In Boat Trolling Competitions

Not sure where or when this actually started but there has always been two types of contests on my boats when trolling crankbaits. The first is what we refer to as "Tackle Trolling". The work "Tackle" in this instance does not have anything to do with fishing tackle but more so the art of football tackling. The second is a color competition of the starboard side vs. the port side.

First lets discuss tackle trolling. You see when fishing is good and you are among good friends, it is more important to catch more than they do, rather than support the cause of the overall boat productiveness. Once all rods are set out and placed in their holders, when one goes off, it is a full out competition to be the first to the rod with the fish on. As you can imagine, things can get dicey. We have never had anyone go overboard, but have come close. Multiple people can add to fun on this as a couple may be blocking each other and a person that didn't even notice the rod will get the catch. There are also a lot of fake maneuvers to distract your competitor when trying to get a rod. You can point to the rod of the right when it is really the one on the left that is going off, you can fake consistently to the point where they do not pay attention to you anymore and then you can pounce on the real deal. Of course, there is also some sort of wager placed on this for the end of the trip often dealing in cleaning fish, buying dinner, or cleaning up the boat. The best maneuver to date was the pushing of a large cooler into the path of the competitor prohibiting him from getting anywhere near the back of the boat.

The second competition that is popular on my trips is a side vs side lure color competition. Again, this is usually done when the bite is hot and a limit is inevitable or you are just releasing what you catch. It works by each angler setting out their favorite colors on their designated rods. Once you catch a fish on a certain color, you must then switch to a new color. The person with the most fish caught on the most different colors wins. Once a color catches a fish, it cannot be used by your competitor any longer. You would be amazed at some of the colors that fish will bite when you think you have no colors left to catch anything on. There have been days on Lake Erie where walleye numbers have surpassed all colors on the boat and we are talking over 100 color options!

I guess the overall intention of this is to have fun and to not take fishing too seriously. In today's World, we need to be reminded of the good times as much as possible.


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