Want to Get into Tournament Bass Fishing?

Champions Tour Angler Corey Brant Shares His Insights on Getting into the Game

The tournament bass fishing scene across the Nation has evolved from the small town bass clubs, catch and keep events and limited opportunities for young anglers to get involved.  Now anglers across the Nation and in Minnesota have a plethora of ways to get into tournament bass fishing.

We caught up with Champions Tour Angler Corey Brant to get his thoughts and suggestions on how an angler can enter the tournament bass fishing world.  “Tournament bass fishing has progressed tenfold since I started fishing tournaments ten years ago,” chuckled Corey.  “High school, college, and even adult bass fishing has grown immensely and there are ample opportunities in nearly every part of the state. “

The first roadblock that keeps new anglers from getting involved is that you must have a boat.  This is far from the truth; there are ample opportunities for co-anglers these days where they can split costs with the boater.  “The best part about this is you get to spend eight plus hours learning from an experienced angler on the water, this is the best way to learn and develop your trade craft,” stated Brant.  “The best part of being a non-boater in this format is fishing with different boaters.  I spent five years fishing in the back of the boat and was able to learn and fish with some of Minnesota’s best anglers.”

Co-Angling opportunities exist within the Minnesota Bass Nation and The Bass Federation clubs, many of the member clubs are always looking to round out there rosters with non-boaters, so a quick call or e-mail to a club in your area could get you in the back of the boat next season.  If you want to take it up a notch, the T-H Marine BFL’s are a great opportunity to learn from some of the top regional anglers, along with learning the Mississippi River.  To see a complete listing of tournaments visit https://www.classicbass.com.

Now if you own a boat, “any boat, as long as it floats, has a working livewell and a kill switch for your outboard engine, you have some great opportunities to get into tournament bass fishing,” stated Corey.

Across Minnesota, along with other popular lake cities, there are week night fishing leagues, which either rotate lakes within a set area or fish the same body of water on a weekly basis.  “So find a friend and hop in one of these leagues, they are often three to four hour tournaments and have a low entry fee.”

Those same bass clubs we talked about above for non-boaters, also are looking for new boaters.  Both the Minnesota Bass Nation and The Bass Federation provide opportunities for both the boaters and non-boaters to participate and advance to regional tournaments.  The Minnesota Bass Nation has a section on their website where you can ask to join a club, http://www.mnbfn.org/membership/index.html .  You can also reach out to the The Bass Federation to find out what clubs have openings, http://mnbass.org/contact/ .

Brant’s last piece of advice to inspiring tournament anglers is to find a mentor.  “I was fortunate enough to have an older brother who got me into a bass club and who I fished team tournaments with.”

There is a good chance that someone you know competes in bass tournaments at some level, pick their brain and ask them to take you fishing or they may even let you tag along while they are practicing for an upcoming tournament.

“Bass fishermen enjoy talking about their catch, so don’t be afraid to be a fly on the wall and listen to anglers discuss their day on the water.  Then next time you are out on the water in your boat, you can try and duplicate that pattern or technique.”

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