Cliff Pirch’s Bass Boat Tour

Tackle Organization and Bass Boat Organization
Join Cliff Pirch as he gives an exclusive tour of his 921 Elite II from Phoenix, revealing bass tournament fishing secrets and insights into his boat setup. Dive deep into his storage preferences, tackle organization, electronic configurations, and why he trusts his boat for his fishing endeavors on the Great Lakes and beyond. Discover the features and innovations that make his boat a dream come true for any angler!

Hey, guys, Cliff Pirch here for, and I'm going to tell you a little bit about how I've got my boat set up. This is a 921 Elite II. Lots of storage room, lots of neat bass fishing, bass tournament ideas incorporated into this boat that I love about it, and I want to show you a few of them. 

So, that being said, I just came off of eight straight days of fishing on the Great Lakes, so it's not how it was a week ago. But, mainly, for my tackle as far as my baits go, I've got this compartment here down through the bottom. I've got tackle boxes lined up. On the sides, I've got kind of my extra stuff. I've got a little ring that I keep the hooks that I plan on using. It's got a whole variety of the sizes. Up north again, so I've been drop-shotting and smallmouth fishing, so this is my lighter range of hooks. Lots of Gamakatsu nose hooks, light wire straight shanks. You know, really, was using a lot of the Big Bite Baits Scentsation Cliff Hanger Worm this week. Went through a million of them, so the straight shank hook was one of my big friends.

You can see over here on this side I've got some of my weights, a few things. This is a line-measuring tool. I was talking about fishing eight days in a row. Well stuff gets in a big mess. I don't remember what size line I put on what rod. I can use this little tool to measure it real quick. It tells me the diameters. Another reason that's important for the general weekend fisherman is 6-pound test of one brand is different than 6-pound test of another brand. Once you know your diameters, it doesn't matter. You know what you're dealing with, so apples compared to apples. Just a little trick you can use.

Over on this side I keep my rods. I've got the rod shields on there. It helps me store a couple of different rods in each little tube. Keeps them a little bit more organized from what I don't have out that I'm using on my deck. Same with this side over here. I've got some rods in here and I keep some extra life jackets. Some of my electronics incidentals and cameras, stuff, like, that go in there. This front compartment, that's one of the advantages of the Elite II. It's not one single compartment, it's two, so I can reach in there. I'm not 6-and-1/2 feet tall, so it helps me to have two compartments. This one I've, mostly, just got these little storage boxes. Some things like my fishing line, my treble hooks, a few soft plastics like the Ramtail, and the net, Ram head. Things like that up here that I, specifically, am going to use for a few days. That way I can put just the stuff I want in here. My southern tackle has mainly gone out of the boat. It's all northern tackle, things that I'm planning on using for smallmouth and maybe a few shallow largemouth here.

That's, basically, my front deck. I've got my two Lowrance units up front. Two, because I want a backup. These days on the Elite series, that's pretty minimal. Most guys, It looks like an F-16 cockpit up front. I've got the Lowrance Ghost, the Lowrance Active Target 2 forward-looking, and then I use the other one for my sonar, my mapping. I can get away with two graphs up front. It really works for me. That way I do have a backup if something was to go out or a wire was to work loose. I've got some backups.

Of course, it's pretty standard to have the padded deck. I put both Power-Pole remotes up here. One's down, one's up, one on each side. Kind of keeps me familiar with how it goes. I do keep a little marker buoy up here if I need to toss it in real quick. I know that's old school. We've got plenty of GPS waypoints. I do all that, but there are some times when you're out in the middle and your boat is fishing around a certain waypoint, sometimes it's nice to know exactly where the clump of grass is at, or exactly where the edge of the rocks is at. I might use that to just pitch out and mark a spot still. That's, basically, my front deck there.

The nice thing about this Elite II from Phoenix has the deck navigation lights. It also takes the standard one if I was to have a problem with those. I can put up the standard little light stick up front as well. So, that's the front deck for me. Big wide deck, big fishing platform. I love it. Lots of room. I dreamed of fishing out of a boat like this as a kid and now I get to do it. I think I'm the luckiest guy. I'm the most thankful I can be out here. Works good.

Some of the other cool things about the Phoenix, you've got a passenger-side rod locker. That's pretty unique. I've never seen it in any of the other boats I've run in the past years. For your co-angler, or your buddy, or if you're just fishing by yourself, you can have a few of them that you're not planning on using or want to keep out of the way, you've got a passenger rod locker here. I can keep a little crankbait retriever rod in there, and a weigh-in bag, spare weigh-in bag, a few extra little things. That helps. I've got an extra strap for your co-angler's rods or your buddy's rods for the weekend. Go right there. It works real nice.

Got a couple of little small tackle compartments. I keep heavy things in here, my weights, my jig heads, a couple of tools that I use. Then I just use this for my trash can underneath here. Like I said, I've been on the Great Lakes and gone through about a thousand Cliffhanger worms this week because the smallmouth fishing was so good. I use that as my trash underneath those bins. It's got a cooler here. Works good and...

All right, so guys back here at the driver's seat, I've got two more Lowrance units. I keep this one on a Swivel Ram Mount so I can flip it around and look at that back transducer if I want. That works real nice. Historically, I've used that. Now, those things look everywhere so it's almost a little bit outdated, but it's just what I'm comfortable with and what I've always done. Got the Suzuki computer here. Tells me what's going on with the motor and lots of nice little features of that. As far as the gear shift, Suzuki has the shift select where I can either drive with the throttle on the gear shift or with the hot foot down here. That works good. I like the hot foot. I like to be able to have both hands on the wheel or be able to have a water while I'm driving from one spot to another or eat something. That works best with me. I really like the hot foot.

Cool thing about the Phoenix has heated seats if you want them. This year at the Classic, it was ice, bitter, cold, snowing, sleeting. It's one time where those things really come in handy. If you live in a cold part of the country or fishing season gets cold, those heated seats are kind of pretty darn nice. We always joked about having a heater in a boat and now it really does.

Center console I use for just normal things. Sunglasses, scale, put my phone, wallet, all that stuff. Slam lids, they lock. Got my livewells here. I've had the best luck with any livewells of any boat brand I've had with the Phoenix livewells. They work great, they're big, easy to use, they never... I should knock on wood, but I've never had them stop aerating when the pumps were running. There's never been any suction problems, whether I put the boat in gear or out while I was pumping water. I've had that problem in other boat brands.

I keep some tools on this side and my Coast Guard safety items. Keep a little bit more tackle on that side in the back. All right, as far as the back of the boat goes guys, I'm running the Next Gen Lithiums in there. I was one of the last guys to change the lithium batteries, but it's been great. Not only do you get rid of a lot of weight, so you gain some speed, you're able to draft in shallower water. I, also, can get those batteries charged up in a short amount of time. It doesn't take all night to charge them up. So, I've got two of the Next Gen, 36 volts on this side running parallel. So, I've just got more than enough power. I've got my cranking battery on this side. It's just a 12-volt cranking battery and it runs all my electronics as well. I haven't had any problems with it. I do keep a spare in case you've got a long day and just something chaotic went wrong, and I can jump or cable over and jump it. So, I keep a spare battery on that side. But, in general, it keeps it nice and light with those lithiums.

I've run the Suzuki 250SS back here. It's the new matte black model. Super cool looking. I've been running it about seven seasons now, and I've never had a single mechanical problem other than I've hit a couple of stumps and rocks. So, I've hurt some lower units or been a couple gear shafts over the last seven years. Power pull blades on the side, lots of room, lots of organization. 

The Phoenix, I couldn't be happier with it. Super good in rough water, doesn't sacrifice speed, still very fast, good organization, lots of room, and like I said before, I dreamed of fishing out of a boat like this when I was a kid and now I get to, I'm super thankful.