Why tournaments? If you are fishing walleyes for fun, you learn something every time out, but it is a slow process unless you really apply yourself. You may get to where you fall into a rut, and you don't try a variety of techniques. How many times have you gone to your favorite lake, using the same technique, and do not catch a thing? Do you say that the fish are not biting or do you try something new? If you say that the fish are not biting, then you are definitely in a rut!
Tournaments where you put down a money entry fee are what I like to call college. You are trying to get a return on your money. If you are shelling out your hard-earned cash, it will force you to adapt and learn in order to compete. One thing that you will find, when fishing tournaments for the first time, is that you will learn more about fishing walleye in one year of tournaments, than you would have in ten years of watching videos or reading magazines.
How to pick a partner Choosing a partner to fish tournaments is like choosing a spouse. You must look for a person with your values, goals, and common expectations. Fishing tournaments involves a lot of time away from home, family and work. It involves financial commitments that go beyond the purchase of a boat and equipment. Seeking out a person who you can get along with through the good and bad times is extremely important. Ask yourself the following questions when considering a person to be your fishing partner:
Why team Tournaments? Tournament fishing with a partner can be very rewarding. It gives you the opportunity to combine your knowledge and resources to compete on a professional level. The following are some reason that one might consider fishing in a team format versus individually:
Companionship: working with and sharing experiences with someone who has the same goals and expectations
Sharing knowledge: sharing the knowledge that both partners have gained over the years, helping you to be competitive
Combining equipment: the ability to combine the tackle and equipment with another fisherman may allow you to be versatile, thus more competitive
Pooling resources: pooling resources and splitting expenses such as lodging, fuel, entrance fees, tackle and other expenses incurred in traveling to and from a tournament
Having a spare boat: usually when fishing a team circuit, each person has his own boat, which allows that a second (back up) boat is available if needed during a tournament
Pre-fishing: having a partner with his own boat gives you the opportunity to pre-fish separately and allows the team to cover more water during pre-fishing
Pre-season planning: this involves things such as lodging plans, deciding on the number of pre-fishing days, taking one or two boats, which tournaments to fish