01-05-2004, 10:53 AM
Hi: I'm considering fishing one or two RCL tournaments as a co-angler. From your experience, what information would I benefit from BEFORE I enter. Input from former co-anglers and professionals would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time.
01-05-2004, 11:10 AM
Here is a link to a great article by Colleen Lampman, a woman who has been fishing the Co Angler side of the RCL for a couple of years now. She gives some great insight and advice to those who are thinking of fishing as a Co Angler in these events. It's a good read. Check it out.
01-08-2004, 08:44 AM
Tournament anglers your input please!
I just read the article and got alot out of it, very interesting and informative
thanx for putting up the link
01-08-2004, 09:20 AM
I've fished two RCL events on Lake Erie out of Port Clinton as a Co Angler. This is my home water and I fish most every weekend from April 1 to Nov 15, so I know the area, techniques, etc. pretty well. I've had a good experience both times, made some new friends, caught nice fish, and learned a few things that I've incorporated into my trolling program. I'd recommend trying to hook up with someone in advance for some prefishing which will be much more relaxed than on tournament day - and a good idea expecially if the site is a place you are trying to learn and may want to return to on your own - you are more likely to see more locations, techniques tried as the Pro goes about making up their gameplan. By tournament day, the gameplan is pretty well made up. While you can still definitely learn things - especially if the pro has a good gameplan and the fish are cooperating, I think you will get a better learning experience during prefishing to an extent as see how the pro goes about covering water, etc.
As far as what you need to do on tournament days - a few basic things I would say:
1) Actually the night before at the meeting when you meet your pro partner and then at the weighin your partner for the next day - make sure you get contact info - cell phone or hotel, etc. Make sure you know EXACTLY where and when you are to meet the next day. Be ON TIME (Early).
2) Be honest with your partner about your experience level and what you are comfortable doing. Don't let your ego get in the way and try to "impress" the pro. If you are fishing somewhere that multiple techniques are used, if you are proficient at one and not another - let the pro know. They may have a program for either technique, and MAY choose what to do based on their partner. Don't expect the pro to alter their gameplan - just give them info so they can make the best decision for both of you. After the basic conversation about experience level, etc. - don't "pester" the pro with suggestions - if they want your input they will ask. It can be tense if the fish aren't cooperating. Know that the pro is certainly doing everything they can to put fish in the boat. In my experience they have all asked how you did the day before but if they don't make sure you let them know where you stand - especially if you have a shot to make the cut. Even if they had a bad day 1, most of them will do whatever they can to help you make the cut on day 2 - a performance good enough for you to make the cut may be enough for them to cash a check - and if not I think they at least have a pride factor that they like to see their Co Anglers make the cut. Being honest with the pro also includes your experience level and comfort at the launch ramp. You should really try to gain a basic comfort level backing a trailer up before entering one of these events.
3) Have appropriate clothing including raingear, sunglasses, hat, warm cloths appropriate for the conditions. If you need to put on sunscreen - do it in the morning before you meet the pro, so you don't waste fishing time doing this and can wash your hands good.
4) Bring whatever you plan to eat and drink and bring something for the Pro - like you would for a fishing buddy. A Subway sandwich usually is a winner.
5) Give the Pro some gas / expense money for the day. I have given all my Pro's $40 a day. If you break / lose something - offer to pay for it.
6) Don't disclose info about previous partners / locations / tehcniques. This is in the rules.
I'm sure there are plenty of other things that others will come up with.
This year I'm planning to do the Port Clinton RCL and also the PWT Cleveland events on the Co Angler and Amatuer side. Will be my first time for PWT. If you are going far away from home I may lean towards the PWT as you know you will get 3 days of fishing compared to likely only 2 on the RCL.
01-08-2004, 09:33 AM
I fished the RCL @ Sharpe last year as a CO, and it was worth the experience. However the draw backs were getting placed on day one with a pro (I would have never considered this guy a pro) that really had no clue to what he was doing. Luckly he was open enough to give me as much input into the program in which he had choosen for the day in order to put fish in the boat. Also I had a pissed off pro for day two, so I had no way of connecting up with him to meet him (I had never heard of him) and figure out where we were going to meet for the 2nd day launch. Again I was lucky enough to stumble upon his truck (which had his name splashed all over it) that was parked in front of his hotel room and went there early in the morning on day 2. Overall I didn't learn anything that I already didn't know, but I really enjoy tournament fishing and I am going to do it again this year. Hopefully I will have a better draw for day 1 and will not have a pissed off pro for day 2.
01-08-2004, 10:05 AM
Thanks Steve, that's what I was looking for!
01-08-2004, 10:16 AM
I also fished at Lake Sharpe last year as a co-angler and thought the experience was well worth the price of admission. I got there early and prefished with two different pro's. I'd recommend doing that if your schedule allows. You'll learn what's going on the water, burn up some nervous energy and see how a pro develops their game plan for tournament time. There are a lot of pros looking for co-anglers now so they can get "preference" for entering tournaments. If you agree to sign up with a pro they will usually take you fishing with them during their prefishing days.
Think about what you'd like to experience when entering a tournament. I wanted to go to Lake Sharpe since I had never fished there and would learn about a new body of water. Also, I learned some new techniques for catching fish. If you want to learn more about a specific technique enter the tournament where that technique is the preferred method for catching fish. Trolling on Erie or jigging on a river. Personnally, I'd get away from my home waters so you won't get frustrated if you think your pro could be doing something different.
For me it was a very positive experience, good luck.
01-08-2004, 10:26 AM
Great reply. That was like reading a great article. You should consider having it posted under articles here at WC.
01-08-2004, 12:20 PM
I have fished about 8 times as a Amateur/ Co-Angler since 1994 and the best thing about fishing this way is 1) you learn how to fish and catch Walleye and 2) you get to meet alot of very nice people who become friends. It would take me a lifetime of fishing on my own to learn what I have from these pros in 10 years. Now that I know many different pros I can go to any tournament and pre-fish with a number of them because they know that I'll keep my mouth shut about what they and the other pros are doing during pre-fishing. The last two years I haven't fished in the tournament but have just pre-fished with several different pros that I know. If you want to learn how to fish for Walleye sign up and have fun.
01-08-2004, 01:21 PM
Question..re pairings in RCL "League" . I see in the rules that Boaters and Co anglers are paired by "draw". Can a pair be arranged by agreement prior to event? A buddy of mine has a cottage on Petenwell, knows it well. We were thinking about giving this one a try in April if we could be paired.
01-08-2004, 01:31 PM
No. It's always a random draw. If you want to make sure you're fishing with your friend, then you need to enter team event tournaments on that body of water.