As a licensed professional fishing guide, Michael Acosta shows you how to find them. He has been based in Granbury for over 35 years, has been fishing his whole life, and has been a licensed guide since 1998.
I was asked that day what it would take to outfit a fishing boat. A well-equipped boat may help you locate fish, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to catch more fish. Today’s article will discuss how I will outfit my boat. You can spend a lot of money on the latest technology and you can also get enough equipment with some good equipment at a fairly reasonable cost. Nothing is cheap these days, as you all know.
I started fishing bass/catfish/bass/crappie many years ago with a 15-foot Star-Craft Tri-hull with a windshield. This old triangular hull caught a lot of fish as soon as I put a few accessories on it. The good thing about fishing for striped bass/catfish/crappie is that it doesn’t take a lot to prep, but there are a few that I recommend.
The most important component of a fishing boat in my opinion is the electronics. You can spend several thousand to outfit the boat with huge screens and multiple transducers to see below on the sides and actually see the fish like a Live Scope). They are nice to have and can help, but a good fish finder that can see below and to the sides with GPS can be had for less than $600 or so. GPS is not required but having it will allow you to save your locations and help you navigate which is especially critical with a low lake. Quality and sensitivity these days are excellent, and Garmin or Lowrance have some great options.
The next item I can’t live without is the trolling engine. It’s optional, but a good manual trolling engine will do. Getting a GPS-controlled trolling motor costs more, but I highly recommend a motor because it can carry you without using an anchor and is almost like having a hand on deck helping the boat. I have one on both boats and rely on this feature.
There are many manufacturers such as Minn Kota and Motorguide that many use. For example, electronic manufacturers such as Lowrance make a phishing engine with built-in transducers to work wirelessly with their electronic devices. This option is expensive, but I might consider this option in the future. Any of these trolling engines will allow you to cover the waters quietly and efficiently. The trolling engine will allow you to fish, work edges/cams/banks, control drift, troll and will also provide you with some stealth.
Each bass boat contains a trolling motor. Choose a fishing motor with enough thrust for your boat. It will be worth the money in the long run to get a bigger engine. If you’ve ever been on the lake in a windy way, you’ll know why. I also recommend using a good saltwater rated trolling engine for our salt lakes (Granberry has a high salt content).
If you’re going to be fishing multiple poles with live bait like most bass/catfish/crappie anglers do, you’ll likely need some good rod holders. Losing your fishing gear in the lake is no fun. There are several types of bar mounts available on the market today. Some are plastic while others are made of metal. I recommend using good stainless steel rod holders that are firmly attached. There are many different good brands. Personally, I use Driftmaster Rod mounts made by Black River Tool. Personally, I have never lost a penis in one of these mounts. You can also easily remove your pole from the stand when the fish have bent in half.
These are the main items one would need to outfit a boat for bass/catfish/striped crappie fishing. There are other accessories such as live wells (many boats already have these), baitwells, radios, etc. A simple rig with a good fish finder, and trolling motor, will work for most types of fishing in our region’s lakes. It might be desirable to live catch black bass, but a good ice chest/fish box is all you need for the other species (assuming you bring those crappie, striped bass and/or catfish home to eat).
I hope this helps to equip a boat for fishing. Don’t forget safety items required by law such as life jackets, paddle, fire extinguisher, throw pillow, etc.
Water temperatures at Granbury dropped into the low 60s with the recent cold snap. Fishing for striped bass was played on some lower ends on live bait and jigs. Still good to excellent crappie fishing for jigs and small fish. Largemouth bass were in numbers from fair to good on soft plastics caught near creek entrances and main lake points. Catfish locomotion has also been captured on the upper extremities in shallow flats. Look for bird action to point you to active fish.
Comanche Creek Reservoir reports excellent stills for catfish, tilapia and largemouth bass. Largemouth Bass is good in most any presentation and you’ll get catfish that make it to your bass shows. Frontier catfish are common on cut and prepared baits. Cichlids can be caught from worms caught under a cork, although many anglers catch this tasty invasive species with cast nets.
Striped bass borders from Lake Whitney are still common on the main lake and upstream of Katy Bridge. Look for birds.