It is not the actual fish that makes a difference, but the large lakes and wind swept reservoirs that walleye so often call home often dictate the perfect boat design.
High water and rough conditions go hand in hand with many walleye waters and the boats need to be able to withstand punishment and still provide a smooth, dry ride. Relatively high sided, deep V-hulls and lots of storage space provide the foundation for a perfect walleye boat.
Many great models of walleye boats are on the market, but the Lowe Fishing Machine, the Alumacraft, the Ranger Multi-Species and Lund all are great examples of versatile walleye fishing crafts. They all can handle rough water well, are roomy enough to suit even the most active tournament angler and are fully integrated with extras such as storage compartments, large, multiple livewells, and electronics.
People that own a boat actually know the letters are an acronym, standing for B
housand. It is not quite that bad, but buying accessories for your boat can become a costly proposition. Sifting out the necessities from the well of wishes is imperative for keeping your boat afloat without floating a major loan. Here are a few items that fall into the must have category. . .
Starting from the stern and working forward, probably the single most important thing next to the boat itself is a good motor. Nissan four-stroke motors are gaining popularity with many walleye anglers. They make engines to suit almost any situation.
While the engine is a major component to the boat’s performance, the accessories that go on the motor really can make a difference. Most anglers immediately upgrade their propeller (keeping the original as a spare) on a new motor. There are many different after-market props available and the exact model depends upon the motor size, boat size, desired performance and desired material. After-market props are available from Cabela’s (stainless), Nissan (aluminum and stainless), Michigan Wheel Corporation (aluminum and stainless) for Honda motors, Rapture (stainless) Comprop (composite) and Mercury’s brand name Quick Silver Props (aluminum and stainless).
If more power and control is desired, there are several items that can be added to the lower unit of the motor that really affect the its performance. The Hydro Troll is probably the single most versatile item a boat owner can add to a motor to increase its performance. With the Hydro Troll, boaters get the benefit of a hydrofoil, which will allow the boat to plane faster with less engine effort. The hydrofoil also makes your engine more efficient, using less fuel with the added benefit of improved handling. For anglers, the biggest advantage to the Hydro Troll is the trolling function. When the Hydro Troll plate is in the down position, it acts as a brake, thereby achieving slower speeds for ideal trolling without using an electric motor.
If you desire a hydrofoil unit without the braking function, Sting Ray and SE Sport both make great units that will allow the boat to get up on plane faster, utilize less gas and handle far superior to motors without one.
All anglers seem to accumulate a lot of gear, but walleye anglers define what it means to be a die hard gear head. So whenever walleye guys start talking about "perfect walleye boats" you can bet your favorite Shad Rap that storage lockers will be mentioned. Most boats (unless it is a specifically designed walleye boat) don’t come with enough storage space. However this is easily rectified with do-it- yourself storage lockers. Cabela’s offers three different size lids with four different size liners to meet just about any storage need. These lids are equipped with two waterproof seals, and are available as either locking or non-locking models in three colors.
Most of today’s boats come complete with live wells, but many older boats did not. With some of the easy to install kits and self contained units from Cabela’s, thousands of anglers have added livewells and live bait aerated tanks with relative ease. The Cabela’s Dry-Stor/livewell is a neat self-contained portable unit that is available in three sizes. While many use it for a dry storage box, it also makes a great livewell if the livewell aerating kit is installed.
Tempress storage lockers are another great livewell solution. They can easily be converted with different aeration kits like the Cabela’s Stainless Steel Aerator.
A permanently mounted livewell is often ideal but not necessarily the best solution, depending upon the application. Some boats are too small, others are not solely dedicated to fishing, and sometimes a boater has several boats and wants to transfer one livewell between boats. For these situations, the Super Fish Saver and the Cabela’s Minnow Life Support System are both top choices.
The Minnow Life Support System is a unique design in that it not only keeps the water well oxygenated, it keeps it cool and the oval shape prevents fish from injuring themselves in the corners. Its 20-gallon size is large enough for most applications but still small enough to fit in most boats.
Keeping Things Neat
There is nothing more frustrating, and sometimes extremely costly, than having multiple rods bouncing around in the boat. Aside from the tangled lines, lures and serious damage, it is just plain disorganized. It is very frustrating to find a specific rod, then have to untangle it from three of its buddies. The simple solution is to install rod holders. Cabela’s offers both standup and horizontal rod holders in several different styles.
My two favorites are the Fentress standup Rod Holder and the G-Lox Rod Rack. The Fentress is the premium standup rod rack on the market. Made from injection molded plastic, they are available in single units, three, four and six units in white or black.
The G-Lox unit is designed for horizontal rod storage along the underside of the gunwale of the boat. One pair can hold up to six rods and the aluminum /closed cell foam construction can stand up to the harshest elements.
When rods are in line for action, you need to have them in the proper position, and easily accessible when the cry "fish on" is shouted. Cabela’s offers all of the leading brands, but you will not find any that work better than Cabela’s Quick Draw rod holders, also available in Dual and Triple models for maximum flexibility in laying out a program.
For more information on the electronic side of walleye angling, check out "High Tech Tools for the Weekend Warrior, and the Daily Addicted, and "Walleye And Electronics Are Inseparable" as well.
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