I’m writing on this topic because I know it is one that interests many amateur fishermen. When you have years of experience behind you and all your friends tell you how great you are at catching fish, choosing the right spots and picking the perfect gear, you start thinking about taking that maybe you should take your hobby at professional levels. So what are the conditions to participate in a professional competition?
Most fishing tours will require a participation fee that can vary and sometimes be quite expensive, but will rarely include any other conditions that could stop you from participating. These tournaments are numerous and it shouldn’t be hard to find one you can participate in.
Even so, if you’re planning to start a career in fishing, you should first join a local fishing club and participate in local fishing competitions. There are a couple of advantages and connections you can make only by being a fishing club member. Plus, most fishing clubs are included in a bigger regional or state network, making it easier for you to know other fishermen, talk with professionals and even find a tournament partner.
If you don’t know what type of competition to choose, there’s a traditional and successful scheme of Pro-Am (professional-amateurs) fishing competitions. Prior to the start of the tournament, you team up with another fisherman and you go into the competition together. In the beginning, it is preferable to join a professional partner, one who has extensive tournament experience. In the team’s structure, the amateurs assume the co-angler position, which means they fish in the back of the boat belonging to the professional, while they are also allowed to use some of their partner’s gear. This is an advantageous way to go pro for beginners, because it doesn’t require a large investment from their part. You don’t have to own your own boat, for example.
Besides the material advantages of starting your professional career as a co-angler, you can also learn a great deal from your team partner, such as finding the best fishing spots, new fishing techniques and even discover useful pieces of equipment. Even if you don’t manage to win the competition, you will still feel like you’re the winner given the possibilities offered by such a tournament. Plus, in the contest, you’ll be competing against amateurs such as yourself and not against professional fishermen, but you’ll have the opportunity to use professional tools and receive advice from the best.
However, choosing the right partner is as important as choosing the right competition. Not all professionals participating in Pro-Am tournaments will be willing to teach you their tricks and help you, even though you’re a beginner or will do so as long as it serves their goals. That is why it is important that you are the member of a fishing club. There you will have the opportunity to find great team partners that you can communicate and work with efficiently during competition. Once you start making a reputation for you, you can start thinking about assuming the position in the front of the boat yourself.