Inside Elite Boats

Inside Elite Boats: Destin DeMarion

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Destin DeMarion does his work from a Phoenix 21 PHX. Today he’ll give a full tour of his tournament rig.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Bassmaster Elite Series pro Destin DeMarion does his work from a Phoenix 21 PHX. Today he’ll give a full tour of his tournament rig.
DeMarion begins by showing us the front of the boat, where he spends his fishing time. He has the Trick Step for easy access in and out of his boat, which makes it super easy to load and unload by himself on the road.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - DeMarion begins by showing us the front of the boat, where he spends his fishing time. He has the Trick Step for easy access in and out of his boat, which makes it super easy to load and unload by himself on the road.
The front deck is set up to maximize his time and efficiency on the water. A recessed trolling motor tray for the foot pedal is centered, and Power-Pole switches are close by for easy access. The graphs are stacked offset which allows room for DeMarion to work with the Ultrex and glance back and forth between both graphs. A Humminbird Solix 12 links with his Solix in the dash and provides mapping and sonar. The Garmin is used for Panoptix.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The front deck is set up to maximize his time and efficiency on the water. A recessed trolling motor tray for the foot pedal is centered, and Power-Pole switches are close by for easy access. The graphs are stacked offset which allows room for DeMarion to work with the Ultrex and glance back and forth between both graphs. A Humminbird Solix 12 links with his Solix in the dash and provides mapping and sonar. The Garmin is used for Panoptix.
DeMarion is in the middle of a pre-practice trip that took him all over the Northeast, and he wasted no time prepping his Humminbird Solix 12 for an afternoon of scouting. Although DeMarion loves the Helix series, he opted for the Solix for the functionality, touch screen and total customization it allows.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - DeMarion is in the middle of a pre-practice trip that took him all over the Northeast, and he wasted no time prepping his Humminbird Solix 12 for an afternoon of scouting. Although DeMarion loves the Helix series, he opted for the Solix for the functionality, touch screen and total customization it allows.
A Minn Kota Ultrex is his trolling motor of choice, and the shaft is tightly wrapped with all of the different sonar and imaging options DeMarion needs on the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A Minn Kota Ultrex is his trolling motor of choice, and the shaft is tightly wrapped with all of the different sonar and imaging options DeMarion needs on the Bassmaster Elite Series.
A small but mighty upgrade, the Ninja Grass Blade was brought to life by the father of one of his old tournament friends, Joe Lucarelli. Lucarelli and DeMarion fished the Bassmaster Opens and Costas against each other in years past. The Ninja Grass blade rids his prop of annoying vegetation by slicing it with each turn of the prop.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A small but mighty upgrade, the Ninja Grass Blade was brought to life by the father of one of his old tournament friends, Joe Lucarelli. Lucarelli and DeMarion fished the Bassmaster Opens and Costas against each other in years past. The Ninja Grass blade rids his prop of annoying vegetation by slicing it with each turn of the prop.
A T-H Marine G-Force Eliminator helps keep the Ultrex quiet and balanced throughout the day.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A T-H Marine G-Force Eliminator helps keep the Ultrex quiet and balanced throughout the day.
A Garmin transducer allows him to utilize Panoptix with his Garmin unit. Combining Humminbird mapping, 2D sonar and imaging with the Panoptix and LiveScope, there is literally nothing DeMarion can miss while searching for big bass.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A Garmin transducer allows him to utilize Panoptix with his Garmin unit. Combining Humminbird mapping, 2D sonar and imaging with the Panoptix and LiveScope, there is literally nothing DeMarion can miss while searching for big bass.
A closer look at the Garmin, offset to the right of the trolling motor, out of thy way of his Solix.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A closer look at the Garmin, offset to the right of the trolling motor, out of thy way of his Solix.
The Humminbird GPS puck is tucked just in front of the graphs out of the way and close to the trolling motor. When DeMarion marks a waypoint in the front, he can be sure that point is right under the puck when he returns to the spot later to fish.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The Humminbird GPS puck is tucked just in front of the graphs out of the way and close to the trolling motor. When DeMarion marks a waypoint in the front, he can be sure that point is right under the puck when he returns to the spot later to fish.
The T-H Marine G-Force Troll Jacket keeps all the cables and wires protected. Stowing and deploying the trolling motor several times in a day can take a toll on the cable.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The T-H Marine G-Force Troll Jacket keeps all the cables and wires protected. Stowing and deploying the trolling motor several times in a day can take a toll on the cable.
As DeMarion was prepping for an afternoon on the lake, he took a moment to show us the front end of the 21 PHX. He opened the center front storage compartment and began to move some boxes around ...
Photo: Justin Brouillard - As DeMarion was prepping for an afternoon on the lake, he took a moment to show us the front end of the 21 PHX. He opened the center front storage compartment and began to move some boxes around ...
Photo: Justin Brouillard - "Let me organize just a little bit," he said. "There have been a lot of early mornings with lots of road time in between."
He takes a minute to gather up his Berkley soft plastics that have been used and left inside the middle storage compartment. DeMarion keeps bags of similar baits in 1-gallon zip-lock baggies which allow him to quickly grab what he needs as he goes from one place to the other.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - He takes a minute to gather up his Berkley soft plastics that have been used and left inside the middle storage compartment. DeMarion keeps bags of similar baits in 1-gallon zip-lock baggies which allow him to quickly grab what he needs as he goes from one place to the other.
He takes a minute to place crankbaits that he has been using back into the box.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - He takes a minute to place crankbaits that he has been using back into the box.
And a quick check on the Owner Ned Heads to make sure they are all where they belong. DeMarion also pointed out that he wanted to make sure he had enough of each size available for the Northern swing of the Elites Series schedule beginning soon.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - And a quick check on the Owner Ned Heads to make sure they are all where they belong. DeMarion also pointed out that he wanted to make sure he had enough of each size available for the Northern swing of the Elites Series schedule beginning soon.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - "That is much better." All the boxes have some sort of label which allows DeMarion to quickly find anything he could need. Time is money on the Elite Series.
In one tray, he stores all his cull clips and a balance beam. Keeping this stuff up front keeps his livewells clear and free from tools so he can clean and maintain them.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - In one tray, he stores all his cull clips and a balance beam. Keeping this stuff up front keeps his livewells clear and free from tools so he can clean and maintain them.
In the other tray, DeMarion keeps miscellaneous tools, leader line, line conditioner, dye pens and more. The location of this bin allows him to quickly grab what he needs from one location.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - In the other tray, DeMarion keeps miscellaneous tools, leader line, line conditioner, dye pens and more. The location of this bin allows him to quickly grab what he needs from one location.
Although he doesn’t usually have to measure many small fish on Erie, the  Phoenix bump board is tucked neatly under the front compartment if the need arises.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Although he doesn’t usually have to measure many small fish on Erie, the Phoenix bump board is tucked neatly under the front compartment if the need arises.
The tool holder sits just to the right of the cooler. It is tucked away where nothing gets in the way, but everything is a quick reach away when needed. Several pairs of pliers and scissors are always on hand.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The tool holder sits just to the right of the cooler. It is tucked away where nothing gets in the way, but everything is a quick reach away when needed. Several pairs of pliers and scissors are always on hand.
The T-H Marine Hot Foot and a fuse panel for the boat sit below the driver’s console. The Hot Foot gives him total control of his boat while navigating in rough water. A hands-free throttle also allows him to use his graph while idling and driving.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The T-H Marine Hot Foot and a fuse panel for the boat sit below the driver’s console. The Hot Foot gives him total control of his boat while navigating in rough water. A hands-free throttle also allows him to use his graph while idling and driving.
Each Phoenix boat is standard with a Net Holder under the middle seat. This keeps it safe and secure until it is needed. Nets are not used on the Bassmaster Elite Series, but as a guide on Erie, DeMarion’s clients appreciate it.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Each Phoenix boat is standard with a Net Holder under the middle seat. This keeps it safe and secure until it is needed. Nets are not used on the Bassmaster Elite Series, but as a guide on Erie, DeMarion’s clients appreciate it.
The Phoenix control center is located within reach of the driver’s seat. The main power switch, the key and all the power control for the boat is controlled via these switches.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The Phoenix control center is located within reach of the driver’s seat. The main power switch, the key and all the power control for the boat is controlled via these switches.
A Solix 15 located above the steering wheel gives DeMarion a big screen to work with when navigating unfamiliar water or spending hours graphing. This graph is linked to the front Solix 12 which allows him to share waypoints, tracks, mapping chips and other information. The Solix is touch screen with easy-to-use interfaces that make it easy to break down new water.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A Solix 15 located above the steering wheel gives DeMarion a big screen to work with when navigating unfamiliar water or spending hours graphing. This graph is linked to the front Solix 12 which allows him to share waypoints, tracks, mapping chips and other information. The Solix is touch screen with easy-to-use interfaces that make it easy to break down new water.
Oops, we forgot a bag of drop-shot worms.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Oops, we forgot a bag of drop-shot worms.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - "Look at the details of this Lakemaster HD Northeast Chip!" Depth highlighting allows him to quickly isolate depth ranges of interest — or shallow water to avoid — when running on glacial made lakes.
Let’s take a minute to get some rods ready for the afternoon before checking out the back end of the Phoenix. One side has plenty of room for his Abu Garcia setups ...
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Let’s take a minute to get some rods ready for the afternoon before checking out the back end of the Phoenix. One side has plenty of room for his Abu Garcia setups ...
... and so does the other side.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - ... and so does the other side.
DeMarion uses Rod Glove rod sleeves to keep his Abu Garcia setups protected at all times. He can quickly take rods out and put them back in as needed. Blue and yellow are his colors.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - DeMarion uses Rod Glove rod sleeves to keep his Abu Garcia setups protected at all times. He can quickly take rods out and put them back in as needed. Blue and yellow are his colors.
Empty Rod Gloves mean DeMarion has a lot of rods on the front deck. That is typical for pre-practice as it gives him lots of options to try out baits and make sure certain combos are set up come tournament time.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Empty Rod Gloves mean DeMarion has a lot of rods on the front deck. That is typical for pre-practice as it gives him lots of options to try out baits and make sure certain combos are set up come tournament time.
An Abu Garcia Ike Delay Casting rod is the first one out.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - An Abu Garcia Ike Delay Casting rod is the first one out.
It just so happens to be a glass rod which he uses for a topwater walking bait. Shown here is an Abu Garcia Ike Delay 7-foot medium action and a Revo STX reel.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - It just so happens to be a glass rod which he uses for a topwater walking bait. Shown here is an Abu Garcia Ike Delay 7-foot medium action and a Revo STX reel.
As the Northern swing was set to kick off, a drop shot was on his mind.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - As the Northern swing was set to kick off, a drop shot was on his mind.
This setup so happens to be an Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier 6-foot, 10-inch medium spinning rod, paired with an Abu Garcia MGX Extreme.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - This setup so happens to be an Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier 6-foot, 10-inch medium spinning rod, paired with an Abu Garcia MGX Extreme.
On the other side, several items are stored below. The waterproof cases keep several items dry and safe.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - On the other side, several items are stored below. The waterproof cases keep several items dry and safe.
You cannot go wrong with a tool kit when you spend as many days on the road and on the water as DeMarion. Between guiding and fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series, DeMarion never knows when it will come in handy.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - You cannot go wrong with a tool kit when you spend as many days on the road and on the water as DeMarion. Between guiding and fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series, DeMarion never knows when it will come in handy.
An extra bilge pump is shown here.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - An extra bilge pump is shown here. "On the Great Lakes, you never know."
Plano Marine storage boxes ...
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Plano Marine storage boxes ...
 ... and a prop wrench.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - ... and a prop wrench.
 Behind the driver’s seat is not much. He keeps a throw cushion, his motor mount and other miscellaneous items.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Behind the driver’s seat is not much. He keeps a throw cushion, his motor mount and other miscellaneous items.
At the back of the boat is where the juice to run the operation is located. On the starboard (right side) of his boat is the cranking battery, Power-Pole pumps and on-board charger.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - At the back of the boat is where the juice to run the operation is located. On the starboard (right side) of his boat is the cranking battery, Power-Pole pumps and on-board charger.
On the port side is a 36V system of Amped Outdoors 12V Lithium Batteries needed to run the Minn Kota Ultrex.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - On the port side is a 36V system of Amped Outdoors 12V Lithium Batteries needed to run the Minn Kota Ultrex.
Amped Outdoors are a sponsor, and DeMarion has nothing but good things to say.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Amped Outdoors are a sponsor, and DeMarion has nothing but good things to say. "They only weigh about 20 pounds each, and I got rid of more than 100 pounds by switching. The batteries last longer over the course of a day, and they charge a lot faster."
Tucked behind everything, the Power-Pole Charge System is out of the way and ready to charge.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Tucked behind everything, the Power-Pole Charge System is out of the way and ready to charge.
Other items include a paddle and a Stiffy Push Pole.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Other items include a paddle and a Stiffy Push Pole.
Dura Edge, DeMarion’s Title Sponsor, is also his employer. The Dura Edge Bass Fishing Experience is a program that allows DeMarion to meet with customers, coaches and groundskeepers all over the country as he travels around to fish competitively.  “I do cookouts and guide trips and have met several clients all over the country. It has been really fun.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Dura Edge, DeMarion’s Title Sponsor, is also his employer. The Dura Edge Bass Fishing Experience is a program that allows DeMarion to meet with customers, coaches and groundskeepers all over the country as he travels around to fish competitively. “I do cookouts and guide trips and have met several clients all over the country. It has been really fun."
A T-H Marine Atlas Hydraulic Jack Plate holds the big Yamaha motor and gives DeMarion control of engine depth in the water. Raising and lowering the engine dictates speed and control, which is handy in rough water on the Great Lakes.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A T-H Marine Atlas Hydraulic Jack Plate holds the big Yamaha motor and gives DeMarion control of engine depth in the water. Raising and lowering the engine dictates speed and control, which is handy in rough water on the Great Lakes.
A Yamaha SHO Vmax 250 engine is the horsepower behind his Phoenix 21 PHX. The 4-stroke engine is very
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A Yamaha SHO Vmax 250 engine is the horsepower behind his Phoenix 21 PHX. The 4-stroke engine is very "reliable and quiet."
And, a Yamaha Vmax Prop provides all the torque.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - And, a Yamaha Vmax Prop provides all the torque.
Dual Power-Pole 8-foot blades keep DeMarion where he needs to be to fish shallow cover.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Dual Power-Pole 8-foot blades keep DeMarion where he needs to be to fish shallow cover.
DeMarion is all cleaned up and ready to get on the water.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - DeMarion is all cleaned up and ready to get on the water.
One more check of the front deck.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - One more check of the front deck.
Almost forgot to strap down the Abu Garcia rods and reels.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Almost forgot to strap down the Abu Garcia rods and reels.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - "Do I have all the plastics I need for these Northern smallmouth?"
 Back down the Trick Step, and let’s go!
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Back down the Trick Step, and let’s go!
DeMarion hits the driver’s seat of his Dura Edge Ford and heads towards the ramp.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - DeMarion hits the driver’s seat of his Dura Edge Ford and heads towards the ramp.
Upstate New York is beautiful this time of year.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Upstate New York is beautiful this time of year.
Photo: Justin Brouillard
 All set to get some time in on the lake.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - All set to get some time in on the lake.
Thanks to Destin DeMarion for showing us around his tournament rig for Inside Elite Boats.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Thanks to Destin DeMarion for showing us around his tournament rig for Inside Elite Boats.