Please watch your language!!!

First, I would like to preface this article by saying, please don’t judge me for how this article is written.

I’m only trying to show the verbal nature of a particular co-angler I fished with a couple of years ago and that I do not condone the language she used in a recent American Bass Anglers (ABA) regular season two-day championship on Lake Sam Rayburn.

What made this event unique was the fact that it was the final event in which ABA allowed co-anglers. Let’s define what the term co-angler means. This is an angler who fishes out of the back of the boat and is not allowed to fish off the front deck because it is strictly for the boater/pro. The co-angler is only fishing against other co-angers while the boater/pro is fishing against other boater/pros.

Over the years, I’ve had some co-anglers who were great anglers and I’ve had a few who had no clue what they were doing. Some get in the boat looking to learn while others are there to get your fishing locations so they can come back later and fish everything you showed them. This is a major no-no in the tournament fishing world and there are even rules in place to discourage co-anglers from such behavior. No co-angler is supposed to share the information they learned while fishing with the boater/pro.

But there are no rules in place for off-color language.

In one particular event, I had a co-angler, who we shall call “Karen,” who threw me for a loop and tested my patience. Not because she talked too much, but rather how she talked. Over the years, I’ve only had a female co-angler maybe twice. But for this event, Karen would be my co-angler and would be one I’ll never forget.

On the Friday evening before an event, the ABA tournament director sends out who your partner will be the day of the tournament via a text message, along with their contact information so you can call them and make arrangements on where to meet on tournament morning.

My very first conversation with Karen was one to remember. As I made the call to introduce myself, her response was, “Mr. Steve, how the **** are you?” Rather than continue to go over every conversation we had for our two days together, I’ll cut to the chase. Turns out, she was not able to complete a sentence without an “F” bomb or two thrown in to make her point clearer.

Understand, I grew up in locker rooms and understand foul language. For some, it’s just how they were raised and that’s the only language they know. Hoping Karen would take a hint, I tried to steer the conversation by asking her what church she attended.

Even though I already knew the answer, I was hoping it would bring to light that I’m a Christian and attend church on a regular basis. Now I’m not a saint and have my own issues from time to time with a damn or hell occasionally, but she took foul language to a whole other level. It was by mid-morning on tournament day that I said to myself, “I wish she would shut up!”

Being paired up with someone like this makes for a long day on the water. It’s a true test of one’s patience as she continued with her obscene language all day long. To make this day even worse, we had a late weigh-in time of 4:00 rather than 3:00. So, the joy for me was knowing I had an EXTRA hour of “F” bombs!

But it all came together when she told me how she was raised. Now off the top of my head, I was thinking she came from an abusive home life with maybe an alcoholic parent or maybe she spent time as a child in a juvenile detention center. No. Turns out that she grew up on a bull riding ranch in Texas. Ha! Now it all came together; she was raised by cowboys!

Rodeo cowboys are a species unto themselves and many have their own language limitations. If you ever watch the hit TV series, “Yellowstone,” you’ll understand how cowboys communicate. There’s a reason someone wrote the song “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.” Look, I realize it takes all kinds to make up this world, and I’m not one to judge, even though I do.

To wrap up my day with the queen of obscene language, Miss Foul Mouth ended with these comments as she decided that her fishing day was over. As she sat down in the passenger seat on my boat, she made this profound statement, ”Mr. Steve, I’m done and let me tell ya what I need right now. I need a ******* cigarette, a ******* beer and a ******* toilet, and not necessarily in that order!”

I was now beyond the shock value of Karen’s statements but could not wait to get her out of my boat. Rather than make an issue out of what her most recent demands were, while shaking my head, I just decided to say, “Me too!” I pulled the trolling motor up and cranked my engine to head back for the weigh-in. This was something I’d never done before — come in from an event 30 minutes early.

Over the years, I’ve had some long days on the water, but none longer than this one. It just goes to show, you never know who or what kind of person you’re going to get in a Pro/Am tournament. You just hope and pray that Karen is not your partner for the day.

‘Til next time, good luck and good fishing! Please make sure to check out our Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Facebook page for all kinds of tips and tricks to help make you a better angler. Go to to learn more!

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