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I am a recent contributor to bass resource but I have read a lot of articles on some of the affiliated websites discussing co-angler etiquette and that is fine but I want to present all of you boat owners with a challenge.  Now, just so you have some background on me; I am a boat owner and I am aware of the burdens of owning a boat.

I have also fished as a co-angler in the past and found it to be a natural and "right thing" to do, to offer some money to the boater for gas expenses or whatever they desire to spend that money on.  Well, after the latest post on another site I found myself to disagree with the so called etiquette of a co-angler.  Personally, I think it doesn't exist!  Common courtesies and ethics to come into play but I do not believe that you or anyone is bound by such a thing just because you fish out of the boat with someone else.  Money offered at the end of the day for one thing is the biggest load I have ever heard of and I used to pay!  

 

So you want to know what made me change my mind?  I will tell you this;  if you are planning on buying a boat and taking on the responsibility of being a boat owner, then you better be prepared to float that bill by yourself because at the end of the day, that co-angler did not beg you to buy that $50K bass boat.  That is your problem and yours alone.  It is not fair you say?  Well, you were going to be taking that boat to the lake with or without someone else pitching in.  Now, if there is a mutual agreement arranged ahead of time then that is understandable but do not get caught having expectations of your co-angler throwing you a piece of hat little bit they may have.  Co-anglres are typically co-anglers because they do not want the burden of a boat right away.  

 

Not to mention, who wants to offer anyone anything after they have been left out to fish "no mans" land all day?!  I am sorry but I have no sympathy for the guy that doesn't get money from me or anyone else in the game...Should I share some of my winnings too if I win as a co-angler?  Hmm?  So you want to talk about it like its shop talk and that is fine but if that is where your head is then you are in the wrong sport.

 

Basically, I think that we take too much away from what this sport is all about by paying attention to all the nitty gritty and it is time for a wake up slap to the face, If you want to buy a boat go ahead and expect to take on that responsibility all by yourself because the title co-angler does not sound anything thing like co-signer.  By the way, if you were counting on that little bit of money to help you through he day, maybe you should not have bought the boat to begin with.  Now that I have made some of you mad and other left scratching your head I want to ask you how you would treat taking a kid fishing?  I know, it is a little different but only a little.  The concept is the same really.....no different at all.  It is about getting out there and getting an education in the outdoors.  Fishing may have its expenses and we as responsible anglers must be aware of the responsibilities that we endure.  

 

 

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As a co-angler I fish with a lot of different boaters.  I also go out of my way to make sure I cover my fair share and then some!  I truly respect and appreciate the time and energy spent on a boat during a tournament day or full fun-fishing day.  With all that said there are only two boaters in my circle that I know of who pressure their co-anglers to contribute way more than I believe is fair.  With comments like "I will take the back seat out" or "No one gets on my boat for less than $50" has kept me from fishing with them when asked.  These boaters also expect you to contribute to the maintenance of the boat if you happen to be in the boat when something happens.  To me this pushes things way over the line.

 

Common courtesy and paying a fair share of the expenses of the day are always appropriate.  The rest should be left to communication between you and your boater.

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Hello Kris and Welcome to BR ~

 

Interesting first post.

 

A-Jay

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I generally don't take money from non boaters. I do accept lunch.

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I don't fish tournaments, which means that I am going fishing and would be grateful to have a non-boater with me.  Since I was going fishing anyway, the only thing I would expect from my co-angler would be an assist in launching and retrieving the boat.

 

As for tournament anglers, with the exception of entry fees, you should not expect to receive a penny from your co-angler.  It's your boat, and you have elected to compete in a tournament.  Co-angler or not, the cost of operating your boat is yours, and yours alone.  Any contribution from the guy in the back seat should be appreciated, but not required.

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Team format is a little different. Many times the co angler kicks in for travel and gas. That's a different scenario, though. I was in a club that had a mandatory fee got nons. It got so high, most either quit or got a boat, lol.

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Comparing an adult co angler to a kid is comparing apples to oranges.

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I think it's common courtesy to offer if you're a non-boater.  You're not obligated to give me anything, but I'm also not obligated to ever take you out again.  I don't necessarily expect anything, but I will usually accept cash if it's offered.  If I go out with another boater, I'll always offer.  

 

 

Now, somebody with an attitude like you're describing?  Yea, they won't be seeing the back deck of my boat again... 

 

With that attitude you shouldn't be surprised to get back seated.   After all, your argument is basically "every man for himself"...So why would the boater go out of his way to give you any casting room or good water to fish?  You both signed up fair and square, you don't owe him anything and he doesn't owe you anything...Right?  Fair is fair both ways...

 

(Disclaimer:  That's not how I operate, just expanding that line of thought...I think most co's are happy to fish with me :))

 

Obviously, there are boaters who take it too far, we all know one or two...But what you're advocating is a good way to be just as bad as they are, albeit in the opposite direction.  

 

Edited to add:  I made another post shortly after this one, but decided to delete it since it didn't add anything constructive.

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Our bass club charges $50 for a nonboater fee.

 

The fee is intended to help with the gas and oil costs for the boat and truck.

 

Sometimes you use less than $50 in gas and oil towing and running your boat; other times you use over $100 towing and running the boat.

 

Works out fine for us.

 

My only complaint is the "back boating" the other guys do to the nonboater. It is embarrassing to see a boater in the front of the boat hog the good spots.

 

On an outing on Buggs Island I went as a nonboater and my boater got upset with me as I had two nice ones in the well to his one. He was ticked off until he took a 5 to 4 lead late in the afternoon.

 

On the Pamunkey River I made sure my nonboater got onto fish and had good angles to catch them. He finished two spots higher than me in the tournament and I am proud I did that for him. It was his highest finish and the first time he had a five fish limit.

I have had two tournament winners fish out of the back of my boat and I am the only boater that can claim that in our club.

 

The financial consideration is one thing; sportsmanship and fellowship is another that I believe is much more important.

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By the way, when I take someone out on my boat to prefish or for fun I never ask nor do I expect to receive any money.


 


I would be embarrassed to invite someone to fish with me and expect a payment, especially a young person.


 


There is fun fishing and then there is tournament fishing. Two different scenarios to consider.


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My opinion on it is this.. A co-angler should always offer up some gas money to the boater. The boater should never accept! 

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I have to say I truly enjoy topics like this. It's great to hear everyone's different opinions on this subject matter so I will give my own. As a co-angler who does not yet own a boat I have not yet fished with a single boater who was not respectful and genuinely a good person. I have various times offered to pay for a portion of the gas cost as well as offering to pitch in on smaller things like ice or lunch. There have been quite a few times where the boater will not accept anything other than having a good net hand. 

 

With that being said I always offer to help pay even though some will not accept. The first post on this topic concerns me somewhat because I don't believe any boater feels that a co-angler owes them more than what they are paying due to the upkeep on the boat or the loan they are paying. I'm sure there are guys out there who can be ignorant and I'm sure I will experience them at some point. I know there are anglers who feel co's can be a burden at times but those anglers should also remember that the person fishing from the back might have a different perspective to offer on days when the fishing is tough or days when the co is kicking the boaters ass in fish caught.

 

All in all I feel as though at some point everyone should probably take a step back and realize that while we may be fishing for points, or even small winnings this is still something we do for fun (unless of course you are pro or trying to turn pro). If you don't want to fish behind someone else and learn how to catch what they can't then don't join a club. Likewise if you don't want someone fishing off the back of your boat find a club where co-anglers aren't a factor. 

 

That's just my two cents.

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A boat owner who will not accept any money from a non-boater is a very generous fisherman. A non-boater who does not even offer to pay his way is inconsiderate.

I own my own boat but don't fish tournaments. I had a period of a few years when money was tight. If I did not have someone to share the gas costs with I could not afford to go.

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The cost of owning and running a bass boat is phenomenal. I couldn't possibly afford one, so I always want to pay more than just my share of gas. People have been incredibly generous to me and I feel it's the very least I can do in return.

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It's been decades since I've been a co-angler, but I haven't forgotten how to handle the situation.

After offering to defray the cost, the captain flatly refuses and tells you that you're insulting him.

Very well, there's more than one way to skin a cat. When he's not looking, you stuff the money

in the crevice of a boat seat. At day's end, you're in your car bidding farewell through your car window.

"Oh by the way skipper, you might find a couple bucks behind your starboard seat"   :smiley:

 

Roger

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As a boat owner - I always appreciate when my co-angler offers to cover some of the costs - I always decline money. As was stated in an earlier post by someone - I do take payment in the form of lunch if they are so inclined haha. 

 

I think it is absurd to expect anyone to pay you - my normal/steady co-angler/tournament partner never pays me for tournaments, usually we split the entry fees (we've fished together a long, long time, and he refuses to have it any other way, despite repeated offers by me to pay the full fee). He brings the sandwiches/waters, I pick him up in the mornings and drive us and our equipment to wherever we are going. The arrangement has worked out perfectly fine for years. 

 

He "gets back at me" at the end of the year with a BPS gift cards usually (again not expected or asked for) - since I don't accept his cash all year long. He is stubborn like that haha

 

Another part of the original post that I found interesting is when he mentioned basically being left out to dry for fishing spots. I wasn't even aware that this was actually something people did...I spend a lot of my time during tournaments making sure that we both have plenty of areas to cast/pitch too in hopes of catching fish...wouldn't have it any other way - I certainly wouldn't want someone else to leave me hanging out in the middle of the lake with nothing to cast at. 

 

I think every situation is different, but honestly I wouldn't be comfortable taking money from a co-angler. It is an interesting balance though, sometimes I have had co-anglers who have been insulted when I tried to decline payment  

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I just think it is the polite thing for the co angler to do. As a boater, it is appreciated, but not required.

The OP just sounded angry. He must be talking about being forced to fish with someone, like in a tournament. I don't fish them and don't know how that works. I didn't know non boaters just showed up expecting to fish a tournament. If so, I think they should offer to pay some gas fees. Maybe someone can tell me how that works.

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I just wanted to take a minute and let everyone know that I appreciate the comments and replies.  I never knew that this would generate such an interest to honest.  There is enough here to take something from it all and I really do appreciate everyones opinion--I do respect each and every one.  

 

I do know that when I continue to get out there and get paired up, I will think about this forum and try to share some of it with others; consider it paying it forward.  Hell, I might just let my co-angler run the front of the boat for half of the day.

 

Thanks

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Not having access to the other forum mentioned by the OP, it would be impossible to fully understand how he came upon his opinions.

 

The only thing I can say is that as a boat owner in these types of tournaments, I became very tired of the non-boaters.  I got fed up with people who showed up expecting me to act as their guide for the day, who thought I should furnish lunch and ice cold drinks, and who saw no problem spraying their "Lunker Dunk" all over my back deck and motor cover.  The worst non-boater I ever drew whined all day that he couldn't afford to pay the club's mandated boater fee, and then expected me to drive him home afterwards, even though he lived 30 miles in the other direction.

 

When I hear the OP say that the non-boater shouldn't be responsible to cover the costs associated to owning a boat, he should understand that age old saying; "You Get What You Pay For!".  This was the rule I lived by for years when it came to fishing draw tournaments.  If a non-boater showed the desire to help pay for the day's costs, who came prepared, and who respected my property had a much better chance at getting equal access to the best fishing spots.

 

The bottom line is that your tournament entry fee only pays for your chance to win something back.  What you invest beyond that determines where you fish. 

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Not having access to the other forum mentioned by the OP, it would be impossible to fully understand how he came upon his opinions.

 

The only thing I can say is that as a boat owner in these types of tournaments, I became very tired of the non-boaters.  I got fed up with people who showed up expecting me to act as their guide for the day, who thought I should furnish lunch and ice cold drinks, and who saw no problem spraying their "Lunker Dunk" all over my back deck and motor cover.  The worst non-boater I ever drew whined all day that he couldn't afford to pay the club's mandated boater fee, and then expected me to drive him home afterwards, even though he lived 30 miles in the other direction.

 

When I hear the OP say that the non-boater shouldn't be responsible to cover the costs associated to owning a boat, he should understand that age old saying; "You Get What You Pay For!".  This was the rule I lived by for years when it came to fishing draw tournaments.  If a non-boater showed the desire to help pay for the day's costs, who came prepared, and who respected my property had a much better chance at getting equal access to the best fishing spots.

 

The bottom line is that your tournament entry fee only pays for your chance to win something back.  What you invest beyond that determines where you fish. 

 

Agreed!

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As a co-angler fishing in a tourney I cannot fathom not expecting to paying my boater money for gas/expenses. Yes he is going there and fishing anyway so his expenses are not more having me there but I am using his boat. To me its a matter of respect, I am gaining the advantage of using someone elses boat they do not have to allow me to do so. Anytime else you make use of others items you pay for the privilege, boating should be the same way

 

Sometimes they will refuse and I will stick money somewhere and tell them later. Other times i get caught at this and it does not occur.

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I agree with Kris' point about unwritten 'rules'

There aren't any and a boater shouldn't expect, or demand anything from his draw partner other than common courtesy when it comes to fishing, even that should be discussed prior to blast off.

Back in the day I paired up with a boater for a one day event. In the first two hours he must have jumped behind the wheel to blast off to a 'better' spot ten times. When I suggested working the spot we were on more he said he wasn't going to waste time on uncooperative fish and to keep my mouth shut and fish. It was his boat and we'd fish where he decided. He emptied a. 20 gal. tank and demanded I pay for it. I told him no problem and demanded he refund my entry fee as we went fishless for the day. We both refused and I vowed to set up ground rules prior to tournament time in the future.

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It's called "respect", and it goes both ways.

 

I was a non-boater for 12 years before I got my own boat.  During that time, not only did I offer to pay for 1/2 the gas costs (including towing), but also made myself useful in other ways, such as backing the rig down the ramp (boy did I ever learn how to back up dozens of different setups!), operating the trolling motor while the boater re-rigged in wind, etc.. I also made sure I didn't bring too much with me, cleaned up after myself, treated the boat as if it were my own, and brought my own lunch/water, etc. In essence, I was self-sufficient and therefore, less "bother" for the boater.  And if the opportunity presented itself, I'd buy him breakfast or lunch. The only complaint I received is that I talk too much!  LOL!

 

I also became a member of an "inner circle" of non-boaters in my club where we exchanged notes about boaters.  It didn't take long before everyone knew who were the stand-up guys, and who to avoid - you know, the ones who felt they were doing you a favor, who felt you were "beneath" them, and that you owed them for the privilege.  You also found out about the guys who would "front seat" you, and limit your chances of catching fish.

 

Now, as a boater, I treat all my non-boaters with the same courtesy and respect i had as a non-boater.  No, I don't expect them to pay anything, although I graciously accept when offered (some people are insulted when you don't accept).  I try to leave areas untouched for them to fish (and sometimes even point them out if they miss too many), and in general, try to make their day enjoyable.

 

But really what it boils down to is communication.  Setting up expectations ahead of time goes a long ways folks.  I'm not a guide and tell people that.  It's just a couple of buddies going fishing, having a good time.  If it's a tournament, I want to hear their thoughts and put together a game plan we both feel will work.  Most of all, I let them know how much space they have for their gear, what items to bring (such as a life jacket), and when/where to meet me. And if it's a fun fishing trip, I get a feel for when they want to be off the water.

 

Hope that helps!

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I agree with Kris' point about unwritten 'rules'

There aren't any and a boater shouldn't expect, or demand anything from his draw partner other than common courtesy when it comes to fishing, even that should be discussed prior to blast off.

Back in the day I paired up with a boater for a one day event. In the first two hours he must have jumped behind the wheel to blast off to a 'better' spot ten times. When I suggested working the spot we were on more he said he wasn't going to waste time on uncooperative fish and to keep my mouth shut and fish. It was his boat and we'd fish where he decided. He emptied a. 20 gal. tank and demanded I pay for it. I told him no problem and demanded he refund my entry fee as we went fishless for the day. We both refused and I vowed to set up ground rules prior to tournament time in the future.

 
If he asked you to pay for the whole tank and not split it, then I'd say that's excessive.  
 
Getting it sqaured away first thing in the morning is the best thing you can possibly do.  When you are launching or getting ready all you gotta say is, "Hey I brought some cash with me, what do you think is a fair amount for what we're doing today?"  
 
 
As for him running around...Well, at the risk of sound a little jerk-ish, I have no sympathy for a co there.  It's possible the guy had a plan and it's also possible he was absolutly clueless...But that's just one of the burdens of being a co-angler, you go where the boat the goes.  
 
There are certain lakes here where I will run around like that.  Granted, I usually put fish in the boat unlike your guy...But sometimes running around IS the plan, even if it doesn't work.  Problem is, when you fish that way you usually don't know your plan is busted til it's to late :)

 

 

..........but also made myself useful in other ways, such as backing the rig down the ramp (boy did I ever learn how to back up dozens of different setups!), operating the trolling motor while the boater re-rigged in wind, etc...........

 

 

For any co-anglers reading....You have no idea what a great value this is to a boater.  If my co can do either of these two things they are instantly on my good side! :)

 

Just don't try to learn on the tournament day and don't offer until you are completely comfortable with it...I don't mind if they can't do it, its just a great bonus when they can.  

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