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So you want to be a co angler – Destin DeMarion
Category : BACK DECK
By Destin DeMarion (shown below)
Some want to make money, some want to learn, some just want the opportunity to fish in a bass boat; whatever the reason, competing as a co angler can be a great experience. This blog will touch upon some of the common reasons for fishing, or wanting to fish as a co angler and a bit of what to expect from each.
Makin’ Some Money
If you currently, or intend to, fish as a co angler with the intent to make money – it is definitely possible! But don’t be fooled, it is no easy task. In order to make money, you have to consistently finish high and give yourself the opportunity to win a few. A lot of factors are outside of your control when fishing as a co; this makes making money harder than you may think. A boat breaking down, drawing a boater who is not on fish, and a number of other uncontrollable variables can quickly spell disaster, and leave you broke!
Enter into co-angling with an open mind and a positive outlook and you can have success. The key to sustainability is not to give up. My first year fishing as a competitive co angler, I did not make much. It takes time and commitment, but learning the ability to quickly see past the uncontrollable and staying positive will help bring some top finishes and some money will be made fishing the back.
Learning from the Pros
The opportunity to learn from the pros, live and close up, is why I started and is why I believe many of us take the co angler route. Fishing as a co affords us the chance to fish with a wide variety of anglers under an array of circumstances which allows us to improve as anglers. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enhanced my skills and techniques as a result of fishing with great anglers. Their attitude, knowledge, and skill set rub off on you. From teaching you a new technique, networking, or helping you understand the industries intricacies, the time you get with great anglers is invaluable.
Many of us have dreams of fishing on the Pro tours one day and winning big tournaments – like the Bassmaster Classic. If you look at the pros now, you will see many who started as co anglers; most of which had very successful careers as co’s which made the jump to the pro level easier. Think about guys like Mike Iaconelli, Brandon Palaniuk, Bryan Thrift, Justin Lucas, and Casey Martin, just to name a few. They all began as co anglers and have won Elite Series and FLW Tour events and championships. Being a co angler can be a tough gig some days, but these names alone can attest that it can be a phenomenal way to learn and burst into the industry.
Getting to fish in a real bass boat
Real deal bass boats with good electronics and big motors are enough to break most of our bank accounts. Lucky for us, we can all have the opportunity to experience this without the debt! When I started fishing as a kid, and up until I was in college, I fished ponds, creeks, rivers, lakes, and streams from shore or with a pair of waders. Except for my grandfather, who introduced me to the sport, my family is not the fishing type. This meant anytime I was able to fish on a boat was a huge treat. If I’m not mistaken, I’d say this is the story for a lot of you out there as well. Don’t get discouraged, because fishing as a co angler can get you out on that beautiful bass boat and competing in tournaments. That’s why I started initially; I knew there was only so much I could learn from shore. Just make sure you respect your boater and help them out with the expense of gas and oil. That’ll make for a better trip for both of you.
So, whatever your reason for thinking about becoming a co angler, I hope this blog and my experiences will help you to know what to expect. I wish you all the best and hope to see you out there on the water. Who knows, maybe we will be competing against each other. Tightlines!
Circuits Fished: Bassmaster Northern and Southern Opens, Everstarts, BFL Northeast, and Bassmaster Weekend Series
Years Co: 3
Favorite Technique: Power fishing with a Frog, Chatterbait, or Swimbait
Hobbies aside from Fishing: Running and Hunting