Inside Elite Boats

Inside Elite Boats: Matt Herren

Six-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and 2016 Toyota Texas Bass Classic champion Matt Herren took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to walk us through his Reaction Innovations wrapped 2016 Skeeter FX 20.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Six-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and 2016 Toyota Texas Bass Classic champion Matt Herren took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to walk us through his Reaction Innovations wrapped 2016 Skeeter FX 20.
Starting at the bow, you'll find it loaded with the latest technologies that put the Ashville, Ala., resident on the bass at each tournament.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Starting at the bow, you'll find it loaded with the latest technologies that put the Ashville, Ala., resident on the bass at each tournament.
First off, you'll notice a fine yellow powder on much of Herren's equipment. We shot this gallery when the Alabama pines were emitting pollen at a high rate. No matter how thoroughly you are about cleaning it off, it literally recoats all surfaces in seconds. As you can see by Herren's Humminbird Onix and Helix, each were wiped off minutes prior to the photo. It's a standard condition that those in the South are accustomed to dealing with.
Photo: Thomas Allen - First off, you'll notice a fine yellow powder on much of Herren's equipment. We shot this gallery when the Alabama pines were emitting pollen at a high rate. No matter how thoroughly you are about cleaning it off, it literally recoats all surfaces in seconds. As you can see by Herren's Humminbird Onix and Helix, each were wiped off minutes prior to the photo. It's a standard condition that those in the South are accustomed to dealing with.
When the Yamaha is turned off and he is fishing, the Minn Kota 112 Fortrex does the navigating.
Photo: Thomas Allen - When the Yamaha is turned off and he is fishing, the Minn Kota 112 Fortrex does the navigating.
Here's a view of his front deck, or his second office where he goes to work.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here's a view of his front deck, or his second office where he goes to work.
Herren has spent a great deal of time finding bass from this place. In fact, he's having another solid year on the Bassmaster Elite Series. At the time of this writing, he was in the Top 25 of the AOY race...a position he's familiar with.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Herren has spent a great deal of time finding bass from this place. In fact, he's having another solid year on the Bassmaster Elite Series. At the time of this writing, he was in the Top 25 of the AOY race...a position he's familiar with.
Here's a look at the cockpit where he has another pair of Humminbirds; an Onix and Helix 12.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here's a look at the cockpit where he has another pair of Humminbirds; an Onix and Helix 12.
Strategically positioned near the front of the deck is the Minn Kota Talon deployment pedal.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Strategically positioned near the front of the deck is the Minn Kota Talon deployment pedal.
Moving to the port side, inside his rod storage compartment is his stash of tools.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Moving to the port side, inside his rod storage compartment is his stash of tools.
His Kistler rod collection covers every possible scenario he might encounter. Here he shows one of his favorites: A rod loaded with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver.
Photo: Thomas Allen - His Kistler rod collection covers every possible scenario he might encounter. Here he shows one of his favorites: A rod loaded with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver.
Each rod is paired with an Ardent reel.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Each rod is paired with an Ardent reel.
One of the central storage boxes on the front deck contains important
Photo: Thomas Allen - One of the central storage boxes on the front deck contains important "possibles."
Including the all-important toilet paper. Every boat owner worth his salt keeps TP on hand.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Including the all-important toilet paper. Every boat owner worth his salt keeps TP on hand.
In the next compartment you'll find the tackle he needs on a regular basis including terminal items like hooks and weights.
Photo: Thomas Allen - In the next compartment you'll find the tackle he needs on a regular basis including terminal items like hooks and weights.
The components of this storage area will change per tournament, based on what the fish are biting on.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The components of this storage area will change per tournament, based on what the fish are biting on.
He also keeps a box of these unique custom swimbaits. They look fishy for sure!
Photo: Thomas Allen - He also keeps a box of these unique custom swimbaits. They look fishy for sure!
Here's a box of RI's version of a stickbait known as the Pocket Rocket. Herren uses these at nearly every tournament at some point.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here's a box of RI's version of a stickbait known as the Pocket Rocket. Herren uses these at nearly every tournament at some point.
The tapered center portion gives the bait a very unique action, especially when wacky rigged.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The tapered center portion gives the bait a very unique action, especially when wacky rigged.
He's also a squarebill junky. Obviously.
Photo: Thomas Allen - He's also a squarebill junky. Obviously.
Inside the small storage compartment just afore the console, you'll find dyes, tools and hooks. Basically, these are items that he'll need on a regular basis but doesn't have time to search for.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Inside the small storage compartment just afore the console, you'll find dyes, tools and hooks. Basically, these are items that he'll need on a regular basis but doesn't have time to search for.
In the opposite rod locker, you'll find a push-pole, life jackets, extra line and other necessities.
Photo: Thomas Allen - In the opposite rod locker, you'll find a push-pole, life jackets, extra line and other necessities.
And an extra trolling motor prop. It's better to have one of these handy and not need it, than need it and not have it, according to Herren.
Photo: Thomas Allen - And an extra trolling motor prop. It's better to have one of these handy and not need it, than need it and not have it, according to Herren.
As you step down into the cockpit, the main step has an easily accessible tool holder.
Photo: Thomas Allen - As you step down into the cockpit, the main step has an easily accessible tool holder.
Scissors, pliers and Splizzors. Yes, he has it all.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Scissors, pliers and Splizzors. Yes, he has it all.
In the
Photo: Thomas Allen - In the "glove box" on the port side you'll find more RI baits among other things.
You'll also find a tie-off rope and granola bars. A man's gotta keep from being hungry!
Photo: Thomas Allen - You'll also find a tie-off rope and granola bars. A man's gotta keep from being hungry!
Beneath the main step is a spare prop for the main outboard. A very convenient spot for sure.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Beneath the main step is a spare prop for the main outboard. A very convenient spot for sure.
The middle seat doubles as a cooler.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The middle seat doubles as a cooler.
Inside he'll keep drinks and other food items that need to remain cool.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Inside he'll keep drinks and other food items that need to remain cool.
Another look at the cockpit where Herren spends a great deal of time scouting and checking structure looking for big bass.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Another look at the cockpit where Herren spends a great deal of time scouting and checking structure looking for big bass.
On his right-hand side you'll find the main control panel, a handy cup holder, Talon fab, on-board charger cord and livewell valve switches.
Photo: Thomas Allen - On his right-hand side you'll find the main control panel, a handy cup holder, Talon fab, on-board charger cord and livewell valve switches.
Behind the driver's seat is a storage compartment where he keeps added tackle and tools.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Behind the driver's seat is a storage compartment where he keeps added tackle and tools.
A brief look into one side of the livewell. There doesn't appear to be much space in there at first glance, but there's plenty!
Photo: Thomas Allen - A brief look into one side of the livewell. There doesn't appear to be much space in there at first glance, but there's plenty!
Here's a quick look inside the powerplant. Herren keeps extra outboard lube and other tools at the ready.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here's a quick look inside the powerplant. Herren keeps extra outboard lube and other tools at the ready.
Here's a look into the storage compartment behind the passenger seat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here's a look into the storage compartment behind the passenger seat.
As we were looking, Herren recalled a bag full of tackle items that he had to show us.
Photo: Thomas Allen - As we were looking, Herren recalled a bag full of tackle items that he had to show us.
It's full of jig building materials. Herren is one of the only pros on tour, if not the only one, who builds jigs from his boat to match the hatch.
Photo: Thomas Allen - It's full of jig building materials. Herren is one of the only pros on tour, if not the only one, who builds jigs from his boat to match the hatch.
Having literally hundreds of color combinations at his fingertips keeps him fast and accurate.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Having literally hundreds of color combinations at his fingertips keeps him fast and accurate.
But this stash of gear isn't limited to building just jigs.
Photo: Thomas Allen - But this stash of gear isn't limited to building just jigs.
Herren can also customize his spinnerbaits as well.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Herren can also customize his spinnerbaits as well.
The contents of this bag are extensive ...
Photo: Thomas Allen - The contents of this bag are extensive ...
... To include blades of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Photo: Thomas Allen - ... To include blades of all shapes, sizes and colors.
To cover just about any situation he may encounter.
Photo: Thomas Allen - To cover just about any situation he may encounter.
Herren also keeps a small bag of spinnerbait hardware to finish construction of durable lures.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Herren also keeps a small bag of spinnerbait hardware to finish construction of durable lures.
Back to the storage compartment behind the passenger seat, you'll find a bag of Herren's guilty pleasure: Bubblegum. He makes no apologies.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Back to the storage compartment behind the passenger seat, you'll find a bag of Herren's guilty pleasure: Bubblegum. He makes no apologies.
There is also a box of miscellaneous tools that come in handy any time he needs to make on-the-spot repairs or adjustments. This is something that he says every pro should keep on board the boat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - There is also a box of miscellaneous tools that come in handy any time he needs to make on-the-spot repairs or adjustments. This is something that he says every pro should keep on board the boat.
Ever break the rod tip off when you need it most? We all have, and Herren keeps a stash of replacement guides in case he can repair his favorite rod to keep fishing.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Ever break the rod tip off when you need it most? We all have, and Herren keeps a stash of replacement guides in case he can repair his favorite rod to keep fishing.
In a dry box, he keeps extra sunglasses and LakeMaster map cards.
Photo: Thomas Allen - In a dry box, he keeps extra sunglasses and LakeMaster map cards.
To the rear is the power. The 250 hp Yamaha Sho VMAX gets him to where he needs to go, and fast. On either side of the outboard is a pair of Minn Kota Talons. He says the shallow-water anchors are a critical part to his success on the water.
Photo: Thomas Allen - To the rear is the power. The 250 hp Yamaha Sho VMAX gets him to where he needs to go, and fast. On either side of the outboard is a pair of Minn Kota Talons. He says the shallow-water anchors are a critical part to his success on the water.
Thanks for the tour Matt! That's one sweet ride!
Photo: Thomas Allen - Thanks for the tour Matt! That's one sweet ride!