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Iv'e been looking for the past few weeks on how to join either a tournament or a club. Nothing I read makes much sense because I am new to the whole club and tournament scence but not fishing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I live right outside of wake forest and I know that there are many spots to fish around here. Also I dont have a boat yet so would have to be a co angler. Thanks for the time! Dan
 

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There are a few options for you...first, you can find a club and fish as a co-angler if they allow for that. Fortunately, many do and there are a few guys on here that are members of clubs in your area.

Second, you can join either BASS or FLW and enter their tournaments as a co-angler. The FLW tourneys are readily available in this area and you can learn a lot. They are a little more costly than the clubs, but with some luck, the payouts are better.

Third, you can get with a boater and enter open tournaments as a team. There are tons of these in the areas and one of the best ways to find them are to check out the local bait and tackle shops, or anyplace that sells tackle, for the flyers and advertisements.

Tournament fishing is a blast, but go in with the idea that you will be learning more than winning...with the money spent being your tuition fee, of sorts. I've been doing it for about 30 years and wouldn't trade it, but I don't win all the time. I do have fun and learn each time I go out, though, and that is the catch for me!
 

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Highly suggest you continue to check this board. Also join BBC boys which contains a wealth of info tuned specifically to tourney bassers also. Good luck, and maybe we will compete someday.
 

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My tournament experience has been with a smaller-boat club trail and I have enjoyed it. I think a casual club or trail is a good way to get your feet wet and learn the basics in a less intimidating format / group of people.
 

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BFL and ABA weekend series both offer several tournaments each year in the area. You can sign up as a co-angler and fish in someone else's boat. Great way to both learn and have fun.
 

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Lewisfishing covered things pretty well. A bass club is probably the best and cheapest option if you are just starting out tournament fishing and relatively new to fishing the bigger lakes. Most clubs you will pay 20-50 per tournament, exact rules and procedures vary by club. Realize that alot of clubs are heavy on non boaters right now with a rough economy, understand that some may turn you away when you inquire about joining, dont be offended or discouraged, a club with more non boaters than boaters will leave someone not going fishing every time.

Heres a few things to remember when you fish as a nonboater:
- Contribute to expenses- Most bass boats get about 2.5 mpg, kicking in some gas money is a courtesy, $20-40 for gas is usually the norm.

- Be respectful- Dont track mud in the boat, step on the seats, drop cigarette ashes on the carpet, spit tobacco juice everywhere, spill drinks or worm dye. When the boater is ready to crank up and move, be ready ASAP life jacket on and in the seat. If you go to a good spot and catch alot of fish, dont go telling everyone you know and posting it all over the internet. Finding an off the path spot where you can catch them good on public water takes alot of time and effort, dont ruin something he worked hard to find. Be on time.

- Realistic expectations- Just because the boater has a boat doesnt mean you will always have an excellent action packed day of catching fish like you see on Bassmasters, he isnt a professional guide, he might only get on the water once or twice a month. Truth is somedays you will fish all day and not get a bite or only catch one or two... thats fishing. Look at each day as learning and having fun.

- Travel light- Try to limit how much tackle you take to one bag and 4-7 rods. Any more will hinder more than it will help, especially in a smaller boat.
 

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Lewisfishing covered things pretty well. A bass club is probably the best and cheapest option if you are just starting out tournament fishing and relatively new to fishing the bigger lakes. Most clubs you will pay 20-50 per tournament, exact rules and procedures vary by club. Realize that alot of clubs are heavy on non boaters right now with a rough economy, understand that some may turn you away when you inquire about joining, dont be offended or discouraged, a club with more non boaters than boaters will leave someone not going fishing every time.

Heres a few things to remember when you fish as a nonboater:
- Contribute to expenses- Most bass boats get about 2.5 mpg, kicking in some gas money is a courtesy, $20-40 for gas is usually the norm.

- Be respectful- Dont track mud in the boat, step on the seats, drop cigarette ashes on the carpet, spit tobacco juice everywhere, spill drinks or worm dye. When the boater is ready to crank up and move, be ready ASAP life jacket on and in the seat. If you go to a good spot and catch alot of fish, dont go telling everyone you know and posting it all over the internet. Finding an off the path spot where you can catch them good on public water takes alot of time and effort, dont ruin something he worked hard to find. Be on time.

- Realistic expectations- Just because the boater has a boat doesnt mean you will always have an excellent action packed day of catching fish like you see on Bassmasters, he isnt a professional guide, he might only get on the water once or twice a month. Truth is somedays you will fish all day and not get a bite or only catch one or two... thats fishing. Look at each day as learning and having fun.

- Travel light- Try to limit how much tackle you take to one bag and 4-7 rods. Any more will hinder more than it will help, especially in a smaller boat.
As a boater... You're right on par my friend! ;)
 

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Hi: My name is Larry, I'm the vice President and tournament director for Ambassador Anglers Of Jacksonville. We're always looking for new members to join our club. Being a co-angler in our club is no problem. The only problem I see is it would be a long drive for you to attend our monthly meetings. I would suggest that you go online and search for fishing clubs in your area and contact one of them. Most clubs have a reasonable monthly dues and have no problem if you don't have a boat and want to fish as a co-angler. Hope this is helpful.
 
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