No ‘I’ in Team
The Team Tournament Blog by Luke Estel is brought to you courtesy of Strike King Lure Company
As tournament fishermen, we all have big dreams of making it big. Or do we?
There was a time that I thought that I would bust into the Elites and make it big. Not anymore.
In fact, right now in my life, that is the furthest thing from my mind. Let’s face it, would you leave your job, your family, your lifestyle, to go out and fish with the big boys? I am sure several of you would say yes, but the reality of it is there is no way. Why do I say this? Because it’s true.
Think about it for a minute. I mean really think hard. There are roughly 350 “Professional” fishermen in this country. There are tens of thousands of regular hard working weekend warriors out there. The chances are slim but they are possible. In my case here is what would most likely happen. I would leave my stable job from which I get paid every two weeks, drive all over the country spending countless nights in a hotel, rack up major credit cards, miss the real important things in life like my kids growing up and raising a family, and for what? A fraction of a chance to make it big. Not happening.
Now, before some of my professional fishing buddies get mad at me for saying this, let me say something to all of them, you are our role models, our heroes, and we look up to you. You all are able to balance fishing and family to make it work and I applaud you for it. For the rest of us, we do what we can just to be able to fish on the weekends. Let’s take this a step further. I fish two team circuits. One is USA Bassin and the other is Anglers Choice. There is a total of 1105 tournaments in one and 210 in the other. They are in multiple states and their classics pay out handsomely. If I had to guess on how many team tournaments there are across the country, the number would have to be 25,000 to 50,000. That’s a lot of team events.
What’s the point? The point is that team events are becoming the next big thing and I believe that major companies better take note of this wave that is happening. Some events are now televised, others give away a new boat in every event, payouts are getting bigger, and competition is getting stronger. Why leave all that when you and your partner can have fun and possibly have a chance to make some money doing it.
Let’s look at some numbers and I will use myself as an example. Let’s say I fish the Bassmaster Opens (which I have in the past and I love them). Entries are $1500.00 apiece, $1000.00 minimum a piece for expenses, and four weeks off from work using my vacation time. That’s $10,000.00 just to fish four events. Now for my team events.
For seventeen team tournaments it will cost me $1000.00 total in entries, and maybe $1000.00 total in expenses. No vacation time used. On top of that I am fishing lakes that I normally fish. So I can save $8000.00 and fish thirteen more events. No brainer for me.
Team tournaments are fun. There is nothing better than hanging out with your partner in a boat for eight hours trying to win the tournament. It also helps because you now do not have to make all of the decisions and with two in the boat, it makes it a little easier. The other advantage is the stress level is way down. It’s nice to come home after a tournament where you spent $100.00 and you won $300.00 versus, I was gone from work for a week, spent $2500.00 and I missed a check by three pounds.
Team tournaments are the future. If you and your partner have the time and money, start looking at other circuits in neighboring states. It will surprise you how many good paying team tournaments are out There. Good luck and have a great 2019 season.