Don't get ripped off!

Note: See accompanying photos about boat security.

With tournament season in full swing, fishing tackle burglaries are on the rise as well. There is no crummier feeling than that of stepping out of your motel room to see your boat cover has been disturbed, then peeling it back to find your storage boxes have been cleaned out. While some locales are more notorious for thefts than others, this scenario can play out anywhere, even at the most remote lakes.

Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens pro Patrick Pierce calls Jacksonville, Fla., home but he travels tens of thousands of miles each year in search of a Bassmaster Elite Series berth. He came oh-so-close in 2013, missing a berth by several spots.

“If you travel to fish tournaments, you need to prepare your boat a little bit differently than if you just leave your boat in the garage and fish locally,” Pierce says. “But, at the same time, preparing and securing your gear isn’t that difficult.”

Don’t give 'em a chance

“Most of the times when guys get ripped off, they get taken advantage of by opportunistic thieves,” he says. “These are the ones who see a rod and reel sitting on your deck while you’re inside paying for gas, and they snatch it and run. This is also the easiest combat.

“The first thing I do is keep the cover on my boat at all times when I’m traveling. Simply having that visual deterrent is enough a lot of the time.”

But, when a cover isn’t enough, Pierce’s Triton is ready for more determined ne’er-do-wells.

“If a guy is really set on getting into my stuff, I’m going to make it as difficult as possible,” he says. “Underneath my cover is a T-H Marine Loc-R-Bar. This is a big, beefy tubular steel locking system that keeps your hatches from being opened. It’s another visual deterrent. I run a Triton, and they have adaptors to fit all models, especially if you have boxes up front.”

However, the most determined thieves will simply hook a winch cable to the bar and destroy the top cap of the boat in the process of “removing” the locking system. But Pierce has an ace in the hole that’ll alert him before they can even remove the cover to tear the locking system off: a specialized boat alarm.

“I have a Two-Way Alarm on my boat. It’s a great system that is simple to install and is very effective. There’s just one sensor and a few wires to hook up, then you’re in business.”

Pierce’s alarm is called a Two-Way Alarm because when the sensor is disturbed, not only does a deafening alarm blast from the boat, the accompanying key fob beeps, vibrates and lights up, which can alert you that foul play is afoot, even if you’re in a deep slumber.

“That thing will go off as soon as someone tries to fool with the cover,” Pierce says. “Couple the alarm with the cover and you’re pretty much good to go.”

Technology aside, Pierce stresses that the most important preventative measure lies between your ears: your brain.

“Be smart about securing your boat at night, especially when you’re at a motel,” he explains. “Take everything removable inside with you. I use an RMC Boatworks Shock Lock on all of my electronics. Not only is it rock solid when you’re on the water, but a single screw and a pin are what holds it in place, so it’s really easy to take off at the end of the day. Again, reducing a thief’s chances at getting to your stuff is your best bet at not being cleaned out on the road.”

Note: See accompanying photos about boat security.

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