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Bass Boat Tips

Shop around is the way to go. There are so many different types and either aluminum or fiberglass. 

My first suggestion is what length are you going to need? What kind of fishing are you going to do?

Also look at how the boat rides... will you get beat to death by the time it is fishing time. I have found that wider and boats 19 foot and up are the smoothest ride of all.

I will tell you now I have been in all types of boats and the one I like the best I can not afford. The boats can run anywhere from $900 to $56,000, so you need to decide what you can afford.

Boat Storage Capacity

What I look for is Rod storage, Deck Space, and Dry Storage. You can never have enough Storage in a boat...then again think about what you are putting in the boat, because every-thing adds weight and will slow the boat down. 

Remember there are certain things that must be in the boat at all times as required by state boating requirements.

Boat registration, a life jacket (coastguard approved) for every person in the boat, paddle, lights, fire extinguisher (if gas power), and throw cushion. Leave one of these items at home and you could be catching a hog ticket instead of a bass hog. Don't forget the fishing license.

I have a few extra items: first aid kit, small tool box, flashlights, extra batteries, paper towels, toliet paper, cell phone, extra oil for my motor, map of the lake, water, snacks, a change of cloths, and rain suit.

As you can see the boat is full already and I have not got the fishing items in it yet.

Aluminum or Fiberglass

Back to aluminum or fiberglass boat question, I would say that if you already know that you are going to fish in a lot of heavy cover meaning trees and stumps and know that you will scratch the boat up, I say go with an aluminum boat. 

They are lighter and really can get in some places that a fiberglass boat can't without scratching and damaging the fiberglass hull. 

If you insist on forcing your expensive fiberglass boat into areas sure to cause hull damage, there are hull protector covers available that can be installed over your boat's hull to minimize damage.

 Look at the maximum weight tag on the boat which should be located close to the drivers seat to see how much weight or number of people the boat is designed to accommodate. Do not overload the boat with weight or people. 

Max horse power is very important. Don't put something bigger than what is recommended and don't do what I did when I purchased my boat. The boat calls for a 135 horse power and I settled for a 115 horse power. If buying the boat new, get what it calls for, you will not go wrong I promise you.

The trolling motor is another subject that I will touch lightly here and then later more detailed. When I got my 17 foot boat it came with a 43 pound thrust trolling motor, and after I loaded the boat with gear and partner it just seemed the trolling motor was not pulling the boat.

I now have moved up to a 81 pound thrust and it does fine.

Places to Get a Good Boat Deal?

I have been to enough shows to know they offer special deals at the show where they knock off the price of the boat at the show. 

Another good place and you might not believe this but, go to some local fishing tournaments. Pay attention to the boats the guys who are fishing the tournament are using when they come to weigh in; you might just catch a good deal on a boat.

I have seen a lot of guys use bass boats that Boat Dealers let the Pros use to advertise their boat in the fishing tournament. Just like loaner cars at major golf tournaments, boat dealers have a certain amount of time to sell it before the year is out.

What better place to sell a boat than at a fishing tournament, some will even let you test drive it.

What ever boat you are looking at, it will be great fun and always practice safety on the water.

Who knows, one day we may be fishing against each other.

Keep the Hooks Wet!

Steve McGoldrick 


Fishing Trip Check List...Things Not To Forget

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