Tourney etiquette

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by H20hound, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. I'd like to get some advice and knowledge from you seasoned tourney guys, although this could relate to non-tourney fishing as well.

    I had a really rough 1st time out between delays, boat problems and fishing at my first walleye tourney a few weeks back. So what are the rules of the road for the following two individuals? (A little background on me. I have only seriously fished for eyes in the last two years with 20-30 days on the water fishing for them.)

    1. Captain

    2. Partner/s
  2. I guess I'm not understanding what you are asking for?

  3. What are the responsiblities of a Captain and the partners?

    Who is in charge of what? Unspoken or spoken rules, ect.
  4. Gju42486

    Gju42486 Banned

    i dont fully understand but ill take a stab

    The captain is in charge and responsible for safe navigation and operation of the vessel at all times and also the safety and conduct of his crew and passengers. Everything falls on his shoulders ulitmately, good or bad.

    The passengers/crew assists the captain in whatever ways possible, conduct theirselves in a proper manner ect.

    I think this was what your looking for?
  5. That is a start....

    So the captain is in charge of everything? lays out locations, where to fish, with what, time schedule ect......essentially calls the shots?

    Not trying to get a big head here, just understanding responsiblities. How to handle opinioned partners.
  6. Gju42486

    Gju42486 Banned

    well in tourny mode- it really is a "team" effort. A wise captain would seek advise/insight from all members of his or her team- afterall, the capt doesnt know everything. Maybe another member of the team had success in a similiar situation doing something you havnt tried ect......But "ultimately" the captain's word is usually final.
  7. K gonefishin

    K gonefishin Bit by Musky bug

    That's a pretty loaded question, I also believe it should be a "team" effort, regardless of who's boat it is because someone on the boat might be a better fisherman than one or more guys on the boat. I've fished alot of tourney's not just 2 man events but 3 or 4 man events and we always discuss the "where" and "how" even before we leave the dock at that point things should be agreed upon, during pre fishing you should be able to figure out the how and also the where and when, morning vs afternoon bite. When fishing is going well everything is pretty easy to figure out, when your not catching fish or the right fish then that's when things can get a little weird. Things should be talked through in detail as far as lure presentation, speed, color, depth, etc. IMO there is no room on a boat during a tourney with a big head, nobody is a know it all including the seasoned veteran tourney angler and everyone on the boat should keep an open mind to ideas on where and when to move and when to switch programs or to adjust the style of fishing. The captain should never say this is my boat and we're doing this, that is one way to tick off your team mates and it will ruin what should be a fun trip regardless if you win or come in dead last. Pre fishing is pretty important in this equation because there should not be a whole lot to discuss on the day of the tourney, come up with 3 spots to fish in the tourney, settle on what programs and baits worked the day before, you will probably have to adjust some stuff based on weather conditions, waves etc, but this is when you figure out your game day tactics.

    Hope this helps a little bit, my .02 for whatever it's worth.
  8. bass


    Got this off the web it may help


    Be on time.

    Make and point out the safety equipment available; Life jacket, throw cushion, fire extinguisher etc. It could save your life.

    Making your cooler, and other conveniences available to your non-boater, and make them feel comfortable in your boat.

    Think about your partner when running on plane. Boat drivers have a steering wheel to hold onto and can brace for rough water. Non-boaters are unable to brace and absorb the shocks as well as the driver.

    Boat positioning, you need to give the guy in the back of the boat fair treatment, don’t back seat them. Try and keep the boat parallel to the bank. Have your partner come up front with you if the boat has a deck that can accommodate 2 anglers.

    Listen to your partner and give them some time on their water if they want it.

    Be congenial and work together. The object is for both of you to enjoy the day.


    Be on time.

    Try to agree on some reasonable compensation for fuel expenses and pay your partner by the end of the day, being a boater is extremely expensive.

    Treat the boat like it was your own “brand new boat” and try to avoid getting mud, spilling pop, fish scents, etc… on the interior of the boat. Be mindful of visible objects that could scratch the exterior of the boat. Wear Soft sole shoes and don’t step on the boats finish, You wouldn’t walk on the paint finish of your car.

    Try to downsize extremely bulky tackle boxes. This helps both of you, clutter can be dangerous and loose objects can blow out of the boat when under power, or while battling or netting fish.

    At the end of the day clean up. Don’t leave line, discarded plastic worms, pick-up hooks, sinkers, food wrappers, or cans in the boat. Take them to the trash.


    Prepare for launch long before you get to the front of the line. This will speed up the entire launch process for everyone.

    At the Ramp; Turn off your headlights (if on) while waiting in the launch line. Keep your parking lights on if applicable. This will prevent you from blinding the person that is backing the boat down the ramp!

    Never plane right in the middle of a bunch of boats. For safety sake, you need to get beyond the last standing boat before you take off on plane.

    If you’re fishing and your partner misses a fish, don’t throw in immediately where they missed the fish and attempt to catch it. Let your partner adjust their bait and allow them to cast back at the fish a second time.

    Don't wait for your partner to ask you to get the net. When using a net don’t take wild jabs into the water at the fish, most fishermen prefer to lead the fish to the net. While others would rather net or lip the fish themselves. Try to come to an agreement on net handling before you took-off from the ramp.

    If your previous day’s partner caught fish from an area, don’t go back to that area trying to catch the fish he’d located. Maybe fish their pattern, but find a new area of the lake.

    When someone takes you out practicing don’t tell other competitors what, where, and how the fish were caught.

    When sight-fishing for bedding bass try to mutually agree on a set number of casts per angler then alternate these casts to the bed.

    Don’t cut off another Angler by pulling in on a bank and fishing in front of them.

    If you’re leaving an area to go to another area, don’t prop wash and / or disturb the area in an attempt to mess up another competitor.

    Don’t pull up tight to other anglers to make conversation a 25ft rule should always prevail; ask before approaching if tournament rule allow for it.
  9. I must agree. Whether Wallay, Bass, or multi-species tournaments, these same guidelines should apply. It helps to have some experience as a non-boater or co-angler before jumping into the captain's chair and taking the helm. In this manner you'll know what needs to be done and when and how to prepare for the expected as well as the "unexpected". You'll be a better captain for it and the fishing experiences will be alot better. Make your boat rules well known before setting sail like "no smoking on board" etc, etc, this helps cut down on hard feelings and arguments while underway. Good communication is key on any boat! :B
  10. great replies....thanks fellas.
  11. While I agree with many above that team tourney fishing is a "team effort" need to first and foremost agree that there will be ONE person calling the shots. I've seen it happen FAR too many times where the Captain will want to run his program...and the experienced crew (who also own boats) doubts his judgement....and this causes problems.

    Best thing to do is to follow Kgone's suggestion. Have 3-4 locations to fish (found in pre-fishing) and know what worked where and when. This eliminates a lot of variables and un-do angst within a team.

    I've fished a boat-load of salmon tournies over the last 15 years, from "fun" outings amongst club members to "Pro-style" tournies with big $$$ on the line...and without a doubt, following what I (and others) have said above will make for a much more enjoyable tournament experience.

    You have to be on the same page. Work that stuff out during pre-fishing. I've actually been asked to fill in on boats when guys get PO'd at their co-anglers during pre-fishing. Weird....but I know my place on the boat (set lines, net fish, reel-in fish)...and any and all lure/speed/location changes are up to the Captain (based on pre-fishing for the most part).

    Tournies are a hoot, and I wish I was able to still make 8-10 trips to Illinois and Wisconsin per summer to fish 'em....but $4.00 a gallon gas and twin 5 yr. olds has sorta slowed that down to a crawl...
  12. In my experience from fishing bass tournaments, the boater is the first person to make the decision. What I always did when I was the boater, I would ask the non-boaters opinion then tell him mine and we would work out the best locations etc. from there. Most of the guys that like to talk crap about how many fish they are catching will change their mind if you have a better spot. I have found that partners that are very adiment about going to a certian spot are usually on fish.
  13. Just a quick question...Last year we were going to fish the Hog fest with a fella that lives in Vermillion I met him through a friend on mine. We were making plans, talking about boat expenses etc. and we were prepared to split expenses gas, bait etc. I had someone who was sponsoring our entire entry fee. This guy E-mailed me our rules of participation which included if we won any money it would be split 5 ways, 1 part per angler x4 and 1 part for "the boat.. I never heard of this kind of split especially when I was bringing Entry Money. When I questioned him about it he got really prissy and our deal fell through (probably for the best anyways). I am very active in Walleye Tournament fishing (inland lakes) and we always split 50/50 including all expenses. He told me that was just the way we have always done it…..Any comments?
  14. K gonefishin

    K gonefishin Bit by Musky bug

    Lots of walleye fishing teams add the "boat" to how the winnings will be split, it's pretty common, oil, broken or lost tackle, cleaning of the boat, general maintenence. etc.

    If you covered the entry fee that would probably change things a little bit though.