Your Guide to Tournament Fishing, by a First Year Tournament Angler
The Life of a Co-angler
tournament trails have a pro-am style format that allows a novice
angler a chance to get a feel for what bass tournament competition
is all about. One of many of these type tournaments is the
Walmart Bass Fishing League (BFL)<. Entry fees for these types
of tournaments are normally half of what the angler or boater pays.
The co-anglers fish against the co-anglers and the anglers fish
against the anglers. The co-angler fishes from the back of the boat
and can concentrate on his or her fishing style and learn some
important things from the angler in the front of the boat.
One of the
downsides to this style of tournament is the fact that fishing from
the anglers boat the angler has all the control and makes the
decisions of where to go and how to fish once you arrive. Now, that
may sound bad but the good thing about this is you donít have the
pressure of making the decisions and you donít really have to worry
about a bad day on the lake because you didnít call the shots.
Although, there should be some helpful hints passed along to the
angler and they can decide from your information and the information
that they have what to do. But at the end of the day you canít hold
the angler responsible for what happened because they wanted to
catch fish just like you did, it just doesnít always turn out that
way. Thatís why the call it fishing and not catching.
and forth from tournaments, fishing in the co-angler division also
gives you the advantage of not worrying about towing your boat all
across the country. Obviously this saves time and valuable gas
money that can be used to buy that secret weapon. And the boat
preparation is not a factor, because you will be fishing out of
somebody elseís boat.
also a big factor when considering fishing the co-angler side of
these unique tournaments. If you want to fish lakes that are many
hours and long miles away from home, for most, finding the time to
adequately scout and prefish before a tournament can be a costly
endeavor. Most of the individuals that participate in this level of
competition canít afford the time and money it takes to fish in
different parts of the country, so co-angling becomes a great
Just because the
terms of co-angler, non-boater, and amateur are used, donít think
that work and preparation is not involved! In some instances
fishing in this division can be more work and preparedness becomes
much more important. Think in terms of fishing as a boater; you
have all your gear, fishing poles, tackle etc., and you are ready to
fish a particular event. You have prefished and know what your game
plan will be, with all the right equipment in your boat and ready to
go. Well the co-angler shows up that evening at the tourney meeting
and gets paired up with his or her boater and then finds out, if
they are lucky, what to expect and prepare for the upcoming day on
the lake. So basically, every conceivable possible combination of
fishing equipment, gear, tackle and techniques must be brought along
in the event that your boater is on a certain pattern and that is
what they plan to do for that day. In some cases, you might not be
able to find out what your particular fishing day will turn into
until you hit the water that day. Some boaters try and keep their
patterns quiet until the day of the tourney, which is fine and in
their every right, however a little courtesy also goes a long way.
If the boater is not comfortable telling their non-boater what to
expect for the upcoming day, then the boater should also be willing
to share tackle and tips.
a co-angler is always a learning experience, you make new friends,
and normally get a different perspective than you had in the past.
For those of us who are lucky enough to get to hit the water more
often than not, go ahead and encourage your family and friends
along, and then mention the co-angler opportunities that are
available to them. You never know what kind tournament bug may bite
them, and the chance to get involved in a wonderful sport may await
Take it easy,
and good fishing!