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Hey guys,

I have to admit personally I always looked down somewhat on tournaments. Not just for conservation reasons, but because they always seem to put a lot of boats in an area, and a lot of pressure on the fish. When I am out on my boat fishing for fun, I don't really want a bunch of the best competing for the same fish I am trying to catch probably with better boats and equipment than I have. For catch and keep tournaments, several successful arguments could be made about the numbers of fish kept for tournaments.

I am starting to rethink my thinking. I recently fished the ASA tournament down in Virginia Beach. It was a show for sure. Onlookers watched as 200,000 dollar boats fully wrapped up in sponsorships sporting double and triple motors idled up to the dock and weighed in giant fish.

Kids got smiles on their faces, people took pictures and overall it brought a lot of attention to fishing on the Chesapeake Bay. We probably spent less money than most on this tournament and when you counted gas, food, hotel bills, tackle shop bills, and entrance fees out team spent well over a grand for one day of fishing, most going to the local economy. Boat manufactures like Contender, Donzi, etc were given an outlet to display the best of what they have to offer.

The BASS tournament trail has national TV coverage and several conservation groups and take a kid fishing groups have spawned from this attention. It gives the media an outlet to display the incredible impact fishing can have on a young child, the need to conserve our marine resources, and the important role outdoor recreational activities play in our economy and our entire culture.

If tournaments got popular on the bay, truly popular, recreation guys may be able to get some serious sponsorship dollars to start organizations to clean up the bay, protect our fishery, etc etc etc. . .

The flip side is that this normally means killing fish or putting accelerated pressure on a fishery. For the average Joe, it might mean a longer wait at a marina to launch the boat, a boat already on his turf, or a whole bunch of people at the dock when he's trying to put his boat back on the trailer.

What do you all think? Do tournaments have the potential to raise awareness and increase the popularity of our sport, or, are they just pains for people who don't like to fish them.
 

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The most controversial tournaments are those involving winter TROLLING.;-):clapping2:
 

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You bring up several great points that can be broken down into pro's and con's. In my opinion I think the pro's far outweigh the con's. I do not think that tournaments should be run in the same place week after week but in moderation are fine. It would certinately increase exposure good or bad. With this you have to accept the site of dead fish whether from c+r or from weigh ins. There will be more publicity so it will appear as if many more fish are being taken but in actuality I do not think this is the case. It would be a very very small percentage of the total taken. Also make the tournaments durring cooler months to further decrease mortality. Besides who wants to weigh in a 20in fish. That or make the minimum for weigh in a higher number. If you do not want to fish around all the traffic simple pick a different spot that weekend. Tournaments create a buzz and spur people who otherwise might not to go fishing and buy new tackle ( hopefully in local shops). If it brings in enough dollars it will then make it feasable to designate rock as a rec only species. remember it is all about $$ when it become more lucrative to cater to one crowd or the other things change ( Think oysters/crabs)
 

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I can't think of a good reason to promote fishing other than to gets kids out in their natural environment and teach them how to respect what is left. And there's plenty of better ways to do that (WAF, CCA fishing camps, CBF kids etc.)

As far as tourneys and sponsors giving money to fix up the bay? There's much better ways to get companies to contribute to fixing the problem.
 

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Big tourneys are an inconvenience, but good for local economy. Critics may sqawk about pollution, but those guys didn't buy those boats to sit in the driveway, they'd most likely be fishing anyway -- besides, the entry fee probably takes enough money from their pockets to stop another trip!!
There is nothing wrong with well run, honest tournament ---- as long as the fish are not wasted :thumbup:
budc
 

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Tournaments would be fine with me,except they jam up the ramps where public access is congested anyway,and force our sport ever toward the neon-billboard ethic pushed by the big-money end of the spectrum.A social approach to angling is great for many,but I don't fish because I want to be surrounded by humans-I want to see the water,hear the birds,and not be run down by some dude who can't see over his bow and is trying to prove whatever to whomever.I understand that we have gained technologically from competition,but we have certainly lost some of the reverie a man can enjoy----BIG Money ruins EVERYTHING it touches. I have to say that Tournaments have KEPT ME OFF the water when otherwise I would have fished,and with my limited fishing time,it is hard not to be bitter about those lost days at sea,and the specter of the evil hordes to come.That being said,the brotherhood of mariners and fishermen is as worthy a group of people as I can think of,and I am thankful to be a part of that world.
 

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Hey Francis,
Daniel Kimbro (Shawn's oldest) here. I don't get up to fish a lot, but when we do, its all go all day. Being in TN, I love Bass fishing, and love BASS tourneys on TV. I agree 100% with your post, and would like to add another "pro" to the list. Bass tournaments have, as you highlighted, increased awareness with regard to the conservation of not only bass, but other species (redfish) as well. Bass tourneys have also served as a catalyst for technological innovations (live-wells, weighing bags/tanks etc.) regarding maintaining the health of bass once you catch them, thereby increasing the frequency with which fish survive a tournament weigh-in. Plus, living in TN and being on the road a lot, what would be better than tuning in to ESPN Saturday morning to see Tidalfish.com Striped Bass Tournaments?

Looking forward to fishing with you again,
- Dan'l
 

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Francis, a good question.

On a personal level I have never cared much for tournaments and I have fished during them often from the bay to reservoirs. Yes they do take over the ramps/parking and some tournament fisherman seem to loose all sense of fishing etiquette out on the water. Seems the thrill of competition and money becomes the overriding factor. I have never been a fish counter anyway. For me the competition/money takes the fun out.

I do not see tournaments raising awareness of the sport, only the ego of the winner.
 

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Tournaments usually consist of a bunch of attention craving, chest thumpers with boats that are wayyy too expensive for the fishing that they are doing. That is just my opinion. Personally, I think that there are much better fishermen on here that manage just fine without sponsorships, go fast boats with triples and enough electronics to find and track a Soviet sub.
 

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I have only fished two tournaments my who life. With that said, I dont think there is anything wrong with them. To me they do promote the sport and they can showcase those that are not only lucky but have become good at it. (Max King is not lucky -- he is good!) To me showcasing this talent is an important part of our sport. By drawing attention to fishing It brings awareness to our issues and draws more excitement for future generations to try sport fishing. I want future generations to learn to love our sport. It has a strong heritage in our country.

Yes particular ramps can get over crowded and particular areas will see more people fishing them but complaining about that is like complaining that opening day is too crowded or that too many people now use the ramp at Kiptopeke. It seems selfish to me to complain about too many others using facilities that I desire to use no matter what is there motivation for being there.

Regarding tournaments and the killing of fish, I will disagree. The one tournament that I fished on my boat this past spring was the MSSA. We kept only 2 fish on a 23 fish day in hopes of catching bubba. We released more fish due to the tournament.

Regarding rudeness of tournament participants. I will disagree again in that there are rude fisherman everywhere but most are good people. Look at opening day where there are no tournaments...
 

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Tournaments usually consist of a bunch of attention craving, chest thumpers with boats that are wayyy too expensive for the fishing that they are doing. That is just my opinion. Personally, I think that there are much better fishermen on here that manage just fine without sponsorships, go fast boats with triples and enough electronics to find and track a Soviet sub.
I'll grant you that some of that is true, however, if you are entering ANY competition with an intent to win (second place IS first looser) why would you do so with anything but what is the best available tools, equipment and resources, this includes boat, tackle, crew, information, etc.

ps: What's the best pain reliever fo a sore chest?:D
 

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Tournaments usually consist of a bunch of attention craving, chest thumpers with boats that are wayyy too expensive for the fishing that they are doing. That is just my opinion. Personally, I think that there are much better fishermen on here that manage just fine without sponsorships, go fast boats with triples and enough electronics to find and track a Soviet sub.
ut-o you messed up. the chest thumpers dont like being called out. see B-faithfuls link.
 

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I have only fished two tournaments my who life. With that said, I dont think there is anything wrong with them. To me they do promote the sport and they can showcase those that are not only lucky but have become good at it. (Max King is not lucky -- he is good!) To me showcasing this talent is an important part of our sport. By drawing attention to fishing It brings awareness to our issues and draws more excitement for future generations to try sport fishing. I want future generations to learn to love our sport. It has a strong heritage in our country.

Yes particular ramps can get over crowded and particular areas will see more people fishing them but complaining about that is like complaining that opening day is too crowded or that too many people now use the ramp at Kiptopeke. It seems selfish to me to complain about too many others using facilities that I desire to use no matter what is there motivation for being there.

Regarding tournaments and the killing of fish, I will disagree. The one tournament that I fished on my boat this past spring was the MSSA. We kept only 2 fish on a 23 fish day in hopes of catching bubba. We released more fish due to the tournament.

Regarding rudeness of tournament participants. I will disagree again in that there are rude fisherman everywhere but most are good people. Look at opening day where there are no tournaments...
gauging by the footprint you leave to catch a fish, its not suprising you feel this way.
 

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On a side note, how crowded is the Solomons ramp during the MSSA tourney. I am planning on fishing out of there this year during tourney time.
Thanks, nate
 
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