As a licensed professional fishing guide, Michael Acosta shows you how to find them. A Granbury resident of more than 35 years, he has been fishing all of his life, and has been a licensed guide since 1998.
I was asked the other day about what it takes to rig a fishing boat. A well-equipped boat may help you locate fish, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to catch more fish. Today article will discuss how I would rig my boat. You can spend a lot of money on the latest technology and you can also get rigged sufficiently with some good equipment at a fairly reasonable cost. Nothing is cheap these days, as you all know.
I started striped bass/catfish/bass/crappie fishing many years ago out of a little old 15-foot 73 model Star-Craft Tri-hull with a walk-through windshield. This old tri-hull caught a lot of fish once I put a few accessories on it. The good thing about striped bass/catfish/crappie fishing is that it does not really take a whole lot to rig it out, but there are a few items I would recommend.
The most important item on a fishing boat in my opinion is the electronics. You can spend multiple thousands to rig the boat with huge screens and multiple transducers to see below to the sides and actually see the fish e.g. Live Scope). They are nice to have and can help, but a good fish finder that can see below and to the sides with a GPS can be had for less than $600 or so. The GPS is not required but having it will allow you to save your spots and help you navigate which is critical especially with a low lake. The quality and sensitivity these days are excellent, and Garmin or Lowrance have some great choices.
The next item I cannot live without is a trolling motor. It is optional, but a good manually trolling motor will do the trick. It costs more to get the GPS-controlled trolling motor, but I highly recommend one as it can hold you without using an anchor and almost is like having a deck hand helping on the boat. I have one on both of my boats and I count on that feature.
There are several manufacturers like Minn Kota and Motorguide that many use. The electronic manufacturers like Lowrance for instance, make a trolling motor with built in transducers to work wireless with their electronics. This option is costly, but I may consider this option in the future. Any of these trolling motors will allow you to cover water quietly and efficiently. A trolling motor will allow you to fish downlines, work ledges/humps/banks, control your drift, troll and will also offer some stealth.
Most every bass boat out there has a trolling motor. Choose a trolling motor with sufficient thrust for your boat. It will be worth the money in the long run to get the larger motor. If you’re ever on the lake in the wind, you’ll know why. I also recommend a good saltwater rated trolling motor in our brackish lakes (Granbury has a high salt content).
If you are going to fish several poles with live bait as most striped bass/catfish/crappie fishermen do, you will more than likely need some good rod holders. Losing fishing equipment in the lake is no fun. There are several types of rod holders available on the market today. Some are plastic and others are made of metal. I would recommend using good stainless steel solidly mounted rod holders. There are many different brands that are good. I personally use Driftmaster Rod holders made by Black River Tool. I personally have never lost a rod in one of these holders. You can also easily remove your pole from the holder when a fish has it bent over in half.
Those are the main items that one would need to rig a boat for striped bass/catfish/crappie fishing. There are other accessories like live wells (many boats have these already), baitwells, radios, etc. The simple rig with a good fish finder, and a trolling motor, will work for most any kind of fishing on our area lakes. A livewell may be desired for black bass fishing, but a good ice chest/fish box is all you need for the other species (assuming of course you bring those crappie, striped bass and/or catfish home to eat).
Hope this helps on rigging a boat for fishing. Don’t forget the safety items required by law such as life jackets, oar, fire extinguisher, throw cushion, etc.
Granbury water temperatures have fallen to the low 60s with the recent cold snap. Striped bass fishing has turned on some on the lower ends on live bait and jigs. Crappie fishing continues to be good to excellent on jigs and small minnows. Largemouth bass in numbers has been fair to good on soft plastics fished near creek entrances and main lake points. Catfish action has also picked up on the upper ends on shallow flats. Look for bird action to point you to active fish.
Comanche Creek Reservoir reports continue to be excellent for channel catfish, tilapia and largemouth bass. Largemouth bass are good on most any presentation and you will get catfish hitting your bass presentations. Limits of catfish are common on cut and prepared baits. Tilapia can be caught on worms fished under a cork, though many anglers are catching these tasty invasive species with cast nets.
Lake Whitney striped bass limits continue to be common on the main lake and upstream of the Katy Bridge. Look for the birds.
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