Since this is close to the start of a new year with many new
teams forming, I thought it might be a good time to look at team
fishing and some of the tricks of the trade in being a good team.
Most are just common sense, other seems to be less obvious.
A good team shares something in common
other than fishing. If you're going to spend 8 to 10 hours within
18 feet of one another, you'd better at least like the guy! If
you share interests in other sports or activities, it makes
passing the time a lot easier than trying to talk about last
month's Bassmaster for 8 hours.
A good team likes to fish similar water.
Nothing can be more frustrating for a team than one partner
wanting to go flipping while the other wants to fish deep holes
in open water. The team should agree on the general style they
prefer before even going to practice on a particular lake. This
may change with season, lake, or weather, but the team should
still understand what water each partner feels comfortable
fishing and when.
A good team has TRUST in each other.
If you trust you're partner's judgment, be it in location, lure
selection, or just ESP when it comes to finding fish, you'll both
have a better day especially if it's slow. The respect each
partner has for the other will get you through those times when
nothing is biting and you don't know what to try next. And if
your partner says you should be throwing a Bubblegum Deep Diving
Hula Popper, you should trust him enough to at least tie one on
for a few casts.
A good team fishes the same water
differently. Each partner brings a strength or style to the
team. Each partner should use that strength to help the team. If
one partner is good at crank baits, let him be the one who throws
them. The other partner may be better at worms or jerk baits.
Work the same water in different ways. If you trust your partner
to catch any fish that will bite a particular lure in a given
spot, then it would be a waste of time to throw the same lure in
the same place. The only time you should both have on the same
lure is when you're sure it's the best bait for that place on
A good team knows their roles. Each
partner has a set of jobs to do for the team and his partner
depends on him to do them. The boat operator must keep the boat
in a position that both partners can effectively fish. The rider
may be in charge of checking the livewell and keeping the team's
catch healthy until weigh-in. If you're the boat owner, it's up
to you to keep everything operational for the next trip. If
you're a non-boater, it may be left to you to spend the extra
money to buy the team a new type of lure to try, (remember to get
two), or you might be in charge of cold sodas for the day.
Discuss your roles with your partner and know what he expects and
depends on you to do.
A good team never competes against one
another. You are not in competition with the other guy in the
boat! Don't compete with you partner and try to back seat him or
cast through to that next good looking point. Remember nobody
cares at weigh-in who stuck which fish. Any fish that comes into
the boat is for the team, not an individual. You're just as
important doing a good job with the net as you are playing the
fish. Both partners must execute on the water to be successful.