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On October 11, 2019 at 12:27 PM, DADAKOTA said:

The vast majority of tourney anglers ought to just fish for fun.  Most of them do not make any money at it and in fact over the course of the year lose money.  They must enjoy competing and donating. 

I resemble this remark. I only fish a few derbies a year, although I'm contemplating the Winter Bass-o-Thon, or maybe Joe Bass Bull Shoals again. It's a money loser for me, but I know that going in. It's also a bit like playing the lottery, there is always the chance that I may get lucky.

The truth is though, I enjoy knowing how I stack up. On days that I'm in a derby, I fish harder and learn more than when I'm just out for fun. I've never won one, although I have gotten inside the top ten a couple times, one of which was in a winter bass o thin against a tough crowd of locals. What I learn by competing, I don't feel like I learn just when fun fishing, so for me, the entry fees are worth it. I'd never run my family hungry, or use bill money to play with, but I've spent disposable income in dumber ways in my life.

YMMV,

Mark 

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1 hour ago, mixermarkb said:

I enjoy knowing how I stack up. On days that I'm in a derby, I fish harder and learn more than when I'm just out for fun.

That's a good point.   The stuff you learn while competing would probably never get learned otherwise.   

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46 minutes ago, fishinwrench said:

That's a good point.   The stuff you learn while competing would probably never get learned otherwise.   

If you don’t test yourself under pressure, in an activity you love, if that’s your deal, then you haven’t played the game like you think. 

Pressure cooks it all the way down to the bone.  

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My personal fishing evolution has gone something like-

Phase 1-struggle to get bites or catch one anything in a day

Phase 2-catch a few to a lot of dinks consistently most days I fish, struggle to catch a keeper 

Phase 3-catch a keeper(s) most days I fish, struggle to catch a limit

Phase 4-catch a limit of keepers most days I fish, struggle to catch a big (3 pound smallie/spot, 4 pound LMB) fish

Phase 5-catch a limit of big fish

 

On Bull Shoals and LOZ, I'm generally pretty darn close to a phase 4 fisherman, on weekdays, when I can kind of choose the weather I'm going in.

In a derby, I'm much closer to Phase 3, although I have a definite pattern going lately of having 4 fish with one or two good ones, and missing a limit fish that keeps me out of a check. I think part of it is poor time management on game day, and part of it is fishing pressure, but it's nice to see where I measure up. I think if I guy can be somewhere between phase 4 and phase 5, day in day out, regardless of weather and seasonal pattern, he's gonna do pretty well in the local tournament world.

The TRUE pros that can be Phase 4+, on tour, fishing everything from tidal backwaters to highland impoundments to Great Lakes smallmouth to TVA river lakes to Florida swamps, are the names we all know. Lots of phase 4++ guys in their region drop to phase 2 or 3 on tour. 

 

Idk, may not make any sense to anyone but me, but that's kind of how I look at it 

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I've pretty much mastered catching a reasonably consistent limit of 15 -17" bass in a 4-5 hour period, but I still consider the bigger fish "luck", with the exception of the "hog time" bites in late Winter and mid-Spring.   

When I am on a pattern of good fish (2-3 pounders) I have no clue at all what I should do to catch 4-7 pounders.....other than to just keep hammering away until I get lucky.

Take me somewhere (different lake) that I am not intimately familiar with and I need a minimum of 3 days to get properly dialed in. 

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I had a few of those phase and 2/3 days this year in our bass tournaments, but typically I'm a phase 4 type. Every now and then I'll be in that phase 5, but it's not common. Tournaments are something I enjoy as it gives me a meter to see how I stack up to others on that particular day. I personally learn quite a bit from other anglers and just hanging around weigh ins and listening to what people have to say. This ain't just for bass tournaments either. I've trout fished Taneycomo for 20+ years and I've become a MUCH better trout angler since I started fishing the winter tournaments three years ago. Everybody fishes a little different and you can learn a lot from others.

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