There’s no question about it. Fishing from the back of the boat offers its own set of challenges. I fished the BFL Ozark division this year as a co-angler and finished the season 20th in points and I made the regional to be held at Degray Lake Arkansas. I feel like I learned a lot about how to approach fishing from the back of the boat over the course of the season. Here’s a couple of tips to improve your fishing out the back.
For some reason a lot of co-anglers think that they should limit the amount of tackle they bring to a couple of rods and a couple of boxes when they get in the back of the boat because they are afraid of taking up too much room.
This is a huge mistake especially if you are
fishing unfamiliar water or if your boater hasn’t told you exactly what your going to be fishing the next day. It has been my experience that a lot of times you will get boaters that will try and tell you to bring only this and that only to be fishing a totally different way. I try to bring as much tackle as I possibly can because you never know when you might need a certain bait or a setup for what your fishing.
If you don’t have it in the boat you won’t be able to make the adjustment needed to catch fish and you are out of luck. When your fishing out of the back of the boat you have to fish at the boaters pace and if your having to retie lures often or get into your box everytime you break off your costing yourself missed casts and missed
opportunities for catching fish. If you’ve got a couple of spare rods rigged up you just have to pick up another rod. Next time your fishing from the back deck bring as much tackle as possible.
Whenever you are fishing off the back deck always try to throw something different than your boater. Some boaters are more talented than others. Some guys you can go behind them with the same bait and catch fish if they are not as effcient but usually your boaters can catch some fish and you need to throw something different. If your boater is throwing a bigger bait throw a smaller one. If your boater is throwing something small step it up a notch and throw something bigger. If your fishing slow a lot of times you need to throw something with a different fall rate. So if your boater is fishing
with a heavy jig pick up worm. Also a lot of times it can work to your advantage if you throw different colors than your boater. In bass fishing you usually have to fish fast or slow. Usually there is no in between. The main idea is to give the fish a different look.
Pay attention to what parts of cover your boater is fishing and where his casts are landing. When I’m fishing off the back deck I try and hit the areas that my boater misses or put my bait into places that my boater is afraid to put it. A lot of co-anglers think that they have to use light line off the back deck and finesse a lot more. Lately I’ve been fishing with 20lb GAMMA High Performance Co-Polymer line for a lot of my back deck bassing. Having a strong line gives you
the confidence and ability to try and get your bait back in the areas where your boater isn’t fishing. If your fishing around docks you can take your bait and skip it up under the pontoon boats and over the cables…places where your boater might not be putting his bait. A lot
of times success off the back deck requires you to try and go the extra mile in getting your bait to untouched areas. You can’t do that with a light line. When the situation permits and your fishing much sparser cover if you step down your line size it can pay off. You just need to be smart enough to know when you can get away with it. You
don’t get many shots off the back deck and the last thing you need to happen is to break off a crucial fish. Fishing off the back deck requires you to work your tail off because for one a lot of times you don’t get the best casting angles and you have to step it up a notch to put your bait around the fish. Your boater is usually making 45 degree casts to the bank and fishing that angle you can catch fish a lot of times if the boat is moving slow enough by fishing the opposite angle. Make 45 degree casts out the back of the boat. Always try to take as much as your boater will give you too when your going down the bank. While you need to give your boater courtesy and respect always
keep the pressure on that if he passes up a target or makes a boat handling mistake that your are going to hit it with your bait. Don’t make casts up ahead of the boat but anything from the dividing line of the boat back is what I call fair game.
Bass East Editor,