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Non boater ethics?? 2024

fishing user avatarSwbass15 reply : 

So I’ve fished as a non boater for almost 5 years now. In the past I’ve had excellent boaters, never been “back boater”, asked for my input and discussed with the boater of we were being effective.


my last tourney I got paired with a new boater. Nice guy fun to fish with. But he could not find a pattern after I had boater four fish behind him. He blindly kept going to areas that had fish two weeks ago. My question is how would you go about making a suggestion that we need to change up and not fish where they were but where we have already found them? We wasted a ton of time fishing dead water. 


Thanks guy

fishing user avatar12poundbass reply : 

Quietly sneak to the captain's chair and start dropping waypoints on fishy spots! 


Or just be thankful you caught 4 fish at least. 

fishing user avatarSwbass15 reply : 

@12poundbass never thought of that. No I am greatful for catching fish always am. I guess I should have been more clear he did ask where I thought we should fish since he was struggling to find them. He did go to the area, but was wanting to fish the wrong structure and cover. I could not find a good way to say I meant over there. With out telling the guy he was fishing dead water. Like I said I had a great time just wondering if and how anyone would approach it.

fishing user avatarNHBull reply : 

I am new to tournaments and would welcome input, especially if I am not on the fish.  The fact that you mentioned he was on spots he went to 2 weeks prior tells me he isn't reading  or adjusting to current conditions.  There are ways to offer suggestions without making him feels worse than he probably does.

fishing user avatarSwbass15 reply : 

Yea that’s what I was wondering is how to do that.. I could tell he was feeling bad by the end of the day. I had a good time just wonder if this is something I should approach unless asked for that input.

fishing user avatarCatt reply : 

With some guys there aint nothing you can do ????

fishing user avatar12poundbass reply : 

About 15 years ago for a bachelor party we chartered two boats to fish for kings out on Lake Michigan. The captain we had was a 40 year veteran of Lake Michigan, the other guy 20 years. The two boats fished different areas but communicated throughout the day. 


Our boat was struggling to find the fish, the other boat was hot on them. There were 5 of us on our boat and we caught one each which made for a really long day! The other boat caught three each. All day long the other boat kept saying "come over here, we have the water all to ourselves". But stubbornness got the best of our captain and we walked away less than sastified. 


Moral of the story along the lines of what @Catt said, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. 

fishing user avatarTOXIC reply : 

Once you said "tournament" it changes everything.  If the tournament rules allow and your boater doesn't mind, you can suggest away and it's up to him whether or not he takes your advice.  I would chalk it up to the trials and tribulations of being a co-angler.  When you take the leap and put your own boat on the water and do your own pre-fishing, you can go where you want, when you want.  That's why I like team tournaments vs draw tournaments.  

fishing user avatarAngry John reply : 

I fish team tournament style and my boater considers my input.  Sometimes we do what I suggest and sometimes not.  The best part from my point is my input is herd and considered.  His boat his choice.

fishing user avatarmattkenzer reply : 


If you think your input doesn't matter, I tournament fish with my older brother ..... need i say more?  :angry:


PS: I am 50.

fishing user avatarJunger reply : 

Just start your sentence like Ricky Bobby, "With all due respect,.." and whatever you say after that is all good.


For example, "With all due respect, thanks for checking out the spot I mentioned, but I mean to fish THAT cover over there, you dumb should be obvious."

fishing user avatarRatherbfishing reply : 

Wasn't a tournament BUT went with a friend and his brother down to Pickwick lake one time.  While on the way there I'd poured over a contour map of the lake with a fine tooth comb.  Had a pretty good idea where I thought they (the bass) might be.  After having to wait for the batteries to charge (they'd forgotten to do that), we FINALLY got on the lake.  We (friends brother, specifically) motored around for a long while-almost like a pleasure cruise-but without stopping anywhere.  I asserted myself and showed some spots we ought to at least try but he ignored me and continued to motor down the lake.  Eventually I resigned to riding around the lake (but not without forming a rather negative opinion of him).  I chose NOT to fish with him the next day but he hired a guide.  Afterwards, he showed us where the guide took him and MANY of the spots were the same as where I'd suggested.  Inwardly I just rolled my eyes and vowed never to fish with him again.  Not saying your experience was the same (sounds like it wasn't) but few things honk me off more than being ignored.

fishing user avatarJ Francho reply : 
  On 4/10/2018 at 8:06 PM, Catt said:

With some guys there aint nothing you can do ????

This is why I got a boat.

fishing user avatarChoporoz reply : 

That's why I got a kayak   :)    Single seat kayak.

fishing user avatarJ Francho reply : 

When I first joined a local bass club as a non boater, I struggled sometimes.  After a few seasons, I drew some correlation between those struggles, and who I drew as a boater.  The first year fished as a boater, I only bombed one tournament, and while only winning one (Erie), I finished second in points.  In following years, I didn't care about club AOY, and cherry picked a few each year, and usually came in top 3.  It's true, some guys are better than others, and some are truly just terrible, but are really generous donators. :P

fishing user avatarBassNJake reply : 
  On 4/10/2018 at 7:51 PM, Swbass15 said:

 My question is how would you go about making a suggestion that we need to change up and not fish where they were but where we have already found them? We wasted a ton of time fishing dead water. 


I guess I should have been more clear he did ask where I thought we should fish since he was struggling to find them. 

Seems like you have answered the question yourself. 

Maybe you could have provided some more info as to what exactly you were doing.

You mentioned him struggling to find a pattern even when you had caught 4 behind him.

Sounds like even being 20 feet away he couldn't figure out the where or what you were doing differently.


or as others have suggested some people just get stuck in what worked, instead of whats working now.

fishing user avatarSwbass15 reply : 

Thanks for the response everyone, I appreciate it. @TOXIC your point about it being a tourney is exactly what i struggles with. And yea I respect and are greatful there are guys willing to take non-boaters if not I’d be shore bound. @J Francho I think that’s what drove me the most nuts is the guy openly would joke I’m terrible. @BassNJake he honestly thought it was the bait. I caught one on a Jerkbait he changes up to a crank, but wanted to crank on primary points and my fish was on a secondary. He did something similar when I started catching on a senko. He started cycling baits but then caught a keeper off of a rock pile. He sore it was the tube, not that he finely put it on rock. 


Looking back i believe he was he was a horse you could lead to water, but couldn’t figure out how to drink it. Thanks for the conversation every expecially folks that are boaters.

fishing user avatarJ Francho reply : 
  On 4/11/2018 at 7:22 PM, Swbass15 said:

I think that’s what drove me the most nuts is the guy openly would joke I’m terrible.


At least they get the non boater to bank roll gas, lunch, and half the entry fee.  Expensive boat ride, lol.

fishing user avatarSDoolittle reply : 

Personally, I welcome input from my co-anglers. I may or may not do what they're suggesting, but I'll certainly listen. I once had a co-angler save the day when a hard rain the night before a tournament muddied the areas I had planned to fish. He was a local guy, and he knew what parts of the lake would be most likely to have cleaner water.


Next week, I'm fishing the Bassmaster Open on the Arkansas River as a co-angler. This time, I'll be the local guy, and there's a good chance that I'll be paired with pros who are not as familiar with this stretch of the river as I am. I plan to be upfront with them and let them know that I live nearby, and I fish the river often. If we are struggling throughout the day, I will subtly remind them of that and make a suggestion. Maybe they'll listen, and maybe they won't. Either way, I'll understand that they have a lot more at stake in this than I do, and I won't get my feelings hurt if they don't heed my advice.

fishing user avatarSwbass15 reply : 

I was lucky and didn’t bank roll that much for him. Though I did put in for the gas. @S. Doolittle I think that’s awesome you take that input. I like engagement from my boaters. I have learned a lot from the boaters that we’re willing to talk and share pointers. Good luck in the opens! What name should we watch for in the weigh ins so we can track you??

fishing user avatarSDoolittle reply : 
  On 4/12/2018 at 3:37 AM, Swbass15 said:

 What name should we watch for in the weigh ins so we can track you??

Steven Doolittle

fishing user avatarJ Francho reply : 

Good luck.

fishing user avatarSwbass15 reply : 

I’ll keep an eye out!!

fishing user avatarWRB reply : 

Simply tell the boater what you just caught your bass on and how. When keeps on going ask him why are you leaving fish that biting? Repeat this every time you catch a bass and if he keeps leaving fish, politely remind him he hasn't caught any bass because you keeps leaving them! Suggest he turn around and make another pass. Just sitting there doesn't help anyone.

Agree you shouldn't need to go through this frustration, the boater is fishing memories and not the moment, a common error.


fishing user avatarMike L reply : 

If he didn't use the pattern you were after you boated the first one there's not much you can say. 

However, it happens more than you think. 


When it happens you really have to gage his attitude and any comments he has made. 

You have to "read" him. 

Its his boat. 


First thing to do in a low key manner ask him if he wants to try one of what you're throwing. 


If he he says no thanks, just keep doing what you're doing. 

If he wants to leave fish to find fish there's not much else you can do. 


It's his boat. 






fishing user avatarSwbass15 reply : 

I appreciate the feedback @WRB and @Mike L. Gauging his attitude became real easy for me, he wanted to beat the bank, fish his memories, and then try to play it off and joke like he wasn’t a good fisherman. 


I spoke with him 3 times prior to the tournament and he stated he didn’t have a pattern. Looking back at it I guess he try’s to junk fish and hopes to find a fish. I did point out after he caught his keeper that all our bites had come off the rock piles. We then proceeded to fish gravel with brush. At that point I was lost on how to approach him. I spent the rest of the day trying to fish what was as close to the pattern we had established. 


Nice thing is I never have to worry about being paired with him again.


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