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Tournament Fishing

by: David Coulson 8/1/2013

One of many reasons I decided to become a boat owner was to make fishing club level bass tournaments easier.  Iíve fished tournaments off and on for some time (mostly black bass), always as a non-boater.  Being a non-boater is truly a great way to fish and learn, as everyone has a different style of fishing. 

Over the course of several tournaments you become exposed to many different tactics.  Plus, as you gain in skills, you discover fishing off the back of the boat isnít always a disadvantage, especially as you have a right to fish ďyour waterĒ for half the time. The costs as a non-boater are minimal, entry fees and your share of the boating expenses for the time on the water.  Trust thatís nothing compared to boat ownership.

So why bother owning a boat?  Rather like owning a house versus renting.  You have a whole lot more say in how and where you will fish.  And in my case, I like fishing with the long rod, something not all anglers are comfortable with on their boats.  Seeing the way many fly cast, including many who fly fish with me, I canít say I blame them. 

Currently, Iím most active with Centennial Bass Club thatís first and foremost, a bass tournament group.  They put together a club level tournament schedule every year that runs primarily from May through October.  The format is a mix of short half day contests (minis) and full weekend tournaments. They also have a team series. Each tournament is a contest in and of itself. The results are also cumulative in that they go to determining the clubís Angler and Bassmaster of the year (separate awards).  Centennial also actively supports a youth fishing group, teaching fishing techniques, conservation projects, and C.A.S.T. (Catch a Special Thrill).  While I enjoy the competition, itís the community involvement that keeps me renewing my membership. 

Last month I fished two of the clubís mini tournaments, one at Lonetree Reservoir and the other at Douglas.  Now I like to report I knocked them dead.  Not so much, in fact the opposite, I blanked both times.  Maybe Iíll make a better showing at next weekís mini at Horsetooth.
Although, I can take a little solace in that I had lots of company both times.  While I hate getting skunked, it is one of the reasons I enjoy tournament fishing, no matter how good an angler you think you are, on any given day, thereís someone better.  And fishing with better anglers is one way to learn new techniques and improve your skills.  Trust, I paid close attention to what the winners had to say, looking to gain from their success. 

So if you want to become a better (bass, trout, walleye . . . fill in the blank) angler, find a club organized around that species (or technique) and join.  Itís a great way to shorten the learning curve.

Oh, for those whoíve asked here a few pictures of my boat and a smallmouth caught from it at Boyd this year.  Unfortunately, I wasnít tournament fishing at the time!

Boyd smallmouth
Blog content © David Coulson
Member comments
Coyute, CO   8/1/2013 6:34:37 PM
They let you use the 'long rod' in BASS tournaments? I thought that any rod over 8' wasn't allowed per BASS rules.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO   8/1/2013 9:13:18 PM
That would be correct at a BASS tournament. In fact BASS went further than the rod length to insure no fly guys by stating the reel must be baitcast, spincast or spinning only for their tournament. However, not everyone uses BASS rules.
Coyute, CO   8/2/2013 6:03:37 AM
Maybe that shouldn't bother me, but it does. We all measure dignity in different ways. Some men are more comfortable hitting from the green tee box instead of the white one like most. I can't imagine wining or losing meaning much when you know the rest of the field is playing by different rules.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO   8/2/2013 7:04:09 AM
I've carefully read the rules, and I can assure everyone I play within them. As not playing by the rules is cheating, something not to be condoned. In any fishing tournament/contest everyone, or at least the majority are fishing via different methods, lure, rod, reel, line, presentation, location, boat, electronic, . . . it's purely a matter of the degree of difference that is permitted.
longdraw, CO   8/2/2013 8:05:11 AM
Does Centennial allow you to utilize the poling platform? I am certain that it is illegal per both FLW and B.A.S.S.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO   8/2/2013 8:16:19 AM
I don't use it, and wouldn't, during a tournament. Although, nothing is stated in the club rules. This time of year it really shouldn't be an issue as bass are not in spawn. BASS goes so far as not to allow anyone to be on any surface that could be higher then the deck, including seats and the motor.
longdraw, CO   8/2/2013 8:28:35 AM
FISHRANGLER, CO   8/2/2013 1:11:39 PM
Nice boat Dave.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO   8/2/2013 1:25:01 PM
Daris, it's just a new model of yours isn't it? The push pole isn't shown in this picture. And with luck I'll figure out the electronics and other controls one of these days. I am pleased with its performance so far.
moosegoose, CO   8/2/2013 10:04:15 PM
That is one sexy boat!
FISHRANGLER, CO   8/2/2013 10:42:26 PM
Yes it is and I have different modle also. They are great boats
BuckMaxx, CO   8/3/2013 5:34:11 PM
I have seen Dave at both club tournaments and out on the water at local lakes. It's hard to hide a bonfish boat ) I have a ton of respect for him and always pull for him because he does it "different". One of these days hes gonna win one! While us ordinary bass guy types blank. you watch! Keep after em Dave!!
JKaboom, CO   8/3/2013 11:04:02 PM
That is a sharp lookin' boat for sure :)
jerussell1980, CO   8/4/2013 12:52:35 AM
That is a nice rig Dave... Make some of us YG's loved the article.
jIGMASTER, CO   8/19/2013 9:07:33 PM
ha Dave.... hope to see tomorrow at Boyd maybe you will draw me if you do not bring your boat..jig-master PS... nice articles..:)
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO   8/20/2013 6:33:01 AM
I'll be there. Not sure drawing me is a good thing based on my bass catching as of late. See you there.
cobragt203, CO   8/20/2013 10:17:27 PM
Just curiou, how long are the mini tournaments?
David Coulson
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