The guy in the back seat
by Mike Gerry
For many of us, the cost of owning your own boat has reached a point where it might be the biggest investment you ever make, outside of owning a home. This is an investment many can’t afford with the high cost of living in today’s world. So, we all find our ways to get on the water and for most that do not own a boat, your choice may be limited to the back of the boat as the co-angler.
As the backseat fisherman you may struggle to find ways to catch a fish, especially in a lake where there are hard targets that require you to fish those targets, to catch fish. Targets like: boat houses, lay-downs, and stumps. These really put you in a disadvantage when fishing behind a good stick running the trolling motor. Catching then becomes a learned experience, and if you are smart, watching the person in front can teach you many things by just observing what he or she is doing.
The co-angler must be acutely aware of what the angler in front is doing when they catch fish. Look for the subtle movements in their presentation, be aware of the approach they are taking. Look for the little changes and movements that are making the front seat driver’s presentation successful.
Many times, when the angler in front is catching fish on a specific bait it’s time for you to change to a different bait than what is being used up front. If the front rider is the “human sweep”, up-front and catching everything while fishing a jig, change to a worm or crank bait to be different and see if the results change. Many times, as I have said before, angles are everything. So, if your angle is not the same as the angler in front, change angles of presentation to mimic the boater running the trolling motor, alternately, if it’s the same then try different angles. One thing that always seem to work, for me, with customers is to the have the back seat fisherman drag their bait behind the boat. Often that dragging is just slow enough to hang in front of the fish long enough to cause them to strike.
You can be a successful back seat fisherman you just need to be creative from the back seat!