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Partners: Whom Do I Fish With?

by Jeff Bosshardt


Just about every one of us has fished a team tournament before. Most of us probably have a partner or maybe two that we mainly fish with. The problems sometimes arise when your partner has a conflict and cannot fish a tournament with you. What do you do now? I believe you have several options.


Option #1 don’t fish the tournament. This is not even really an option because this may be one of your favorite lakes and you want to fish it really bad.


Option #2  Fish with a family member who rarely ever fishes. Many team circuits allow for one substitute and many times they allow for a family member. This option has cons because you cannot count on this person to do any pre-fishing, catching any fish, and maybe not even netting your fish. If you win, do you split the money with them? That hardly seems fair. After all, you have all the experience, did all the pre-fishing, paid for all the expenses, and will probably catch all the fish. One idea I have for you here is to take a risk and pay the entire entry fee and then if you win, you collect the whole check. I have also paid a “tip” to my partner that is a pre determined amount of money per keeper fish my partner catches if we cash. I get along well with my brother-in-law so this plan works out for us.


Option #3 Fish with someone you know to be a decent fisherman, wants to fish with you, and you know him or her well enough to trust them. What I mean by trusting them is that they will not use your spots against you or tell others all about what you are using and fishing. Will you get along well in the boat? Will they prefish and if not, will they pay for expenses? I think that if you do give your spots and techniques to a partner, they should be willing to do the same. Yes, there is politics even in bass fishing. You will need to think long and hard about these issues before deciding whom to fish with because choosing the wrong person could end up costing you more that just one check. I imagine many of you know what I mean here.


Option# 4 if you have sponsors, ask them to fish with you. It can be a great public relations move and it can expose your sponsor to the joys and rigors of what you do when it comes to bass fishing. Make sure they have fun, teach them, and don’t be too bossy.


Option #5 Take a kid fishing. I recommend this option only if there is a smaller entry fee and not a lot of pressure. Again, have fun, teach, catch fish, and try not to get upset if they miss a fish or do something wrong. The future of fishing is in their hands and statistics show kids are not fishing as much as they used to. Support programs like Fishing For Life and other causes that focus on kids and fishing.


Another related topic when it comes to partner tournaments is not having too many bosses in the boat. On any given tournament one person needs to be the “captain” or take the lead, at least part of the day. You do, however, need to work together. You need to trust each other and be willing to give and take suggestions.


Lastly, when it comes to team events, pick your partners wisely. It is good to have a small trustworthy group of people you can share information with. Don’t branch out too much though, for reasons we’ve already discussed. Have fun and don’t take things too seriously. You’re not Kevin Van Dam. I think friendships are more important than fishing and so are faith in God and your family.


God Bless and Good Fishing,

Jeff Bosshardt