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Three Tools for Better Boat Control

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April 29, 2016
2864   Comment
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Boat control is a critical success factor no matter which species you're chasing. Being able to maneuver a boat as well as maintain its position on rich fishing grounds are skills every angler should strive to master. Like many things, expertise comes with practice and plenty of time on the water. That said, gearing-up with the right equipment will make a big difference in your overall proficiency. Here's a run-down of three essential items.

ThreeToolsForBetterBoatControl blog
A drift sock is a reliable tool for better boat control to keep your boat from going too fast or drifting away from the strike zone.

Boat control is a critical success factor no matter which species you're chasing. Being able to maneuver a boat as well as maintain its position on rich fishing grounds are skills every angler should strive to master. Like many things, expertise comes with practice and plenty of time on the water. That said, gearing-up with the right equipment will make a big difference in your overall proficiency. Here's a run-down of three essential items.

Boat Trolling Motors

Electric trolling motors are must-haves for many anglers. The quiet propulsion of these units is essential when chasing skittish fish, while the motor's fast response time makes them perfect for fine-tuning boat position. Bow and transom mounts each have their own set of advantages, and many multi-species enthusiasts outfit boats with both to reap the rewards of each.

drift sock BPS extreme anchor
Bass Pro Shops Extreme Drift Anchor

Drift Socks or Drift Anchors

Also called sea anchors or drones, drift socks are stellar tools. Given that their retail price starts in the low 20s, there's no reason not to own one — although owning two provides more choices for enhanced control and rigging options.

Drift socks can be used many ways. They can be deployed to slow down drift speeds in wind and waves, prolonging the time the boat stays on a productive area. Drift-sock drag also works well to achieve slow trolling speeds when the main motor's thrust provides too swift of a pace for pulling a lure. Another bonus of drift socks is they minimize boat bounce for a more stable, safe, and comfortable fishing platform in rough water.

Boat Anchors

anchor river type
Bass Pro Shops River Anchor

In many cases it's a legal requirement to have a boat anchor and rope on board a boat. Even with electric motors and drift socks on hand, anchors are still advantageous when you need to stick on a spot, like an off-shore reef, or when dissecting various structures in rivers. What I find fascinating is how rarely I see anglers using anchors on the water for boat positioning. Fluke, river, mushroom, and a range of other anchor styles are available, making it easy to select the best design for your needs.

Don't discount the importance of boat control. It makes a huge difference in how many fish you'll catch over the season.

 

 

Tagged under Read 2864 times Last modified on April 24, 2018
Tim Allard
expert

Tim Allard hails from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He's a full-time outdoor journalist and author and photographer of the multi-award winning book, "Ice Fishing - The Ultimate Guide" (2010), which is also available in French under the title, "Pêche sur glace". Tim regularly contributes to numerous North American print and online publications. For more information visit www.timallard.ca.

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