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By Rick Olsen
There’s a good reason for all of it, no matter how it looks. A big electric trolling motor here, a small gas outboard there, or electronics all over the place, the word “overkill” comes to mind but it really isn’t so. Not in this day and age. Today’s high tech walleye angler will use all of that fancy equipment at some point in time and will make what they want to do possible, and what they actually do much easier.
When you take a good a look at my personal rig (the Crestliner 202 Tournament Series), you’ll find all of the aforementioned and then some, and it all serves a purpose. The main reason is the fact that you never know for sure what you might be faced with. Especially when you take a look at the tremendous and varied opportunities available to
Today’s modern walleye angler. From pin point live bait rigging and jigging, to trolling break lines with bottom bouncers and spinners, to plying the huge open water expanses of the Great Lakes, it takes the right equipment to be able to do it all. The wrong equipment will limit what you do and where you do it, and severely restrict your options.
graph, G.P.S., or radar, with the right accompanying equipment. The big screen actually saves space as it is more compact than running two separate units. Under the dash is a Raymarine Ray53 marine band radio which is there for safety reasons, as well as being a requirement of the major tournament trails. Being able to communicate with other anglers (or even the Coast Guard if necessary), could save your life some day and the added expense of a marine band could pay off big time. When you take a look at the back of the boat you’ll find the main power as well as a secondary four-stroke trolling motor. The Johnson four-stroke handles most of the forward trolling duties as well as any reverse positioning that may be needed, and does so with a high thrust prop that produces almost as much thrust in reverse as it does in forward. A Minn Kota extension is attached to the kicker tiller handle which allows for a better seating position and gives me the control I need to stick with a tight break line. Some anglers prefer to tie the kicker in with the main motor and steer with the wheel but they give up too much control. The Johnson kicker is mounted on a Panther motor lift which has proven to be extremely reliable. With a push of a button you can drop the motor in or pull it back out and do it all from the comfort of your captain’s chair.
You’ll also find a set of Wave Wackers on the transom which are splash guards that can help keep you dry when back trolling, and also provide an added element of safety when fishing big waters. Following seas can gobble up smaller boats in a hurry, which is a fact that can become painfully apparent when working big water like Erie or Lake Michigan. The Wackers will knock down most of a big following wave, and keep it out of the boat where it belongs.
On the rear third of the boat you’ll find three rod holders on both sides, and two on both sides up front. The extra holders give you some flexibility when trolling with multiple rods, and can help when drifting with four rods. What you can’t see is a two bank Minn Kota charger that helps to keep two spiral cell batteries charged, with one handling starting duties and the other responsible for powering the electronics. There’s another Minn Kota three bank charger that keeps the three spiral cell trolling motor batteries powered up and ready to go, and it’s done by
simply plugging it in without worry of encountering inclement weather or over charging. So there you have at. All of that gear, so many walleyes, and so little time. There’s only one thing left to do.
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