Inside Elite Boats: Trey McKinney

Take a look at current Progressive Bassmaster Angler of the Year points leader Trey McKinney's Bass Cat Puma STS.

Bassmaster Elite Rookie Trey McKinney has taken the world by storm his first year on the Elites. He is the current leader of Progressive Bassmaster Angler of the Year race with four events to go.
McKinney was kind enough to show us the inside of his Bass Cat Puma STS powered by a Yamaha 250 SHO. Let’s get into it.
Starting at the bow, McKinney runs three units up front like many other Elite Series pros.
He runs three Lowrance HDS Pro units, an HDS 16 (top) for his Active Target 2, and dual HDS 12s below for perspective mode and mapping.
McKinney runs a Power-Pole MOVE trolling motor to pull around his Bass Cat while he fishes.
On either side of his MOVE foot pedal, McKinney has his Power-Pole stomp switches and Anchor Mode switch.
Let’s take a look in McKinney’s storage compartments.
A bird’s-eye view of the massive storage compartments of the Puma STS.
Looking into McKinney’s rod lockers, he starts out with lots of rods in both side rod lockers during practice.
When the tournament begins, he slims down to have two of each rod that he thinks he’ll use in case something happens to the first.
McKinney admits that this storage compartment is a disaster, but he knows where everything is … most of the time.
McKinney never leaves the dock without a handful of baits, those being Strike King Baby Structure Jig, Rage Menace and Rage Bug. Each in various colors.
Another one of his favorites is a 5-inch Strike King Ocho.
“All of these baits work anywhere in the country,” said McKinney. “I might have to change the color some, but they stay in my boat and I can go catch them anywhere on them.”
His front two compartments hold his lighter tackle such as glidebaits, fishing line, reels and some soft plastics.
A closer look at some Strike King soft plastics stored in the Bass Cat.
Glidebaits have been making a splash on the Elite Series this year, and McKinney’s collection is growing.
McKinney feels like he has a good base selection where he can tell whether there is potential for that bite during a tournament.
McKinney credits Ben Milliken for inspiring him to look more into big bait fishing.
“It’s a feast or famine deal,” said McKinney. “It’s a great way to go broke and not catch a bass some days.”
McKinney’s Bass Cat features two coolers, the bigger cooler stores his ice, lots of water and Gatorade.
He stores day snacks, sandwiches and some drinks in the cooler right next to his seat for easy access throughout the day.
Above his smaller cooler is a day box where McKinney holds his sunglasses, car keys, wallet and anything else he wants to keep dry.
Let’s take a look at McKinney’s console setup.
On the left side is a mount for an iPad where McKinney can run satellite imaging or another GPS map.
Besides the iPad, he runs three 12-inch Lowrance HDS Pros where he can look at multiple maps and have multiple imaging options. McKinney runs Active Target transducers off his transom, though he seldom uses them.
He carries a spare prop for his Yamaha under the driver’s seat.
We caught Trey mid-rigging. No shortage of St. Croix rods here.
Bass go here.
McKinney utilizes this rear compartment for more tackle. He keeps hooks, some line and a helmet for cold or rainy days.
This rear compartment holds the essentials for McKinney — his rainsuit, spare clothes and of course toilet paper.
Making our way into the battery compartment, McKinney’s Bass Cat holds two 36v Lithium Pro batteries for his trolling motor and two 12v Lithium Pro batteries for cranking and his electronics.
The dual-lid system of the Puma STS allow for easy access with only lifting half of the compartment.
Powering his Puma STS is a 250 horsepower Yamaha Vmax SHO.
Along side of McKinney’s Yamaha are a pair of 8-foot Power-Pole Blades.
McKinney loves his Yamaha and Power-Poles.
Thanks for the tour and good luck the rest of the season, Trey!