Boats, motors, accessories fishing

  Most beginners will start fishing from the bank, bridge or dock.(Boats, motors, accessories fishing) But sooner or later, as your skills increase, you’ll want to broaden your horizons and get out on the water. It’s not that you can’t catch fish around the banks. You certainly can, but having a boat allows you to step up to another level in fishing. It opens a whole new world, permitting you to cover more water and be more versatile in your approach to the sport. A boat expands your fishing opportunities, and allows you to increase your knowledge and fun.

Types of Boats

 Fishing boats come in a broad range of designs and prices. High end bass boats cost in the mid-$40,000 range! On the low end are float tubes that start around $50. The expensive rigs are highly technical and ultimately functional, but we’ll stick to the basic, less expensive, easier-to-maintain models that beginning anglers are more likely to buy. These include johnboats, V-hulls, canoes, bass buggies and float tubes. Following are looks at each of these types of boats, the waters where they work best and their advantages and disadvantages.

 Johnboats—The aluminum johnboat may be the best all-purpose fishing boat for beginners. Johnboats have a flat bottom and a square or semi-V-bow design. They are very stable and draw only a few inches of water, which enables them to traverse shallow areas. Johnboats were designed for streams, but a deep-sided, wide-beamed johnboat also adapts well to large open lakes. These boats perform well with outboard motors. Johnboats come in a range of lengths, from 8 to more than 20 feet. But the 12- and 14-foot models are most popular. These are light enough to be cartopped and carried to the water by two anglers. This means you can use a johnboat wherever you can drive close to a stream, pond or lakeshore. Johnboats have three minor disadvantages: the flat hull provides a rough ride in choppy water; johnboats are clumsy to paddle; because of their all-metal construction, they are noisy when objects are dropped or banged against the sides.(Boats, motors, accessories fishing)

 V-hull—These are the workhorses of fishing boats. It’s called V-hull because it has a V-shaped bow that tapers back to a flat-bottomed hull. This allows the V-hull to slice through waves, giving a smoother, safer ride in rough water. Most are made of fiberglass or aluminum. Heavier fiberglass boats provide a smoother ride in choppy water. Most popular V-hull sizes are 12 to18 feet and are normally fitted with mid-sized outboards (25-100 horsepower).

A disadvantage of the V-hull is it’s weight. Larger V-hulls require trailers, and must be launched from ramps. They are awkward to paddle, but maneuver well with an electric trolling motor. These boats are the standard on big lakes and rivers because of their ability to handle rough water. As with johnboats, they are often customized with a broad range of accessories. Some models are equipped with console steering. V-hull boats range from basic no-frills boats to those with a motor and numerous factory-installed accessories.

 Canoes —They suffer from bad PR. Inexperienced canoeists believe these boats are too tippy for fishing. The truth is, certain models are very stable, and make excellent fishing boats for a wide range of waters. Canoes offer anglers several advantages. They are relatively inexpensive and are extremely portable. They can be car-topped and carried to lakes or streams far off the beaten path. They are also ideal for small waters where bigger boats are impractical or even disallowed. Canoes draw only inches of water, are highly maneuverable and can be paddled through shallow riffles or bays. Canoes are made from several materials: fiber-glass, aluminum, and polyethylene. They come in square stern and double-end models. (Square stern canoes are best for using outboards or electric motors. Motors may also be used on double-end canoes with a side-mount bracket near the stern.) A 16- or 17-foot canoe has a wide beam and flat bottom offering the greatest stability and versatility.(Boats, motors, accessories fishing)

 Float Tube—Float tubes, also called belly boats, are not true boats like the others mentioned in this chapter. A float tube is a floating doughnut with a sewn-in seat and leg holes. An angler carries it to his fishing site, steps in, pulls it up around his waist, then walks into the water. When he’s deep enough for the float tube to support his weight, he propels himself by kicking with swim fins or special paddles attached to his boots. Float tubes are used to fish close to shore in small, quiet waters. They’re very maneuverable, but are slow. They’re good for fishing in flooded brush, timber, patches of cattails or other spots that are difficult to reach by boat. Since float tubes are very quiet, they’re good for slipping up on spooky fish.Float tubes should not be used in strong-wind/open-lake situations. High waves can flip you upside down, and float tubes can be difficult to right.(Boats, motors, accessories fishing)

 Types of Motors

 Motors aren’t absolutely necessary for fishing, but in many cases they certainly make the job easier. You must decide if you need a motor by the type of boat you have and the water where you plan to fish. If you’ll be using a small boat on remote streams, small ponds or lakes, paddles may be all the power you need. But if you’ll be on larger waters where you’ll have to cover more distance, or where winds or currents can be strong, a larger boat with a motor will be more practical and efficient. Fishing motors come in two varieties: outboard and electric. Outboard (gas-powered) motors are more powerful and are used mainly for running long distances—getting from one spot to the next. Electric (battery-powered) motors are less powerful and much quieter. Their job is to ease the boat through the target area while the angler fishes. Electric motors are also used as the main power source on waters where outboards aren’t allowed.

 Outboard Motors-Often new outboard motors cost more than the boat they power. But anglers should view them as a long-term investment. Outboards are dependable and easy to operate and will last many years if properly maintained. They range from 1.5 to 250-plus horsepower. Smaller motors are lightweight and portable and attach to the boat’s stern with damp mounts. Larger motors are heavy, and permanently bolted onto the stern.(Boats, motors, accessories fishing)

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  The main consideration when buying a motor is not to overpower the boat. All boats list maximum horse-power ratings either on the stern plate or in the owner’s instructions. Never exceed these ratings.

 Electric Motors-Electrics fall into one of two categories: 12-volt and 24-volt. Twelve-volt motors are powered by one 12-volt battery. Twenty-four volt motors require two linked 12-volt batteries. The obvious difference between the two is available power, which is measured in “pounds of thrust:’ The 24-volt motor is much stronger than a 12-volt. Twenty-four volt motors are normally used on big boats that operate in rough water. On smaller boats and quiet waters, a 12-volt motor is adequate. Electric motors have different types of mounts and methods of operation. Some have damp-on mounts to fit on the sides or transom of the boat. Others have bow mounts that attach permanently to the bow. It is much more efficient for an electric motor to pull a boat rather than push it. A boat with an electric motor mounted on or near the bow is easier to propel and steer. Some electrics are operated by hand, while others have foot controls that allow the user to run the motor while keeping his hands free to fish.(Boats, motors, accessories fishing)

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When shopping for an electric motor, you’ll find models with many options and power ratings. My recommendation for a beginner’s first electric is a 12-volt clamp-on model with 20-40 pounds of thrust. Remember that the heavier your boat, the more power you’ll need to pull or push it. Also, electric motor shafts come in different lengths. Owners of john-boats, canoes and bass buggies will probably need motors with shafts that are 30 or 36 inches long. Owners of V-hulls may need a motor with a 42-inch shaft, since these boats have higher sides and are more likely to be used in rolling waves.
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A fish finder’s signal is interpreted as a grapic image on the LCD screen. The computer uses the transponder’s signal to paint a picture of the bottom, features and hanging fish.

Fish Locaters

 A fish locater is an angler’s eyes under the water. Its basic function is to show the bottom and objects between the surface and the bottom. Knowing water depth is important both from a safety standpoint and also for fishing efficiency. Fish locaters can show submerged structure: drop-offs, sunken channels, stumps, brush, rocks, weeds, etc. A good fish locater can even tell whether the bottom is soft or hard, and can pinpoint concentrations of bait-and gamefish. Even though a fish finder is fairly expensive, it is considered an almost indispensable tool by serious anglers. I recommend one for anyone who will be fishing away from shore on lakes and large rivers. A fish locater, properly used will pay great dividends in terms of numbers of fish caught.(Boats, motors, accessories fishing)

A fish locater is a sonar unit that emits sound waves. These strike underwater objects and the locater measures how long it takes the echoes to bounce back to the sending unit. The deeper an object, the longer the time required. The fish locater then translates this time into a distance display, showing bottom depth and suspended objects. Most fish locaters are liquid crystal display (LCD) units that draw chart-like pictures of what’s beneath the boat. The latest technology includes different colors in this display to help users distinguish between fish and other underwater features. You can actually see fish you’re trying to catch!

Boat Accessories

  The boat, motor and fish locater make up the core of the fishing rig, but several other accessories are needed to complete the package. State and federal laws require certain safety equipment on all boats. Boats under 16 feet must carry a Coast Guard-approved flotation device for each passenger, a paddle, some type of sound signal (whistle, air horn, etc.), running lights if the boat is to be used at night and a fire extinguisher if gas is kept in an enclosed compartment. Boats 16 feet and longer must meet these requirements, plus the flotation devices must be wearable life preservers and the boat must have a throwable flotation device (cushion, safety ring, etc). Contact your state water safety office for these requirements.

Boats, motors, accessories fishing

(Boats, motors, accessories fishing)

(Boats, motors, accessories fishing)

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