It’s been weeks since the U.S. Open and I still find myself buying fast food and lures and junk I don’t really need. You know, it sure wasn’t from my tournament winnings! No, it’s all because of the cash I got as “expense money,” that my daily partners handed me at the end of each day out there at Mead.

What the heck is going on?

Sure. I know the tradition–even the standard (50 percent of the day’s expenses) that the partners are to provide their “ride” for the day. And I hear the rationalization: it’s to help cover all the boat owner incurs in costs associated with gas, oil, insurance and wear and tear on the tow vehicle.

But, what the hey? Why not throw in the costs of nine days of prefish: camping and motel bills, meals, camera, tournament jersey, out-of-state fishing license, extra sunglasses, sunscreen or vacation days lost?

At what point in the game did somebody else become responsible for the costs of my fishing trip?

I’m getting out on the water tomorrow. It’s my decision, my choice of lake, my lunch, my boat, my truck. If I can’t afford to go–I’m not going! And, sorry. I know full well what it’s like to be short on resources. I drove a used ’78 Dodge Colt for years while I was free-lancing–put in three used motors just to keep that crate running. But that was my problem.

But this thought just ticks me off. Today I’m inching through the parking lot of the market with the window down and a panhandler calls out to me, “Excuse me, sir.” I’ve seen him before. He’s got a pick-up, a cellphone, clean clothes and this time he’s carrying a 44-ouncer.

I kept driving. I’m not going to be that guy.

Anyway. Here’s thanks again to my AAA partners. They were generous and they would not take “no” for an answer. But if I draw them again, I’m going to be a lot tougher to deal with.

Guys, you don’t owe me nothin’.



12 Responses to “You don’t owe me nothin’”

I always insist on my boaters taking my non-boater money. I know it doesn’t cover everything but at least it helps. I fished with Dee Thomas at Lake Mead, years ago in a WON tournament. He refused to take my money but I made a big fuss and Gary Boyd told him he’d better take it, so he did. I’m a boat owner. I fish my club tournaments every month. I know what it costs me to go fishing, and the non-boater fee I get back from my partners really helps cover my gas, and even if I CAN afford to go fishing, I still appreciate the help. I heard of a pro that fishes the Open every year tell their AAA to put money in a can on the boat before they even leave the host marina. I usually pay at the partner pairing the night before or in the morning as soon as I meet up with my boater.

by George Kramer

“Pitching in” is a friendly gesture of appreciation. We seem to have turned it into an “obligation.” 🙁

Well, when I go non-boater, I always feel obligated to pay my boater fees. There is no question in my mind, and no matter what the boater tells me, I insist on him taking the money. To me it’s the right thing to do. In our club it’s in the rules and the non-boater fees are a set amount according to the lake we’re fishing. It helps pay not only the gas, but also the lake entry and launch fees, which usually run about $24.00-$28.00 on average. It doesn’t cover 50% of the expenses, but it sure helps. George, you may not want to accept the non-boater fees, but maybe the non-boater is like me and feels obligated to pay their fair share, and in that case I would be offended if you did not accept it. I’m not a freeloader and I don’t want to feel like one.

Let me tell you I have fished tournaments for many years as a boater all over this country and it is very very expensive to go to these tournaments as a boater(pro). Fuel cost in your tow vehicle is doubled, Boat gas(figure at best with pro XS) 7mpg and thats a 4000 rpms, 2 stroke merc oil at $30.00 a gallon which is needed for a tank of gas, Fuel and hotel cost to arrive early to pre fish to put are co anglers on fish and then have them offer a $20 dollar bill at the end of the day is gone. Lets just face it are economy at this time does not support tournament fishing. paying 1 in 5 places.With entry fees up and gas , hotels, and just the prices of all the other needs to fish. it is not a good bet and I think anglers are realizing
that.Long gone are the days of pro entry fees of $300 bucks and the prize was $5000 and if you didn’t catch a bass the whole weekend you could still make your mortgage and still have money for what ever life threw at you.

by Kevin Linehan

Well said both Mike and Darlene.

Couldn’t agree more with Darlene and Mike!

I think not taking the ‘donation’ hurts it for the guys that need it. Otherwise the back-seater thinks ‘gee, whats-his-name didn’t require it, but this jerk doesn’t turn me down when I offer’.

I’d say take it and thank them, then donate it to a kids tourney or something later down the line. Don’t spoil it for the have-nots.

Now ‘fun-fishing’, it’s your choice. I always appreciate it when friends help w/ my expenses, I’m most always broke but ‘MUST’ get on the water anyways and the extra moolah helps.

by Guy Williams

Regarding the US Open, some pro’s should have paid the Co Angler money for fish caught that helped the “Pro” win thousands of dollars. Co’s should pay some to the “Pro” but the amount is a sliding scale that could be discussed at length.

I paid $40 at the US Open on day one, but I also asked my pro if that was enough. I gave an extra $10 on day two because we had to stop at Temple to get a few quarts of oil. I didn’t fish the third day, but when I spoke to my 3rd day partner, I explained that I was very sick from the heat and wouldn’t be able to fish. I felt bad letting him down. I asked that he come to my room to pick up his CO angler money but he said he wouldn’t feel right taking my money if I wasn’t going to fish. My point is, when CO anglers make a commitment to fish, especially an event as big as the US Open, they should be willing to pay whether they fish or not. If they don’t fish, they should offer to pay, then allow the pro to decide whether to take the money or not. It’s not the pros fault if the CO doesn’t fish, and it’s not fair to the pro who showed up ready to fish. With gas and everything else so high now, I would budget my CO angler fees to at least $60-$70/day for the Open.

BTW…that was the 2010 US Open that I fished.

by George Kramer

I can’t speak for what’s his name. But if you ride with me…I was going anyway. If you’re feeling guilty, bring me a sandwich (no onions) & a smile. 🙂

I always have a smile for you, George, ride or not. 🙂