There are several things you should know before you choose a bass fishing tournament partner. The individual should be one you can work with in harmony, sharing expenses, ideas, opinions, responsibility and knowledge openly and without either of you being offended.
The team that works together has a much greater chance for tounament success. Spend as much time as possible fishing together before you commit to each other. Eight plus hours in the same boat can be a long day and season if you are not a team that shares the responsibility for success and failure.
Good fishing partners are hard to find and many teams do not finish the year together. It is important to remember, your success or failure is dependent upon your ability to fish together and communicate openly. Trust is another factor that must be in the team make up. If you cannot trust the individual with your fishing secrets, you most likely will not be compatible or successful. Once you decide on a potential partner, get a copy of the Official Rules for the trail you want to fish. Both of you must read and understand the rules and schedule commitment you are about to agree to.
All tournament rules are not the same, read them carefully! If you are new to the state, the state may have requirements you are not familiar with. If the trail rule states the dead fish penalty is .20 lbs, and the state rule says the penalty is greater. The state rule prevails. Some trails allow substitute partners, others do not, and some place limitations in the sub rule. Again all Tournaments Rules are not the same. Read them carefully and contact the Trail Director for clarification, if you have any doubt or questions. Do not take someone else’s word. Most rules have been established based experience and are necessary to insure the integrity of the trail. They are important and you should know them. Read the Rules.
Signing an entry form commits you and your partner to the tournament, releases the director from liability, and is verification that you have read, understand and agree to follow the rules. Insure your partner reads and understands the rules. Discuss them to insure you agree on their meaning and purpose. Disqualification for rule violation is common. When a written protest is presented to the director, he or she becomes Judge and Jury. Read the Rules.
The Trail Director should be happy to answer questions, provide you a written copy of rules and entry forms, as well as provide discussion and clarification on any rule or subject related to the trail. If the director is unwilling to do so or fails to respond to your email or phone calls, find another trail. Good luck and good fishing.