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Rookie Dad Advice - HS Fishing #14140461 09/25/21 12:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
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Lucidfisher Offline OP
Green Horn
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Green Horn
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
Hello all,

I am a long time bass fisherman but mostly a pond fisherman. My son is a freshman in HS and wants to start a fishing team, his school doesn’t have one so I am essentially starting up from scratch. I have experience boating but not a ton of experience fishing on a boat. I want to do this with my son so I am planning to be the captain and obviously I have a lot to learn and am looking forward to learning it with him. We are mostly in it for fun so not really trying to win anything. But I do need some advise, primarily what I would like help with from this group are the specs I need to look for in a boat and general advise to a startup team? I appreciate any advise you can send my way, thanks!

Edit: also any advice on fish finders would be appreciated.

Last edited by Lucidfisher; 09/25/21 12:56 PM.
Re: Rookie Dad Advice - HS Fishing [Re: Lucidfisher] #14140742 09/25/21 05:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 167
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KYBluefan Offline
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Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 167
First off go to THSBA website. All the rules including boat spec requirements are there. 16' foot is minimum and should meet all coast guard requirements such as HP of outboard cannot exceed the max limit of boat and so on. Will have to have $300k liability insurance on the boat.

On fish finders I can just say we had Garmins on last boat and really liked them for there ease of use and still produced a quality image. On new boat have Humminbirds and while they are really nice they can take awhile to get used to. I have a Helix and Solix and catch myself trying to use the Helix as a touch screen which it is not. No experience with Lowrance. We're still trying to learn to use the birds better.

Re: Rookie Dad Advice - HS Fishing [Re: Lucidfisher] #14141266 09/26/21 01:39 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 98
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Bowtech32 Offline
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Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 98
I am new to THSBA as well, but been boating,fishing and about 20 or so tournaments, Right now I can tell you I have heck getting everything sighed up for due to there system not able to send emails to anything but popular email host like Gmail, yahoo, etc. if you have not done the sign up I would tell you to create a gmail for this, makes it a lot easier


2021 Skeeter ZXR21 Yamaha SHO 250
93 Ranger 372 150xr6
Re: Rookie Dad Advice - HS Fishing [Re: Lucidfisher] #14145296 09/29/21 06:42 PM
Joined: May 2003
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Slide_R Offline
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Find a good local bass club learn with them and your son, with the right club the experience will be more fun for both of you.


Robert Oleson
aka Slide_R

Re: Rookie Dad Advice - HS Fishing [Re: Lucidfisher] #14269598 01/31/22 08:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 513
White Oak Skeeter Offline
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Posts: 513
I agree with Slide_R. Buy whatever boat you can afford, I'd say no shorter than 20' with at least a 150. A lot of the boat advice is in proportion to your budget. Maybe you can only afford $5000 for a boat, but maybe you are a sicko like many of us and can "afford" $100K. Money buys SOME ability. Meaning, the best boat, motor, trolling motor, and ELECTRONICS will shorten the learning curve. Whatever boat you buy, get help on the purchase and certainly "on the lake" guidance!! Spend a ton of time on your closest lake, learning the lake and how to catch fish on that particular lake. Maybe hire a guide on that lake to give you some direction. Fish for a year or so, enter some small club tournaments, then go to HS club level. I think it's gonna be hard to jump right in without much bass fishing experience, especially with little to no tourney experience. With that said, most clubs and tournament fishermen are willing to help you and certainly happy to help young people get started in bass fishing and tournament fishing.

Re: Rookie Dad Advice - HS Fishing [Re: Bowtech32] #14277618 02/07/22 09:40 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 247
TripletsFish Offline
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Is that the new one they rolled out a couple of years ago? I hear it is a nightmare and gave healthcare.gov a run for its money for worst website launches.


PB Largemouth: 6.16 - Texoma
Re: Rookie Dad Advice - HS Fishing [Re: Lucidfisher] #14281062 02/10/22 09:13 PM
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Los Lagos Offline
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Where does your son go to High School

Re: Rookie Dad Advice - HS Fishing [Re: Lucidfisher] #14640670 02/24/23 09:36 AM
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WStelzer Offline
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Joined: Nov 2022
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Good for you! Get ready to open the wallet though. I was you last year but my son's school already had a team. My best advice is to find a boat that can handle tournaments and some insulated bibs. I bought a 20 year old used boat, and over the two seasons have rebuilt/replaced/rewired every system on it with the exception of the top of the motor and the trim. Steering gearbox broke last tournament, just finished installing a hydraulic steering kit today. It gets frustrating and if I had to do it over again, I would have bought a newer boat. As for the bibs, that 1.5-2 hours waiting for the tourney start time on the lake gets chilly.

Re: Rookie Dad Advice - HS Fishing [Re: Lucidfisher] #14641087 02/24/23 05:20 PM
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Royram Online Content
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Congrats. It is fun. I was you a few years ago. We live in the country and my son has grown up like I did pond hoping. He comes to me 8th grade year and says I want to do the Bass team next year. We sell the ski boat and the search was on. I found a nice Ranger 1995 18' well maintained with some decent graphs no FFS. My advice would be: Stay with 20' or longer as they are much roomier. I was spoiled as my brother always fished tournaments out of zx225 and 250 skeeters. Our boat is great for us but when you have 3 grown folks and full tournament load and snack bags etc., it can get crowded. Spend the most you can afford on electronics and if at all possible get FFS i.e.: Live scope. Wont make them bite but definitely is an advantage. Stay with the name brand boats, Ranger, Skeeter, Phoenix, etc. If you can buy new or newer go to Fun-N-Sun, Rockwall Marine, Diamond sports, or a reputable boat dealer, talk to them and get a fully rigged boat with a warranty. I now have 2 boats and one is just a parts boat. Wife is so thrilled. Same with Tackle buy the best you can afford My son loves Shimano reels he purchases himself. I own a lot of Bass Pro tourney reels and old ambassador. BPS really good for the money. Buy tackle every time you go to the store spend $5-$10 every time you go to academy or Walmart. Subscribe to Karl's bait, Tackle warehouse and others they have great deals at times. I bought $200.00 dollars worth of Googan baits for him for $75.00 at Christmas. You build inventory quickly and don't have to drop a lot at once. If your school has a bass club they will be more than happy to help. Even though it is individual teams the bass club teams are ranked also, and usually happy to help each other to be successful. Most of all fish as much as you can wherever you can. Now it is not cheap. We spend on average $100.00 every time we go to a lake in just fuel. We try to pre-fish every weekend between tournaments so 4 trips per tournament on average. Then add food, and lodging for longer tournaments, Sprinkle in boat repairs, trolling motor repairs and other misc. I would say its minimum $3,000.00 a season after everything. We made it to regionals first year and missed state by 1LB. This year we are sitting well off going into last tournament and should make regionals again. Also last thing pick a good partner. One that will help share cost of fuel, food, lodging, and you can stand to be on the boat with for 8-10 hours at a time. Hope this helps. Have fun and enjoy it.

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