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TonyBeason

Should I boat or co?

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I will be fishing my first tournament in a couple weeks with BASS Nation. I have a boat but I've never fished a tournament and my electronics are very basic which makes it hard to find structure/fish. Should I jump in head first and fish as a boater, even with my boat's shortcomings, or leave the boat at home and fish as a co? 

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You will have enough on your plate being in your first tournament.  My suggestion is CO.

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JigMan is right—CO is the way to go for your first year.   Great learning opportunity that will make you a much better angler.  Bassmaster website just had an article on co-angler tackle boxes.  Bring gas money, your PFD, and be prepared to learn!

https://www.bassmaster.com/slideshow/inside-co-anglers-tackle-bag

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13 hours ago, TonyBeason said:

I have a boat but I've never fished a tournament and my electronics are very basic which makes it hard to find structure/fish.

But presumably you fish out of your boat now...And catch fish, right?  

 

If you've been boating a while and are comfortable running it and fishing, I'd suggest just jumping in head-first as a boater.  Being a Co is great for general tournament experience, but all of the 'hard' things about being a boater can only be learned as a boater.  So if your goal is to fish as a boater all the time, I'd just start now.  

 

When you fish tournaments, even local stuff, there will ALWAYS be guys with nicer boats and gear....I've got a pretty nice rig myself, yet there's still guys with nicer stuff.  Use the gear you've got and have fun.  One little 'secret', you'd be surprised how many guys with multi-thousand dollar electronics setups essentially only use them as temp/depth gauges...If you put in time to understand and maximize your basic units, you'd actually have a leg up on many anglers with better gear that don't do that.  

 

Now, if you're new to boating...The co-angler route is awesome and I'd recommend that to get started.  

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It really depends on what you are comfortable doing and your skill level. If you believe you can catch a limit of 3 lb bass and have the skill and knowledge to do that under the time constraints and weather during a tournament....go as a boater. Your chances of getting a boater with less skills are about 50-50, coin toss.

During a tournament you are only responsible for you, the back seater is responsible for themselves unless the derby is a shared weight or team partner event.

Personally I am a poor back seat angler because I like to fish my own style. When team fishing I make every effort to put my partner in position to catch bass, it's a team effort.

Good luck, it's your choice to make.

Tom

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On ‎1‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 8:58 PM, TonyBeason said:

I will be fishing my first tournament in a couple weeks with BASS Nation. I have a boat but I've never fished a tournament and my electronics are very basic which makes it hard to find structure/fish. Should I jump in head first and fish as a boater, even with my boat's shortcomings, or leave the boat at home and fish as a co? 

Coangler.

 

Too many variables to master as a boater when you have a nonboater with you.

 

You want to keep your eyes and ears open and mouth shut as you watch your boater to see what he throws, where, and when.

 

Good luck. Let us know how you do.

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If you catch good fish, fish boater, if not fish as rider. Electronics are variable depending where you are fishing. I'm assuming you're not on good fish if you're blaming the electronics though. 

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Fishing with someone else is like a marriage.  Some are good...some better...some #@!$.

Personally I like the front of the boat where I can make the decisions and blame myself.

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On 1/27/2019 at 8:58 PM, TonyBeason said:

I will be fishing my first tournament in a couple weeks with BASS Nation. I have a boat but I've never fished a tournament and my electronics are very basic which makes it hard to find structure/fish. Should I jump in head first and fish as a boater, even with my boat's shortcomings, or leave the boat at home and fish as a co? 

Like @Logan S said, if you know how to run your boat and are comfortable with a long day on the water, go as a boater.  There's not much worse than getting stuck fishing behind someone from the back deck when you really don't have to.  It will frustrate you and you'll be thinking the whole day..."why didn't I just bring my own boat?"  Just make sure if you do go as a boater, everything on your boat is functional; nav lights, livewells, etc.  And be sure to have all the tournament necessities; weigh bag, scale, balance beam, tags, extra prop, blah, blah.  

 

And if it makes you feel better...I've beat many 45 to 60K bass boats out of my Tracker 170, 50hp Merc, and Lowrance Elite 5😉

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On 1/28/2019 at 9:11 PM, RobbyZ5001 said:

If you catch good fish, fish boater, if not fish as rider. Electronics are variable depending where you are fishing. I'm assuming you're not on good fish if you're blaming the electronics though. 

I'm not really blaming the electronics per se. I just feel a bit under-equiped. You would be correct in your assumption of not being able to get on fish on this particular lake so far. I had never been on it until just a few weeks ago. As of 1/31 I have fished it exactly 3 times and all under pretty crappy conditions. Not making excuses that's just how it's been. Kinda got my confidence down a bit.

 

I really appreciate everybodies response. I've decided, for better or worse, I'm gonna fish as a boater. That way my success or failure will only depend on ME. If I can get on fish and catch a decent bag then great. If I get skunked then it will still be a learning experience. 

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1 hour ago, TonyBeason said:

I'm not really blaming the electronics per se. I just feel a bit under-equiped. You would be correct in your assumption of not being able to get on fish on this particular lake so far. I had never been on it until just a few weeks ago. As of 1/31 I have fished it exactly 3 times and all under pretty crappy conditions. Not making excuses that's just how it's been. Kinda got my confidence down a bit.

 

I really appreciate everybodies response. I've decided, for better or worse, I'm gonna fish as a boater. That way my success or failure will only depend on ME. If I can get on fish and catch a decent bag then great. If I get skunked then it will still be a learning experience. 

I didn't mean to make it sound like your a bad stick. I hope you didn't take it that way. I have been in Florida for over a year now and my PB is still from Pennsylvania. I also have been skunked on Okeechobee multiple times so there's that lol. 

 

Awesome you're making the leap! Post the results for better or worse! Catch em up!

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4 hours ago, RobbyZ5001 said:

I didn't mean to make it sound like your a bad stick. I hope you didn't take it that way. I have been in Florida for over a year now and my PB is still from Pennsylvania. I also have been skunked on Okeechobee multiple times so there's that lol. 

 

Awesome you're making the leap! Post the results for better or worse! Catch em up!

No worries. I've devised a practice strategy for this weekend. I know where they should be, and probably are. It's an area with warmer water than the rest of the lake due to a nuclear power plant discharge. I just have to figure out what they want. I plan to grind on that area on Sunday until I figure it out. Then take that pattern to other areas. Also got a shipment from tackle warehouse with some baits that I'm pretty darn confident they've never seen so I'm gonna give those a shot. I'll post a report in the appropriate forum Sunday night or early next week.

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Good luck….

Let the addiction begin.

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