Why Most Inshore Anglers FAIL In Their First Fishing Tournament


The pressure is on!

Fishing in a tournament is a whole new animal compared to fishing by yourself.

You’ve got rules to follow, deadlines to meet, other anglers to compete against… not to mention there’s money on the line!

But whether you’re looking to compete in a tournament or just want an edge over other inshore anglers, this is a must-listen-to episode!

I’ve got one of the top saltwater kayak anglers (our own Justin Ritchey) with me here in this video to discuss all things tournament fishing.

He went from being quite unsuccessful in tournaments to representing America in one of the world’s biggest kayak tournaments, and in this video, he’s sharing a TON of his secrets.

You’ll learn:

  • Why you ALWAYS need to read the rules of the tournament (he got disqualified thanks to a technicality in a tournament he would’ve placed fourth in)
  • A little secret to finding the best fishing spots and knowing what the fish are biting that day
  • The mindset you need to have when things go wrong (this could end up saving you in the last minute!)
  • His 3 go-to tournament lures
  • And much more

Regardless if you want to enter your first tournament, if you’re already participating in tournaments, or if you just want an edge over your buddies, this episode has some amazing intel!

You can watch the video version of this podcast below (which I highly recommend), listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify and leave us a review!

Tournament Fishing Tips [VIDEO]

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Here’s where you can get the lures Justin mentioned in this video:

Tournament Fishing Tips [PODCAST]

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Here’s a timestamped table of contents from my conversation with Justin about using tournament fishing:

2:41 – How Justin got into fishing tournaments, and how he transformed from not doing well, to finally winning tournaments

6:15 – The unfortunate story of how Justin got disqualified from a tournament, and how you can avoid making the same mistake

8:22 – What not to do when measuring your fish in a kayak tournament

11:31 – How to plan where you’re going to fish during a tournament

14:47 – Justin’s secret to finding the best spots and knowing what the fish are biting on tournament day

20:54 – How Justin strategically chooses spots to catch tournament redfish and trout (and his favorite lures to use in those spots)

25:59 – Justin’s strategy during slam tournaments (and his funny secret to catching snook)

28:52 – Justin’s three go-to tournament lures (and his occasional fourth lure)

32:56 – How long Justin stays at a spot during a tournament

35:27 – How Justin finds big, hungry redfish during a tournament

37:18 – Justin’s secret equation for being successful on the water (success = preparation + luck)

41:27 – What kind of mindset you need to have when things aren’t going well

45:06 – The quickest and easiest way to get a bigger fishing network


saltwater fishing tournament checks

What an awesome interview!

Justin dropped a ton of great intel here and I’m super excited for you to take it and go successfully fish some tournaments this year.

You can get his favorite tournament lures here:

Do you have any other tournament fishing tips?

Or any questions about fishing tournaments?

Let us know down in the comments.

And if you know someone who wants to fish tournaments this year, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

P.S. Want access to our best fishing spots and tips, plus discounts to our online tackle store? Click here to join us in the Insider Club!

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Matt Lanier
8 months ago

Brotha, I want you to know how much of this hit home. But that prayer… there is nothing else more important in my preparation. We appreciate and value you so much my man! Thank you for always being such a great asset to this team, and your endless wealth of knowledge. We love ya, my man!

Jonathan Getz
2 years ago

Great video/podcast! Might think of doing this once I get back to fishing more and get more confidence.

Speaking of tournament fishing, do you think we could add a recommended bump/measuring board to the SS Tackle shop? One that is accepted in a variety of big tournaments? Much appreciated.

Justin Ritchey
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Getz

Awesome, Jonathan! They are definitely a great experience, I recommend everyone try at least 1 Tournament. As for bump boards, I can look into 321 Fish Boards (or equivalent), they might be able to make them.

Bill Deal
2 years ago

Great info thanks!

Justin Ritchey
2 years ago
Reply to  Bill Deal

Thanks Bill!

Richard Welborn
2 years ago

Very good info on the ups and downs of tournament fishing or any time fishing. I’ve never thought about tournament fishing but after this podcast that might be something I could do in the near future. Thanks for all the valuable information,Keep it coming

Justin Ritchey
2 years ago

Thanks for tuning in, Richard!

Blair Minnix
2 years ago

Easily one of my favorite podcasts so far. I’m looking to get into tourneys this year for the first time, so the insight from Justin is invaluable. Thank you!

Justin Ritchey
2 years ago
Reply to  Blair Minnix

Awesome to hear, Blair! Thanks for watching & for the comment!

Andrew Garrison
2 years ago

That was AWESOME!!! Thank you so much.

Justin Ritchey
2 years ago

Thank YOU, Andrew!

Donny Bryan
2 years ago

It is my understanding that large redfish are females. Why are large redfish called bulls?

Justin Ritchey
2 years ago
Reply to  Donny Bryan

Great question, Donny. Not sure to be honest! I would imagine because they are absolute tanks when they get to be that size—-a real “Bull” in a china shop when you hook into one! But yes, probably could have settled on calling them “Cows”…but “Bull” sounds a lot tougher haha.

Capt. Tom Marks
2 years ago

This was time well spent watching a video log.

Justin Ritchey
2 years ago

Thank you, Capt. Tom! Good meeting you!

2 years ago

Good show, some real nice tips on tourney fishing, May get into a coupleof local tournaments this season.Enjoying being a member of the group

Justin Ritchey
2 years ago
Reply to  Dallas

We enjoy having you, Dallas! Thanks a ton for the kind comment.

2 years ago

Nice! Starting it now. It’s like y’all already knew what I was going to ask in the inner circle today…

Justin Ritchey
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Boom!^^^ Hope you found it helpful!


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