I absolutely love to fish bass tournaments. I have not been doing them long, but in the few years I have been fishing tournaments, I have won, taken a few second and thirds, and in a few bigger events I have finished in multiple top fives and top tens, with a few big bass awards. I say this not to brag, but to point out that when I fish tournaments, I like to win or at least do well. Now with all that being said, when you are getting your kid involved in tournament fishing, throw all that out the window.
My son started joining me in tournaments two years ago at the age of 7. I took him with me just to try and get him involved in something that I love to do. Could I have found someone a little more skilled in fishing techniques to give myself a better chance at cashing a check? Absolutely. Is there anyone else I would rather have spend a day on the water with me? Absolutely not.
The first tournament with my son I still had dreams of weighing in the winning bag. Soon however, I realized that my goals would have to change a bit for the time being. When you are fishing a tournament with a child, your number one goal has to be – make sure they have fun. No matter what, you want them to enjoy the event, and be excited to go out and do it again.
That first tournament with my son I did things I have never done before. We stopped and watched a draw bridge go up for a sailboat. And then guess what? We watched it go back down. We sat down on the deck of the boat and had a morning snack. We got hungry again and sat back down to eat lunch. When it got a little too hot in the blazing sun I built a little tent on the back deck to give him some shade. When it once again became too hot to just sit there we drove around fast to let the wind cool us down.
Needless to say, we did not win, or even cash a check in that tournament. We did however, have a whole lot of fun that day. My son is still my tournament partner today. Even though I still have to build him a tent or drive around to cool us off occasionally, he is doing amazing and still loving it.