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Common sense savings
Andy Sommerfelt


As soon as the tournament season began I started hearing people making excuses for cutting down there time on the water. With the top excuse being the price of gasoline, of course. The high price of fuel is not something that I can control but I do have a few tips that will help offset it. Most of them are common sense and things that all of us have probably done in the past, but a reminder canít hurt.

Starting with your equipment, I can sum this up by saying buy in bulk. As tournament anglers we literally have money on the ďlineĒ every time we get a bite, so I change my fishing line often. To save money on this weekly (daily) task I buy my line by the spool and wind it on my reels myself rather than paying a tackle shop to do this. 

No matter were I am fishing or what season, I tend to use a lot of soft plastic baits. There are a couple of ways to save a little money when purchasing your plastics, find a tackle shop that offers a large variety of soft plastics in bulk bins that you can mix and match in any quantity, boat shows in the off season are also great for this. I will buy a few baits of each color/style and when I find a particular lure that I like, then I will buy a larger quantity of that one. A friend of mine has a super way to save money, he has recruited some of his family members to look for tackle at garage sales, he gets some really great deals on some name brand tackle. When you do need to buy new, tackle and equipment is not the place to save money by buying the cheapest brand, food on the other hand is, I can eat steak at home but while I am fishing it is ham sandwiches. 

Convenience stores are just that, very convenient, but they are not the most cost effective place to by supplies for a fishing trip. I am guilty of not packing very well when I am headed out on a trip so this is where my wife Becki picks up the slack. She is great at making up sandwiches and packing enough other snacks to cover me for the duration of the trip. The less visits that I make to the convenience stores the more money I save. I also avoid the gas stations by keeping my vehicle and boat tuned up and the tires properly inflated, this is an easily overlooked task but one of the best money savers. I spend a lot of time in my truck traveling to and from tournaments and a ton of time in my boat at these events, and it may seem obvious but not speeding on my way to and from the water and not running my boat at wide open throttle during practice time on the water saves me an amazing amount of money. 

I also go fishing on my vacation and like always I need to save as much money as I can here also. If you have the ability to take your vacation after school has started in late summer or early fall then you can save a bunch of money. Most resorts reduce there rates after school starts which is the end of their regular season. I have had some of my best fishing trips up north in late August through September and many times the cabin rental was half price because it was off season. If you donít have the option or just donít want to wait to take your vacation you may still be able to save some money by adding more people. Many resorts have one larger cabin that will hold double the amount of people but the price doesnít double. Find some friends that want to take there vacation at the same time and split the cost of the cabin. I have done this several times and it always ends up being a great time. 

Another money saving tip came from a friend of mine that has the local photo shop, by spending a little extra money initially on a digital camera you will end up saving money in the long run. A digital camera lets you go picture crazy and then lets you pick through them before you pay to have them made into prints so you are not paying for a bunch of photos that you donít like. There are lots of little things you can do on a fishing trip to save some money without sacrificing the quality of the trip. Lots of little thing may add up to big savings. 

Until next time keep your lure wet!
Andy Sommerfelt