In Fishing & Life

Trust Your Instincts

Friday, February 09, 2007

To Pay or Not To Pay?

Friends, this blog is going to be more of a question seeking comments and answers from you then my normal writings. It is a subject that keeps popping up over and over and I have been asked by a very good friend of mine to see what everyone thinks about this. I hope that you will take the time to comment directly on the blog. If you do not want to do this you can always shoot me an e-mail with your comments, just put comments in the subject line. I will then post your comments for you but not your name if this is what you request.

The question is; should co-anglers, non boaters, in tournaments pay the boater for gas? If so how much should they pay them. On average a person on the Pro side of a tournament spends well over $300 in fuel locating fish and putting together a pattern. He has insurance, over $40 K in a boat, truck, etc.

I have heard everything from "you are going to be here anyway" to "wow this is a good way to get a cheap guide and learn the lake so I can fish it next time". While we are on the subject how about the person who when you are on a off shore hump that took you years to find pulls out his handheld GPS and punches it in?

Are the large tournament organizations creating this type of environment by telling the co-anglers that these things are "not in the rules" as they are struggling more and more to fill the field on the non-boater side. Throwing ethics out the window?

Please, we need your comments, the only way these things will ever change is education on both sides and in order for this to happen both sides need to talk!


Allen Haigh said...

Bill, as a former co-angler I always payed the angler gas money even if we struck out. I knew how much time and money the angler put in to the tournament and anyone who fishes for fun or for money is well aware of the cost. I am now an angler/boater/pro whatever and feel that I deserve some gas money for at least the expense of that days fishing. Co-anglers should show a little class and respect to their angler and fork up a little cash, as it is the right thing to do. This sport is already has it's fair share of buttheads and we don't need anymore. Good post Bill and this is one thing I would like to see them put in the rules. I do have to say in my closing that 95% of my co-angler have helped out with the gas and that it is only a select few that are to cheap and sorry! On the GPS, just grab it when running in that rough water and through it straight up and watch it blow out the boat and sink to the bottom.

Allen Kirk said...

I think the non-pros shuold at least pay for gas & food. This way ypu have serious people that are fishing. Also the GPS fo the non-pros should not be allowed.
It should be a privlege to ride with a pro. The least you could do is help pay your own way.

Anonymous said...

From: hookem
Date: Saturday, February 10, 2007 12:48 PM

all co-anglers need to read the co-angler clinic.there is alot of good info in there for them to prepare themself,unwritten rules of gas money,and a good example of this.this gas money issue must be a southern issue.because where i fish most co-anglers know this and respect it and gives gas is not uncommon for these co-anglers to give there boaters money at the pre tournement meeting,they do this so they wont forget,or so if the boater has to get gas the night before if needed, the have co-anglers step up and give your $20-$25 this is a average what the co-anglers in indiana if you offer gas money your fishing might be alot better out on the co-anglers might be surprised how many boaters dont or wont except it but really appreciate the offering of it.

Harry said...

Let's add a little more to the conversation. I fish the Stren and Bass Opens. I have had 3 winners and 5 top ten finishes fish with me 1 of the days of the tournament in which they did well. In most cases my advice to my co angler is, fish something different than me and not try and compete for the same fish. What I mean by this is, if I'm fishing a crank bait, you should be fishing a jig or Carolina Rig. I usually fish for more than 1 fish at a location, not just 1 bite and leave. I have stayed on fish waiting on my co angler to get a limit before leaving to fish for the bigger bite. There have been times when I would leave after waiting an hour for the co angler to limit, but he fished to fast or would not listen to me, or just missed or could not get them to the boat. I would have my limit in the first hour or two, and the co angler had as many bites, but not the fish. When I would tell my partner lets go, he would comment that he did not have his limit yet, how long do you wait. A limit of fish with a 5 pound kicker would put me in good position in the tournament.
I usually spend 5 days practicing for a Stren or Bass. I try to find fish as close as possible to weight in, but I practice the lake before deciding what fish I will fish during the tournament. I may spend as much as $300 for boat gas in practice, but may only run 15 minutes one way to my fish, first day partner weights in 8 pounds and says, we did not run far, heres $10 dollars, 2nd day partner weights in 5 pounds of fish and was in 60th place the first day with 3 pounds. He gives me $10 dollars because we did not run far. My two partners go home with a check and I finish 80th and go home with $20 dollars. My boat is a mess from the co angler eating a buffet and what he did not eat is in the boat carpet, his shoes were dirty and it's in the carpet, the back of my boat has coffee or coke on it where he relieved himself, but was to lazy to wash off with a little water, and then there's the ding in the motor cowling from his spinner bait or Carolina Rig, and the tear in the seat from where he had something in his pocket or where he stepped in the seat, it was not there when I wiped the seat down that morning for him to have a dry seat. Oh, then there is the trash in the cooler he left along with his old baits he left laying in the floor. Here's $10 dollars we did not go that far. I fish for a living, therefore when I draw a non boater in a Stren or Bass I feel he is at the professional level and should act as a professional. I have friends that fish as a non boater, and they will tell you that it's not up to the boater to help you catch fish, it is up to the non boater to figure out how to catch fish. Most fishermen fish where they caught fish in practice therefore if they don't catch fish during tournament it does not mean there is not fish around where they are fishing, so don't blame the boater for you not catching fish, and then not sharing with expenses. Remember, 4 non boaters can travel in 1 vehicle, 4 boaters can not pull 4 boats with 1 vehicle. The expense of pulling a boat and spending 5 day practicing for a tournament adds up, and then to not catch enough fish to get a check, and your non boater tells you good by that he has to get back to work, next Friday is PAYDAY.

Gary from NC said...


You know how I feel. As a non boater I should pay for the gas used. If I bring a gps I should ask if it is ok to mark points, If you say no then I will just have to remember where they are.

Randy from PA said...

We'll start this out as a question. When people carpool, would it be correct to share the expenses should one of the carpool party use their vehicle moreso, or exclusively?
A coangler is using the boater's equipment at the boater's expense.
A coangler who does not own a boat, is not only taking advantage of another's equipment, but also trying to obtain knowledge that they might not be able to achieve on their own. And rightly so, that's a smart thing to do if that particular person is not sure how far they would want to pursue the game, or can't afford it yet.
` A coangler who does own a boat should realize the expenses involved
with running a boat, especially when the particular boater is spending practice days to scout and locate enough fish for both parties on the boat, for however many days.
No, the coangler does not get a chance to run the boat; as in a carpool, the occupants do not get that chance either. And as the same as in the carpool, everybody might be heading to the same location, but sometimes not for the same reason.
In all cases, Gas /*and oil */is a small expense when considering the whole picture of tapping into equipment and knowledge.
Luck of the draw? When drawing a boater who had a bad day? You'll never go to the casino and win every time, and if you do win every time, you certainly don't belong on the back of the boat. You belong on the front thoroughly enjoying all the circumstances the boaters now enjoy.( Yeah, right).

Anonymous said...

I feel that the co-angler should offer some money to the boater as a courtesy. I've fished a few tournaments as a co-angler and I just come out and ask the boater "How much do I owe you? The boater usually asks for a reasonable amount and I pay it. Personally I just don't really care for the boater/co-angler format and prefer solo or team type formats. So I invested in a boat and now fish as a boater.

Anonymous said...

Bill, this is my 7TH year as a co-angler, I always offer gas money, but what I hate about this issue is the boaters that think they are pros but are nothing more than just a boater, just like I'm a co-angler. The c0-angler should not have to pay for there boaters insurance or make there boat payment for them like some boaters think, we should offer gas money for the gas used on tournament day not 5 days of pre-fishing. If my boater treats me ok and puts me on fish then I will give more than 20.00 dollars. but if he didn't pre fish and stays 100 yards from ramp and wants 40.00 dollars he is crazy.