Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Benefit of Bait Boats

Neilson Baxter 

Back a few years ago now, I had an alloy 12 foot Sea Nymph and I found that I’d only used it once. I thought it was time to sell the boat or swap it for a bait boat which I had in the past thought were for the tackle tarts of the fishing world, how wrong I was!
I stuck the Sea Nymph up for sale on the old Pike and Predators forum and after a few days I got a message from Grant telling me “Hi Neilson, I have a new micro cat with all the toys if you would like to swap” Grant kindly sent me pictures of the Micro Cat. The deal was made and I set off the following day and met up with Grant “half way” from our homes. We had a coffee and a chat, Grant is a very nice chap. So it was back up the road North with my new toy to go straight to a water and try my new baby out!
I was truly amazed at how good the fish finder was on this bait boat. It would detail the depths the fish were at, the weed on the bottom the drop off's, everything was there in detail for me, I was truly amazed with what I was seeing. Also I was pleasantly surprised just how far the boat could go out and back. When I got home and I can remember sending Grant a message telling him just how happy I was with his Micro Cat.
My intentions and plans were to use the boat only for pre-baiting and I did so for many weeks. Time moved on and with two days off work I thought 'right' it is now time to try this boat out on big wild water. So off I went at 6am and got to my water at about 7.20am. It was a very, very cold morning and the water was flat calm. Getting the boat out I delivered the first bait out about 90 yards right on a distinctive drop off about 5 feet in 25 feet of water then the other rod followed with another bait on the same drop off. The third rod I took out around 70 yards with a fresh sardine that you would never cast that distance without it coming off the hooks, I put the sardine in a little spot beside a huge big stone within a pile of stones.
As I was putting the bobbin in the last rod my first rod was away with a cracking looking pike of about 15lb netted, unhooked and returned. I was very happy with myself after thinking that I just knew that the first rod would go! I remember I had a few fish that day nothing huge but it opened my eyes to bait boats.
I then started to take the boat out on all my trips and would not go without her. Of course I got better at using the boat and the fish finder, all new experience and learning. Sadly me and the Good Lady (well at that time not so Good Lady) had a bit of time apart. I moved into my caravan which I loved. I was fishing a lot but unfortunately at the same time I found myself running low on cash.Sadly, needs must and the bait boat just had to go ! 
So about a year or so later with life sorted I really wanted another bait boat but didn’t want to spend crazy money on one. Again I saw one for sale on the old forum, a Viper Icon that Kev Berry was selling. I got the ball rolling and purchased the boat for a very good price from Kev. When the Viper landed on my door step I could not believe the condition of the boat as it was brand new (cheers Kev). So, I now thought that I must get a fish finder for this new wee baby of mine! To cut a long story short I got one for £120 which had a 400 meter range, to be honest I would never try and go out that far, the finder also had lots of other interesting stuff it could use too.

I remember taking it on its first trip and being over the moon with how good this wee boat was and the finder was giving me the details I wanted. The water I was fishing was a bit rough that day but that did not stop this wee boat at all, it surprised me. Once again with this boat I found exactly what I was looking for, a drop off at 70 yards out, in 14 feet of water and a sexy five foot shelf.
 With this discovery, I ran the boat back in,put my macky tail inside attached to my hooks it and dropped the bait right on the shelf. I was not long before I got a run struck into what felt like a very good pike, how right I was when looking at 32.04 of mint pike, it was in great condition, fin perfect and to top a great day I also caught a 25lb fish later on in the day.
So as you can imagine, that was me “buzzing” and it was in no small part thanks to the help of the bait boat and finder. I still thought in the back of my mind is the boat helping me or is it just luck? Only one way to find out! I set of with her again and found other shelf's, features and drop off's and caught a 24.08 a 27 and a fat as hell 31. These fish all came from the baits that were taken out at range with the bait boat. The boy I was fishing with blanked! That was when I said to myself this is NOT just luck, as it was my reading of the water combined with the help of the bait boat that was helping me catch.

After using the Viper for some time I thought could do with a bigger boat. When I say bigger I mean one that would hold more bait and bigger baits so I then purchased The Angling Tecknics standard bait boat, once again second hand off the forum. This I found an OK boat but the one I bought was letting in water and my fish finder did not fit on it very well.

 Anyway, I got to work and split the boat in half and re-sealed it and put it all back together and all seemed fine. A few days later I set off for a few days piking with the AT boat . I got the boat out the bag and put my bait in her ready to go out to my hot spot and the boat started to go round in circles! I was raging and felt like smashing the thing up! I fished all day and only had a few jacks as I could not get to where I wanted!

........................................................Again I took the boat to bits and found that one off the pumps had packed in. So I’d had enough with this boat and sold it and went home in a foul mood! The wife said to me “What’s wrong with you”! I told her that I should never had of sold my Viper Icon and that the AT boat was a pig in a poke and it was effecting my fishing!
On the 9th of December I walked in to the kitchen and there was a huge box sitting there. I said to the Good Lady (very good lady) “What’s in the box”? The Good Lady replied “It’s your Xmas present”. So I opened the big box it and I could not believe what she had given me! Oh Yes, a brand new Micro Cat. I was indeed like a cat with two tongues. I said to her “Is this a wind up” .She said “No, it’s yours a Xmas pressie from me and Lennon “. I was over the moon and I said to her how did you know I wanted a Micro Cat?. My Good Lady told me that she had looked up all my last listings on EBay and she had seen they were all Micro Cat Bait boat viewings! I was now looking at my best X-mas  ever.
As you can imagine I was bursting to get out and at the pike and have a go with my new baby, so off I went to give her a test drive. I was very impressed with it how fast the new boat was and the life in the batteries is great and I have still yet to run them flat. It’s the same old story as you get what you pay for. This is by far the best boat I have ever used. These days I would not be without a bait boat as they are great for new waters, for finding fish holding areas, depths and features. In the last two months all the pike I have caught are all down to no little help of this bait boat.
Tight lines to you all.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Neilson

    I certainly agree with you. Bait Boats are a huge advantage when used correctly. Im a carp angler and i always here people moaning about it been cheating etc. At the end of the day, we all spend a lot of money on fishing with the end goal to catch fish. Anything which gives us an edge is ok in my book. I recently added a fish finder to my microcat from bait boat world ( and it has helped my no end when finding areas to target. Although i dont use it to find fish, its much better at feature finding. Really like the blog and the amazing pictures of those pike. Tightlines.