As a Co-Angler what should I bring? Co-Anglers are sharing the boat with a boater for the day and space is at a premium on a bass boat. Downsize your tackle so it can fit within no more than one rear compartment on a boat.
Should I bring a life jacket? Yes, if you have a life jacket that fits you take it. You are required to wear one anytime the combustion engine is in operation. Should I bring rain/warm wear? Tournaments are held in a lot of different weather conditions, you should always dress for the weather.
Tips for Co-Anglers
- Be prepared and versatile. Always be prepared to be able to fish the boater’s water and do it efficiently.
- Talk to your boater at the pairings meeting to get a feel for what you should bring.
- Fish slower! Take your time, relax and make good presentation of the lure. Being good at both time management and efficiently is a key to doing well as a co-angler.
- Be ready to move. Pattern fishing requires boaters to move a lot in many cases. When the boater needs to move be ready to get your gear stored and rods strapped down.
- Be confident! Practice time can be better spent finding the confidence baits that work in more situations than trying to find patterns. As the boater is control of the location and operation of the front of the boat.
- Respect your boater. This is a two way street but you will go a lot further with a boater that you get along with. It is his boat, his water and you are not competing against the boater you competing against all the other co-anglers.
- Where can I fish on the boat? Boaters fish from the front deck, co-anglers from the rear deck, without exceptions. Co-Anglers may only operate the boat in emergency situations.
- How much gas money should I give the boater? First, you should initiate this conversation with your boater and ask. The appropriate thing to do is figure how much gas is burned and pay half of that. It is suggested that the co-angler partner share at a minimum one half the cost of gas and oil or $50, whichever is less.
There is a lot of great content available on the web on being successful as a co-angler. The real key to your success as a co-angler is being flexible and versatile.
Boaters can get a bad rap sometimes because of actions of a very few. We have all heard it before. “I stuck with a really bad boater that treated me very poorly”. While you are fishing to win and everyone in this sport understands that, your personal interactions with your Co-Anglers and other anglers determines whether or not you a true champion. We also hear it all the time from many Co-Anglers that they have never had a bad boater before.
Co-Anglers are in a tournament to compete and they are also there to learn. It is a great opportunity for you as a fellow sportsman to show your co-angler what the sport and sportsmanship is all about.
Meet your co-angler at the pairings meeting and tell them what to expect. What gear they should bring and how much space you have set aside for them. Work out any issues with your co-angler long before you ever launch your boat. Many great lifelong friendships have been formed in this boater/co-angler format.
Be courteous should also extend to other anglers on the lake. We all know there are always other anglers on the lake and your actions reflect directly on the sport in how you deal with any other boater you encounter in a tournament. All anglers should use their best efforts to demonstrate professionalism and integrity in support of the sport of bass fishing.