Inside Elite Boats

Inside Elite Boats: Bernie Schultz

Elite Series pro Bernie Schultz takes us inside his Ranger boat.

Bernie Schultz has fished the Bassmaster Elite Series since its inception in 2006 and fished at B.A.S.S.'s highest level for decades before that. He's one of the most prolific pros on tour, as he worked as an illustrator for Bassmaster magazine and designed numerous baits through the years. Let's climb aboard his 2014 Ranger Z520C and take a peek inside.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Bernie Schultz has fished the Bassmaster Elite Series since its inception in 2006 and fished at B.A.S.S.'s highest level for decades before that. He's one of the most prolific pros on tour, as he worked as an illustrator for Bassmaster magazine and designed numerous baits through the years. Let's climb aboard his 2014 Ranger Z520C and take a peek inside.
Starting with the main rod locker, Schultz reaches for a Shimano baitcasting outfit.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Starting with the main rod locker, Schultz reaches for a Shimano baitcasting outfit.
Schultz has some Shimano Metanium reels as well as Calcutta round reels on JDM Shimano sticks.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Schultz has some Shimano Metanium reels as well as Calcutta round reels on JDM Shimano sticks.
He doesn't carry too many rods at one time, just what he'll need for the day.
Photo: Seigo Saito - He doesn't carry too many rods at one time, just what he'll need for the day.
On the bow of his boat is a Raymarine HybridTouch graph.
Photo: Seigo Saito - On the bow of his boat is a Raymarine HybridTouch graph.
<p>Most often he keeps it in split-screen mode with a map and 2-D sonar.</p>
Photo: Seigo Saito - Most often he keeps it in split-screen mode with a map and 2-D sonar.
A 36-volt MotorGuide pulls Schultz's Ranger around. Note that he's replaced the rope pull with a cable unit.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A 36-volt MotorGuide pulls Schultz's Ranger around. Note that he's replaced the rope pull with a cable unit.
Here's the MotorGuide's prop.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Here's the MotorGuide's prop.
This is where the bulk of Schultz's tackle lives. It's the main box in the center of the boat. It's not organized just for our photo shoot, this is how it looks after a day on the water. He's a very organized guy.
Photo: Seigo Saito - This is where the bulk of Schultz's tackle lives. It's the main box in the center of the boat. It's not organized just for our photo shoot, this is how it looks after a day on the water. He's a very organized guy.
Schultz keeps Hildebrandt Drum Rollers in a small plastic zip bag.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Schultz keeps Hildebrandt Drum Rollers in a small plastic zip bag.
Compared to other pros, Schultz's terminal tackle selection is on the light side. He knows just what he needs.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Compared to other pros, Schultz's terminal tackle selection is on the light side. He knows just what he needs.
Swivels stay in an old film canister.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Swivels stay in an old film canister.
Schultz keeps many of his Rapala Shad Raps and other flat-sided crankbaits together in the same box.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Schultz keeps many of his Rapala Shad Raps and other flat-sided crankbaits together in the same box.
Here are a slew of DT-series baits.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Here are a slew of DT-series baits.
Here's a DT10 painted in demon, the color that Randy Howell used to win the 2014 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Here's a DT10 painted in demon, the color that Randy Howell used to win the 2014 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville.
The top bait is an original Floating Minnow. Schultz always has a few in his boat. The other is a Flat Rap.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The top bait is an original Floating Minnow. Schultz always has a few in his boat. The other is a Flat Rap.
His spinnerbait box boasts Hildebrandt Tin Rollers and others.
Photo: Seigo Saito - His spinnerbait box boasts Hildebrandt Tin Rollers and others.
Here's a better look at a Hildebrandt spinnerbait.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Here's a better look at a Hildebrandt spinnerbait.
Here is some spare line.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Here is some spare line.
Schultz is a fan of feathered treble hooks and keeps a variety handy.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Schultz is a fan of feathered treble hooks and keeps a variety handy.
Let's see what's under this throwable life preserver and spare PFD in the starboard side rod box.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Let's see what's under this throwable life preserver and spare PFD in the starboard side rod box.
Looks like some good stuff. What's in the black bag?
Photo: Seigo Saito - Looks like some good stuff. What's in the black bag?
...jumper cables.
Photo: Seigo Saito - ...jumper cables.
No, this isn't for disciplining a bad co-angler, it's something that Schultz hopes he never has to use.
Photo: Seigo Saito - No, this isn't for disciplining a bad co-angler, it's something that Schultz hopes he never has to use.
There's also a drift sock...
Photo: Seigo Saito - There's also a drift sock...
...and a fire extinguisher, toolbox and anchor/tow line.
Photo: Seigo Saito - ...and a fire extinguisher, toolbox and anchor/tow line.
In the box directly in front of his console is rain gear, a spare trolling motor prop and sneakers.
Photo: Seigo Saito - In the box directly in front of his console is rain gear, a spare trolling motor prop and sneakers.
When he gets hungry, it's beef jerky or fruit for Bernie Schultz.
Photo: Seigo Saito - When he gets hungry, it's beef jerky or fruit for Bernie Schultz.
This handy cooler also serves as a step up to the front deck.
Photo: Seigo Saito - This handy cooler also serves as a step up to the front deck.
No, he didn't pose the tools like this for the photo, Schultz's boat is always in top form.
Photo: Seigo Saito - No, he didn't pose the tools like this for the photo, Schultz's boat is always in top form.
Let's check out the console of his Ranger boat.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Let's check out the console of his Ranger boat.
Schultz's Ranger features Mercury's Smart Craft digital gauge. It gives him scads of information at the touch of a button.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Schultz's Ranger features Mercury's Smart Craft digital gauge. It gives him scads of information at the touch of a button.
This boat comes with an Oxygenator system from the factory. Below that is a dryer system that circulates air throughout his boxes to dry things out and prevent rust.
Photo: Seigo Saito - This boat comes with an Oxygenator system from the factory. Below that is a dryer system that circulates air throughout his boxes to dry things out and prevent rust.
Schultz is a fan of the Ranger's moveable steering wheel.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Schultz is a fan of the Ranger's moveable steering wheel.
The fact that it tilts up makes it easy for him to get up on the front deck.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The fact that it tilts up makes it easy for him to get up on the front deck.
In between the seats is a small box where he keeps sunblock, spare baits and parts.
Photo: Seigo Saito - In between the seats is a small box where he keeps sunblock, spare baits and parts.
In the  box behind his seat is a first-aid kit...
Photo: Seigo Saito - In the box behind his seat is a first-aid kit...
...hats, visors, tools and these beauties...
Photo: Seigo Saito - ...hats, visors, tools and these beauties...
...serial-killer looking gloves. Although he admitted that they do look kind of creepy, he said they're the warmest gloves he's ever worn.
Photo: Seigo Saito - ...serial-killer looking gloves. Although he admitted that they do look kind of creepy, he said they're the warmest gloves he's ever worn.
See what we mean? This looks way too natural for these gloves.
Photo: Seigo Saito - See what we mean? This looks way too natural for these gloves.
Bernie hopes that he has to get in and out of these many times each day, adding fish and culling.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Bernie hopes that he has to get in and out of these many times each day, adding fish and culling.
Schultz keeps his soft plastics in the back of the boat because they're heavy. Keeping heavy things up front hampers performance by pushing more of the boat into the water while on plane.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Schultz keeps his soft plastics in the back of the boat because they're heavy. Keeping heavy things up front hampers performance by pushing more of the boat into the water while on plane.
That's a lot of Yamamoto plastics.
Photo: Seigo Saito - That's a lot of Yamamoto plastics.
We'll give you three guesses what's under the lid to the battery box.
Photo: Seigo Saito - We'll give you three guesses what's under the lid to the battery box.
We sure hope you guessed batteries. There's also a charger and what you can't see are the pumps for Schultz's twin Power-Poles.
Photo: Seigo Saito - We sure hope you guessed batteries. There's also a charger and what you can't see are the pumps for Schultz's twin Power-Poles.
Again, this is not for show. Schultz really does wipe down his Ranger and big Merc with Star brite Boat Guard every day. It's been rumored that he uses it in lieu of toothpaste.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Again, this is not for show. Schultz really does wipe down his Ranger and big Merc with Star brite Boat Guard every day. It's been rumored that he uses it in lieu of toothpaste.
Schultz's ProXS hangs off of a 12-inch TH Marine Atlas hydraulic jackplate.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Schultz's ProXS hangs off of a 12-inch TH Marine Atlas hydraulic jackplate.
His boat runs best with Mercury's hot rod Tempest Plus prop.
Photo: Seigo Saito - His boat runs best with Mercury's hot rod Tempest Plus prop.
When it comes time to hit the road, Schultz puts and Motormate on the Mercury.
Photo: Seigo Saito - When it comes time to hit the road, Schultz puts and Motormate on the Mercury.
Thanks for the tour, Bernie!
Photo: Seigo Saito - Thanks for the tour, Bernie!