Inside Elite Boats: Patrick Walters

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 002_untitled-6.jpg
This will be a different Inside Elite Boats tour than the norm. In this gallery, is giving anglers a rare look at a boat after the weigh-in at a typical Bassmaster Elite Series event. 
Patrick Walters is back at his rental house, prepping tackle for the next day. He systematically goes through his Daiwa rods, reels and baits to have them all ready for action on the following day. Walters competes from a Falcon F205 Predator, with an overall length of 20 feet, 4 inches with a beam of 99 inches. The tournament-ready rig has a fuel capacity of 50 gallons, with a maximum rating of 250 horsepower.
Prep is part of the daily ritual that occurs between weigh-in time and dinner time. Dinner’s on the stove just about ready to be enjoyed. In the meantime, take a look at the boat. 
Walters straps down an array of rods and reels.
Rigged and ready for action are Walters’ favorite lure — the jerkbait. It is ideal for seeing on forward-facing sonar when teasing bass to come in for the bait with his choice of Rapala lures. Those are rigged on his new Tatula Elite jerkbait rod that is ideal for maximizing the action of those lures, especially when used with forward-facing sonar.
“This is where most of the work gets done,” Walters said. Walters is skilled on the use of forward-facing sonar technology, and like some pros, he opts to leverage the best features of different sonars. He uses a threesome of a Humminbird Helix 15, Lowrance HDS-12 LIVE and a Garmin ECHO Map. 
The units are rigged on a Bass Boat Technologies Triple Bow Mount. 
The Helix 15 is primarily used for Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging that gives a 360-degree view of the water and habitat with constant updates.
The HDS-12 is Walters’ setup for 2D sonar, GPS and related waypoint management. 
The Garmin unit is favored for its LIveScope technology as Walters’ eyes below the surface. 
Also on the bow is a Minn Kota Ultrex 112 36-volt trolling motor with a 45-inch shaft. 
Rigged on the shaft are the transducers for Humminbird MEGA 360 and Garmin Panoptix LiveScope. 
The expansive front deck has a cavernous center storage, braced by a starboard rod compartment, a day box just forward of the console and another compartment. What you see is a typical layout used by the pros during competition. “I carry up to 50 rods in the rod storage during a typical tournament,” Walters said. 
Inside the day box is a removable tray where Walters stores bulk plastics for grabbing and using throughout the day. 
The tray effectively doubles the bin’s storage capacity.
Beneath the tray and at the bottom of the box are Sufix lines for leaders. In the other forward storage compartment is rainwear, PFDs and other small, lightweight gear. 
“This is my ‘bread and butter’ box,” Walters said. It’s filled with all of his hard baits, including Rapala topwaters, jerkbaits and crankbaits. 
Labels clearly communicate the contents of each box.
The boxes keep lures organized and prevent damage in rough water.
The baits he needs to grab on game day are attached on this T-H Marine Tackle Titan magnet lure keeper. 
The Falcon features a small slide-out storage to quickly grab baits that fit and stay organized better in this setup. 
Sitting on the closed lid of the center storage, Walters can rig tackle with the other boxes within arm’s reach. Located at the rear of the front deck is a handy storage area used often by the pros to keep lures changed out for other baits. 
The rod storage used for another angler in a draw-style tournament is frequently used by the Elite pros for storing other rods that are sidelined from being stored on the front deck. 
The console windshield is adorned with Walters’ boat number for the Bassmaster Classic, and a decal displaying his affinity for promoting autism awareness. 
At the console is a Lowrance HDS-12 LIVE, used for GPS and waypoint management, side-scanning and down-scanning. A Humminbird Helix 12 is set up for LakeMaster mapping and side-imaging. 
On the opposite passenger side is a box used for heavier lures, including wire baits, jigs, jig heads, belly weights and other terminal tackle. The purpose is keeping heavier items in the back for improved hull performance.
Behind the driver’s seat is a storage box perfect for boxed soft plastics, the idea being to concentrate weight toward the rear. 
Inside the spacious, open battery compartment are five Impulse Lithium Batteries. 
Walters uses two Lithium Impulse 12v 100Ah LIfePO4 batteries rigged in parallel for cranking and powering accessories. 
Walters uses three Lithium Impulse 36v 40Ah Platinum Series LifePO4 batteries for powering his trolling motor. “It might be considered overkill, but at this level of use it is the best solution for me.” Not pictured due to rigging location is a Power-Pole CHARGE Marine Power Management System. “With my trolling motor batteries, I can charge them while fishing, and the CHARGE system provides the advantages of controlling and monitoring the batteries,” Walters said. “It’s reassuring to know where everything stands while I’m out on the water.” 
Walters opts for a T-H Marine 10-inch Atlas Hydraulic Jack Plate
The Falcon F205 Predator is powered by a Yamaha V6 V MAX SHO. “It’s designed for professional-level bass fishing, while providing the average guy an outboard that is dependable and has unequalled fuel economy and performance,” Walters said. 
Walters opts for the Power-Pole Blade 10. I didn’t run them for the longest time; we fish a lot of 6- to 8-feet of water during much of the season with those being shallow-water events. With the 8-footers I can cover the more midrange shallow zone.”