Why I'm Quitting Tournament Fishing


I think I have decided that tournaments are just not for me.

I have a great many friends who fish tournaments and I’ll fish a couple of them this year. But for me, not for everyone, but for me I just don’t think I enjoy it very much. Maybe to the onlooker it seems I don’t have a competitive drive. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I think the true reasoning is I am finally discovering balance. I think my competitiveness is what is driving me away from tournament fishing. Allow me to explain.

When I tournament fish, I can get obsessive. I pre-fish, I study maps, I make calls, I information gather and I try to find any advantage I can. That takes a lot of time. Notice how many I’s were in that statement (8)? It takes time away from my family, from my friends and something else. It takes away the joy I get from fishing. Nobody should burden themselves to the point of worry and grief. Especially not for a hobby.

I don’t want to chase a winning high. In tournaments, you rarely ever see the same guy winning every event.  If I am not winning then a stellar, memorable day on the water could leave me with questions, agony and angst. I’m not a rich man so fishing tournaments for fun is like throwing away money to do it all the time. I’d rather just buy more accessories to try out than flush $50 into a winner’s pocket. That being said I’ll be fishing two tournaments this year. The first will be at Fork on March 23. I love that lake and a lot of my good friends and my brother will be fishing it with me. I’ll have a great day regardless of final standings.

The other tournament is Kayak Wars. It’s not even a true tourney, no money is at stake and it’s at my leisure. So ok, maybe one and a half tournaments.

 I thought in January I would fish 6 or maybe 8 and it was even in my goals but I’ve had to change directions. I feel like I am more valuable at home and on the website than trying to win a couple hundred dollars.  
I enjoy being at weigh-ins at the ends of tournaments, chatting with everyone  but usually, I don’t have a great time while fishing. I can’t turn the switch off. If a prize is at stake, it’s hard to stop and enjoy the day.

What I do enjoy is fishing, trying out new things in the kayak fishing world and talking about what’s good and what’s …well, not.

Best of luck to you tourney guys out there but for 2013, I’m going to lay low, put up some Kayak Wars points when I can and try to churn out some content and product reviews. 

4 comments:

Tim Hart said...

That's exactly how I feel. Kayak Wars gives me a fishing log better than Facebook. I am not in it to win it but to win at enjoying fishing. Good article. Good call. Dr. Hart

Small Water Fly Fishing said...

I'm with ya Chris. I enjoy the Bassgrabbers Tournament Series because it's just a bunch of friends spending the day on the water and you might win a little money while you're at it. I do enjoy Kayak Wars because (like you said) it's at your leisure and it's free.

Chris Payne said...

Thanks for reading guys. I might sway a bit in the future but for now, this is where I am.

FTW said...

Kayak Wars is fun but it's not really about skill. It's more about who has the most time to fish with those 40-50 fish limits.