Many times, throughout an Elite Series season another line in the water would come in handy. In the Elites we are fishing alone and are limited by rule to only use one rod and one bait at a time. It’s a pretty obvious rule and makes for an even playing field, but having two baits in the water at all times sure would be helpful. That’s one of the main differences present at the High School and College levels of bass fishing. You are allowed two anglers per boat. That equals two baits in the water and more opportunities. Learning to exploit the team advantage to its fullest will most definitely land your team a few more bass.
The obvious advantage is two anglers and two baits, but it’s a little more advantageous than you think. For example, in a day of competition on the Elites, if I sit down to change baits no one is on the front deck casting with an opportunity to land a bass. Try to always make sure at least one of your baits is in the water. Also, be quick to cast back into a school of bass after your partner hooks one. Many times, when you bring a bass up there is another that will follow, without the second lure you have no chance to catch that fish. Of course, be quick with the help of landing a fish but pay attention and you just might turn one four-pounder into two.
The other obvious advantage to two baits is the ability to dial the fish in a little better. One of you can throw a moving bait and one can fish slower or maybe alternate colors until you see exactly what the fish want. I remember a specific tournament in which I was catching fish on a buzzbait good. We were paralleling the bank and it made it hard to throw two buzz baits at one time. So instead of competing with me my teammate kept a bait ready to drop in on the fish that missed the buzz bait. It worked to perfection and we won that tournament. Sure,
I may have caught more than him that night but remember its not about competing with your teammate its about beating all the other fishing teams out there.
Be a positive teammate. I’ve written about this many times, but the roller coaster of a tournament day can be brutal. The advantage of having a teammate is you can help the other through that process. For instance, if your teammate loses a big fish don’t get discouraged, instead try to encourage them and keep your morale high. Another mental advantage to the team aspect is not having to make decisions on your own. Bass fishing is full of decisions and sometimes they can become overwhelming. Having someone to bounce an idea can be a tremendous help.
Fishing locally growing up I spent my fair share of time in team tournaments. It seemed the more you fished with that one individual the more you learned them. Knowing their tendencies and strengths can become a huge advantage. It’s really a neat experience whenever you learn a teammate well enough to become a well-oiled machine. Never put down on each other and always work to make the other better. Last time I checked no one kept track of who caught the fish that day, It’s only based on your cumulative five best bass. If you know the fish are doing a certain thing and it fits your teammate’s strength better, let them run the trolling motor that day.
We all have off days, if tournament day is your’s don’t worry about it, cheer your teammate on and be the best net man that ever hit the water.
One day you’ll make the Elites and not have the advantage of a teammate. While you have it, be sure to use it and learn as much from your teammate as possible. That way whenever you take the next step in fishing you will be ready.