Is this The Year to try your hand at tournament fishing? With so many great derbies and trails for anglers of varying experience levels all over the country, we hope your answer is yes. If you're going to be fishing those tournaments though, make sure you know how to get easier Atlas Awards payouts from T-H Marine!

A Quick Intro to Tournament Fishing and Atlas Awards Payouts

Tournament fishing can vary quite a bit from event to event, but there are a few facts that seem to be constant: it's an amazing way to get out on the water to fish, to learn from other anglers, and to enjoy a bit of competition. Sometimes, you can earn a little money, too, and the Atlas Awards program from T-H Marine is here to help with that.

On the subject of tournament winnings, it's worth noting that before the top-level pros get those big sponsors and trophies, they approach tournaments with grit and planning. In fact, many anglers tournament fish for decades and never go after those big sponsors and those more glamorous media highlights. Instead, they take a practical approach of grinding through the tournaments that make sense for them and planning an approach that includes the right combination of opportunities to fuel their fishing.

When you think through the basic roadmap for this, be sure to include contingency award programs like Atlas Awards, maximize your ability to promote brands that may provide you with gear (the varying levels of sponsorship, from discounts to free equipment), and document your fishing. This last part not only helps you remember and share the fun and realities of fishing, but it helps you with representing the brands behind the programs and the gear. After all, the brands are hoping to promote the outdoors and promote their product, and savvy tournament anglers are hoping to get product and maybe some funds to fuel the costs of fishing, too.

For Atlas Awards specifically, T-H Marine has identified a list of products that go great with tournament fishing, and since tournament anglers tend to use them anyway, we figure why not continue to promote them and give cash or credit awards as an extra incentive to the anglers who do well!

If you're just getting introduced to tournament fishing and Atlas Awards, be sure to see the video below and our Atlas Awards Information page linked here.

Tips for Easier Atlas Awards Payouts

Atlas Awards is a fishing tournament contingency payment program that many anglers sign up for year after year. Once they get a sense for what the tournament pays and how to submit what's needed, it's usually just as easy as submitting an online form after each sanctioned tournament so we can authorize your payout.

As with all programs like this, we do have some rules, including placement of that Atlas Awards sticker on the outside of your boat and wearing the Atlas Awards hat on the tournament stage OR having the Atlas Awards logo on your jersey, but those can be handled pretty easily. Beyond that, if you want to make the process even smoother, if you want to maximize your payouts, and if you want to save time when submitting claims, consider the following tips.

1. Remember There are Two Big Ways to Win

Always remember that each sanctioned tournament brings you two big ways to cash in with Atlas Awards. You can either get rewarded for finishing the tournament in First Place or from being one of the tournament's two qualifying Highest Finishers. See the Atlas Awards rules for full details, but if you have Atlas Awards and there is no Atlas Awards member in first place, you can get a payout just for finishing in the top 20%.

2. Factor in Your T-H Marine Gear

If you place First in a sanctioned tournament, your T-H Gear could get you a higher payout. Check out the list of Atlas Awards products that get you more payouts, make sure you have that list handy when you're submitting your Atlas Awards claims (bookmarking it or saving a screenshot works well). It also pays to check out gear you don't have so you can work toward building on that list, either by reinvesting payout credits, buying during sales, adding them to wish lists, etc.

3. Utilize Social Media

When you submit a claim, you are asked to submit photo proof of your win and your gear. For this requirement, we've seen where it can be really easy and helpful for anglers to create a public album on social media of their 'picture proof' for each tournament -- you in your hat at the weigh-in, your T-H Marine gear on your boat, etc. Then you can email a link directly to the pictures posted on social media. This also creates a long-term platform for keeping track of your experience and it also helps with that mutual promotion that brands and anglers are often looking for.

4. Mind the Atlas Awards Logo

One of the ways we keep the program going is by branding and name recognition. For this reason, we require that the Atlas Awards logo is visible on your windshield or outside gunnel. We also require that the Atlas award Logo is worn during the tournament and the weigh-in, either via the Atlas Awards hat or by having the logo on your jersey. For us to verify this, it needs to be visible in one of those two places as shown in your weigh-in photo.

If it's not visible, it doesn't meet the requirements and it makes the process more work for when we really want it to be fun and rewarding for everyone.

5. Frontload Claim Deadlines with Your Calendar

Atlas Claims must be submitted within 30 days of the tournament, and we don't want you to miss claims deadlines, but we need to have these deadlines so the program has less lingering payouts and so we all have an easier time tracking down information when needed. To help with this, we strongly recommend putting both your tournaments and your claim deadlines in your calendar, along with a reminder for them.

For easier Atlas Awards payouts, it also helps to bookmark the claims form page.

6. Bookmark the Atlas Awards FAQs

We're always working on streamlining processes, removing unnecessary barriers, and investing in customer service, even if it takes time. We're working on that in several different ways, too, including consideration for how clearly we're providing information, adding more information on our website, and by providing answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

If you need quick clarification or a reminder about an Atlas Awards policy, it can often save you time to check the information we've placed on the Atlas Awards rules page and our Atlas Awards FAQs. And be sure to bookmark it for even easier access.

7. Check the Atlas Awards Sanctioned Tournaments List

Is your tournament trail listed as a sanctioned event? It matters when it comes to Atlas Awards eligibility, but the good news is that if it's not, we invite you to let us know. We'll be happy to take a look to see if Atlas Awards is a fit!

Atlas Awards Can Easily Pay for Itself (and Much More)

If you're already using T-H Marine products, the Atlas Awards program can easily pay for itself after just one win (and we want you to win!). Next to the joy of fishing, that factor might be the best and most subtle part of the program.

Signing up is easy, too, so let us know if you have questions and we'll hope to see you with a big smile at a weigh-in sometime soon.

February 03, 2022