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thinking about joining a local club

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so i'm thinking about joining a local club to fish tournaments as a co angler now i know what to bring and to be polite to whatever boater i am paired with. the questions i have is how exactly do you prepare for a tournament, since i have never fished a tournament i really have no idea my feeling is that i should be stocked with anything i might need bring 5-6 rods, pretty much fish whatever the boater wants and only give input if i'm asked for it.

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Scarborough, you prepare as a nonboater just as you would for a boater.

Review maps; speak with others about the waters you will be fishing for their input; have two or three plans of attack; be as flexible as you can; bring two or three of each hard bait you want to throw; but most important - speak with the boater to get an idea of what he will be throwing and if he wants to fish fast or slow.

As for rods, remember you have limited space adjacent to your seat and in the back of the boat so plan accordingly. One good baitcaster setup ca handle a number of presentations (buzzbaits, Chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs). Try to limit your spinning rods to handle those presentations you have the most confidence (shaky head, Ned rig, Texas rigs, drop shot, Shad Raps, poppers).

If you believe a Carolina rig will be a good choice then have that rod/reel combo rigged and ready to go.

Always bring an extra spinning and baitcaster reel just in case you have a bad backlash or encounter problems with your reels.

Speak with the boater while on the water. Note what the throws and where he goes so you can mark your map when you get home.

If he is throwing a crankbait you may want to throw a spinnerbait. If he gets lots of hits on the crankbait then you change over to a crankbait. If he is getting hits on a Junebug trick worm on a shaky head you may want to try green pumpkin on a shaky head. 

In other words, with each of you throwing search baits until you find the pattern you both can be successful.

Being a nonboater can be a wonderful learning experience. Some boaters will like having you with them while others will not speak to you. Some fish fast while others just plug along.

You can learn a lot by being a nonboater so go out there, have a good time, and make notes when you get home as to what the boater threw, where and on what.

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