Organize your own fishing tournament

From Nicole

When Jordan asked me last summer if I would be interested in competing in a small fishing tournament, I couldn’t say no. Being competitive by nature, I was game. He offered to organize the competition and rallied our friends to compete. On the day of the tournament, the weather cooperated through late afternoon, eventually pushing us off the water. Afterwards, we all met up for a weigh-in at our friends’ house. We had beer, food, laughs, and sports on the television.

If you’ve got a group of competitive fishing buddies, organize your own fishing tournament. You can invite as many teams as you’d like and arrange a date that works for everyone. In addition, you’ll need a few other things:

Rules – Before the event, establish jackpots, maximum number of competitors per team, time and location for weigh-in, and any other restrictions you want to set. Make sure all team captains know about the rules before the event. The best way to ensure that everyone knows the rules is to e-mail them to captains or post them on an event page (see below). You can also set up a captain’s meeting and invite all participants to kick-off the competition, at which time you can announce official rules.

Money handler – It’s ideal to collect entrance fees up front. If competitors drop the day of the event, this ensures that others prepared for competition will still have a chance at a decent prize. Be certain that one reliable person handles the money.

Meeting place for a weigh-in – Find a place where everyone can get together to weigh fish and have a cold drink at the end of the last day of the tournament. People will be hungry, thirsty, and eager to chat, so make sure to have ample food, drinks, and seating.

Event page – Create a Facebook event, website, or other online platform to post official rules, updates, jackpots, and meeting information. Facebook event pages are ideal because they provide immediate notification to participants of any updates to the site.

Scale and measuring board – Grab a scale big enough to handle the species that will be brought in. You’ll also need a measuring board to ensure tournament-winning fish are legal.

Alternate date – A back-up date for the competition is a must. Sea and weather conditions are unpredictable. Make sure ahead of time that there is an alternate time for the competition so that in the event of a last minute cancellation, the tournament can easily be rescheduled.

Jordan and I have started talking with our friends about setting up our next tournament. Although last year’s event took place in June, we’re postponing this year’s competition until the heat subsides. We’re hoping hurricane season won’t interrupt any plans!

Get out and get fishing. Have fun, be competitive, and WIN!

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