Rigging a Multi-Species Boat

(Photo courtesy of In-Fisherman.com)
(Photo courtesy of In-Fisherman.com)

For bass, walleye, pike, panfish and more

My first fishing boat was a homemade Huck Finn-style raft cobbled together from whatever odd materials my buddy Jon and I could beg, borrow or scrounge from our garages. It was a fishing boat only in the sense that it floated (barely) and sported both an electric trolling motor and an old Humminbird Super Sixty flasher. Come to think of it, the whole craft was a one continuous casting deck, composed of several sheets of plywood attached atop two empty 50-gallon drums. As I recall, the rig held together just long enough to last one fishing season, but what a year it was. Hundreds of crappies, lots of respectable trout, plus big bluegills, walleyes, pike, carp, and a few monster catfish all helped christen this, well, unique fishing boat.

Several decades and a modest collection of v-hulls, float tubes, kayaks and jonboats later, it’s still anyone’s guess what species I might be chasing on any given day. So, like a lot of other In-Fisherman fans, I face two alternatives: (a) Own a half-dozen different boats, each suited to a specific species or function (not the most cost-effective or garage-friendly option); or (b) select one very versatile boat, and equip it with an extensive armada of electronics, accessories and accouterments to more or less address every conceivable species or scenario. Sounds like fun, right?


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