Once you've had some success with angling, or even joined a local fishing club, the odds are pretty good that you'll want to have a go at fishing competitions. This natural progression towards competitive fishing allows you to not only enjoy the camaraderie of angling, but you may also get a chance to see some real professionals in action. You might even have a chance to improve your already formidable skills.
Usually, fishing competitions require you to put up some money as part of the registration fee. Such fees can be relatively small or large, depending upon the level of corporate sponsorship. Very often the prizes awarded come in the form of bait and tackle, though large, cash prizes are also very important for drawing large crowds. Unusual prizes are sometimes offered to garner a bit of free advertising.
For many, doing well at a fishing competition is a very important part of taking their angling to the next level. Whether the competition focuses on predatory fish or the most common "wild" species, knowing what type of fish you'll be concentrating on will help tremendously with choosing the right strategy for landing a big one.
Once you've gotten the hang of picking up a good sized fish from just about any lake, you're in a good position to be picking up trophies. However, to get to that point, you'll need to have a very good understanding of how to shift your approach to the sport on any given lake or river. For instance, if the contest is on a swift moving river, the type of fish you can expect to land are far fewer, and you should adjust your baiting and casting strategy to match.
Often times, the old and established types of baits are the best in fishing competitions. This is very often true when everyone else is casting out with the latest and greatest thing created in a lab. Nuggets of maize might be the very thing to separate you from the pack, just because it's comparatively unusual.
Fishing competitions can be very crowded, single-day events, or simply be whoever catches the biggest fish in a given season. For no apparent reason, these contests are often broken down into men's and women's brackets. This, of course, works out great for the women, since about 2/3 of the competition drops away in such a scheme. Fair or not, women just have better odds of winning than their male counterparts.
Of course, to really go after the big ones, you may need to sink your lure deeper and pass up catching a bunch of fish. It depends upon the type of contest you're participating in. Some weigh all the fish you catch some only award prizes for the biggest single fish. This will have a more impact on your strategy than just about anything. Adjust your equipment, position and casting, accordingly.