ery boat on the market. Stone said that’s another place you can knock a few hundred off the price if you’re so inclined. “Everybody loves them, but to tell you the truth it’s the least reliable $400 option out there,” he said. “Instead, go to Advance The Original heavy living rubber jig Auto and you can get three carry chargers for $75 dollars each and you can transfer them from boat to boat.” He added that Bass- Cat offers another option that saves your battery charger from the pounding of rough water and long tows – a Lester charger that sits in your tow vehicle during the day and gets plugged into your front trolling motor receptacle at night. One option that has seemingly sprouted up on bass boats overnight is the Power Pole, a shallow-water anchoring system. Stone himself added this option at the midpoint of the 2009 Elite Series season. “If you’re a the die-hard bed fisherman, put one on,” Most popular jighead on market Stone said. “In that case you can skimp on a hydraulic jackplate for that.” But if you spend most of your time cranking and Caro- lina rigging offshore structure deeper than the Power Pole’s 8-foot reach, it’s a waste of a thousand bucks. If you fall into that latter category, for the rare times you do need something to hold you in place in shallow water, Stone says “a $350 Stiffy pushpole or a $20 anchor” will do.
There’s an old saying that the two happiest days of a boat owner’s life are the day he buys his vessel and the day he sells it. Whether or not that’s true is debatable, but on the purchase day BUCKEYELURES.COM you should keep both of them in mind. If there are options you know you want, buy them at the time of the initial purchase. “Most companies and dealers charge a one- time rigging fee,” Stone advised. “If you have to go back to the dealer, there’s an additional labor charge attached. If you order it up front, there’s a flat fee. It’s all-inclusive, whether you add one option or 101 options.” Stone recognized that color schemes are purely a matter of personal taste, and may be reflective of an angler’s personality or “personal brand.” Look at his Skeet Reese, for example: His yel- low and black boat (and matching jersey, rods and shoes) make a statement. You, however, may not be able to afford such a state- ment. If you know you’re going to sell the boat down the road, make sure that you don’t go hog wild unless you’re willing to take a risk. “Be careful with colors,” he said. “In my part of the country, you see a lot of white, navy and grays. Yellow was hot for 2 or 3 years, but now it’s cooled off and you can’t give one away.” If you purchase something off the wall, you may luck into a quick sale when you put it on the market, but you also run a chance that potential buyers will look elsewhere. Finally, while Stone is an unabashed proponent of BassCat’s products, he said that whether you’re a brand loyalist or a free agent, it can pay to see not only what colors sell in your region but also what brands of boats. If you drive a thousand miles to save some serious coin on a brand that isn’t locally popular, you might end up sacrificing an equal amount or more when you go to sell it down the road. “Do yourself a favor,” he implored. “Look at a four year old boat of whatever brand you like. What’s the resale value? If there’s a huge drop-off between new and used, it may not be such a bar- gain. Ours stays high.” If you’re going to keep the boat for a number of years, Stone recommended the installation of a keel protector. “If you’re look- ing for return on your investment in the long term that’s the deal,” he said. It may cost a few hundred dollars up front, but by avoiding a fiberglass job or two, you can make it up right there.
buyinG and sellinG
One “You don’t want to be the guy on last way the water who spent too much,” you can he concluded. “And you certain- s a v e money ly don’t want to spend so much while that you have none left to fish.” still be- ing pre- pared for the problems that plague many boaters is to look to the used market for spare trolling motors and propellers. Instead of shelling out $800 to over $1,000 for a spare trolling motor that you hope will spend its whole life unused and $400-600 for a carbon copy of your prop, check EBay or your local marine dealer for reconditioned models or used ones. Ideally, these are just stop gap measures to help you survive a fishing day or the short period until you get your originals back from the shop. If it’s not 100% perfect, it’s not a huge deal, but the hundreds of dollars you can save may be. Ultimately, Stone’s advice is that you should “buy with the same guarded skepticism as when you buy a vehicle.” If you need a diesel engine in your truck to pull heavy loads, don’t be swayed by floor mats, rust proofing and drop-down DVD players when you hit the show room. If you’ll use them, fine – go ahead and get them. But don’t sacrifice what you need for bells and whistles that won’t help you do your job on the water. “You don’t want to be the guy on the water who spent too much,” he concluded. “And you certainly don’t want to spend so much that you have none left to fish.” bw