IF YOU’RE LIKE MANY BOAT OWNERS, your boat serves as a fishing plat- form several times a year. But once you get hooked on angling, you’ll want your boat as fishing friendly as (reasonably) possible. Keeping within those parameters, here are a few accessories that most boat-based fishermen would agree make angling easier.
Rod HoldIng: A fisherman’s foremost tool, fishing rods are
also the most vulnerable to receiving and inflicting damage
in the confines of a boat if not safely handled and secured.
Aboard boats, fishing rods are kept in holders and in racks.
Rod holders are designed to keep fishing rods where they’re
easily accessible to anglers, and may actually hold the rods
while actively fishing. Boats designed for fishing usually have
rod holders flush-mounted atop the gunwales and angled
aft, so they can be used with the rod in place for trolling or
still fishing. Aftermarket flush-mounted holders are available,
easy to install, and a good choice aboard boats that will be
used for a variety of watersports, when you may not want an
HOOKED UP: EQUIPPING YOUR BOAT FOR ANGLING
A few simple additions can turn your family boat into a fisherman-friendly angling platform
exposed rod holder in the way. Rail- and surface-mounted rod holders are also available
for permanent or removable applications on
top and side surfaces and common railings
such as found on handholds, bow rails, and
even Bimini tops.
Rod racks are designed to secure the rods
in out-of-the-way positions when you’re not
engaged in fishing. On small craft, storage
racks may be placed along the inside of the
cockpit, or in lockers under the deck, where
the rods are held horizontally and kept in
place with clips or bungee cords. Vertical rod
racks are also common, especially aboard
pontoon boats, where it’s more convenient
to store rods in that manner. Both types of
storage systems are available for after market
applications, and easy to install.
FISH FIndIng: Most boats are equipped
with sonar in the form of a depth finder –
which is a huge asset for angling. A simple
digital depth readout, however, is a far cry
from an actual fishfinder, which uses the
same technology to offer incredible information about what’s going on below your boat.
The simplest modern fishfinder represents a
major upgrade over the top-of-the-line depth
sounder. Fishfinders are your eyes underwater, displaying information on an LCD screen
that includes not only depth but that bottom’s content and contours. What’s more
important, the fishfinder reveals everything
in the water between the boat and the bottom – game fish, baitfish, and the structures
they usually seek out. Features that higher-end fishfinders offer include; GPS capabilities, side-, forward-, and 360-degree viewing,
auto steering, electronic chart displays, and
compatibility with electric trolling motors.
Fishfinders require a transducer fitted to
the boat’s transom or in the bilge aft, and
the display screen or head unit can be flush-mounted into the dash or surface-mounted
REEL TALES FROM THE WATER By dan aRMItage
and rod holders
boat into an
effective fishing craft.