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Baitboat propulsion systems

Boats either use pumps or propellers in order to move.

Some baitboats have propeller-based propulsion; with this kind of system reversing with a baited rig in the hopper can cause problems as the slack line created can get caught in the propellers. In some designs a protective cover eliminates some or all of this risk.

Reversing with propellers may mean that the boat is well controlled in reverse due to the presence of two or more propulsion points at the rear of the boat. Some pump based boats will only have a single reverse pump at the front of the boat and this means that the boat is unlikely to reverse in a straight line. In these situations reversing can be precarious, but it does allow the boat to come about.

Pump based propulsion systems require an inlet (under the boat or at the front) through which water can access the pump and provide propulsion. These inlets will be covered with mesh or a perforated panel to allow water in, but prevent weed, leaves and other detritus from entering the pump and clogging or damaging it. These covers can become choked with weed or large leaves (such as lily pad leaves), preventing the pump from receiving water and rendering the boat inert. Thus anglers should be cautious when dropping baits close to lily pads and similar.

While the bait and lead remain in the hopper the boat can be towed back to the angler if it gets into trouble (i.e. stuck in a lily pad bed, or the battery goes flat). In close proximity to lilies the pump-based boat is at risk of getting caught after dropping bait, especially in windy weather; any boat near a tree line in windy weather could also be at risk. If things look risky then one trick is to place a spare lead / rig into a second hopper, or even tie the line from a spare rod to the handle, which will allow the boat to be towed out of trouble in the event it gets into a problem.

It is worth remembering that a boat with a reasonable amount of charge in a normal angling situation will not be at risk, and that the problems identified here are very rare.

Baitboat Fishing

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