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How To Direct A Bass Fishing Tournament
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How To Direct A Bass Fishing Tournament

What it takes to be a good bass fishing tournament director.

In 1967 Ray Scott organize the first competitive bass fishing tournament known as "The All American Bass Tournament." 106 angler fished the tournament on Beaver Lake in Arkansas paying just $100 to fish the tournament. The reward for winning the tournament was $2000 and a trip to Acapulco and was won by Stan Sloan.

This new idea inspired many people to start and organize local bass fishing tournaments which has made it the multi-billion dollar industry it is today. There is also good money to be made by fishing bass tournaments. This year the Bassmaster Classic was held on a river near me. I had to pleasure of attending many of the events. Chris Lane won this years event. What did he win? $500,000...yep...you read that right....500 big ones. Now that's a pretty good payday for a few days fishing.

All those top anglers got their start by fishing in local bass fishing tournaments. So what does it actually take to start and organize a local tournament. Obviously the weigh-ins at the Classic was more like a Hollywood production but the basic principles are the same whether at the local level and huge event like the Classic. Someone or organization creates a set of rules, sees that all anglers abide by those rules, weigh the fish, and pay the ones that win and place in the tournament.

The one responsible for organization a local tournament or elsewhere is know as the director of the tournament. Pretty obvious but they do a good bit more that many realize. They develop a set of rules and guidelines for potential members and allow members to discuss and adopt before the first tournament starts and perhaps even adjust during the seacon. Most rules in a bass fishing tournament are formed from the standards set by the Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society (BASS).

The rules require an angler to abide by all local, state, and federal laws.They have rules outlining general sportsmanship during the tournament and guidelines for enforcing those rules. The tournament director makes the decision to penalize any infractions whether obvious or unavoidable. That penalty may include deductions from total weights for a dead fish brought to the scales or complete disqualifications for major infractions.

The tournament director is responsible for entry fees and payouts whether they do this personally or delegated to another. They will determine what the payout will be and number of places paid for that tournament. Some also have a separate "pot" for the biggest fish caught in the tournament.

Their work is not over then either. Most will keep a running total of points earned during each tournament. Winner is generally awarded 200 points, 2nd place 199, and on down. At the end of the season the one with the highest point total is named, "Angler of the Year" for that particular tournament trail. This could be important for many reasons. Name recognition is one, especially if that angler plans to go pro in the future. Some may even have a nice prize for their top angler and perhaps a trophy or plaque.

Tournament directors may also submit the clubs results for the week in a local paper. It's nice to see ones name in print from time to time. :) An angler that is looking for sponsors should save copies of these. Great publicity for them any many have even made it to the Bassmaster Classic and started their road to success by doing just that in the beginning of their careers.

A well run bass fishing tournament is a joy to fish if the members know they have a good director that will enforce the rules equally to all, including themselves. Folks fish these local tournaments mostly for pleasure but still don't want to be cheated out of potential winnings due to the infractions of others not being enforced. If you are a tournament director then stand firm on you decisions. Your members will appreciate that and your trail will continue to grow in the future.


Street Talk

OK :)

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Kevin, u must love bass fishing or fishing in general. Wish I could be like tat, unfortunately I live far inland. No fish nearby.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks tan...I do love it very much...have fished most of my life and bass fishing can be the most exciting and challenging...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Kevin, Big bucks in that fishing! Won something long ago (twice I think) but sure was a tiny one compared to this.... Or is it a "fish story"?? blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Nope...No fish story to win the Classic...$500K...means much more with the bucks gained in sponsorship...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Incredible! Hey - I hope you'll write an article about winning that yourself someday:-)

  
  about 1 decade ago

we have a pro bass fisherman from here. We have a tournament hosted here every year. You are getting me interested again Kevin, I can hear the water slappen off the bow.........

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I like taking a long ride with about 2/3 throttle on a calm morning.......just set back and feel the breeze....

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Keep it up Kevin, and I may show up for a ride, lol

  
  about 1 decade ago

I hope these guys (tournament directors) get paid. I didn't realize it entailed that much work.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Some of the directors may get a little gratuity from the membership dues which are normally under $20 a member...but most just do it for the fun of it.....I often give a director I like a little gift card to a local Outback Steak House at the end of the season....some of the larger sponsored trails do pay their directors....

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Half a million dollars could get me taking up this sport fairly quickly.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Hi Rob...got to attend this years Classic events and weigh-in's which was held here on the Red River in northwest Louisiana.....Check out my the "Bassmaster Classic" link in the article. It's a Squidoo lens I made with pics of some of the events and weigh-ins...The boats they have are awesome...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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