Catching Bass From The Back Seat

How-To Fishing Videos
You can be effective catching bass from the back of the boat with these 5 tips on how to catch bass from the back seat.



Glenn: There you go. That's a better fish! Oh, my goodness.

Carol: Oh, keep him down, keep him down.

Glenn: Oh, my goodness. Let go, let go, let go.

Keri: He’s going wherever he wants to. So, take your time, I don't think there's anything to snag on.

Glenn: That's a much better fish. That's a much better fish.

Carol: I’m going to take us out

Glenn: Yeah, get him away from these bushes. There you go, there you go, there you go. There you go.

Carol: Oh, my gosh, Keri.

Glenn: Get him in.

Keri: Okay, I'm trying.

Carol: Well wait. You want...?

Keri: Yeah, I want you to net him in. Keeping tension on him.

Carol: Yeah, keep tension on that. Let me see.

Keri: Oh, wait. No, you're not gonna be able to, there's cameras.

Carol: I know.

Glenn: Here he comes, here he comes, here he comes.

Keri: Oh, my...

Glenn: Look at that! Look at that! Look at that!

Carol: A giant. Well, that was worth the whole trip.

Keri: She's heavy.

Glenn: You want some pictures of that one, don't you?

Keri: Oh, yeah. Take one right here.

Carol: I bet you it's spawning.

Glenn: There you go.

Keri: That's what we're looking for here! That is what we're looking for.

Glenn: Nice, yes.

Carol: Now you're spoiled. Spoiled. You won’t want anymore dinks.

Glenn: Woa! Goodbye!

Hey, folks, Glenn May here with And today, I wanna talk to you about how to be more successful from the back of the boat. Now, I know that sounds kinda funny because you're used to seeing me up here on the front of the boat fishing. You've never really seen me in the back. But I wanna tell you something, without going too much into detail, you know, going through college, I had to get everything on my own. I earned everything that I got. And it took a long time to pay off the college loan and get the truck that I needed and the boat that I needed.

And long story short, I fished, basically, as a professional back-seater, for more than a dozen years. I fished every tournament from the backseat. Anytime I wanted to go fishing at all, I had to call up somebody to take me out fishing. So, I consistently fished in the back of the boat for years and years and years, and I did well. There's a lot of tournaments I fished where I placed in the top 10 and I was the only guy, only back-seater amongst a sea of front-seaters that placed in the top 10. Did that a lot. So, I learned a thing or two.

In addition, my wife, you've seen her in the videos that we've done before, she also fishes from the backseat of the boat, been doing it from back of this boat for a long time, and she also fished in professional women's circuits as a back-seater, as a pro, and did really well. She's won a few tournaments in the back of the boat as well, and beats me often too. She's learned how to do really well in the back of the boat and become very successful. As a matter of fact, she's behind us right now, behind the camera. Say hi, Keri.

Keri: Hi.

Glenn: See? So, she's always out here fishing with me, every time we go out fishing. So, she has a lot of experience. So, we decided, "You know what? Let's put together our minds here and come up with the best tips for fishing from the back of the boat and how to catch more fish." So, that's what this is today. So, let's start right off, let's get into it.

Number one is be observant. Be observant. If I can say it. Sometimes you can do it, so be observant. The key with that, it sounds obvious, but let's dig into that a little bit.

It's watching the person in the front of the boat and what they're doing. It's not because you wanna learn how to mimic them, and I'll get into that in a minute, but you wanna know what they're doing. For example, you know, obviously, what bait they're throwing. Are they pitching? Are they flipping? Are they casting? And what targets are they throwing to? You wanna know exactly where they're putting that bait because you don't wanna throw your bait right back in there.

The last thing you wanna do is throw the exact same bait the guy in the front is doing and throw them in the exact same spots. He's showing you what's not working, right? Every time he makes that cast, he's not catching a fish, why throw right back in there where he was? You're not gonna catch a fish, you're not gonna be as very successful. So, you wanna be sure not to cast where they just cast.

You wanna look at their retrieve. Is it a fast retrieve? A slow retrieve? Are they jigging it? Are they pausing it? What are they doing? Is it successful? And if it isn't, then don't do that, right? The front-seater is telling you a lot by just being observant.

What size weight is he using? If he's throwing a plastic worm, what size weight is he using? What kind of line does he have on? All that can matter with the type of retrieve that he's having. What's the gear ratio of the reel? I've done that before. I fished with my partner and they've had a faster gear ratio than I did. And I didn't know that until I asked him. Found out what it was, and then I speed up my retrieve and I start catching fish.

So, just be really observant from what the front-seater's doing. That can tell you a lot without talking to you. Just watch what they're doing. And then, try to do something a little bit different, and you can be a lot more successful.

Along those lines, you wanna do something different, number two. We're getting to number two here. Do something different. Now, if they're going down the bank, throwing a crankbait, throw a spinnerbait instead, okay? I'm not talking about throwing a different color crankbait or a different style of crankbait, but actually throw something different, throw a crankbait, throw a buzzbait, topwater, something different, and you will go after those fish that he's not attracting. Well, that sounds kinda weird, doesn't it? Let me explain to you.

So, a lot of you've had pets, right? You've had dogs, you've had cats, some of you've had horses. Now, on the onset, a dog is a dog, a cat is a cat, right? Horses are horses. They go out in the pasture and eat, they graze. But after you get to know them a little bit, you learn that each of them have their little quirks, their little idiosyncrasies that give them a personality, right? Some cats, for example, you got that little laser pointer, and they cannot stand it, and they've got to chase it all over the house. While another cat, you point it on the floor, and he looks at you like, "What? What do you want me to do with this?" Right?

I've learned over the years bass are like that, especially when you're fishing for spawning bass on beds. It seems like every bed you go to, it takes something a little bit different to get that bass to bite. They react to different stimuli to bite. This plays into role when you're a back-seater. When that guy's throwing the exact same bait in the exact same places, you know, different spots, he's showing you what's not working. If you're throwing something totally different, say a spinnerbait versus a crankbait, you're now presenting a bait to a whole different set of bass that don't like the crankbait but may like a spinnerbait or may like a topwater. Or if he's throwing a jig, you throw a Texas rig plastic.

See what I'm going with here? You don't throw in the exact same bait, you're actually targeting a different audience, if you will, and throwing it at different places. So, you're now expanding your possibilities of getting bit more often, more frequently. And especially if he's not having any success, the front-seater, you know exactly what not to do. So, do something different. So, doing something different is tip number two.

Tip number three, you've got to master your casting techniques, okay? It's not just overhand cast and the accuracy and also, you know, how subtle, or when it lands in the water, you wanna have soft landing. That's basic 101 casting. But there's other ones you need to practice a lot.

Flipping and pitching is one of them. You have to get good at flipping and pitching. Accuracy is key, but also the presentation is key. I used to sit in my living room during the winter months when it's snowing outside, watching fishing shows that I'd taped and I'd pitch under the couch, under tables, under chairs. I would put, you know, plates out there in the living room and see if I can land it without it bouncing out of the plate, you know, paper plate. Things like that to practice pitching and flipping over and over and over again.

What I learned a lot of times when I was at the back of the boat, there were people I fished with that didn't even know how to flip and pitch. That opens up a huge possibility of options for you to cast to. But there's a lot of them, if you practice like that, you'll be better at them. More accurate and better presentations than the guy up front. Not only that, but a lot of times, when you're in the front...I mean, in the back of the boat, by nature, it's narrower up front than it is in the back, and a lot of times, you're really close to cover when you're in the back than you are in the front, and you don't have that ability to make that overhand cast. You have to make a pitch or a flip in order to get to that cover, you just can't cast it. Otherwise, you go way up in the air and splash, way down, your accuracy isn't very good. So, practice flipping and pitching, you're gonna become a lot better from the back of the boat. More than a few times I've heard a front-seater go, "Where did that fish come from? I just cast there." Well, you did, but it came crashing down. You know, I have a nice subtle landing, right? So, flipping and pitching.

Number two is learning how to sidearm cast, okay? Sidearm, you can get to angles that the front-seater can't get to, especially as a target goes behind you. A lot of guys in the front are looking in front of them, they're not looking behind. Or if you're in a tournament, you've got that line, you know, right in the middle of the boat and the guy in the front can't cast behind you, or by you. You have those angles, and sidearm casting can get you up underneath docks, under overhanging bushes, all sorts of places that may be hard to get from the front of the boat. So, learning how to sidearm cast is key.

And along those lines, the same kinda motion is skipping. I knew a guy who could skip, man, that bait would skip 9, 10, 15 times before it stopped. It was amazing. I've never been able to be as good as him. And he'd get lures way back under docks, way back under trees, and overhangs, and different things that are, you know, hanging out over the water. He can be amazingly good at, and very accurate, and he can get to fish that nobody else could. So, if you practice skipping, a lot of times you'll be able to get to spots where the guy in the front seat can't. So, skipping is a key technique to learn how to get better at bass fishing.

The other one is the backhand cast, okay? The backhand cast, I've got a whole video on that to teach you how to do that. But that is a cast that a lot of people don't know how to do. And if you master that, you're going to get to a lot of new water that that front-seater just simply can't get to. As an example, you're going past a dock, the front-seater, a lot of times, he'll throw to one side of the dock, and by the time it gets to the middle of the dock, he's already passed it and his lure's pulling away from it. But, with the backhand cast, you can get it to the dock before you get past it. You don't have to wait till you get parallel of the dock or perpendicular to the dock. You can cast before with the backhand, land it just over on the other side. And by the time you're going by it, it's still running right alongside the dock, and you can catch more fish that way. Or you can get it up underneath, you know, low-hanging docks. So, learn that cast. You can get into spots where the guy on the front can't. That's critical.

Keri: There we go. Followed it to the boat, caught it with a Senko. Little buck bass again. They're all footballs. They're footballs. Little guy, thank you for playing. I appreciate it. You were textbook.

Glenn: The fourth one is using the whole back of the boat. You've got a huge area back there to throw to. And a lot of people think, "Hey, the guy in the front can cast to anything he wants to. He's got the whole lay of the land in front of me. He makes first cast and he's got it all." Not so. I've yet to see anybody be able to make a great cast from the front of the boat to the very back of the boat and be able to work a lure and give a great presentation that way, okay? You do. You're in the back of the boat, you have all those angles.

Give you an example. Keri and I fished a tournament down in Texas. It was Take A Soldier Fishing. And there's a guy who came from the Ivory Coast of Africa. He was an Americanized citizen in the army, and he had never been fishing before. So, we gave him a Texas rig creature bait on a Carolina rig and had him drag it behind the boat while us “better fishermen” cast to the shoreline. Well, the first two keepers of the boat came from him, just dragging it behind the boat. And so, we switched over to Carolina rigs and we fished out deeper. We ended up catching nine fish that day total in the boat, and three of them were his. And he got the first two.

So, he was getting an area that we couldn't get to, and that's where the fish were. I know other people that just dragged, you know, a YUM Dinger behind the boat and caught fish that way. You can also cast angles backwards, facing backwards or facing off to the sides that the guy in the front just can't get to, especially if you're fishing a tournament where you can't cast behind a certain line of the boat. You have access to all that. You got a full 180 degrees behind you of targets that you can cast to. Utilize that. Don't feel you're at a disadvantage. Utilize those angles and catch more fish.

And that gets me to the fifth one, and that is, it's really mental. I know a lot of people who have gone out and they've defeated themselves before they've even got in the boat because they think, "Oh, I'm fishing for the back of the boat. I'm fishing used water. The guy in the front has all these things they can cast to. And, you know, he's gonna get all the big fish and the more aggressive fish. So, I'm just doing cleanup work." No. I've even seen teams do this, "Oh, the guy in the front...I'll focus, I'll get the big fish, and you catch the keepers that will round out our limit." Don't think that.

Given all the tips I just told you, you can fish a lot of new water and you're fishing a lot of lures that the other bass, you know, the guy in the front is not throwing so you're appealing to a different set of bass, a different personality type, if you will, different persona. You're effectively fishing new water by yourself, okay?

And not only that, but you're watching that front-seater. You get to see all the bad casts. Every cast he makes and he doesn't catch a fish, he's showing you where not to cast. The guy in the front doesn't have that luxury. You do. You get to see, "Okay, great. Here's more productive areas that I can fish that he missed."

Or you can, even by being an observant, I had one tournament I fished, the guy was fishing spinnerbait. And when he got the bait by the boat, he was looking for his next target to cast to. I was watching his bait and I would see fish following it, but they wouldn't take it. So, I had a Texas rig plastic, and whenever that happened, I just tossed my plastic in there, and, boom, I'd catch a fish. And I'd always get this, "What? I just threw there. Where did he come from? How'd that happen?" Well, of course, we were fishing against each other then so I didn't tell him what was going on, but as a back-seater, you can see that. You can see what's what's happening and you can capitalize on it where the front-seater may miss it. I ended up almost winning that tournament, by the way.

So, you're not at a disadvantage from being in the back. A matter of fact, the guy in the front also has to deal with controlling the boat. And if it's windy out or you got current, you've got a lot of obstacles, things like that, he's got his mind on a bunch of other stuff too, where all you have to do is fish.

So, don't think, for a moment, that because you're in the back of the boat, that you're at a distinct disadvantage. I would argue you have an advantage from the back of the boat.

So, with these tips that I just told you and with the right attitude, you're gonna catch a lot more fish from the back of the boat. I hope that helps. For more tips and tricks like this, visit