We all want to catch more fish than everyone else onboard, but becoming a highliner takes hard work, dedication, and... a few dirty tricks. How, for example, do you get to the rod first when you're trolling on a boat with six or seven other anxious anglers? Use these dirty tricks—um, I mean tips—and you'll always walk off the boat with the biggest catch.

rock fish

This is a picture of my brother, on a day when he out-fished me. The reason? I got lazy, or maybe soft-hearted, and failed to react properly when the rod went down.

1. Don't eat, or go to the bathroom. Ever. If you do, a fish is sure to bite—and you'll miss it.

2. Always position yourself between the rods and your competition. When everyone is huddled behind the windshield or under the T-top, for example, station yourself at the periphery. Then, when a rod goes down, you'll be the closest person.

3. When you see a rod tip jiggling on the other side of the boat, never point or yell. Instead, casually re-position yourself  so you're closest to the rod. Then point and yell, as you reach for it.

4. Encourage everyone to take at least three Dramamine (and not the non-drowsy formula) before they board the boat. Then make them as comfortable as possible.

5. If you see a rod go down and someone else is closer, say "oh, it's just bottom," and see if you can get them to back off. Then, offer to get the line un-snagged. Imagine your surprise when you realize it's a fish!

6. If you're running the boat and you suddenly see a bunch of fish on the meter, ask someone else to take the wheel for a while and give you a break. Then maneuver yourself into the cockpit, near the rods.

7. When you're tied with another angler as you reach for the rod, throw an elbow.

8. To provide a distraction for the other, less dedicated anglers aboard, throw a few copies of Playboy in the cabin, in plain view.

9. When one of your buddies does hook up a fish and brings it to the boat, whack it a few times with the hoop of the net before you scoop it. Sometimes you'll get lucky, and the hook will pop free.

10. When no one's looking, drip some chum on the deck. Hopefully, anyone rushing towards a rod will slip and fall, giving you an extra moment to move in and grab it.