In many cases today, Bass Tournament Fishing is done in “team” formats in which the main goal is to have both partners functioning efficiently as a “team” or one being.
What makes a good Team? This is a very simple question that without any doubt has no simple answer. There are so many things that make up a great team and over the years I have been part of a few teams. Some of these teams were great while some of them were just so-so. A great team is like a good marriage because you have to work at it in order for it to succeed. I was once told by an elderly person in our bass club that a good fishing partner has to be harder to find than a wife because you have got a whole lot fewer choices and not all bass fishing partners are pretty.
I feel that there are several key elements that make up a good team. Some of these elements are: Being able to share something in common with your partner other than fishing. Why this you ask? One reason is that if you are going to be in a 18-21 foot bass boat for 8-10 hours a day and the fishing is hard, you better have something else to share with your partner whether it be sports or some other activities. If not, it’s going to be a long day just talking about how you missed that nice bass early that morning. Being able to share really works for me and my partner, we talk about all kinds of stuff like yard work, weed eating, landscaping, and grass cutting. Sometimes we will even talk about the last Bassmaster that I got or what Bill Dance would be doing at this very second.
Another key factor is knowing what each partner likes to do or their style of fishing, whether it is flipping or spinner bait fishing. Whichever you prefer you have to work together to use the most power fishing in order for the team to work. You must also know what type of water or cover you feel comfortable fishing together. Here is where my partner usually lets me pick the cover and water, but every now and then I see that finger point to a certain place and off I will go to that uncharted water my partner has picked out. You must also know your strengths, if your partner is best throwing a spinner bait, by all means let him throw that while you cast something else. That is until he starts catching more fish, then there better be two spinner baits hitting the water.
A good team also knows their roles. Each person has his duties to do and each person depends on their partner to do them. The boat captain must be able to run the trolling motor and keep good boat position for both team players. Remember that by keeping the boat were both partners can fish means a higher percent of good casts which in turns mean more chances to catch bass. The back seat partner must keep a check on the livewell and try to keep the catch healthy until the weight-in bell. Their duty may also be taking care of the snacks and cokes for the day and hopeful using the dip net too. Always discuss the roles and duties with your partner before the tournament morning that way each of you will know what to do when the time comes.
I feel that the last and most important element is that a “team” never competes against one another. You are a team with combined weights and nobody will know who caught what. Every bass in the boat is for the team and not the individual. In this style of fishing, you are just as important doing a great job with the dip net as the partner who caught and played the fish to the boat. Until the bass is put in the boat and livewell, there’s no weight to be counted. Both partners must execute perfect reactions on the water to be successful. Oh, by the way, the reason I like team fishing so much is because my partner is my wife, the love of my life, my soul mate and partner both on and off the water. She is also one fine coach who helps me break out of that tunnel vision that I sometimes get myself into. She is always trying to come up with new ideas and techniques for me to try too. We also share many things while fishing, remember earlier in the story about the sharing part; yes, the yard work, the landscaping and the grass cutting is all discussed from the back of the boat. Our time on the water is precious to me because we can share even more time together which is something we sometimes take for granted in our busy lives until it’s too late.
Next time tell your partner that you’re glad that he or she is your team partner and thanks for making it a great team. As for me, I know that I have the best partner life could give me, she’s sweet and sassy with a great smile and she sure does put the “T” into our team effort. Just remember that nobody cares who caught the fish come weight-in time, because it is a total team effort.
You know, even if I didn’t even catch a fish for that day, I just want her, my partner to know that she’s the best catch that I could have even caught. Love you girl!
Please remember to take a kid fishing; it just might be his pro start in life. Also please pray and remember our troops over seas, it is because of them that we have this great freedom that we share together! God bless the troops and keep them safe.
Tight lines & best of fishing to you,