Inside Elite Boats

Inside Elite Boats: Garrett Paquette

Michigan Elite Series pro Garrett Paquette hits the road with matching truck and boat wraps. Can you guess who his title sponsor is?
Photo: Mark Hicks - Michigan Elite Series pro Garrett Paquette hits the road with matching truck and boat wraps. Can you guess who his title sponsor is?
Paquette tows his Nitro Z21 with a Toyota Tundra.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Paquette tows his Nitro Z21 with a Toyota Tundra.
Twin rod tubes atop his Leer truck cap hold spare rods.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Twin rod tubes atop his Leer truck cap hold spare rods.
The rod tubes are roomy enough to hold a multitude of rods that will handle any conditions he may encounter across the country.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The rod tubes are roomy enough to hold a multitude of rods that will handle any conditions he may encounter across the country.
The step and support post on his trailer make life easier and greatly reduce the chances for an accident.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The step and support post on his trailer make life easier and greatly reduce the chances for an accident.
The Minn Kota Ultrex on the bow of Paquette’s Nitro has anchor lock and other features that are advantageous for fishing offshore.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The Minn Kota Ultrex on the bow of Paquette’s Nitro has anchor lock and other features that are advantageous for fishing offshore.
A T-H Marine G-Force Eliminator Prop Nut reduces prop noise and vibration. It also has cooling ports that reduce the motor’s operating temperature.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A T-H Marine G-Force Eliminator Prop Nut reduces prop noise and vibration. It also has cooling ports that reduce the motor’s operating temperature.
A Down Imaging transducer is clamped to the bottom of the electric motor. It connects to one of two Humminbird Solix graphs on the bow.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A Down Imaging transducer is clamped to the bottom of the electric motor. It connects to one of two Humminbird Solix graphs on the bow.
The speaker for a Hydrowave Electronic Feeding Stimulator is clamped to the top of the electric motor.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The speaker for a Hydrowave Electronic Feeding Stimulator is clamped to the top of the electric motor.
A Humminbird 360 Imaging transducer is fixed to the Minn Kota.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A Humminbird 360 Imaging transducer is fixed to the Minn Kota.
The foot control for the Minn Kota Ultrex is secured in a well on the front deck. Note that the down button for the Power-Poles is placed to avoid stepping on it accidentally.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The foot control for the Minn Kota Ultrex is secured in a well on the front deck. Note that the down button for the Power-Poles is placed to avoid stepping on it accidentally.
The up button for the Power-Poles is on the left side of the foot control next to the bow cup holder.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The up button for the Power-Poles is on the left side of the foot control next to the bow cup holder.
This Humminbird GPS compass avoids confusion. It prompts the graph’s display to always show which direction the boat is facing.
Photo: Mark Hicks - This Humminbird GPS compass avoids confusion. It prompts the graph’s display to always show which direction the boat is facing.
The Hydrowave unit is fixed far forward on the right side of the bow deck where it is handy but not underfoot.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The Hydrowave unit is fixed far forward on the right side of the bow deck where it is handy but not underfoot.
Behind the Hydrowave on the bow is an outboard trim and navigation light panel.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Behind the Hydrowave on the bow is an outboard trim and navigation light panel.
Here’s an overview of Paquette’s bow setup.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Here’s an overview of Paquette’s bow setup.
The two Humminbird 10-inch Solix graphs on the bow ensure that he keeps tabs on the underwater world. One of the graphs is designated to 360 Imaging.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The two Humminbird 10-inch Solix graphs on the bow ensure that he keeps tabs on the underwater world. One of the graphs is designated to 360 Imaging.
Precision Sonar Mounts ensure that his Humminbirds stay put even in rough seas.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Precision Sonar Mounts ensure that his Humminbirds stay put even in rough seas.
All four of Paquette’s Humminbird graphs are secured with DuraSave E-Locks.
Photo: Mark Hicks - All four of Paquette’s Humminbird graphs are secured with DuraSave E-Locks.
Bungee style hold-downs on each side of the deck prevent rods from going overboard while running.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Bungee style hold-downs on each side of the deck prevent rods from going overboard while running.
His port side locker holds an arsenal of rods.
Photo: Mark Hicks - His port side locker holds an arsenal of rods.
Each rod in the locker is protected by a rod sock.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Each rod in the locker is protected by a rod sock.
A variety of spinning and baitcasting outfits in the locker allow him to adjust to varying fishing conditions.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A variety of spinning and baitcasting outfits in the locker allow him to adjust to varying fishing conditions.
The forward locker on the bow is generous in size.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The forward locker on the bow is generous in size.
Magnetic lure holders on the locker’s lid keep top priority baits handy.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Magnetic lure holders on the locker’s lid keep top priority baits handy.
He reserves the shelf on the left side of the bow locker for soft plastic baits. Flat utility boxes hold hard baits.
Photo: Mark Hicks - He reserves the shelf on the left side of the bow locker for soft plastic baits. Flat utility boxes hold hard baits.
Behind the forward locker on the bow are two smaller lockers.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Behind the forward locker on the bow are two smaller lockers.
The port locker holds more flat tackle boxes and spools of line.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The port locker holds more flat tackle boxes and spools of line.
The starboard locker is stuffed with more flat boxes.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The starboard locker is stuffed with more flat boxes.
The boxes are labeled with a marking pen to help Paquette quickly put his hands on whatever lure he needs.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The boxes are labeled with a marking pen to help Paquette quickly put his hands on whatever lure he needs.
He fetches his PFD from the starboard rod locker.
Photo: Mark Hicks - He fetches his PFD from the starboard rod locker.
This locker also contains his throw PFD and a first aid kit.
Photo: Mark Hicks - This locker also contains his throw PFD and a first aid kit.
The opening for this locker is wide enough to accept his bow butt seat.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The opening for this locker is wide enough to accept his bow butt seat.
Clamps inside the locker secure the pedestals for the bow and rear seats, along with the running lights. Note the paddle for emergencies and the push-pole.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Clamps inside the locker secure the pedestals for the bow and rear seats, along with the running lights. Note the paddle for emergencies and the push-pole.
The lid for this locker has line holders that make respooling reels a snap.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The lid for this locker has line holders that make respooling reels a snap.
The Ethernet switch for Paquette’s four Humminbird graphs is mounted to the rear wall of the starboard rock locker below the fire extinguisher.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The Ethernet switch for Paquette’s four Humminbird graphs is mounted to the rear wall of the starboard rock locker below the fire extinguisher.
On the right side of the step to the bow deck is a holder for tools and a cup.
Photo: Mark Hicks - On the right side of the step to the bow deck is a holder for tools and a cup.
Beneath the step is a sizeable cooler.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Beneath the step is a sizeable cooler.
To the left of the cooler is another holder for tools and a cup. The cup holders see far more lures than drinks.
Photo: Mark Hicks - To the left of the cooler is another holder for tools and a cup. The cup holders see far more lures than drinks.
He mans the pilot seat of his bass rig. The 42 on the console was his boat number at the 2019 Bassmaster Classic.
Photo: Mark Hicks - He mans the pilot seat of his bass rig. The 42 on the console was his boat number at the 2019 Bassmaster Classic.
The twin graphs on Paquette’s console are 12-inch Humminbird Solix units.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The twin graphs on Paquette’s console are 12-inch Humminbird Solix units.
Here’s the view from the driver’s seat.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Here’s the view from the driver’s seat.
Just as with the graphs on the bow, Paquette relies on Precision Sonar Mounts and DuraSave E-Locks to keep his graphs safe and secure.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Just as with the graphs on the bow, Paquette relies on Precision Sonar Mounts and DuraSave E-Locks to keep his graphs safe and secure.
Trim levers on each side of the steering wheel allow him to adjust the outboard’s trim and the hydraulic jackplate while keeping both hands on the steering wheel.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Trim levers on each side of the steering wheel allow him to adjust the outboard’s trim and the hydraulic jackplate while keeping both hands on the steering wheel.
Conveniently located on the right side of the console are switches for the boat’s many functions.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Conveniently located on the right side of the console are switches for the boat’s many functions.
A Power-Pole switch is mounted lower on the console where it is within easy reach.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A Power-Pole switch is mounted lower on the console where it is within easy reach.
A T-H Marine HotFoot allows for immediate and precise throttle control.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A T-H Marine HotFoot allows for immediate and precise throttle control.
These switches are located below the outboard’s shifter. The levers on the right open and close the livewells. The switches on the left supply power to the T-H Marine Oxygenator installed in each livewell.
Photo: Mark Hicks - These switches are located below the outboard’s shifter. The levers on the right open and close the livewells. The switches on the left supply power to the T-H Marine Oxygenator installed in each livewell.
Below the step for the back deck between the seats is a storage bin for items that need to be accessed quickly. Note the cellphone.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Below the step for the back deck between the seats is a storage bin for items that need to be accessed quickly. Note the cellphone.
Other items that Paquette keeps in this bin include sunglasses…
Photo: Mark Hicks - Other items that Paquette keeps in this bin include sunglasses…
…culling clips and a scale…
Photo: Mark Hicks - …culling clips and a scale…
…sunscreen…
Photo: Mark Hicks - …sunscreen…
…weighted fin clips to keep bass that have been caught from deep water upright in the livewell…
Photo: Mark Hicks - …weighted fin clips to keep bass that have been caught from deep water upright in the livewell…
…and a cleaner and soft cloth for sunglasses and graph displays.
Photo: Mark Hicks - …and a cleaner and soft cloth for sunglasses and graph displays.
The bin lifts out to provide easy access to the gas tank.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The bin lifts out to provide easy access to the gas tank.
Rod holders and a compartment help fishing partners stay organized and efficient.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Rod holders and a compartment help fishing partners stay organized and efficient.
A peek inside the compartment.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A peek inside the compartment.
Handles next to the seats are welcome when running in rough water.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Handles next to the seats are welcome when running in rough water.
Just to the left of the passenger seat is another cup holder.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Just to the left of the passenger seat is another cup holder.
Paquette releases Velcro type straps that secure a push pole out of the way just behind the seats.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Paquette releases Velcro type straps that secure a push pole out of the way just behind the seats.
Remnant mud on the end of the pole is clear evidence that he has put it to good use.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Remnant mud on the end of the pole is clear evidence that he has put it to good use.
The locker behind the driver’s seat is reserved for clothing.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The locker behind the driver’s seat is reserved for clothing.
A knit cap and gloves combat cold weather.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A knit cap and gloves combat cold weather.
He carries two sets of rain gear. The one on the left is for warm weather. The heavier rain gear on the right gets the call when it’s cold.
Photo: Mark Hicks - He carries two sets of rain gear. The one on the left is for warm weather. The heavier rain gear on the right gets the call when it’s cold.
Two large livewells beg to be filled with heavyweight bass.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Two large livewells beg to be filled with heavyweight bass.
Conveniently located between the livewells is a measuring board.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Conveniently located between the livewells is a measuring board.
The locker behind the passenger seat holds tools and items that will help overcome boat malfunctions.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The locker behind the passenger seat holds tools and items that will help overcome boat malfunctions.
A second such container is stuffed with tools, spare fuses and other items that could save a day on the water.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A second such container is stuffed with tools, spare fuses and other items that could save a day on the water.
The bilge compartment contains much more than batteries.
Photo: Mark Hicks - The bilge compartment contains much more than batteries.
This removable tray holds a spare fish bag, G-Juice for the livewells, a spare prop for the trolling motor and an air horn.
Photo: Mark Hicks - This removable tray holds a spare fish bag, G-Juice for the livewells, a spare prop for the trolling motor and an air horn.
A rope resides in the port side tray.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A rope resides in the port side tray.
Beneath the trays are the batteries and other essential items.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Beneath the trays are the batteries and other essential items.
There is enough room to bolt a spare prop in place, something every bass boat should have.
Photo: Mark Hicks - There is enough room to bolt a spare prop in place, something every bass boat should have.
This switch turns off power to the batteries when the boat is not in use and prevents the batteries from being inadvertently drained.
Photo: Mark Hicks - This switch turns off power to the batteries when the boat is not in use and prevents the batteries from being inadvertently drained.
In the corner of the bilge on the port side are the hydraulic pumps for the Power-Poles.
Photo: Mark Hicks - In the corner of the bilge on the port side are the hydraulic pumps for the Power-Poles.
A hatch in the bottom of the bilge gives you access to hoses, wires and thru-hull transducers without the need to remove the batteries.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A hatch in the bottom of the bilge gives you access to hoses, wires and thru-hull transducers without the need to remove the batteries.
Paquette shows why you should always carry a spare prop in your boat.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Paquette shows why you should always carry a spare prop in your boat.
He could not be happier with Mercury’s new four-stroke 250.
Photo: Mark Hicks - He could not be happier with Mercury’s new four-stroke 250.
A T-H Marine Atlas hydraulic jack plate allows Paquette to get optimum performance from his outboard and boat.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A T-H Marine Atlas hydraulic jack plate allows Paquette to get optimum performance from his outboard and boat.
He would never leave home for a tournament without Power-Poles.
Photo: Mark Hicks - He would never leave home for a tournament without Power-Poles.
A step folds down over the transom to help someone in the water climb into the boat.
Photo: Mark Hicks - A step folds down over the transom to help someone in the water climb into the boat.
BoatBuckle straps conveniently secure the boat’s transom to the trailer.
Photo: Mark Hicks - BoatBuckle straps conveniently secure the boat’s transom to the trailer.
Humminbird’s Side Imaging transducer must be mounted to the transom to perform properly.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Humminbird’s Side Imaging transducer must be mounted to the transom to perform properly.
Paquette looks ready to rumble with a rig that is set up just the way he likes it.
Photo: Mark Hicks - Paquette looks ready to rumble with a rig that is set up just the way he likes it.