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Grant Pearson

Starting the Tourney circut

12 posts in this topic

I'm thinking about starting to get into tourneys once the water starts to open up in 08. What is the best way to look for tourneys around the area and get involved with fishing them? I'm looking to fish as a non-boater to start out with. Any info would be helpful.

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I too would like to get into fishing some tourneys as a co-angler. I have been wondering how to get into them as well.

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First question is do you want to fish bass or walleye? If you want to fish walleye I can answer most of your questions. Let me know what you want to fish and I will check back.

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Bass or walleye? I'm kinda in the same boat. I'm looking to enter a PWT event at least once in '08 as an amateur. Luckily, I've got a pro contact who has helped me understand things immensely. Maybe that is a piece of advice - to get to know a pro who fishes the circuit you're interested in. You'd be surprised who people know when you start asking around - there's a lot of circuit anglers in MN. Different tourneys tend to have their own cultures to ramp up on, too, I've noticed. Good luck!

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For me, it would be bass. I can catch walleyes, but not with any reliability. Bass are a whole different story for me, understand them very well.

So any tips for bass tourneys?

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I'd like to get into the walleye circuit, but would like to try the bass circuit as well. Mainly the walleye circuit

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The two major walleye circuits out there are the FLW and the PWT. Both have co-anglers that fish with a boater.

The first thing I suggest you do is look at the schedules for 2008 and determine if there is a specific body of water you would like to fish or learn more about. Find one that you will learn a new technique(s) on so you can become a better fisherman.

As far as I know the costs are fairly similar for both venues. A couple of major differences are that you will fish 3 days with the PWT and with the FLW you will fish 3 days for sure with a potential for a fourth day if you are in the top 10 for co-anglers. I would say the quality of fisherman is very similar in both venues. The other major difference is that in the PWT you will win prizes (lures, tackle, possibly a boat), whereas in the FLW you win cash prizes unless you get first in which case you win a G3 boat.

The FLW gives bonus money for those who own Ranger, G3, Yamaha, and Evinrude. Since this is the case most of the pros that run these products will fish the FLW. The PWT does not give bonus money and all boat and motor products are used. All brands are also welcomed by the FLW but the money isn't as good if you don't use sponsored products. You may be asking what does this matter? It really doesn't for a co-angler unless you own a new enough sponsored product in which case you would be eligible for bonus money. Another highlight is that pros sponsored by Lund/Mercury typically don't fish the FLW. So if you want an opportunity to fish with Gary Roach, Scott/Marty Glovergein, Mike Gofron, or with Tracker/Mercury pros Parsons and Kavajecz you should the PWT.

In terms of signing up it is probably easier for a novice to sign up with PWT. You can sign up without a pro. I don't believe you will be able to sign up for a couple of months yet. For the FLW you can get priority to fish in the tournaments if you sign up with a pro(boater). It is not hard to get aligned with a pro because they get priority for signing up with a co-angler. There are websites out there where pros and cos are looking for partners to sign up with. If you would be willing to fish all the tournaments you would have no trouble finding a pro to sign up with. But you should be able to find a pro for only one tournament as well.

You may also be able to hook up with a pro for prefishing as well. Many times they need someone to go along with them so they can maximize the number of lines they have in the water. You are expected to split gas and bait for your day on the water.

The contact person at the PWT is Jim Kalkofen and at the FLW it is Sonny Reynolds.

Hopefully this provides an overview.

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Mille Lacs Guy provides a great run down of the major circuits. The FLW also sponsors league events. Rather than 3 day events, these are single day events. Next summer the will sponsor 4 leagues, one each in MN, WI, MI, and IL. Although the 'big name' guys don't usually fish the league, there are some really good sticks and you can learn a lot. It's a good entry level circuit. Entry fees are $150/event. Cash payouts.

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That's a good point Nelson. I forgot to mention that.

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If you are looking for something a little bit smaller you might look into the MTT. I've fished a couple of events the last couple years. Its very well run. They run the Mississippi, Mille Lacs, Winnie, Big Stone and LOTW. Find a buddy and a body of water you are familiar with and give it a shot.

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If you're looking for info on bass tournies, you should check out the MFBA informational meeting this Saturday.

Here is the link for the details:

MFBA meeting

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look at walleye central as many people are looking for co-s for this season for scattered walleye tournaments

for bass check classic bass

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