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All About Boats

Article: December, 1999
Lake Fork Pro Jim Reaneau
This month's article will cover boats. As a guide I get a lot of questions about equipment. A customer I recently fished was at awe about the size of my new boat, which is a 21 foot Fisher. In our business we have to have plenty of room for our customers to store their gear and tackle. We have to have a boat big enough to handle rough water to get safely back in. We go fishing under different circumstances than the average fisherman. His question was why so big? In guiding you have to have a comfortable, dry riding, boat. One rule of thumb is the shorter the boat the rougher the ride in most cases. I tell everyone when you purchase a boat get the biggest boat you can afford. Because of the different ride in the rough water. Now let's get in to fishing from the boat.

Just because you have a big boat and I have a small boat doesn't mean you will catch more fish. I know people who fish from a tube and catch a bunch of fish. The bigger the boat and motor the more water you can cover. If you are tournament fishing this can be a plus. I have fished tournaments that you have to run 100 miles to the fishing hole and this is where big boats pay off. But if you take the boat you have and apply it to the waters you fish and learn the water well you can catch a lot of fish. I can tell you of many tournaments that have been won very close to the weigh in site. When I bought my first boat I had a 15 ft. 2 inch general marine with a 40 hp. Merc. on the back with stick steering . I had a weekend place on Lake Livingston and I caught many fish from this rig. If you are not familiar with this lake it is a very open lake and the wind can make it very rough. On those days I would find fishable coves to put my boat in. This helped me to learn more about the water I was fishing. I spent many hours in these coves. Too often we get fancy mixed with fishing and find out that the sparkle and glitter don't attract the fish as much as the fisherman. Yes! The big wide boat with a 200 or bigger is pretty and fast but this does not make the fish bite better.

A "good tip", if the day you plan to fish the wind gets up, why not just trailer to the closest ramp and put in there. "I trailer during my guide trips if the wind is high". I see people every spring put in at the marina and take off down lake. They will run by two other boat ramps that would have been closer to the fishing hole. When I go to new lakes I pick out areas to fish and ramps close by. Most lakes have public ramps or the marinas have a 2 or 3 dollar launch charge. This is cheap compared to a hole in the boat or worse. I plan my day and trailer maybe two times a day if need be. This is under normal fishing days. If it is cold or raining why freeze to death or get drenched.

If the lakes and ponds you fish are small or large you can still fish them from a two man boat or john boat. The main thing is learn the water you are fishing and you will become a better fisherman. Don't let boat size get in the way of having a good time. Take your boat and fish the water you fish thoroughly.

On a dock here is and old saying that is so true. Fishing is always better on the other side of the lake. How many times have you left the ramp and drove 5 miles to the other side of the lake? "FITS HUH." Me to. What about the guy on the shore who throws his lure out as for as he can when the guy in the boat throws his lure as close to the waters edge. How many times have we been guilty of this?
Thanks and Good Fishing,

Fishing Tip by EX Lake Fork Guide Jim Reaneau


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