The Benefits of Tournament Bass Fishing as a Co-Angler

I believe it is beneficial to compete in bass tournaments as a Co-Angler for anglers that want to be more successful. Fishing as a Co-Angler will help you become a better all around bass fisherman/woman as you will learn from every single boater you fish with. So how do you compete as a Co-Angler?

Do You Want to Compete in Bass Fishing Tournaments?

In 2011, I began researching how I could compete in bass fishing tournaments without having a boat. I had the aspiration of tournament fishing since I was 9 or 10 years old but never really researched it much. As I began my search, I found a local club that had an Angler division and a Co-Angler division.

I reached out to the club president, went to their monthly meeting and thus, my tournament fishing career had begun. If you have ever had the thought of tournament bass fishing, you should do it!

Your age or gender does not matter… just go do it!

I have met a lot of great anglers and have become friends with a lot of great people through tournament bass fishing.

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Why Should I Compete as a Co-Angler?

I believe you will become a better angler if you start out competing in tournaments as a Co-Angler because you will have to adapt to things out of your control. This can include, where you’re fishing, what you’re fishing, and how you’re fishing an area. You will learn new techniques from the boaters you have as well as how to break down certain areas using techniques you may not be accustomed to.  

When tournament day comes, your boater will already have a game plan of where to go and how to catch the bass in those areas. Boaters usually spend a lot of time pre-fishing prior to tournament day. This is in an attempt to try and pattern the bass.

While fishing as a Co-Angler, you typically will not have a say as to where to go or what to do during the tournament, nor will you have a say of how fast or slow you should fish an area.

Believe it or not, this is actually a good thing.

While fishing, pay attention to your boater, watch how they fish. Whether it’s a grass flat, dock, lay down, rock or any other type of cover or structure.

There are two reasons you should do this:

#1. You may learn a new technique or trick to help you fish certain structure or cover.

#2. If they miss an area, then you have an area that has not been fished so your chances of catching a bass greatly increase.


If they miss an area, then you have an area that has not been fished so your chances of catching a bass greatly increase.

Typically if your boater is using a fast moving bait such as a spinnerbait or crankbait, you can do the same, but I recommend using a different color than your boater. This holds true unless your boater is catching a lot of fish using a certain color. Under that circumstance, you would want to switch to the exact color or something as close as possible. The more tournaments you compete in, the more knowledge you will gain as you will typically be with different boaters.

In my opinion confidence in your tournament fishing ability is key to competing as an angler. At the end of the day don’t be afraid to ask your boater any questions you may have, most boaters will take some time to answer your questions as they know you are learning.

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How Can I Compete as a Co-Angler?

Want to get in on the action? You can search online for local bass fishing clubs in whatever your city or state is. In most areas, there will be a few or maybe even quite a few to choose from. Another great way to search is through social media as more and more bass clubs are getting on social media to promote their club.

There’s also other organizations like the FLW that has weekend series in which you can compete as a Co-Angler. The BFL’s are a great place to test your skills as you gain more and more fishing knowledge. The entry fees are usually over $100 per tournament, so I wouldn’t start off with these kinds of tournaments right out of the gate.

With tournament bass fishing growing at such a fast rate, there isn’t a better time to get involved! Whether you’re entirely new to the bass fishing world, or you think it’s time to put your skills to the test, entering some tournaments as a Co-angler will be a decision you won’t regret. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn and grow as an angler, you won’t be disappointed.


This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert

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Kevin Cole


I have been tournament bass fishing since 2011 as a Co-Angler. Competing as a Co-Angler I have learned a lot of techniques and how to adapt to conditions outside of my control. I currently am on Pro/Field Staff for Liquid Mayhem, The Hook Pal, Cal Coast Fishing, Sublimewear USA, ALX rods, and WOO! Tungsten.

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3 replies
  1. Jack jasset
    Jack jasset says:

    I have been fishing as a co angler since 2009 first with a local club and now also now with the ABA. I have found it less stressful than the boaters view of things because you are fishing the back of the boat less is expected from you. I always try to fish a different technique than my boater I find this to very effective if my boater is fishing a buzz bait or spinner bait he is searching. I will throw a swim jig to keep up with them. My best advice is to don’t do what your boater is doing if they are skipping docks with a worm you skip it with a jig very effective. As you can tell I am a jig guy but I can adapted to any technique. I have many times out fished my boater I have won a few tournaments from the back on my club 2nd and 3rd in the ABA. I love your article keep them up. Jack

    • Kevin Cole
      Kevin Cole says:

      If you google your city and state then add bass clubs it will pull up your closest bass clubs, another way is go to Facebook and search your state then add bass clubs. Usually there is contact info, contact the club and let them know your interested in joining. If they aren’t taking members keep looking for clubs, more times than not clubs are looking for new members.


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