My sport fishing career (if you could call it that) is fairly new. I got my feet wet in tournament fishing in 2013 when we fished the Generation Next Angler Walleye Tournament as a family. I was ‘hooked’! The adrenaline and excitement of being on the water waiting for the next big fish had me wanting to fish in as many tournaments as I could. This was even before we learned we placed 8th that year!! It was then that I understood the pull tournament fishing had on Eric.
People comment all the time on how great a wife I am for ‘allowing’ Eric to join so many tournaments every year, the trick is to get your wife into fishing too. Even as I write this, he is packing for a week long tournament trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin. How could I deny him the chance at the fishing ‘high’ I crave as well?! I’m not as addicted to fishing as he is, but I do start to go into ‘withdrawal’ for open water fishing once the ice starts to melt and I love the butterflies I get when we’re about to ‘take off’.
I have to admit, I haven’t had the chance to fish a tournament with anyone except Eric but I can guarantee that he doesn’t give me any special treatment. If anything, being his wife means I have double the duties of any other co angler as I’m his partner in and out of the boat.
Co-angling is a partnership. The captain may run the boat but certainly does not do all of the work. The partner helps by doing their share prepping the gear and boat, backing in the trailer, and keeping track of fish weights and numbers, just to name a few. Not to mention, I’m in charge of all the team’s selfies!
Tournament fishing is certainly a draw for anyone with a competitive nature but the competitor in me is not just reserved for the other teams. I strive to out-fish Eric every tourney and every trip. I haven’t beaten him that often but I can keep up and I’ve proven that I’m a quick study.
Will I ever make the leap to captain my own boat in a tournament? As much work as co-angling is, it doesn’t compare to the pressure or dedication it would to captain. I can’t speak for others but Eric does his homework before every tournament, reading endless articles and studying maps and fish patterns to no end! For now, I’m content on perfecting the role as co-angler but it’s certainly not out of the question.
Wife pro tip: Happy wife, happy fishing life!