By Lake Michigan Fishing Charter Capt. Jim Hirt
Most major cities have boat shows starting in January and running all the way through March. I have had boats in all sizes shapes and colors. My biggest dilemma at the shows is trying to decide what will work best for my type of fishing and is within my budget. I am not sure how to address budget in this article but I will say a mllti purpose boat for fishing skiing cruising is an easier sell to the family. Of course they’re some of you who do not have to deal with that issue. You will find however a multi purpose boat will get more use. For the hardcore fisherman you will still be in a quandary over a boat that will work for all the types of fish I fish for and what will fill the bill for the waters I fish. I have two boats and would not have it any other way. My small boat is a 14-foot aluminum with a 10 horse. I only have a couple thousand into it. There is plenty of room for two people with gear. I have a fish locator lights and an anchor that’s it. I keep it small here for several reasons. The most important is portability. On some the lakes I fish in northern Wisconsin you will never get a bigger boat in the water. This boat is light enough to lift off the trailer and carry to the water. At times we will carry it through the woods to gain access to waters very seldom fished. I love this boat but it will never work on big water like the Great Lakes. Read all my articles and fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
Salmon slamming boat
On the big pond you need some freeboard, room for equipment and protection from the elements. How big is big enough? This depends on the size of your crew. Two guys with a little knowledge of the water will do just fine in a well equipped deep 18 footer with a 90 horse motor. This boat does present some good and bad trade offs. The good news is an 18 is perfect for Walleyes on rivers and big lakes. On the other hand you need to watch your weather before and during a trip on the Great Lakes. Wind direction, wave heights. Safety is always an issue and the big waters of most salmon fishing lakes must be respected.
There are dozens of ways to go and your budget will be the guide to how complete you boat will be. Essentials for safety should be your first concern and are required by law. I won’t go into them as they have different laws every where you go boating.
Let’s go into fishing needs
To start let's cover a very limited budget for one person fishing out of a small boat. In the state of Wisconsin on Lake Michigan we are allowed three rods per person. You could buy three rods although I believe when fishing alone or even with one other person more tackle means more expense and not necessarily more enjoyment or fish on.
In recent years the buzzword on the water is stealth. A clean presentation offered a good distance from the boat will take more and bigger fish. Too much tackle will often turn the fish off. Purchase two 8-foot medium action trolling rods. They will give you all the versatility and power you need. There are good quality fiberglass rods starting a $30 each.
I will continue this article with the next post. This package will offer the opportunity to catch reel screaming Chinooks, dancing Rainbows, huge Brown Trout, tasty Coho and rod bending Lakers. Have a great fishing season. Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2011, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.