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For some reason the search function wasn't bringing any results up and it was on my mind so I figured a new thread wouldn't hurt.

 

For the last 2 years I have debated about signing up as a co angler.  A thread on the main forum about being able to fish wherever at whenever made me think of using this series as the working fisherman's version.  Sure I could drag the boat to those locations, but registering in advance would give me a good reason to lock these weekends up and provide the ambition to travel. 

 

I want to believe fishing them as a co angler would be a great experience to see different bodies of water and the ways people fish them.  I'm local tournament literate, but never have fished any of the lakes/rivers in the Piedmont Division.

 

Does anyone have any recommendations or advice?

 

 

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Do it!  The Piedmont schedule is pretty good this year, and the regional is on the Potomac which is nice ;).  I'm still debating whether to sign up for Piedmont or just cherry-pick a couple of closer tournaments between it and the Shenandoah division.   

 

If you're a boater you may end up regretting not being a boater in the tournaments, but you'll still be fishing places you haven't fished before and that's always fun.  

 

Kerr and SML to start off should be great events, prime times to hit those places.  

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Only advise I would give is go for the experience and fish your best and take deep  breaths at times.  You could get all great draws or you may get one unique one.  But.....you will learn.

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I fished a couple BFLs as a co-angler the last two years down here on the Potomac because I don't have a place for my boat here in Arlington.  My boaters were fine but I've fished enough tournaments as a boater that I don't really care for the co-angler deal anymore.  I have to agree with @Logan S.  If you have your own boat and fish as boater normally, there's a good chance going as a co will frustrate you.  If you're just using it as an educational experience it's definitely worth it.  

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The BFL draw format is a gamble for any seasoned angler; and I agree it can be frustrating especially if you get paired with a boater with a different fishing style than yours ; many many years ago I fished Redman and Walmart BFL as a co angler for a few seasons and most of the boaters I was paired with were very good anglers but there were a few who were just plain awful to be in a boat with. It always boils down to luck of the draw and also the amount of rapport you can develop with the boater. 

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I tried it once, wasn't for me. I didn't like the luck of the draw part as a co-angler, felt like I just threw $100 into the water. And they drive too fast......

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Mixed emotions for me. I fished the Buckeye division and the Michigan (don’t remember name) division as a co. The boaters in the Buckeye all acted as if they were better than KVD  it Rick Clunn. The Michigan division was the complete opposite and had a local mentality. I tend to think age played a factor since the average age in Buckeye was mid 30s and Michigan late 50s.

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Agree with Logan and Oregon. Do it at least one time.

 

But with reservations and not hopes too high for a positive outcome.

 

The boater wants to win his boating division. He will not care if he back-boats you, cuts you off, or puts the boat in a position that only he can hit the target. It is all about him.

 

He will not tell you what he is throwing so you have to ask or see the baits. And don't expect him to give you any of his baits that are producing strikes.

 

If you are unlucky and get a professional tournament boater you will really feel alone. These guys are fishing for a living and not just a trophy or a small prize. They will not speak to you and they will fish like fast machines. Sometimes two to three casts before you finish one.  They are not your friend. They are there to place as high as possible to protect their sponsor's ratings and to move up the tournament ladder.

 

Sometimes you will pull out with a guy who has no knowledge of the local waters and he may or may not take your advice. The B.A.S.S. Northern Opens in Richmond, Virginia attracted guys from all across the Midwest, New England, and states along the Atlantic Ocean. Many had never fished a tidal river and were totally lost. So hopefully you will get pulled with a local who knows how to fish tournament waters.

 

So knowing the above it is still a good idea to give it a try. My last state tournament on Buggs Island had me paired with a guy from Southwest Virginia as the boater but who had never seen Buggs. So I gave him some advice but he decided we needed to fish all of the rock which we did. I finished 52nd. Don't remember where he ended up but it was not a high place. Last time I fished a big tournament like that with over 160 boats.

 

Let us know what you decide and then the details. Good luck.

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