Fishing tournaments can most certainly be profitable as large sums of prize money are awarded to the winning anglers. Tournaments have thrived for many years now and have been reported to pay upwards of £80,000. Despite the large earning potential, the initial cost for signing up for these competitions is sometimes as low as just £5. But in order for tournaments to be profitable, there are many contributing factors that have to work in tandem to ensure success when fishing competitively.
The fishing community around you may play a huge role in the popularity and desire for catching different fish. However, the general standpoint is simple, being successful in this industry can for the majority of the time prove to be very profitable. Different cultures pose a different amount of importance and relevance to fishing which has a huge impact on industries and profitability.
How Fishing Tournaments Work In The UK
For the majority of the time, fishing tournaments work in a similar way to any other type of tournament. They consist of an entry fee, a competition aspect that is monitored under a specific set of rules, and a prize. This is given to the top performers. These prizes can vary hugely and all depend on the style and type of fishing that you’re competing in. Popularity, organizations, and marketing all play a major role in how much you could make from different tournaments and competitions.
As you are probably aware fishing varies substantially depending on where about you are in the world. We’ll start by taking a look at some UK-based tournaments and then compare them to the rest of the world.
Fishing in the UK has always been extremely popular, it’s clear that doing well in particular competitions can make anglers large amounts. A key aspect to consider when signing up for tournaments is the entry requirements. The larger competitions often require you to take part in a number of smaller tournaments and do well in order to get accepted. These are often sought after by many anglers which ensures only the best individuals compete for the biggest prizes.
How Much Can You Earn From Tournaments In The UK
To make things simple here’s a table explaining some popular fishing tournaments in the UK:
|Angling trust national championships||£1216|
|AT & CRT Canal Paris Championships||Dependent|
|Free Spirit Match Boddington Classic||£1682|
|Angling Trust British pike championships||Dependent|
|Angling trust masters championships||Dependent|
|Coarse Talent Pathway||Dependent|
The entry fees also vary depending on the competition. This normally ranges anywhere from £5 to £250. Throughout the UK, majority of competitions are judged by the total combined weight of fish caught.
Many organisations also offer team tournaments that help the fishing community grow stronger, there’s also been a steady increase in children’s tournaments which suggest that if the desire keeps increasing fishing tournaments will continue growing in every way. This is definitely something to take into consideration if you’re looking at tournaments for the long run.
Target Species In Fishing Tournaments
The majority of UK waters are filled with carp and silverfish. Although it’s possible to run into catfish and other species when it comes to fishing tournaments the fish listed below tend to make up the majority of the end weight. Here are some popular fisheries in the UK most of which host competitions and tournaments frequently:
|Fishery||What will you catch|
|Flushing Meadows fisheries||Carp, Bream, Tench|
|Parkers fishery||Carp, Bream, Roach, Perch, Gudgion|
|Hamstall fishery||Carp, Bream, F1|
|Harescombe fishery||Carp, Tench, Bream, Goldfish, F1|
|Blundells fishery||Carp, Tench, F1|
|Home farm fisheries||Carp, catfish|
|Blyth waters||Carp, Bream|
|Foxhill fishery||Carp, Bream, Koi, Tench|
|Shrewley pools||Carp, F1|
|Lavender hall fishery||Carp, F1|
Its clear UK lakes tend to be heavily populated with carp. Looking at this from a tournament point of view it could prove beneficial. They are fairly straightforward to catch and can grow to enormous sizes fairly quickly making them ideal for adding a lot of weight to your keep nets fast.
How Much Does It Cost To Be A Match Fisherman
The chances of you winning tournaments may vary however here’s a quick overview of some costs to take into consideration when looking into competitive angling within the UK:
From a UK standpoint, the fish we have talked about is what you’ll be targeting, this means if you start from new, purchasing the correct tackle for the job is something to consider. You can spend as little or as much as you want. All the essential tackle will typically cost around £300. However, it’s important to mention that the winning fishermen often have several thousand pounds worth of gear that they’ve built up over several years of fishing.
Most people who compete in tournaments are previously pleasure fishermen, so they already had the gear required to enter competitions. This essentially means that for most people, the cost of tackle isn’t a genuine cost because they’ve practically inherited it from their hobby.
What Gear You Need For Match Fishing In The UK
- Seat Box: When fishing in a tournament, having a good seat box is hugely beneficial. Having everything you need at arm’s length could make all the difference when casting, baiting up, or striking for a bite. The majority of competitive fishermen use seat boxes whilst fishing. A good seat box will set you back several hundred pounds but it is an integral part of a match fisherman’s setup.
- Pole: Fishing poles are commonly used by match-fishermen for their versatility. They allow you to quickly and efficiently catch fish and take a lot of the difficulty out from casting to margins.
- Rod: Having the right rod for the job is another essential. This will always depend on where and what you are fishing for. A typical fishing rod will range anywhere from £35-500.
- Reel: Having a good reel is essential for match fishing. We recommend the MAP ACS 4000FS to nearly every angler for both pleasure and match fishing.
- Landing net: A landing net is another requirement you will have to purchase. They vary in size and price but getting something generic is probably the way to go when starting out.
- Keep net: When fishing a tournament keeping your fish safe and happy is a requirement, a keep net allows you to collect your fish at the bank ready for weighing once you’ve completed the session. They typically cost around £30.
- Basic tackle: Method Feeder Leads, Hooklinks, Floats, Leads, Split-shots, Hooks, Baiting-needle
Oceanic Fishing Tournaments
Fishing tournaments worldwide tend to be a lot more profitable if done correctly. The largest prize ever recorded is a whopping $86 million at the white marlin open. This blows UK fishing out of the water but when looking deeper into it the upfront costs and licensing also are sky high. This indicates that it’s a lot harder to get involved with in the first place.
Fishing larger and more powerful waters mean catching different fish. Marlin, billfish, and bass tend to attract lots of anglers and multiple tournaments are hosted all across the USA. The prizes vary but can go anywhere from $10,000 to $2,000,000+
The fishing community in different parts of the world is accustomed to different cultures and traditions. Depending on the level of popularity and importance surrounding a particular area of fishing is often a good indication of how profitable it is.
Fishing tournaments in different parts of the world such as china and japan use the same basic principle but add in their own traditions that make it specific to their waters.
Seeing how widespread fishing is, shows that since humans discovered large stretches of water, we’ve always had an innate passion to capture fish.
Is Match Fishing A Viable Career Option
Match fishing can be a good career but I wouldn’t say that it’s a viable career option on its own. Its too unpredictable. You can’t control when or where a fishing match takes place or how much money you can earn from it. Furthermore, you can’t guarantee that you’ll win the match which means that you have no guaranteed income. This makes fishing tournaments a good hobby but not a genuine career for most.
However, this doesn’t detract from the fact that fishing can still be a lucrative hobby and you can earn lump sums of money. Listed below are several people from all around the world, who’ve made serious cash from fishing.
- Zac Brown won £100,000 in a UK match fishing tournament
- Andy Power won £70000
- Kevin Vandam $7million
- David Dudley $4.2million
If you’re older or nearing retirement, I would say match fishing competitively is much more suitable if you’re also trying to generate an income. When you have fewer responsibilities and expenses along with more free time, match fishing can be used to create an extra stream of income, providing that you’re not dependent on it.