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IdahoLunkerHunter

First Tournament this weekend as non-boater, Results Updated...

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So I have finally taken the plunge to try my first tournament this weekend. It is a club tournament, that I just found out about. I called the club director and chatted with him a bit and he encouraged me to come this weekend and give it a go.

I will be a non-boater and weights are weighed individual. I would really appreciate some help as I don't know really what I am doing in regards to tournament angling except watching on tv :)

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Just throw your confidence baits.  Whatever you feel you can always catch a fish on, throw it.  Do not waste time re-tying a lot, keep you line in the water as much as possible.  Also, do not try to copy the pro, rather, unless you are fishing an open area like a grass bed where you can throw whatever he is and catch fish.  Otherwise, try to pick up what he is missing.  Make casts to areas that he is not.  Also remember, you have all day for 5 bites.  Be patient and you will catch.

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Hey Patrick, tournament fishing isn't any different from rec. fishing except your trip is limited to 8 hours. The biggest thing is to go and HAVE FUN! Fish with the exact same mentality you had when you busted that 20lb sack a couple weeks ago.

Just go with the flow and every spots your boater hits, make it work for you. Don't worry to much about what your boater is throwing. Throw what you think will work. I bet your better than all the guys in the club anyway.

Good luck man and have a blast. Let us know how you do.

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Patrick .... like senko_77 says .... just go fishing. Have FUN !!!!

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Some Co-Angler ettiquette...

1) respect the front of the boat, most tournaments cut the boat in half at the console...try not to cast forward of the console and hopefully your boater will not throw behind it! If your flipping/pitching the boater might say "come on up" to the front deck...either ask or let them invite you up.

2) be prepared to fish used water. Observe what the boater is throwing and change up size and slow/speed up presentation so you do not copy their presentation. Watch where they throw and hit just left/right of their last spot, some boaters do a good job of saving spots but when you are focused on catching fish efficiently you hit everything!

3) feel free to exploit deeper water! This time of year is when Co's rule the roost as alot of fish are still staging on breaklines, especially in the NW and the boater in beating the bank, cast a splitshot Senko or Carolina Green Pumpkin Lizard on the break and load up!!

4) based on the size of the boat and how much you run make sure you help the boater with fuel money. The average for our tournaments is around 20-30 bucks per 8 hours, running 25-40 miles a day (good gas mileage on the Merc-150!)

As others have stated Have Fun and view this as an opportunity for a low cost guide service and try to learn as much as possible from each event and I guarantee the boater will take alot from fishing with you too!

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I'm getting in to tournament fishing this year as a non boater myself. Something I've read that stuck out and this is probably common sense but, even though you should try to throw something different than your boater still try to fish the same relative speed. No sense in trying to throw a weightless worm if your boater is burning a spinner bait. That's an extreme difference but you get the idea.

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Thanks for all the great advice. I have a very good idea of where the fish are going to be this weekend, I just don't want to over step my bounds.

Its been 55 degrees this whole week and gonna have a 70 degree friday and saturday... So this Saturday the fishing should be excellent.

What about JJ's lol I never leave home without it, is it kewl to bring it? Also I usually supply catch and release with for all my friends when we fish and I can almost guarantee no one carries it around here when they fish either, bring it?

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I'm in the same situation, looking to get into some tournament fishing.  The FLW website has a Co-Angler clinic with some really good information in it that was helpful to me.  Check it out.  Sorry I can't post a link yet(newb)

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Well, i got skunked :(.

Oh well, I didn't know much about the lake, first time fishing it, and my partner didn't pre-fish of course. There was only 3 out of 25+ people who caught their limit, I guess this lake is extremely heavy pressured. Winner won with 16lb bag.

Partners finders weren't working correctly and marking temps 4-6 degrees above water temp and I didn't find that out till at weigh in. Water temps were saying 53morning-56.5 afternoon and it was actually 49morning-53afternoon. Spent a good amount of time retrieving his lures from trees, docks, and rocks and fishing in the wrong places.

Good thing is I saw an old high school friend that I didn't know still lived in my area and he is going to be buying a boat and wants me to be his partner for next years series.

Oh well, I tried to make the best of it. :-/

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Well, i got skunked :(.

Don't get too bummed out about a goose egg, especially in your first tournament and fishing co-angler. Skunks happen from time to time to everybody. Shake it off.

Oh well, I tried to make the best of it. :-/

From the description of your boater and his equipment, that's all you could do. I suspect things would have been different if you'd been the boater.

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If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got

The best school aroundThe school of hard knocks; I actually learn more from my less than stellar performances. ;)

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Don't get discouraged my friend! That is the life of a co-angler. I've fished as a co-angler with some real "gems". Just remember, learning what not to do on a lake may pay big divedends for you in the future. ;)

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Hey Patrick - lot's of learning here.  Some of the best learning experiences as a backseater are when I got skunked.  I think learning what NOT to do, and what kind of things to check and maintain on a boat are a few primary takeaways.

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Well, i got skunked :(. ...

Spent a good amount of time retrieving his lures from trees, docks, and rocks and fishing in the wrong places....

Oh well, I tried to make the best of it. :-/

Sorry to hear you had a tough day. Based on my experiences as a non boater that is the exception and not the rule.

The first time I fished a state regional I had a tough day too. I met up with my boater for day one and he tossed me a helmet and said the only three words he spoke the entire day. I will never forget it. He said, and I quote "Put this on". That is it. For the entire day. We took off and flew down West Lake Toho to the lock, locked through, flew (like around 70 mph... in a narrow river/channel) south through another lock or two and he finally stopped to fish some shell beds near Brahma Island on Lake Kissimmee. That is like a three hour boat ride at nearly top speed. We stopped, he positioned the boat so I had nothing but acres upon acres of hydrilla to throw to while he caught four big fish and we headed back to the weigh-in. He was on fish... I was on hydrilla. I almost quit fishing the state regional tourneys after that day. But I did learn something that day... it makes no sense to be a total jerk towards the guy behind you. He is there to fish too. That one day has made me a better boater. Since then I have always asked my non boater if they want to control the boat for a while or if they have some water they would like to fish. Life is too short to be a jerk on purpose.....

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It's all good! I thought about what has been working when I go out and what my boater did different. Speed. When I go out I might spend 15 minutes at one dock hitting every angle. We only spent about 2-3 casts on every dock and he didn't pay much attention to structure changes, IE. Ripwrap to pebble to mud etc. We came up on a 100 foot breakwater concrete wall I knew there was fish on but we only stayed there for about 6 casts. If I was fishing it I would have worked every foot of that wall.

When I come to think about everything, I fish really slow and precise and sometimes making 30-40 casts on the same object. I will be fishing with the high school buddy tomorrow on my little jon, will keep you updated on my progress :)

PS: Thank for the healthy encouragement!

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Don't get discouraged my friend! That is the life of a co-angler. I've fished as a co-angler with some real "gems". Just remember, learning what not to do on a lake may pay big divedends for you in the future. ;)

X2 Sometimes your boater is a real cool dude and you're on fish all day, sometimes you don't get so lucky. Don't get discouraged. You can't catch fish if you're not around fish (obvious, but true) so sometimes you really are at the mercy of your boater. Also, like others said, sometimes you learn the most when you get skunked so try to learn from your mistakes. I remember at one of my first tournaments I absolutely got stomped by my boater, he absolutely whacked fish and I got skunked, but I learned a whole lot during the process so it was worth it.

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