Trickin' out my Nitro

Seigo Saito
2011 Bassmaster Classic champ Kevin VanDam

About the author

Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world.

My new Nitro will be delivered next week, and I'm excited.

I'll be running the Z9 again, but I've tweaked the layout a little and changed up some of the equipment I'll be running.

Here's an overview of some of the equipment and accessories I'll have on my 2011 boat:

 

Power

I'll run the MotorGuide Tour 36-volt motor and a Mercury Pro XS250 with a 25 Fury prop. The outboard will be mounted on an Atlas Hydraulic Jack Plate. The trolling motor will include some prototype features I'll be testing for MotorGuide, whose engineers are always searching for ways to make their motors and mount quiet and more durable. Many of the features on your MotorGuide were battled tested by Elite Series pros the year before.

 

 

Electronics

I'll have a Humminbird 998ci combo mounted on a Ram mount at the bow and another 998 flush mounted in the console. I also will have a larger 1197ci combo on a Ram Mount next to the console.

Ram Mounts are great additions because they enable you to adjust the viewing area depending upon where you're standing or sitting.

Nitro revamped its console this year to accommodate the 998, which has a larger screen. I'll use that unit for GPS and mapping. The 1197ci, mounted on the side of the console, has an even larger screen, which I will use for graphing and side imaging. While both of the units are capable of providing sonar, mapping and side imaging on one screen, spreading the information over two units enlarges the amount of information I can see.

I also will run a Stealth Charging System and four 31 Series AGM Deka batteries. The Stealth System transfers excess energy generated from the Pro XS alternator into all of my batteries. When it senses the cranking battery is charged, the amps are passed onto my trolling motor batteries anytime the big motor is running. It has a gauge at the console that displays battery power throughout the day.

The Stealth will keep my batteries fully charged on days when I'm running and gunning. I carry a Dual Pro 36 volt 25-amp portable charger to top off batteries at night, if necessary. It does a great job of charging batteries quickly when I need it.

 

Miscellaneous gear

I'll have a stereo/CD player at the console and a single Power-Pole mounted on the transom. The Power-Pole anchoring system is one of the greatest accessories to come along. I use it to hold me in grassbeds or when sight fishing in the spring.

I also have a "Key Captain" (Sarasota Quality Products) that replaces the standard locks found on most boat storage compartments and serves as an automatic locking system. With the touch of a key fob, I can lock and unlock all my compartments simultaneously. It's an after-market product offered by some boat companies as an option and one that I've found to be invaluable.

Remember, it's all about the attitude.

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