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Partnering Up For Bass Tournaments: Options & Etiquette


Tournaments are hosted by many different organizations and while the rules and regulations vary, they do follow similar formats. Some tournaments require anglers to register and fish as a team, and work together for a limit of fish. Others give anglers the opportunity to enter alone and be randomly paired with another angler. The benefit of being paired randomly is that you’ll fish with people who possess a variety of abilities and specialties.

 Still others tournaments, like the Anglers in Action Big Bass Bash at Lake of the Ozarks, are set up so that each registered angler is fishing for themselves and responsible for their own catch. Even though as many as three anglers can fish together on the same boat, they are not fishing as a team.

Regardless of the format of the tournament, it’s important to establish some ground rules on how you’ll fish together on the boat before you head out on the lake. Plan ahead regarding whose boat you’ll use and where you’ll launch if this isn’t pre-determined by the tournament organizers. It’s also a good practice to talk about who will fish the front or back decks of the boat during the time you’re out on the lake and to decide where you’ll be fishing.

Some anglers might need a little help finding a boating partner for certain tournaments. If you are a boater or non-boater and would like some assistance finding a partner for the Big Bass Bash or another tournament coming up, you can email or To help you connect with each other, we will forward your information to other anglers who are also looking for a boating partner. However, Bassing Bob and Anglers in Action are not responsible for decisions regarding how you handle the payouts/winnings, so please be sure to discuss how payouts will be handled before agreeing to partner up.

If you have a Bassing Bob Pro Membership, you can access the Lake of the Ozarks Tournament Bass Fishing publication found under the Resource tab on the website or or click here to view all the Bassing Bob publications for Lake of the Ozarks.



Bass Tournament Etiquette

Many pages could be written on the nuances of bass fishing tournament etiquette. Here are a just a few things to know that will help you show respect for your fellow anglers:

  • Respect and care for the boater’s boat and property. You are a guest on the boat.
  • Be honest about what you know and what you don’t know.
  • Be responsible; if you agree to bring something for the day of the tournament, make sure you bring it in good, reliable shape.
  • Make sure you know where and when to meet and be on time.
  • Come prepared. Bring everything you’ll need for the day, and while many anglers will generously share their gear, don’t come expecting it.
  • Have your lines rigged and ready to go.
  • Be mindful of where you cast with respect to your boating partner.
  • Generally, it is best not to try to imitate exactly what your fishing partner is doing; try instead to complement his or her technique so that you are expanding your ability to catch a keeper.
  • If you are out in someone else’s boat, offer to pay for gas and expenses associated with operation of the boat.
  • If your fishing partner has trusted you enough to take you to a favorite fishing spot, it is considered bad form to return to that location without asking permission, or to share the location with others.
  • Offer to help your partner launch or pull the boat out. If you are not capable or do not feel comfortable doing so, let him know that. Offer to help wipe down the boat when finished.
  • Limit the amount of tackle to what you think you will use. Perhaps bring one small- or medium-sized tackle box and no more than five rods.
  • Use common sense and put yourself in the shoes of the boater. You will gain much more respect from the boater following these simple ideas.




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