Finally April is here and open water is in sight for this Minnesota angler, thus me spending more time in my boat is becoming a common occurrence. I get asked numerous times what I like about my boat and how I have it set up and organized.
I run a 2012 Ranger Z119 boat powered by a Mercury 225 Optimax Pro XS outboard. I spent a great deal of time thinking through the layout and options of this rig before deciding on it and I feel that this boat has a layout that works for a diehard tournament angler or the recreational bass fisherman who wants to cruise their favorite lake in style
My port side rod locker is where I store my Wright & McGill rod and reel combos. Despite the Ranger boats coming with a rod tree organizer, I still put Rod Gloves on my rods for two reasons, one to protect them from damage and two; I can put two rods in each of the rod tubes.
The other rod locker on the starboard side may look my “junk draw,” but I know exactly where everything is. I like to keep the items in here light as to balance the weight of the boat out. Items in here include my Onyx Rain Gear and Life Jackets, net and push pole. I also have several Plano Waterproof Stowaways in hear, in which I keep first aid supplies, my boat paperwork and my wallet, cell phone and truck keys while I’m on the water that day.
The Z119 has a big center compartment to keep all of your tackle organized and dry. My goal when packing tackle in the boat is to only bring the essentials. I accomplish this by using a variety of Plano Stowaways to keep each type of tackle organized and easy for me to access while on the water.
On to the back of the boat now, I leave the compartment behind the driver’s seat empty for my co-angler or fishing partners stuff to go in. The back compartments in this boat give the person fishing out of the back of the boat plenty of room for their gear.
To effectively balance the weight in the boat and achieve the best performance possible, I’ve put my spare Mercury Tempest Plus prop in the compartment behind the passenger’s seat. Also in this compartment are my tools, culling equipment and some random items like bug spray, sunscreen and toilet paper….can’t ever leave home without it!
My back battery compartment is huge and has my oil reservoir, four batteries to power my trolling motor and electronics and this year I installed the new Minn Kota 460PC Battery Charger. This unit quickly charges my batteries up and provides me with the condition of my batteries so I can stay on top of their condition throughout the fishing season.
Up on the bow, I have the workhorse as I like to call it, my Minn Kota Fortrex 101 lb. thrust, 36 volt trolling motor keeps me in position in heavy current or strong wind, but yet helps me prowl the shallows in stealth like manner. I run a Humminbird 1158c Combo, this unit is a depth finder/GPS combo and is connected to my other units via an Ethernet cable. By connecting your units via the Ethernet cable, my Humminbird Electronics will communicate with each other and share my waypoints so I can be precise in my boat control.
I run two Humminbird units at the console, a 998 SI unit is on a RAM Mount, which I’ll use for side imaging or run my LakeMaster chip in when navigating across the lake. The in-dash unit is a 858c Combo and normally has the depth on it for me when running. Since I have all three of my units connected via the Ethernet cables, they can run off one GPS puck. I have one on the bow and one on the transom, just in case I have an issue arise with one.
On the transom, I have two Minn Kota Talons rigged with Quick Release Handles so I can lower it to fit in my garage. I have a high speed transducer in the hull so I can get readings on my 858 in-dash unit when running at high speeds. The side imagining transducer is mounted below the motor, so I can get maximum feedback and protect it from damage.
This should be the last blog I post without any photos with fish in it, so I’ll see ya on the water soon!
Glenn has been fishing tournaments for over ten years, spreading his passion and knowledge of the sport via articles and videos, for more information check out glennwalkerfishing.com or on his Facebook page, facebook.com/GlennWalkerFishing.