the rules so they will not make mistakes. They draw start position 10 and a few minutes later they are flying down the lake to a hopeful hot spot. They fish hard all day and catch 20 bass. The bad part is only one is a keeper. The rest are inch short. They make it back to the ramp and find themselves in last place. The top guys Team Experienced brought in 25lbs of bass. The director hands them the check and asks, What did you catch them on? The reply is, We were Carolina rigging a buzz-bait in 30ft of water. This brings on a chuckle.

John and Mike hang around hoping to pick up a couple of pointers and to get to know the guys. Unfortunately, however, they get a very similar response from the rest of the field. They are told thanks for fishing with us and we hope to see you again by several guys, but it really feels like they mean, thanks for the money. Hope to see you suckers again.

Will John and Mike come back? Maybe, but there would have been a much bigger chance they would if someone had taken the time to give out a few pointers. One could easily give a quick piece of advice without giving away the farm. You know why you caught the fish and it was a combination of location, bait color, weight, current, depth, time of day, presentation, and luck. If you offered a couple of these it might help greatly and the new guys would have to figure the rest out on their own. They would go away saying, Yes we got our butts kicked but those are some nice guys I think we will enjoy fishing with them again.


I see a lot of different types as I fish tournaments and I can t stand the ones who will lie about what they did. If you have to do that you are really not that good. I could easily give out 4 of the 5 pieces of the situation that caused me to catch fish and someone else would not do as well. Look at how many times the co-angler will try to do the same thing as the guy up-front and not do well. The difference might be as subtle as a slower retrieve.

Ok to sum it up. I don't expect anyone to give away everything because I understand how hard some people work to find fish, but it might be in your best interest to help out the guys that haven t been doing well so they stick around. Also, the next time you are fishing that super-secret spot look around. Is it really that big of a secret anyway? You never know, the guys you helped might just return the favor someday.

Ok for the new guys I would caution you. Dock talk can kill you as well as help you. It might help you refine what you are already doing but I would be very hesitant to change the whole game plane tournament day. Get out there and get time on the water and be sure to try new things when practicing. That is the time to learn. There really is no substitute to time on the water!


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