Walleyes Inc. Action packed adventures in walleye fishing on the internet.

Walleyes Inc. and quick links to our proud sponsors
Walleyes Inc. # 1 choice in cold weather outdoor protectionGo to Ram Mountings Systems Just RAM ITWalleyes Inc. Your one stop fishing resourceWe didnt event planer boards we just perfected themBait RigsLindy Little Joe Simply the best in fishing tackleDaiichi HooksTru turn HooksBuilding Legends one at a time Ranger BoatsIllinois's number 1 Ranger DealerMercury Outboards The Water CallsGoldeneye Marine productsDual Pro Battery Chargers The Choice of ChampionsDrift Control Wind socks the choice of championsDaiwa Total Commitment to QualityGuaranteed daylong trolling power Trojan Batteries

Check out the Walleyes Inc. pro staff
Tournament information and results from around the country
Fishing tips from the pro's at Walleyes Inc.
Fishing reports from around the country
Hot links to fishing resorts from around the country
Hot links to guides and charters around the country
The latest in fishing articles from the pro's at Walleyes Inc.
Links to fishing clubs around the country
Hot new walleye products for sale through Walleyes Inc.
100's of Links to other fishing sites around the world
Hot new products in the fishing industry
100's of used boats for sale

Promotional Team Favorites
Lodging food and more
100's of links for, boats, motors, fishing tackle, electronics and more
Hot new press releases from the fishing industry

Contact Walleyes Inc.
Walleyes Inc. home page

North American fishing Club and Walleyes Inc Free trial offer



Rigging Tournament-Tough


Editor's note: John Kolinski is the reigning 2002 Professional Walleye
Trail Angler of the Year, as well as an 11-time championship qualifier
during eight years of professional fishing on the PWT, RCL and MWC. His
articles appear in numerous outdoor publications and at several web 
sites. Kolinski is sponsored by Triton Boats, Mercury Motors, MinnKota, 
Lowrance Electronics, Normark/Storm Lures, Flambeau, Off-Shore Tackle, 
Berkley Trilene and Tempress Rod Holders.

In some ways, rigging a boat is like marriage. Get it right, and there will be many enjoyable and focused days ahead.  Get it wrong, and there will be conflict and breakdowns.  Reliability, compatibility and trustworthiness are characteristics any  avid angler appreciates whether it's at home or on the water. And when  it comes to boats, rigging can make that difference.

Tournament anglers are probably as adept at rigging as anyone. Our  livelihood depends on our equipment. Most of us also have plenty of  rigging experience to draw upon since we trade boats every year or two.
There are plenty of considerations when setting up a boat, from wiring  accessories and securing bow-mount trolling motors to the placement of  rod holders and GPS antenna modules. Big-water anglers have the  additional issues that go with rough water. Many a day of fishing has  been lost because of broken kicker motor brackets, busted up bow-mounts  and poorly secured GPS or sonar units.

The best place to start rigging is from a seat inside the boat.  Visualize where things should go to provide accessibility, fishability  and protection from the elements.
Here's a primer based on my experience rigging the Triton 205s I run on 
the Professional Walleye Trail:

Bow-mount trolling motors
Most boats today are equipped with the bow-mount of the consumer's 
choice. Therefore, there are no concerns about mounting or wiring those 
units. However, most bow-mounts are not designed to handle the beating 
they take over rough water. 

MinnKota Maxxum 101 bow mount trolling moto4r
Minnkota 101
Ranger mount for RAM 108U-D
RAM 101-DU as shown with Minnkota trolling 
motor (click here for more information) 
All that is required to secure my MinnKota model is a RAM stabilizer bar that supports the shaft. Cinch straps are also available and work well on many models.

Mounting electronics
This is an important consideration for two reasons. GPS and sonar units  need to be accessible while the boat is under power and visible while  fishing, but not in the way. Most anglers prefer to place them on the  dash. One of the most critical decisions to be made here is the type of  mounting system. I've tried several over the years. Some don't hold the  units in place when it's bumpy. Others have a tendency to loosen up in  rough water and tilt to the side. I haven't had any of those problems with Ultra Mounts.When attaching the Ultra Mounts to the boat, I drill holes that are no more than 1/32nd-inch smaller than the screws. Then I use a chamfering tool to smooth and bevel the holes to the same depth as the fiberglass. Holes that are too small and aren't beveled correctly are a major cause of cracks. Fill the holes or cover the screws with silicone before attaching the 
mounts and they'll never come loose. Quality marine radios are generally waterproof, but it still makes sense  to mount them under the dash in a protected area where they won't be exposed in a downpour or in the way while you are fishing. Since they are typically used only sparingly or in case of emergency, convenience isn't the primary consideration. Place the antenna somewhere along the gunwale in the front half of the boat where it won't get in the way.
It's particularly prudent to mount the microphone/transmitter somewhere 
dry and secure. A faulty mike is not a good problem to have when you are 
broken down eight miles offshore and need help. Another important consideration is locating the module for the GPS unit.  If it is obstructed in any way, it may not be able to connect with  enough satellites to provide the data you need. That's one reason some  anglers complain that their GPS struggles to show changes inlocation at  extremely slow speeds.
Don't put the module too close to the windshield. If you run a kicker 
motor from the back of the boat, place it on the other side of the boat 
where you won't create an obstruction.

Wiring accessories
Some boats are built with extra terminals on the fuse block for wiring items such as GPS, sonar and marine radios. In that case, it's just a  matter of deciding exactly where to locate those units and then running  the power cords to the fuse block. Many boats don't provide extra electrical ports. In that case, I wire  accessories invididually to the boat's main cranking battery, using a  fish tape to pull the wiring through the boat's cavity.Each accessory is wired individually to prevent interference and to  ensure a consistent flow of power. Each wire includes an in-line fuse.  If I ever have a problem, it's easier to pinpoint when electronics are wired separately.

Manufacturers of fiberglass boats can mold a puck-style transducer right  into the hull, and the performance is generally good. Otherwise, they  need to be mounted on the transom, and location is critical to accurate  information at a variety of speeds. Read the owner's manual that comes  with the sonar unit and locate the transducer according to the  manufacturer's instructions. It needs to remain in the water when you are on plane, yet not draw too much water and kick up at high speeds.
I mount transducers directly to the transom, using the same procedure I  use to attach other accessories. Drill holes 1/32nd-inch smaller than  the screws, use the chamfer tool on each hole and fill them with silicone to seal everything.

Rod holders
I mount my Tempress rod holders directly to the fiberglass along the gunwale of the boat. Some models feature rails along the gunwale at the stern of the boat where rod holders can also be mounted. If possible, choose locations where rod holders won't interfere with  access to compartments such as baitwells and livewells, but still provide enough separation to fish multiple rods. Mount the brackets  along the inside of the gunwale to prevent snagging lines and nets on 
them when they are not in use. Again, drill holes that are no more than  1/32nd-inch smaller than the screws, use the chamfer tool on each hole  and coat the screws with silicone before securing the brackets in place.

I always make certain the Optima batteries I use in my Triton are  well-secured within their storage compartment. Most boats are set up  with brackets or strapping systems to keep them from bouncing or banging  around under power.
If your boat doesn't come with a three-bank battery charger, install one. It's the best way to make sure the deep-cycle trolling batteries  are equally recharged after use. Since I wire additional accessories  directly to the cranking battery, I use a separate charger to restore it  at the end of the day.

Kicker motors
There are two ways to go here. Over the course of my tournament career, 
I've seen several kickers lost in rough water because of the pounding 
they take. Direct-mounted kickers can also cause serious damage to the 

Panther 300 Jackplate
Panther 300
A Panther Marine electric lift is a wise investment that makes it 
convenient to lift and lower the kicker while also helping it ride more securely. If a kicker motor and lift aren't in the budget, consider the Panther  Navigator electric trolling motor. It's a 24-volt unit with 55 pounds of  thrust that attaches atop the trim fin on the big motor. When the boat  is on plane, the Navigator is out of the water and out of harm's way.

In my opinion, the new Panther 450 electric jackplate is another solid  investment. Not only does it help an angler get a bit more performance  out of the main engine, it also allows me to take my Triton into  shallower water than most boats will go because of the additional trim  and tilt control it provides.

Fire extinguishers
One of the final things I do is mount at least one fire extinguisher  somewhere near the driver's compartment for easy access. It's not a bad  idea to locate another under the dash on the passenger side if you are  running a dual-console boat. Don't make the mistake of putting extinguishers in places that are difficult to get at. It could cost you  your life.

Finishing touches

Once I've got everything in place, I work my way around the boat and  secure any exposed wiring or fuel lines. If you have added a fuel line  for the kicker motor, make sure it isn't in an area where it can get  pinched. It's a good idea to enclose the fuel line inside a sleeve.
I use small tie straps to connect any loose wires to the steering cable  and keep them out of the splash tray where they can become tangled with  hooks, fish or other wires and cables. Again, it's a good idea to use a  sleeve to protect any wiring in this area.

You only get one shot at rigging a new boat. Do it right, and you'll be 
in for years of worry-free operation and performance. Do it wrong and it 
may nag you for years. What's worse, you might not be able to get rid of 
E-mail John Kolinski

Now you can Join all of Walleyes Inc. mailing lists from one spot.  Sign up  to receive notice of updates in the Walleye fishing world and be eligible for great Members only discounts on RAM Mounting Products the Pros choice and Church Products. Only  from your one stop resource Walleyes Inc. Enter your email address below, then click the 'Sign Up' button 

Fish Clix Banner Exchange
Walleyes Inc. website is maintained by Randy Tyler Fishing the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Circuit, Masters Walleye Circuit and the Wal Mart RCL Circuit. All rights reserved.Copyright 1999/2003
Please visit these site sponsors
Daiichi/Tru-Turn Hooks, Lindy Little Joe, R-A.M Mounting Systems, Ranger boats, Mercury Outboards,Bedford  Sales , Church Tackle, Panther Marine Products,
Webfoots body sock, Bait Rigs Tackle ,Dual Pro Charging Systems, Daiwa Rods and Reels, Driftcontrol Wind socks, Trojan Batteries