Fishing Tournaments on a Budget

The tournament season is coming up fast and its time to start planning what tournaments you are fishing this year, or maybe you already have. There are many things that go into fishing tournaments and with that comes spending money. Entry fees, tackle, rods, reels, gas and everything in between has to be accounted for. It can be overwhelming and sacrifices must be made, but if you work hard you can pull it all together.

Truth is, why don’t we get everything we want? Money… “I don’t have enough money,” is the quote of all time. Often it’s not an issue of not having the money, but how you are willing to allocate it. It’s the cost of opportunity. Personally, I am channeling any money I can save to fish the tournaments I want, in order to further pursue my dream career of fishing professionally. This is priority in order to grow my resume in tournament fishing. Each paycheck gets carefully allocated between my bills and then anything extra towards my fishing budget. It has taken me years to figure out how to budget my money appropriately and when life is throwing you curve balls at you financially – you have to adapt. It’s not something that will happen overnight but rather will take time to experiment and figure out works best for your lifestyle and schedule.

Balancing serious tournament fishing and every day life can be a challenge but very doable with some thought. My saving grace to have money come fishing season is working full time over the winter. I work as much as I physically and emotionally can over the winter to ensure I have the suitable flow of income to set aside the money I need to make my fishing year financially feasible. Work starts from the day after the boat gets put away to the day before it comes back out. The savings I build up during this time allows me to cut back on my hours during season to give me more time on the water chasing my dream. Since ice fishing is less appealing to me, my only expenses over the winter are my boat payment, rent and food. One great way to get necessary funding is to work your connections; sponsorships can be a great way to accomplish your goals. Even if it entails of discounts on product, that can help save you some coin on

costs over the long run.

I am very blessed to have the things I do and get the opportunities I have had. I am able to continue to fish in the Bassmaster Northern Opens this year and also a few local, hometown tournaments – but believe me when I say, it will be hard to swing financially!

The most monumental advice I can give to anyone out there that wants to fish tournaments is “you can do anything, not everything” – David Allen. You may not be able to get all the gear you want, put in as long of practice as you want, but if you work hard and manage your time and money right you can get where you want to be. The financial barrier may handicap some of us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t accomplish our goals and be successful in what we love to do! Dedication and hard work pays off – you need to plan for success!

Originally posted on at

#ChadSmith #Tournaments

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