Tips On Renting A Boat !!!
Craig Sandell © 2011
There are probably as many Muskie anglers out there who
rent a boat for their Muskie adventure as those who own their own boat. If you travel
around like I do, you are faced with a different selection of available boat rentals at
every resort or fishing camp that you visit. In this article I will try to give you some
baseline information that you can use when you rent your next boat. To be quite honest, I
choose a resort or fishing camp based upon the selection of boat & motor rental.
Nothing can screw up a Muskie adventure faster than a bad boat rental. The boat you use is
an indispensable element of your tactical approach.
How Big Is
The Body Of Water?
This is probably the very first item to consider when you
are renting a boat in which to Muskie fish. How much water you need to cover will
determine the size of the motor to rent. True, there are some Muskie lakes where a speed
limit is enforced and the motor size is a foregone conclusion, however if you are fishing
a body of water without a speed limit, then consider the following:
many acres of water will you cover?
Are there islands that will offer safe harbor in a storm?
How important is it to you to be able to move quickly from spot to spot?
If you are on a large body of water (1500 acres and up) you
will likely need to move quickly from spot to spot as you search for Mr. Muskie. Since
most boats for rent are 14 to 16 feet and are either V-hull or Tri-hull, you can assume
that your minimum motor size is 15 or 18 horse power. A smaller body of water may not
entail as much travel as the larger body of water, however, you should consider the
weather as a complicating factor in your motor selection.
As Muskie anglers, we typically will fish in any weather
condition. Whether its a bluebird sky or heavy weather, you will likely be on the
water. In the case of the heavy weather, you should have a motor that has the guts to move
the boat you have rented to a safe harbor reasonably quickly. I have often found myself,
much to the chagrin of my wife, out in the middle of a large expanse of open water trying
to get in just a couple more casts as a storm looms heavy or worse, hooked into a fish
just as a storm breaks. Waiting for the last moment to drop the rod and find some safe
harbor or fighting a fish in a storm, usually results in having to fight some wind and
white caps. If your motor lacks the guts to win the battle against wind and water, you can
find yourself in a real tough spot. Yes
it has happened to me.
More resorts are offering a choice between V-hull and
Tri-hull boats. My personal preference is a Tri-hull with a 25 horse motor for the
following reasons. The Tri-hull provides a more stable ride in the water and is less
likely to be unmanageable in the wind. The flat bottom of the Tri-hull provides a
"stable" platform from which to stand and cast. (If you are not trolling, a Tri-hull is a lot easier on your
legs.) The Tri-hull has better storage space and
will allow you to keep an uncluttered boat
an important consideration when fighting a
Once again, a Tri-hull is a personal preference. V-hull
boats will perform well and you can usually get away with a smaller motor because of the
You now have a boat and motor and you are ready to hit the
well thats not quite true. I am assuming that you have the tools &
tackle required for Muskie angling. You will find, however, that your rented boat will
need a few additional items to allow you to be more productive on the water.
possible, you should have an electric trolling motor. Yes, I know that they are expensive,
as are the battery, the battery box and the battery charger, however, the trolling motor
will allow you to efficiently cover a prime Muskie location by hovering at a specific
depth and casting either shallow or deep. Some resorts are offering trolling motor
if you are a regular Muskie angler, your own trolling motor, battery and
charger are a really good investment and will enhance your fishing enjoyment on the water.
I have tried it without a trolling motor, and I have to say that its a real pain in
the back side. I should also mention that it is always a good idea to have a piece of wood
as a backing plate between your motor clamp and the transom of the boat. This will prevent
damage to the transom and will endear you to the person from whom you rented the boat.
You should have some kind of depth finding device. This
could be a flasher or a fish locator, but you will need
something to help you discover the depth
under the boat and that depths relationship to surrounding water.
Trolling motors come with their own transom mounting
clamps, however, your depth finder and its transducer will need to be mounted. The two
mechanical mounting arrangements shown here are available through almost any fishing
catalog and provide the flexibility you will need for your boat renting experience.
Oh, yes. An additional consideration is powering your depth
finder. If you have a trolling motor, then you have a 12 volt battery. If your depth
finder operates on 12 volts, then you have a power source for it. You can find the
equipment to fabricate your own electrical hook-up at your local Radio Shack, however, you
will need to know how to use a soldering iron and how to observe the polarity of
"positive" & "negative" battery terminal connections as you create
your electrical harness. If you are not sure how to accomplish the hook up, have someone
knowledgeable do it for you. (There
are some folks that say that if you connect a depth finder to the same battery as your
trolling motor you will get false or garbled indications on your depth finder from the
magnetic eddy currents produced by the trolling motor. I have been using a common battery
for trolling motor and depth finder for over 10 years and I have yet to experience a
||Now, you are ready to hit the water. Your boat is big enough,
your motor is sufficiently up for the job, and your accessories will help to make you
productive on the water
.unless you plan to fish at night as well as in the daylight.
Personal night fishing accessories
are the subject of another article on this website; however, your boat will need to have
some lights for fishing at night. Aside from the fact that it is required by law to have
boat lights at night, fishing at night without boat lights to indicate to other boaters
that you are sharing the water with them is just plain stupid.
|You can see from the illustration shown here, that there are
quite a few items that go hand-in-hand with renting a boat in which to Muskie fish. In
addition to the items that I have highlighted in this article, you may want to include a
club, a 48 inch ruler, bug spray, duct tape, and a life jacket (many states require life jackets as well as boat
I hope that this little article will help you put a fine
edge on your next Muskie adventure. Stay safe, have a good time, catch plenty of Muskie
and Ill see you on the water.