Last week Bass Cat had a get-together in Arkansas for some of us who run their boats. It was a real eye opener. I’ve only had two boat sponsors in my career, and I have to say that both of them make high-quality products that any angler would be proud to own.
We worked for several days, on and off the water. I learned a lot that I think will make me a better angler. One of the things I now know more about is how to pack my boat. Like a lot of guys, I have a ton of tackle and equipment in my rig. Lots of it I need but some of it is more like a security blanket — just in case type stuff.
I usually pack things according to what I think I’ll need. If I’m going to be using plastics, I’ll pack them where I can get to them easily. My spare tackle and equipment is put somewhere out of the way. I suppose that works OK but there is another way to approach packing that’s more efficient and that’ll help you get more speed and performance out of your boat. Pack the heavy stuff in the back and the light stuff in the front no matter how or when you’re going to be using it.
After some on-the-water tests, I will now be putting my spare parts, tool kit, jigs, weights and other heavy things in the back compartments of my Bass Cat Puma FTD. My plastics, hooks, crankbaits and things that don’t weigh so much will be in the front. That will let my boat run 2 or 3 mph faster.
That might not sound like much if you’re sitting in front of your computer reading this column but in a fishing tournament that can be huge. After a 20- or 30-mile run, you’ll arrive at your spot a minute or two before everyone else. That gives you the first few casts, often the most important.
I’ll admit that it takes some time to get your head wrapped around this concept. We’re all used to putting the things we’ll be using in the compartment that’s closest to the trolling motor or at least reasonably close to it. That sounds efficient and seems to make sense. I’m telling you, though, that this system is better. And it’s good for any boat you own.