A Good Fishing Partner
The Second Most Important Key
To Fishing Success!!!


Ask any Gulf Coast angler what is the most important item a fishermen needs to take along on any fishing trip. Chances are the responses will be as different and unusual as there are Texas anglers. Some may say the boat is the most important piece of equipment, be it shallow running or able to withstand the nastiest of seas that frequent our coastlines. While other anglers may argue it's the power train that getting out on the water is just as important as making sure you get back. With their favorite brands topping the list Mercury, Johnson, Suzuki, Marnier, as varied as there are different fishing techniques. Some may argue the most important piece of fishing equipment is your trusty rod and reel, others may think it's their favorite lure. While a few die hard bait chunkers would dream of leaving the dock without a quart of shrimp and a few croaker tossed in for good measure.

What ever the response and number of anglers polled, chances are only a handful would have even mentioned a good fishing partner. The one thing a Texas angler can include in his trip that can turn even the most miserable of days into an enjoyable one. Or visa-versa, turn a truly remarkable day of hitting the bays into a day never quite reaching the docks fast enough. Although not as seasoned angler as most out there being in the sport a little over 8 years, 6 as a boat owner. I have had my share of fishing partners and also been on the other side of the fence as a fishing partner. From guys that wouldn't stay in one place more than 15 minutes unless he got a bite. To the exact opposite, fellas that you couldn't get them to try a different place cause 3 years ago they caught a 8 pounder in this exact location and have been fishing it ever since. Anglers that wouldn't have a ghost of chance at winning a personality contest. But when it came to catching fish and winning tournaments, you couldn't ask for a more reliable partner. Then there is the other partners that may like me catch fish one out of every three fishing trip they go on. But keep you in stitches from their jokes and antics from the time they arrive till you drop em off.

For my money that is the kind of fishing partner a person is looking for. If making money while fishing is what I was interested in, then I suppose becoming a guide is the logical choice to make. Myself when the truck and the boat pull out of the driveway anything that remotely resembles work is the last thing that I have on my mind. The most stressful thing that I may do during a day of fishing is loading the ice chest with a few cold ones and occasionally throwing a kamikaze trout in the cooler. Sure wading a flat throwing lures from sunrise till dusk can make for a long day. Fighting a choppy bay trying not to go over board while still keeping your balance enough to actually fish, does make for some weary legs. A full summer day of fishing while being cooked from the sun from above and bouncing off the boat deck. Has been known to zap the strength from even the heartiest of Gulf Coast Anglers, faster than Kryptonite does to Superman. But a good fishing partner can turn those seemly unbearable days of fishing into long lasting memories. A few well place jokes or well place fish in the nets go along way to forgetting just how hot the sun is on those particular brutal days.

Finding a good partner is a lot like finding a good mate. Usually the best partners in both cases you somehow stumble across, let say fate has a hand in the matter. And like the aforementioned you sometimes have to cull through a lot of throwbacks before finding the perfect fishing partner. Just like marriage, a good-fishing partner the old rules of opposites attract still holds true. Usually finding someone who has different strengths in certain situations that you do goes well in most fishing situations. If you don't know Southeast from south-southeast, then it's good if your partner has a good sense of direction. If you are lucky enough to smell trout holding water, then it nice to have a partner that is adapt at catching them once you have located them. Some other rules that may apply but not necessarily on the opposite attract rule are. Both partners must have similar lifestyles in the fact that it doesn’t conflict with their fishing schedules. Both fishing partners partners must be understanding of their fanatic angler companions, this is one of the most frequent reasons for the break up of fishing partners. Which brings us to the number one key to fishing success that is having a good partner, namely your understanding wife. And if you are truly blessed then she is also your fishing partner as well.

Here is a simple list of what and what not to look for when choosing a good or bad fishing partner..

What to look for in a good fishing partner

  1. Good sense of humor. (when you miss netting that trophy trout and it spits the lure back at you, it's always good to have a fishing buddy that can find the humor in those situations.)

  3. Plenty of time on his hands. ( Nothing more frustrating than calling up you fishing buddy when the reds are running and him having so other commitment.)
  4. A recent winner of the lottery, or last name of Rockerfeller or Trump. ( Always nice to have a partner with a good bank account or line of credit when those weekend fishing trips run a couple of days over.)
  5. Owner of a 30 plus Scarab Fishermen ( Makes it easier to make it to those offshore fishing sites and still sleep in till noon before leaving.)
  6. Owner of a beach house near one of the better fishing destination along the Texas Coast ( Although the Texas coast is fine, one near a Mexican coast line will do just as fine.)
  7. Possess an extra ordinary amount of luck ( Though most expert would take experience over luck, myself I have found experience doesn't always pay off, but luck never seems to wear out.)
  8. Be part owner or have a good friend in the tackle shop industry. ( There is nothing better than having a partner with a tackle box packed to the gills with all the new lure selections, than maybe one with a 70% discount at your favorite tackle shop.)
  9. One with the same taste as you. ( If you like a particular beer say Shiner Bock. With sardines and mustard on the side. It's always nice to have a partner with the same taste. One it save on the fishing groceries, and two it's best to keep that chum line with the same ingredients on the hot summer days. Doesn’t confuse the fish you know.)
  10. Always have a fishing partner bigger than you. ( This rule especially holds true if you are know to be rather hot headed with a tendency to hone in on other peoples fishing spots once they begin catching fish.)
  11. Last but least if he is a member of the rule number 3 club then I'm sure you could overlook any other of the silly rules that he does not meet.

Qualities not to look for in a good fishing partner


  1. Brothers-in-laws ( never make good fishing partners, they are usually goofy, jobless, unlucky, unreliable, the list goes on. After all they married your sister that you spent your childhood teasing, or since this is the 90's make that your little brother you spent half you life beating on.)
  2. Anyone who name begins with a B, or have initials or nicknames for their first name (examples: Billy Bob, Bubba, Bobby Joe. Also people named Jr, OJ, Killer, Son of Sam names like that you should look out for.)
  3. People you meet that are always bragging about the fish they caught. ( experience has told me that the more a person brags about all the fish he has caught. Usually just the opposite holds true. Unless while he is telling these stories in his den with a 1,000 pound Marlin hanging on the wall as you thumb through his fishing photo albums. Then it's time to get out the fishing partner contract and have him sign on the bottom line.)
  4. Angler that tend to get sick a lot. ( if you're launching the boat and you're partner starts to hurl over the side before he even gets his lifejacket on, this is not one you should be making many fishing trips with.)
  5. Anglers that tend to be a little accident-prone. (Although I have had my fair share of hook embedded fingers and fillet knife injuries, these unfortunate incidents is not what I consider make a memorable fishing trip. If your future-fishing buddy is missing a few digits on either hand and is not a butcher buy trade then move on.)
  6. Anglers that have boats where the main accessory is a roll of duct tape and tie-wire. ( first clue is when you arrive at the dock and instead of a wade belt you future partner put on his utility belt with a 5lb hammer dangleing off the side. Best bet is to get back in the truck and call it a day. Especially when he hands you the oars before the fishing rods.)
  7. Partners who are not in a stable relationship ( Nothing brings down a good fishing trip faster than having buckshot flung your way when you pull into your partners driveway. Also tend to mess up that finish on your rig.)
  8. Partners with bad BO. ( Although after hard day of fishing I have been told to wash off me and my boat before entering the house to shower. Those partners that tend to draw the flies away from the cleaning tables when you go to launch your boat are dead giveaways.)
  9. Those people with negative attitudes. ( when the first words out of a potential partners mouth is hope the hardheads are biting. Although that is what I usually limit out on most of my fishing trip. It definitely isn't what I had in mind when setting off for a day of fishing. And those people that always remind me of that fact, usually don't get a second chance.)
  10. And finally people who favorite saying is if it weren't for bad luck I have no luck at all. (Since I hate to admit it I already fall into this category, at least as far as fishing is concerned. So I definitely don't need my exact double fishing with me. To test potential fishing partner throw him or her in a pile of dog crap when he arrives at the house. If he come back smelling like a rose, then you know you have a winning partner.

These rules of thumb are just little hints in helping you find a suitable partner for the many years to come. Some may be written in stone and some may have a little leeway. There are probably many more that just come to mind when I wrote the article, but unfortunately will make the list the more trips I make this summer. The main fact that I wanted to cover during this piece was to show you anglers out there just how important a good fishing partner is to the enjoyment of sport fishing. Besides a very understanding wife/ partner, I can't think of anything else that can make an otherwise enjoying day on the water turn into a search for a secluded place to dump a body. A good fishing partner can make or break a long day of fishing under those hot Texas summer skies. And if your as fortunate as me you can grow your own, which tend to be more tolerate of your own faults, since they are dependant on you for their allowances. Either way good luck this coming fishing season, and hope you find a fishing partner that shares your interest. Just remember some of the criteria's when looking for a future partner. Those that show up at the house with oil dripping trucks in your driveway. Tackle boxes, rod, reels, and glasses held together with duct tape, wanting to borrow twenty dollar for the trip cause the spent the last of their money getting your sister out of the hospital with Billy Bob jr. deliver. Don't forget that bodies tend to float more easily in saltwater than fresh. So you may want to add an extra twenty pounds or so just to make sure he doesn't come back to haunt you later…