Great Lakes Bass Fishing Forum

Bass Fishing => Bass Fishing Tips, Techniques & General Discussion => Topic started by: Savage on February 05, 2006, 03:45:54 PM

Title: What makes a tournament great?
Post by: Savage on February 05, 2006, 03:45:54 PM
My club has a team format charity open every year in the spring, and we are currently getting ready to set it up for this year.? It is a team event, and we have gotten 43 boats each year for the last 3 years in a row.? We are wondering what we can do to make our tournament more attractive, and draw the maximum number of boats.? With this in mind, I am looking for input from you guys:


Some things we are interested in finding out:

 ???? ? ?What is better, higher pay per place, or paying down more places with less pay per place?

 ???? ? ?Our entry fee is currently $150 with a guaranteed top prize of $2000, would you rather pay $175 and have a shot at $2500?

 ???? ? ?Would you like us to pay down less places and increase just the top prize money?

 ???? ? ?What are some "little touches" that make a great tournament?

 ???? ? ?What day is best for an open, Saturday or Sunday?

I think we run a very good tournament already, we give out donuts at the morning driver's meeting, and free refreshments at weigh-in.? We weigh-in quickly, and have a leader board to show where you stand at any given time.? For the record, the event in question is the Team Bass Charity Open, held Sunday, June 11th on Sanford Lake in Midland County.? We are always looking for sponsors (it's for charity, write it off! ;D) if anyone is interested, we trade monetary ($100) and product sponsorships for advertisement space on our flyers.? Flyers will be going out in late March, if you want one, or if you want more details, send me a PM.? Thanks for your input on this topic!
Title: Re: What makes a tournament great?
Post by: Revtro on February 06, 2006, 10:25:14 AM
For us church goin' folk, Saturday is much better.  It especially tough for me on Sundays because the church is also my job.
Title: Re: What makes a tournament great?
Post by: joshimoto son on February 06, 2006, 11:49:53 AM
Our club has held charity opens for a long time.

1) we have established ourselves and have a base that consitantly looks forward to that tournament every year, so don't ever change it.

2)In my opinion, I think your pay out is good enough, there's a possibiltiy if you go too high with entry fees you might start to weed out the weekend angler father/son type teams and potentially loose some participation. (maybe)

3) The biggest thing for me on these type tournaments, is to make sure almost everybody leaves home with something. Just like any Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever or any other annual event I've ever been to, the REALLY successful ones are the ones everybody talks about for the next month because they won something. We put in a tremendous amount of work getting prizes from sponsors as give aways at the end of the tournement. Our raffles and "quick auctions" takes about an hour to complete.

4) And just like you, we feed em until they can't eat anymore.

I hope this helps.
Title: Re: What makes a tournament great?
Post by: MBell on February 06, 2006, 12:31:44 PM
For me when fishing an open event, I prefer a lower entry fee because it may draw more boats.  For example if I fish your event this year I will be coming right from another tournament, in this case I'm not really looking for a big tourney with huge payout just out to fish a tournament.  I would rather see the winners get more money than some team in 12th place cover 50% of their expenses.  As far as the tournament, just get us out there as fast as you can.  Make sure everyone knows the rules (like what time to come in!) especially those that may have changed or are different from other organizations.  I don't think with our already short season you should limit yourself to either Saturday or Sunday, the important thing is to not schedule over other bigger events.  If your the only game in town it just makes it easier. 
Title: Re: What makes a tournament great?
Post by: dhuff on February 06, 2006, 01:58:11 PM
I agree alot of the tournaments I fish are just because I want to get in a tournament and there are no others that day.  So if they scheduled around eachother they have a better chance at drawing more boats.  I do like to see the top few finishers atleast make enough to pay for entry fee and gas and a little extra ATLEAST!  I would rather not pay out so many places and give that money to the top few to make it more worth while.  I also second getting the boats out fishing ASAP and letting everyone CLEARLY know the weigh in time when it has been changed from what is online.  BAD MISTAKE on mine and Mbells part but we will learn from it.  It only costed us 1st place in a tourney this fall but hey..........  A good tournament is also one that goes smoothly without some aholes breaking the rules and moving in on your water.   I had that happen to me a guy run full blas less that 20 yds from me right where I was casting stop his boat not 10 yds from where my bait was hitting drop and anchor and say this is my water now you have to give me atleast 50 yds.  I felt like putting on a 1oz trap and bank it off of his nice boat a few times.
Title: Re: What makes a tournament great?
Post by: Revtro on February 06, 2006, 02:35:12 PM
Dhuff makes a good point about weigh-ins.  In a few tournaments I fished last year (I won't mention the tourney org) there were contraversies at weigh in.  At the state championship for BASS a few years ago they had cards that the boater or co-angler had to have turned into a box at a certain time.  Most people didn't seem to like this format, but I don't recall too many contraversies about people being a minute or two late.  I don't know if this is still the way they do it or not, but there has to be a way to have less contraversy at weigh-in when it comes to the weigh-in time. 

Perhaps have a referee boat near the launch that guys have to check in with on the way to the dock or do the card thing.  I'm not really sure what would work best, but I have seen the casual method of hollering at the TD when you're in sight of the ramp go very badly.  In one tournament I fished last year, the TD said we had to be "In Sight" of the dock within "Yelling Distance" by the weigh-in time.  The very next tournament this same TD deducted 2lbs from a team because they weren't at the bank (dock) by the weigh-in time even though they were within sight and yelling distance.  I didn't feel the TD's action was fair because not only wasn't it made clear prior to the event, there was a totally different precident set at the previous tournament.  The result was a myriad of F-bombs from the team and a near drop down-drag out fight.  It was ugly and I felt bad for the father and son teams who had to have their kids subjected to this kind of nonsense.   

So I'd suggest very clearly spelled out guidelines for the launch and weigh-in precedures.  Plus I'd give serious thought to how to have a weigh-in that will minimize the chance for contraversies regarding tardiness to the ramp.
Title: Re: What makes a tournament great?
Post by: blakstr1 on February 07, 2006, 08:35:43 AM
I'm a part of the same tournament that SAVAGE has been talking thing we might want to pick up on is having a big hotdog picnic after the tournament, complimentary of course.  i like that idea a lot, maybe also look at moving the tournament to a saturday...i've heard quite a few people say they would've fished it if it wasn't on Sunday...
Title: Re: What makes a tournament great?
Post by: Savage on February 07, 2006, 09:18:19 AM
Shouldn't be too late to change that, we will see......
Title: Re: What makes a tournament great?
Post by: blakstr1 on February 07, 2006, 09:20:29 AM
yeah i've got a connection at Gordon Foods for the food and supplies, potentially just sponsored items...i'll work on that...
Title: Re: What makes a tournament great?
Post by: Bassman24 on February 07, 2006, 12:19:00 PM
It sounds like you already run a very great event that needs little changes. 

Here are a couple of things that may help increase numbers...

1) Early advertisement - with so many tournament opportunities, it is key to get the info out early enough for anglers to plan.  Go to all the bass boat  vendors at the shows and ask if they will let you leave your fliers on the boats/ post them at your local tackle stores...Gander, BPS, Dicks, etc..

2) Be positive about your product.  You need to sell your tournament and if you have an attitude that reflects confidence in running your event, that will draw anglers to you.

Anglers are very bright and know the difference between a well run tournament and a messy one.  Most will come back, as you have seen, just for that purpose. 

Keep up the good work. I hope I can make it out this year.  I have never been on Sanford.

NBAA Director for Motor City Division
Title: Re: What makes a tournament great?
Post by: Savage on February 07, 2006, 12:29:15 PM
Thanks for the input, George.  PM me with your address if you want me to send you out a flyer with our mailing list.

Hope to see you there! :D