The Highs and Lows of Tournament Fishing

By Jeremy Santos

Welcome to Kickerfish!!  If you are reading this, you must be one of those hardcore anglers who is into tournament fishing, or looking to get into it. Either way, fishing runs through your veins and there is no other way to up the ante in the fishing world other than competing against other anglers, and trying to land some big fish. I have been lucky enough the last three to four years to enjoy (and suffer) the tribulations of tourney fishing as a co angler and as a captain. Let me tell you, they both have their joys and sorrow.

I have entered mostly bass tournaments over the years, and all of them as a co angler with one of my best buds, Eric Labaupa. We haven’t done so well but that’s for another article. Let me tell you, being a co angler is all about just fishing. Just cast and reel and hopefully catch a big fish or two. No worries about running the trolling motor, no planning on the best place to fish and no wondering what your partner thinks of your captaining skills. I know it’s a team effort but in the end, the team captain has the final say, good or bad, and you just have to back their decisions 100%. It’s almost like you’re being guided on a fishing trip!!

Despite all that, I still had the urge to be a captain in a fishing tournament. So last year I took the plunge and signed up for the Falcon Walleye Tournament as team captain with my good friend Ken Polvorosa. What an experience it was!! First step, pick up my boat to make sure the boat is in tournament form. From trailer tires being travel worthy, batteries being fully charged, live wells all working, having the right bait and enough gas in the boat to make some runs. Oh, and to be on time as well for the tournament. This doesn’t include the time planning your prime fishing run and setting up plan B, plan C and plan D if the fish aren’t biting. Exhausting and tiresome work for fish? Yes. Well worth it no matter where you finish? 100 times “Hells Yeah!!!”  I have no doubt I’ll be captaining in tournaments this year.

In the end, there is nothing more exciting in the fishing world than tournament fishing. You will have your ups and downs, highs and lows, feelings from complete jubilation to utter despair but competing as a co angler or as a team captain, there is nothing more rewarding than being on the water and knowing that all it takes is one bite to give you that “Oh yeah!!” feeling.  So get out there, register and fish a tournament near you!! See you on the water and good luck. Just make sure you leave the bigger fish for me! 😉