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greatoutdoors

How bad will my boat hurt me?

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Hi Guys,

Just joined a Bass fishing tourney with my father in law. Talked to a buddy of mine who is in the same club and he says most of the guys have boats with 100hp engines and higher. My boat is nice, but only has a 15hp and goes 15-20mph. Give me some tips on what I can do, being that I'm not going to be the first one hitting the good spots at the tournaments. We can fish, but I have a feeling we're going to have to play "clean up".

P.S. Anyone have a 30 horse they want to give me???

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I've had no problems winning tournaments out of smaller boats ;)

You will need to learn all boat launches available for public use since running in rough water will be out of the question.

Your next priority well be setting up a good livewell system

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Catching fish shouldn't be a problem. Those guys in the high power bass boats will be zooming right past some prime fishing locations. I would be more concerned with making sure that your boat is set up for tournament fishing. Like Catt said you'll need a good operational livewell. Also many tournaments will require your boat to be a certain minumum length, kill switch, console steering, insurance, etc..

Good luck and let us know how you do in the tournament.

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What lakes in PA are you fishing tourneys on? I have fished on a decent variety of lakes and might be able to give you an idea of what you would be getting into. PA lakes are really not all that big so I doubt you will have any problems, but either way let me know some of the lakes.

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What lakes in PA are you fishing tourneys on? I have fished on a decent variety of lakes and might be able to give you an idea of what you would be getting into. PA lakes are really not all that big so I doubt you will have any problems, but either way let me know some of the lakes.

Lake Wallenpaupack 3x

Lake Henry 2x

Prompton Dam 2x

Lackawanna Lake

Harvey's Lake 2x

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Catching fish shouldn't be a problem. Those guys in the high power bass boats will be zooming right past some prime fishing locations. I would be more concerned with making sure that your boat is set up for tournament fishing. Like Catt said you'll need a good operational livewell. Also many tournaments will require your boat to be a certain minumum length, kill switch, console steering, insurance, etc..

Good luck and let us know how you do in the tournament.

I'm all set up for the tournaments, minus the livewell. I'm thinking of using a cooler with a high quality aerator.

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The only lake you might have a little disadvantage on would be  Wallenpaupack, but even that you should be fine.

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Catching fish shouldn't be a problem. Those guys in the high power bass boats will be zooming right past some prime fishing locations. I would be more concerned with making sure that your boat is set up for tournament fishing. Like Catt said you'll need a good operational livewell. Also many tournaments will require your boat to be a certain minumum length, kill switch, console steering, insurance, etc..

Good luck and let us know how you do in the tournament.

I'm all set up for the tournaments, minus the livewell. I'm thinking of using a cooler with a high quality aerator.

I've fished with guys who have had a lot of problems with cooler live wells, if you can you really should try to get a livewell installed.

But as far as the fishing goes, Robby's right, our lakes aren't big, the only issue you might have is at the Wallenpaupack. Bird dog is on the money too, a lot of the guys in glass boats are going to run right by some of the best spots. I fished a tournament last year where a guy couldn't get his motor started and he had to fish with his trolling motor all day. Well, my partner and I made a 15mile run to fish, and when we came back at the end of the day, guess who had the big bag? The guys who fished with his trolling motor 100 yards from the launch.

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A friend runs a cooler livewell in his boat and has no problems with keeping fish alive.

Sometimes too alive.  His only problems using it have been fish jumping out of the thing when he's opened it up to put another fish in.   :o

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A friend runs a cooler livewell in his boat and has no problems with keeping fish alive.

Sometimes too alive. His only problems using it have been fish jumping out of the thing when he's opened it up to put another fish in. :o

I also used a large cooler for a few years and had no problems.

Just be sure to change the water at least once an hour, run your aerator all the time, use a livewell additive.

Oh ya, and watch when you open the lid ;)

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A friend runs a cooler livewell in his boat and has no problems with keeping fish alive.

Sometimes too alive. His only problems using it have been fish jumping out of the thing when he's opened it up to put another fish in. :o

I also used a large cooler for a few years and had no problems.

Just be sure to change the water at least once an hour, run your aerator all the time, use a livewell additive.

Oh ya, and watch when you open the lid ;)

I also used to use a cooler for a livewell and never killed a fish, the fish were usually too lively. I never changed the water just had two battery powered livewells with the blue stone on the end and would turn them on when I caught the first fish. Those things would run for like 3 tournaments before I needed new batteries.

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The fish don't know what size your boat is.  On small lakes the difference between 25 - 45 - 65 mph is only a few minutes to most spots.  Pick your confidence spots and fish them regardless of who may have been there before you.  For example, on Sunday I waited for 2 boats to get off one of my favorite spots on Lake Kissimmee.  After they moved down the bank I went in and boated 6 fish in about 15 min, with them watching.  The point is you will be fine.

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The guys I fish against all have there 20' boats w/200+ HP motors towed with $40,000 trucks. I have an old beater jeep for a tow vehical, a 16' aluminum bass tracker, and a 25HP. One thing those guys like to do is fire out of the hole, and race as far up or down the lake as they can go passing dozens of good spots. The rig don't make the fisherman, I fished 9 tournaments last year with this group, cashed in 6. Learn your lakes, you'll do fine.

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With a 50-horse I have the smallest boat in my club. It's a Lowe fishing-machine..a real nice little boat, front/rear deck and counsel..but its no ranger. A few reasons that I LOVE fishing tournies with it..

- Most lakes up here in NE Indiana have a 10mph speed limit...and/or small enough that even if there's no speed limit it would only take you a couple seconds longer to make a run.

- People recognize the boat. It kinda stands out not being your typical tourney rig...which is pretty cool haha...

- Winning out of it is Awesome! Winning a tournament is about being able to catch fish, and when you're able to put them in the boat when the other guys cant..its an amazing feeling, and makes filling up the weigh-in bag out of that little boat's livewell that much sweeter ;)

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like said, i think there's actually a few advantages.  the guys with the big motors are probably in a rush to get further away, passing some good spots.  they're also more likely to decide to go somewhere else if the bite isn't good.  on the opposite side, you're probably not looking to go out 10 miles before throwing your line out, which right off the bat gives you more time in the water.  more time in the water = more time to catch fish.

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