So after taking some time off we are looking for some ideas from those who attended to make this event better. We are already down to only having 11 months to prepare, and as Smilin will tell you, I am already slacking in my planning! If you attended this years event, or any of the years prior I would love to hear ideas to make this event better. It helps us grow, and helps us make sure we are staying current with what the community wants in a tournament.
We are looking at implementing a few things next year and would love to hear your thoughts on that as well. These are some of the things that have been brought up in conversation and I was wondering what your thoughts are.
1. Make a Pro/Am style event. The thought is to set up a system that mirrors a more traditional hook and line style tournament by adding a Pro/Boat division. This would allow the guys who are spending the big bucks to enter as boat, allow them to weigh in their 2 largest fish from each category and pay an entry fee as a single boat, instead of individually. The "pro" division would be competing for cash prizes, and the individuals on the boat would not get prize table picks. We would just add trophies for the top 3 boat category winners.
There would still be an individual category with prize table picks, as well as overall trophies like there has been in the past.
Nothing is set in stone, just an idea.
2. Lower the bag limit for the aggregate score. The thought was to limit each category to 2 or 3 fish from each category. This does a number of things, first it allows us to selectively harvest fish instead of having to try and get 4 to 5 fish per category which results in a lot of barely legal fish that we often wouldn't shoot.
3. Still no barracuda. Don't ask, they are never coming back.
4. Prize table picks only for competitors that weigh in fish. The comments on this alone should be worth the reading.
5. Lionfish. Keep it as a bonus category or make it its own division. The thought would be to try and incorporate a lionfish derby into the event.
6. Keep the same point system, or do you change it to 1 point per pound and not limit the poundage?
These are all just ideas that were brought to my attention after the event. I agree with some, not sure on others. The tournaments are an awesome part of our sport, and we want to make sure that we keep the event fair for everyone that enters. We want to grow the event, while keeping it a fun and family friendly event.
Thank you in advance for your input. Please do your best to keep the input positive.
1. I think what makes this a hard sell, is that weather is such a factor for a big fish style tournament. For a kingfish tournament, the winning fish could just as likely be 1/2 a mile from the beach as 50 miles out. Not so much the same with black grouper or AJ (assuming AJ aren't still an endangered species next year). While someone in a 25' boat or a 35' boat might have the same Plan "A", the 25' boat is no longer competitive if it's blowing 15 knots on tourney day. Unless there's a contingency plan (eliminate certain deep water fish at a certain weather threshold), you'll probably have a hard time pre-registering divers that don't have a boat big enough to push through any weather.
2. I prefer the smaller bag limit to keep the 12.25" hogs out of the fish box.
4. I doubt it would be worth the grief the tournament organizers would be put through by the divers whose boat broke down, equipment failed, last minute conflict, etc. It's nice to walk away with a token prize when you paid for the event, and had some crap happen on that Saturday.
5. If that damned Reef Pirate guy didn't keep cleaning out all the lionfish, you'd be able to have a great lionfish derby!
6. For an aggregate tournament, I think pound limits are generally a good thing. My 50# cobia from last year's tournament did everything but jump in my cooler and gut itself - the effort I spent on him wasn't worth 2.5 fish categories in points.
Or does this look like it should be worth 90 points on a tournament day?
Last edited by smilinmatt; 11-03-2014 at 02:18 PM.
I was not able to make the tourney this year and was super bummed but last year I did make it as a freediver. I think it would be a good idea to add a category that would help even out the playing field for us "goofy bastards with the long fins" as I think you put it once Barton. I am thinking a wildcard category for freedivers where we could weigh in say an AP and an permit or other pelagic. Since we are not able to target the big blacks and hogs out deep, but can risk a trip out to some deep water to hopefully bag a couple pelagics. If I wad not mistaken we were only allowed to weigh one pelagic...maybe I am wrong.