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Surreal Deal

Catfishing Boats

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I don't suppose some of you guys would care to post some pictures of your boats and talk about your set-ups?

I have a basic 16' Lund that I would like to take out on the river (Pool 2 and possibly the MN) a few times this summer. I am interested in spending most of that time exploring and fishing and a minimal amount of time having to adapt and overcome some obstacle that you guys could have told me about if I'd just asked... Well, I'm askin'!

I'm sure there are some "princes" here with $20k boats but mostly I am interested in the guys with older boats, not afraid to screw a 2x4 to the side (or whatever), who have figured out what works best for them - be that how they store their rods, Creative solutions for bait storage, what you're using for illumination when navigating at night, etc.

If any of you guys would be willing to share your learning curve, I'm sure other newcomers would be interested... I know I am!

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I'll try to remember to snap a few photos when I get home. I've got a 1987 Sylvan Backtroller--definitely not a "prince" boat smile

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Here’s my best advice.

“Less is more” when it comes to this kind of fishing. The more open space you can have, the better. Also don’t skimp on rod holders, they are the most used piece of equipment in your boat right after your rods.

The KISS theory really comes into play here. (K)eep (i)t (S)imple (S)tupid

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RW, I am looking forward to see some pic's of your rig!

DTRO, Thanks for the tip on Rod holders. How about storage? Are you laying your rods down or standing them up when you're moving from spot to spot?

Again I am in an ancient Lund with bench seats, to give you an idea of where I am coming from in terms of infrastructure. I am already about as 'simple' as it can get!

I guess the real purpose of my inquiry here is to find other people with similar watercraft who have made modifications that have greatly improved their experience that they wouldn't mind sharing.

I wouldn't mind seeing pictures of catfisherman's boats either to anyone open to it! smile

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Here's a few shots of the inside of my boat.

2009-05-07002.jpg

2009-05-07007.jpg

I've got RAM holders around the rim. In the top photo, you can see one on the back left and two on the back right (one is in the very back corner--tough to see). There's also more bases scattered around that you can see in the photos. I'd suggest getting as many holders as you think you'll need (say 4 if you plan on fishing two people on border waters), but add more bases. This gives you flexibility on where you set the rods.

You can see I have rods storage horizontally on both sides of the boat. There is a rod locker, but it's not big enough for my cat rods. Vertical storage is a good option, but I think they can get in the way if they're sticking up--just my preference.

I like my tiller because I have loads of open space to move around and land big fish. Like DTRO said, open space is very nice to have. Try not to clutter things up.

I have rope cleats for tying off anchors on the front and rear. Two anchors is a must with current and wind.

For illumination, I generally have a couple of spotlights in the boat. I have some 12V outlets for running them off of. They're cheap and do a pretty good job.

Make sure your navigation lights are in good working order, and I would recommend carrying spare bulbs for both your bow and stern lights.

That's all I can think of now. I bought this boat last fall, so I haven't had a ton of time in it, but I like it so far.

Feel free to ask any questions that may come to mind.

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Thanks RW, for posting these Boat pics! That looks like a nice ride.

I can see that rod holders are a big deal, certainly something that my craft is lacking at the moment. I like the open floor plan too - lots of room to roam.

It looks like you have a couple of canoe paddles as your emergency backup in case of motor failure - do you store those in one of the rod lockers?

Also, that's a really nice looking trolling motor. Do you use it much in the river or do you find that you use your outboard primarily? Do you anchor exclusively or do you ever do any drifting, using either the OB or the TM for slip drag?

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LOL, those canoe paddles are actually for my canoe--they're just sitting behind the boat. I do have a collapsible paddle that fits in a storage compartment, though.

The Terrova trolling motor is brand new. I don't really plan on using it for catfishing, but I am a multispecies angler, so it will get plenty of use. I pretty much stick to anchoring for catting, although I did try drifting with SteveD a few times.

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I like RW's boat. It has good luck when it comes to sturges, at least for me grin

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I like RW's boat. It has good luck when it comes to sturges, at least for me grin

We need to see if that can carry over to catfish smile

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Hey Ralph. I've got the same boat and had a question about your speaker placement. I noticed you have your front speakers on the face of the casting deck...I was looking to put mine in the same spot but was wondering how you get into your rod locker? I was thinking the speakers would affect how far you can open your rod locker? Also, I'm only adding a pair of speakers in the front. How is the sound from your front speaker placement? Cheers, good looking boat man.

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Jim,

Yes, they interfere with opening the rod locker. I trimmed the end so I could get it open. Not the best solution, but that's where the previous owner put the speakers, so that is what I am left with.

Sound from the front speakers is fine. I wouldn't bother putting 4 in unless you really want to crank it up. Again, the previous owner had it set up that way, so that is how it will stay.

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Excellent, thanks for the reply. I'll try to get a photo up of my boat this evening when I get out to the launch. Cheers.

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I am taking the turtle approach this year grin

Finally getting the boat ready and I figure I would throw some images up. It is not the newest boat, sure not the cleanest or the prettiest, but it does a fine job on the river. All I can say is you should have seen it before I redid it wink

It has two large bait/live (front and rear) wells with aeration, 4 batteries (two deep and two dual deep and starting), two million watt headlights, GPS, Humm. SI, Marine band, C/D/Radio system, 115hp motor with rock guard, two Richtor anchors, front keel guard (for wind dams and beaching), Scotties rod holders forward and aft, removable cutting board for cut bait and all the other junk needed to have a good night on the river. Oh, just redid the bunk system on the trailer and painted it, which can be seen by clicking here!

My next two projects are a camera mount pole and a Q-grill mount in the front.

Nice thing about this boat is with the trolling motor I can navigate in around 10" of water and I have had it on Mille Lacs in 3' plus rollers. Down side it is not a jet frown I had a recent lead on a jet lower unit, but it did not pan out.

I know their is much better out their, but this will do for this year.

3511199939_7df0772b65_o.jpg

3512004576_476dba826b_o.jpg

3512001036_54c9806c08_o.jpg

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Yes LFC, it looks like Josh fishes in comfort.

Like they say..... Comfort Vs. Catching..... its a fine line.

Shack you know I'm teasing... besides who else can I compare notes with on the Humminbird SI.

Harvy Lee, did you get a unit yet?

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NO. I wanted to wait and see the new Lowrance side imaging unit to compare.

Perchjerker has a great sale on the Bird unit at this time and I would like to pull the pin but I want to make sure I get what I'm looking for.

One can be comfy and catch fish LFC. Those seats in my LUND are very nice.

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Quote:
The only thing your missing is some big fish...

Better take me out some time..... I'll show you how it's done.

Ya, you hit that one on the head grin I am the biggest degenerate catfishman you can get grin All these years and I have (just by the chin hairs) broke 30lb's whistle Countless cats (flats and channels), but no big ones grin The hours spent tired. Might as well spend it in some comfort grin.

I keep going wink and have no plans to stop.

I will say since I have been involved with FM, it has drove me to bring up my catt'in a notch or two.

Funny thing about this boat, up-north at the launch I do not get a second look or even worse whistle. Down at the launch on the river, I get guys who almost will not let me launch the boat, asking questions about it grin

Thanks guys. It takes a true catman to value this old “skow” for what it is grin.

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NO. I wanted to wait and see the new Lowrance side imaging unit to compare.

Perchjerker has a great sale on the Bird unit at this time and I would like to pull the pin but I want to make sure I get what I'm looking for.

One can be comfy and catch fish LFC. Those seats in my LUND are very nice.

Hmmm...... Ya just might have to take me out and show me how comfy those seats are.....

I know we've talked about those Lowrance units.... I'm curious to see them in real life. I've seen some promo clips.

If you can afford a big screen get it.

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Wow Shack, that is a nice boat! Another one with lots of open space.... You could run laps on that thing!

I like your mounted cutting board, I have seen those before. I think I'll stick with the 'Frisbee cutting board' idea for the time being - rod holders come first.

Those are some impressive peepers on the front... It must make you look like the Nautilus from 20,000 leagues under the sea when you motor on the river at night! I like the permanent mounts!

Thanks for sharing!

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Hey Shack,

Regarding the marine band radio, how necessary is that out on the 'Sip? As I understand it the locks provide some sort of pull rope for signaling. I have also read in one of these forums that Hennepin county isn't even monitoring the emergency band anymore, they say to just dial 911.

It sounds like you can get up to date NWS alerts on marine band, as evidenced by one of DTRO's videos where LFC caught his big flat last year (Weather alerts were chattering in the BG)

Do you catters chatter back and forth like a bunch of truckers?

I'm sure that the USS Shackbash is probably sporting a mounted radio, but do you have any experience with the hand-helds? They appear to have a lot less power... Are they worth the investment?

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I don't mean to jump on Shacks toes here. But I have info that might be of interest.

I use a hand held radio in my boat. That was what you were hearing in that video.

The radios are very helpful in contacting other boats/barges and communicating with Lock and Dams.

yes the the locks have a bell/rope. But...... its nice to know when the next barge is locking through so you don't get caught waiting........

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Thanks LFC,

do you feel in any way limited with the hand held? I'm as much a gearhound as anyone but it may be overkill to be rolling in a 16' tiller fishing boat sporting an 8' VHF antennae off the back!

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Install double whip antennae on the back of your boat, then you will look cool wink

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I run an 8' antenna on my 16' tiller and don't see it as an overkill. I think antennas are the one area that you should not be cheap about. Whats the use of a VHF radio if you can't communicate or listen? A larger antenna puts your signal higher above the horizon line, giving more distance to your signal. If looks are what your after, throw some 12' double whips on there and let er' buck.

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