Tournaments are more than simply just fishing. Of course, there’s the competitive aspect that is inherently involved with tournaments, but that’s only a small portion of what tournaments actually achieve. We’ll dive into some of the characteristics of why tournaments are important, and the reach they achieve.
I’ve heard from both sides of the fence in regards to tournament participation. Some love the competitive aspect, some simply hate it. Now, I have to admit first off that as a tournament director myself of the Inshore Xtreme Challenge, I obviously want as much participation as possible. I’ve heard from some that tournaments are a lot of fun, while others are very turned off by the competitive aspect. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that as we all have different perspectives. Here are some reasons why tournaments are good though.
A quality ran fishing tournament can very easily have the feel of a family reunion versus a competitive event. A few years back I traveled to Corpus Christi to attend Casting For A Cause. This is a charity tournament with both a kayak division and a boat division. Obviously with it being the first time I’d ever kayak fished in Texas and were fishing unfamiliar waters, I was a bit tentative. The atmosphere and the camaraderie I experienced completely wiped away any and all hesitation. Kayak anglers personify community, and a tournament can simply become a community gathering. Many anglers have participated in our tournament simply for that reason; to meet like minded people and have a great time.
Supporting Local Charities
Many kayak fishing tournament are in fact charity fundraisers. Many support local charities and veteran’s nonprofit organizations. In fact, many local charities owe a large portion of their fundraising to the local kayak charity tournaments. Even if you’re not a fan of the competition aspect of a tournament, participating oftentimes leads to a lot of support to others less fortunate. Honestly, that’s about 90% of my reasoning with fishing a tournament. he competitive aspect is a non-issue, as I prefer to support local charities and simply have a good time.
Ignore The Competitiveness
Yes, there’s always a competitive aspect when fishing a tournament. It’s human nature to be competitive, that is something we can all agree on I believe. And yes, there are some anglers who take that competitive aspect a bit too serious. There’s nothing wrong with that mindset, some simply want to be the best at what they’re doing regardless of the activity. That still shouldn’t affect your thinking when it comes to the age old question, ” To Fish or Not to Fish” a tournament. We’re never going to please everyone, and we’re never going to be able to make others think the way we think regardless if you’re a competitive kayak angler or simply a recreational kayak angler. The point is, don’t let others sway your decision to participate in a tournament. If you do, then you could really miss out on some great memories.
Knowledge is Power
A tournament offers a great opportunity to not only meet new kayak anglers, but also gives you the ability to learn. Fishing is like an ongoing education class. There’s always something new to learn. A tournament gives you the ability to talk to your fellow kayak anglers, learn new tactics, lures, etc. It’s like taking a “meet and greet” to the next level. You get the opportunity to chat with like minded people, pick up new tricks, and quite possibly share a few tricks yourself. Many new anglers attend charity kayak fishing tournaments just for this reason, to reach out to fellow anglers and learn new areas and tactics.
So to sum everything up, there’s a lot to be said about fishing tournaments. It’s not always about the drama and ultra-competitiveness, but more so about community, camaraderie, and learning experience. Add in the fact that you’re supporting a local charity and you’re sitting pretty good. Heck, you may even come home with some great raffle prizes. So get on there and get on the water… it’s never a bad thing to have another reason to go fishing.