If you’re hooked on bass fishing and want to take it to the next level but aren’t sure where to start, this blog offers advice on preparing to enter tournament play. We hope it helps you to succeed at our Chickamauga Lake marina at Bluewater and elsewhere.

Here are the 5 steps you’ll need to follow to get started in bass fishing tournaments:

1. Learn

There are plenty of resources to help you improve your technique, from how-to videos on the Internet to professional coaching to personal experience gained from getting out on the water and applying it all. Here at Bluewater Resort, we have access to professional fishing guide Capt. Billy Joe Wheat, who can provide insight into fishing Chickamauga Lake. Also, get to know your fellow anglers so you can anticipate their strategies. Watch the pros and soak up as much information as you can. Know which associations you’ll need to join. A mentor can be a great way to learn your way into competitive fishing.

2. Shop

You don’t have to buy the top-of-the-line gear to catch big fish, but it certainly helps to get an advantage if you know how to get the most bang for your buck. While you’re learning technique and strategy, do some research on what others use, how products are rated by past buyers, and what opportunities to save might exist. By spending time around other fishermen at spots like our Lake Chickamauga marina at Bluewater, you can ask for opinions on how they like X brand vs Y brand. Our General Store and Bait Shop also offers tools that can help you in these waters.

3. Step Up and Enter

Look up dates and locations for tournaments you might want to participate in. Experts recommend starting small with local tournaments, then easing your way into larger events as your budget and your confidence permit. Take advantage of money-saving deals like Bluewater’s Tournament Week special, which gives tournament directors and participants 10% off during tournament weeks when making their reservation to stay in our beautiful new Lodge. Remember that entering a tournament is an investment – if you have what it takes to compete for prizes.

4. Get Organized and Mobile

You’ll need to stay organized and know important dates to register by, locations for take off and more. It’s vital to study the registration materials and tournament rules ahead of time. Know where the off limit areas are and conduct expected of competitors. Violation of rules can result in automatic disqualification in some cases. Know the permits you’ll need and how scoring works for particular events.

5. Fish for More than Just Fish

Do your homework before a tournament. Talk to some locals and visit the local bait and tackle shops in the area of the tournament. If you get some valuable insight into fishing locations and techniques, keep it to yourself because loose lips can benefit other tournament competitors.

Taking your love of fishing to the next level can be very fulfilling, not to mention profitable. For some competitors, tournaments give them a way to justify spending to support their habit. Whatever your motivations, it’s important to give it your best shot and use every bit of knowledge and experience you have to take advantage of good fortune.

To learn more about getting into fishing tournaments, visit the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) website at https://www.flwfishing.com/

To learn more about Capt. Billy Joe Wheat and how to hire his professional fishing coach services, visit http://www.bluewaterdayton.com/dayton-tn-fishing-guide/

To make reservations to stay at Bluewater Resort during an upcoming tournament, call (423) 775-3265 or go online at https://clients.innroad.com/bluewaterRV/accomodations.aspx

Written by Steven Stiefel

Copyright: chrisvanlennephoto / 123RF Stock Photo