Inside Elite Boats

Inside Elite Boats: Lee Livesay

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Lee Livesay was kind enough to give us a tour of his Ballistic .223 fiberglass bass boat. We met on the shores of Lake Champlain while he prepped for the Elite Series event held on Lake St. Clair in August.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Bassmaster Elite Series pro Lee Livesay was kind enough to give us a tour of his Ballistic .223 fiberglass bass boat. We met on the shores of Lake Champlain while he prepped for the Elite Series event held on Lake St. Clair in August.
Livesay uses a Chevrolet Silverado to tow his rig all over the country.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Livesay uses a Chevrolet Silverado to tow his rig all over the country.
A closer look at his office on the water.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A closer look at his office on the water.
The Ballistic .223 is a 22-foot, 3-inch beast with a 94-inch beam. It is the perfect size for Livesay to store all his necessities, and it handles rough water extremely well.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The Ballistic .223 is a 22-foot, 3-inch beast with a 94-inch beam. It is the perfect size for Livesay to store all his necessities, and it handles rough water extremely well.
The Ballistic has a great trailer which sits on dual axles. It rolls on stylish-looking Velozza XZV4 tires with Dexter Rims.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The Ballistic has a great trailer which sits on dual axles. It rolls on stylish-looking Velozza XZV4 tires with Dexter Rims.
A couple of Livesay’s sponsors include popular southern rock/country group Whiskey Myers and a Whitetail Outfitter in Texas near Livesay’s home called Heart of the Heart Whitetails.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A couple of Livesay’s sponsors include popular southern rock/country group Whiskey Myers and a Whitetail Outfitter in Texas near Livesay’s home called Heart of the Heart Whitetails.
Two more key logos represent the Minnow Bucket Marina on Lake Fork, where Livesay guides, and the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Two more key logos represent the Minnow Bucket Marina on Lake Fork, where Livesay guides, and the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance.
A look back from on top of the McKaig Chevy Buick-wrapped Silverado with beautiful Lake Champlain in the background. McKaig is another of Livesay’s sponsors. The storage box on top is a Custom Whiskey Myers Rod Holder.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A look back from on top of the McKaig Chevy Buick-wrapped Silverado with beautiful Lake Champlain in the background. McKaig is another of Livesay’s sponsors. The storage box on top is a Custom Whiskey Myers Rod Holder.
Looking down on the back of the truck, the Ballistic Boats Logo and Michelob Ultra. Livesay also works with Anheuser-Busch. The Whiskey Myers custom box provides additional space up above.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Looking down on the back of the truck, the Ballistic Boats Logo and Michelob Ultra. Livesay also works with Anheuser-Busch. The Whiskey Myers custom box provides additional space up above.
On the back of the Silverado, a truck cap provides extra space for all the things an Elite pro needs while on the road.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - On the back of the Silverado, a truck cap provides extra space for all the things an Elite pro needs while on the road.
As preparation for St. Clair began, Livesay pulled items from his storage bins so he could rig and sort his tackle.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - As preparation for St. Clair began, Livesay pulled items from his storage bins so he could rig and sort his tackle.
The boat boasts a massive front deck. With rod lockers on both sides and two huge compartments in the middle, most everything he needs can be stored right up front.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The boat boasts a massive front deck. With rod lockers on both sides and two huge compartments in the middle, most everything he needs can be stored right up front.
The electronics portion and the main area on the front of the boat is where Livesay does most of his work. There is plenty of space for everything on the Ballistic, and it is cleanly rigged. You can bet the Humminbirds and the Ultrex will be utilized heavily for action at St. Clair.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The electronics portion and the main area on the front of the boat is where Livesay does most of his work. There is plenty of space for everything on the Ballistic, and it is cleanly rigged. You can bet the Humminbirds and the Ultrex will be utilized heavily for action at St. Clair.
A closer look at the front end. A 36-volt Minn Kota Ultrex is Livesay’s trolling motor of choice and part of the One Boat Network; he pairs it with Humminbird Helix units and Minn Kota Talons.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A closer look at the front end. A 36-volt Minn Kota Ultrex is Livesay’s trolling motor of choice and part of the One Boat Network; he pairs it with Humminbird Helix units and Minn Kota Talons.
The Ultrex foot pedal is recessed in a custom tray with slots for tools in the front and a spot for his morning coffee. The Minn Kota Talon foot pedal is just to the right for easy access.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The Ultrex foot pedal is recessed in a custom tray with slots for tools in the front and a spot for his morning coffee. The Minn Kota Talon foot pedal is just to the right for easy access.
Double-stacked Humminbird Helix 12s gives him plenty of screen to utilize all of the features the Helix units provide…
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Double-stacked Humminbird Helix 12s gives him plenty of screen to utilize all of the features the Helix units provide…
The most important feature, of course, is the Humminbird 360.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The most important feature, of course, is the Humminbird 360.
The 360 mounts to the Minn Kota, and Livesay utilizes one of his Helix 12s for that alone.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The 360 mounts to the Minn Kota, and Livesay utilizes one of his Helix 12s for that alone.
A top-down look at the front end.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A top-down look at the front end.
A heavy-duty Dutton-Lainson Company 1,500-pound trailer jack keeps the boat steady when not in tow.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A heavy-duty Dutton-Lainson Company 1,500-pound trailer jack keeps the boat steady when not in tow.
One of the giant center compartments is used for boxes of lures that are labeled for quick access.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - One of the giant center compartments is used for boxes of lures that are labeled for quick access.
The other is mainly for soft plastics. Livesay switches back and forth from the storage boxes in the truck cap to these compartments, depending on what his plan is for the day and which lake he’s fishing.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The other is mainly for soft plastics. Livesay switches back and forth from the storage boxes in the truck cap to these compartments, depending on what his plan is for the day and which lake he’s fishing.
Livesay is spending some time learning more about Champlain and goes for some plastics he will need. Because everything is labeled, it doesn’t take long to find the bait and color he needs. He stores the soft plastics in Plano Worm File Bags.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Livesay is spending some time learning more about Champlain and goes for some plastics he will need. Because everything is labeled, it doesn’t take long to find the bait and color he needs. He stores the soft plastics in Plano Worm File Bags.
A drop shot is a key player for smallmouth lakes, and one of his favorite baits for the rig is the NetBait Drifter Minnow.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A drop shot is a key player for smallmouth lakes, and one of his favorite baits for the rig is the NetBait Drifter Minnow.
...
Photo: Justin Brouillard - ...
A closer look at the NetBait Drifter Minnow.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A closer look at the NetBait Drifter Minnow.
The massive front rod lockers hold Livesay’s Halo rods.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The massive front rod lockers hold Livesay’s Halo rods.
A Halo TI and a Bruin Outdoors Reel make up the combo for the Popper.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A Halo TI and a Bruin Outdoors Reel make up the combo for the Popper.
A couple more rods and he should have what he needs for a day on the lake.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A couple more rods and he should have what he needs for a day on the lake.
A final adjustment to the topwater lure and Halo Rod combo and Livesay is ready to go cover some water.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A final adjustment to the topwater lure and Halo Rod combo and Livesay is ready to go cover some water.
On the right side of the boat, he keeps a few baitcasting combos. A T-H Marine Rod Strap keeps everything buttoned down.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - On the right side of the boat, he keeps a few baitcasting combos. A T-H Marine Rod Strap keeps everything buttoned down.
On the left, more baitcasting combos.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - On the left, more baitcasting combos.
The passenger side seating area has a big space for extra rods. In this case, he has a couple of spinning rod combos ready for action. Having the ability to keep more rods readily available, but also out of the way, saves a lot of time on the water.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The passenger side seating area has a big space for extra rods. In this case, he has a couple of spinning rod combos ready for action. Having the ability to keep more rods readily available, but also out of the way, saves a lot of time on the water.
The cooler of the Ballistic .223 is absolutely huge. It's large enough for tons of ice and over a case of water. Keeping the extra ice helps Livesay with his fish management during the summer. He can quickly grab several bags of ice over the course of a day to add to his livewell. Keeping the temperature cool keeps his bass alive and ensures they are released in good condition after the weigh-in.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The cooler of the Ballistic .223 is absolutely huge. It's large enough for tons of ice and over a case of water. Keeping the extra ice helps Livesay with his fish management during the summer. He can quickly grab several bags of ice over the course of a day to add to his livewell. Keeping the temperature cool keeps his bass alive and ensures they are released in good condition after the weigh-in.
The cockpit of the Ballistic. Two more Humminbirds.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The cockpit of the Ballistic. Two more Humminbirds.
A dual 12 mount gives him the screen space to run multiple looks and quickly break down water.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A dual 12 mount gives him the screen space to run multiple looks and quickly break down water.
Under the console is a T-H Marine Hot Foot so Livesay can drive his boat and have his hands free to also operate the Humminbirds. This comes in handy while idling and looking for fish, something that the Elite Series pros do a lot of when they fish up north.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Under the console is a T-H Marine Hot Foot so Livesay can drive his boat and have his hands free to also operate the Humminbirds. This comes in handy while idling and looking for fish, something that the Elite Series pros do a lot of when they fish up north.
One cool feature of the Ballistic is the driver’s console layout. Among other things, the lack of wires hanging and dangling makes for a clean build. The fuse box is tucked away in the right rod locker and the lack of wires under his feet while driving makes sure nothing gets hit. There is a lot of room under there.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - One cool feature of the Ballistic is the driver’s console layout. Among other things, the lack of wires hanging and dangling makes for a clean build. The fuse box is tucked away in the right rod locker and the lack of wires under his feet while driving makes sure nothing gets hit. There is a lot of room under there.
The seats are extremely comfortable, and the backs have the metal-plated Ballistic logo.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The seats are extremely comfortable, and the backs have the metal-plated Ballistic logo.
All of his controls are situated just to the right of the driver’s seat, providing convenient access to anything he needs. The throttle and tether switch are just in front.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - All of his controls are situated just to the right of the driver’s seat, providing convenient access to anything he needs. The throttle and tether switch are just in front.
The middle seat of the Ballistic offers the best of both worlds. A small storage unit underneath, the gripped top allows Livesay to run back and forth while fighting fish. The spot is pretty comfortable as well, and he doesn’t have to worry about stepping on his seats when accessing the back of the boat.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The middle seat of the Ballistic offers the best of both worlds. A small storage unit underneath, the gripped top allows Livesay to run back and forth while fighting fish. The spot is pretty comfortable as well, and he doesn’t have to worry about stepping on his seats when accessing the back of the boat.
While on the road, security is a must. The E-Locks by Durasafe keep his Humminbird Helix 12s safe.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - While on the road, security is a must. The E-Locks by Durasafe keep his Humminbird Helix 12s safe.
On the left side of the console is another Minn Kota Talon Controller. He can reach around and quickly control the shallow-water anchors.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - On the left side of the console is another Minn Kota Talon Controller. He can reach around and quickly control the shallow-water anchors.
A nice, clean-looking driver console with lots of room. Livesay loves that about the Ballistic. Also, the trim switch and jack plate switch reside left and right of the steering wheel so he can easily control both. A nice look at the dual Helix 12s.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A nice, clean-looking driver console with lots of room. Livesay loves that about the Ballistic. Also, the trim switch and jack plate switch reside left and right of the steering wheel so he can easily control both. A nice look at the dual Helix 12s.
The back end is loaded up with power and reliability. A Mercury 250 4-Stroke pushes the big boat wherever Livesay needs to go. When he gets there, the Minn Kota Talons keep him locked.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - The back end is loaded up with power and reliability. A Mercury 250 4-Stroke pushes the big boat wherever Livesay needs to go. When he gets there, the Minn Kota Talons keep him locked.
A side view of the back part of the Ballistic.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A side view of the back part of the Ballistic.
A Bob’s Machine Hydraulic Jack Plate keeps the engine where Livesay needs it. Notice the Humminbird Mega SI Transducer mounted safely under the jack plate with a transom shield and saver mount. Two boat buckles keep the boat secured to the heavy-duty trailer.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A Bob’s Machine Hydraulic Jack Plate keeps the engine where Livesay needs it. Notice the Humminbird Mega SI Transducer mounted safely under the jack plate with a transom shield and saver mount. Two boat buckles keep the boat secured to the heavy-duty trailer.
A Mercury Fury Prop does all the pushing.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A Mercury Fury Prop does all the pushing.
Another look at the back end. Notice how wiring to the Mercury is tight in the middle of the boat with lots of room to fish and play fish on both sides.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Another look at the back end. Notice how wiring to the Mercury is tight in the middle of the boat with lots of room to fish and play fish on both sides.
Giant foam steps on both sides.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Giant foam steps on both sides.
A view of the back deck. Two side storage boxes surround the livewell, while the rear compartment sits all the way back.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A view of the back deck. Two side storage boxes surround the livewell, while the rear compartment sits all the way back.
Under the rear compartment lies the batteries and charger. A Minn Kota Precision 4 Bank Charger keeps the three trolling motor batteries and the cranking battery going.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Under the rear compartment lies the batteries and charger. A Minn Kota Precision 4 Bank Charger keeps the three trolling motor batteries and the cranking battery going.
Three 12V Deep Cycle 100Ah Impulse Lithium batteries are Livesay’s choice. The boat is rigged extremely clean, which makes accessing or changing batteries or pumps as simple as it gets.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Three 12V Deep Cycle 100Ah Impulse Lithium batteries are Livesay’s choice. The boat is rigged extremely clean, which makes accessing or changing batteries or pumps as simple as it gets.
A closer look at the Impulse Batteries locked into place.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - A closer look at the Impulse Batteries locked into place.
Livesay backs the Ballistic .223 down the ramp.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Livesay backs the Ballistic .223 down the ramp.
Off to spend some time on the water. Thanks for the tour, Lee.
Photo: Justin Brouillard - Off to spend some time on the water. Thanks for the tour, Lee.