Optimized for shallow water inshore fishing, Wired2fish saltwater contributor Jose Chavez provides a detailed look at his boat setup. He discusses the key equipment he relies on for chasing elusive and warry fish in the skinny water of Florida’s inshore coastal fisheries. Each piece of equipment has a specific function, from optimizing boat control, shallow water running, and lightweight and power-rich batteries to increase run time while reducing draft. While covered in salt, the same principles apply to shallow freshwater environments.
GEAR LISTING (retail links)
- TROLLING MOTOR – Power-Pole MOVE PV Trolling Motor: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- SHALLOW WATER ANCHORS – Power-Pole Pro Series 2 Shallow Water Anchor, CM2 8′ : Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- BOAT DECKING – OceanGrip Nonskid Decking: Check out at OceanGrip
- JACK PLATE – T-H Marine ATLAS Hydraulic Jack Plate, 4” setback: Check out at TH Marine
- BATTERIES – 1) Dakota Lithium 24v 60AH Deep Cycle LiFePO4 Single Battery: Buy at Dakota Lithium, 2) DL+ 12v 60Ah Dual 1000CCA Starter Plus for Deep Cycle Battery: Buy at Dakota Lithium
*Other gear listed at the bottom.
STEALTH: THE KEY TO SHALLOW WATER FISHING
Chavez emphasizes that stealth is crucial in shallow water fishing. He introduces the Power-Pole MOVE trolling motor, which has near-silent operation thanks to its brushless and over-engineered construction. This reduction in noise and vibration is critical, as shallow water fish are highly sensitive to their surroundings. A quiet and powerful trolling motor enhances your ability to search fast without spooking fish.
DUAL SHALLOW WATER ACHORS: ENHANCING BOAT CONTROL
The addition of dual Power-Poles is another essential boat control tool that improves catch rates. Dual shallow water anchors allow anglers to halt the boat quickly, regardless of wind or current conditions. Chavez drops them when approaching fish-holding areas. He then thoroughly fan-casts good spots without bringing the boat too close to the fish. Additionally, their stability minimizes boat rocking, further enhancing stealth.
PADDED BOAT DECKING
Chavez highlights his boat’s Ocean Grip non-skid decking. This feature reduces noise onboard, ensuring movements are more stealthy and less likely to disturb fish. The damping quality of this decking helps minimize sound transmission into the water and reduces fatigue while standing for long periods of time.
HYDRAULIC JACK PLATE PERFORMANCE
The video also discusses the highly effective use of a jack plate in shallow water boats. If you spend time in shallow water, you know the importance of clearing your prop over the top of hazards. While trimming out your engine helps, it only gets you so far. A jack plate allows you to vertically raise your outboard while maintaining optimal engine trim (angle) to produce the best prop bite (traction) and bow lift combination. Chavez explains its advantages in navigating shallow flats, improving the boat’s overall performance, and providing flexibility in propeller choices.
LITHIUM-IRON BATTERIES: THE POWERHOUSE OF SHALLOW WATER BOATS
Lastly, Chavez discusses the importance of lithium batteries for their long lifespan and quick charging capabilities. He details his setup, including a 24v 60 amp-hour battery at the front and two 60 amp-hour 12volt batteries at the back, underscoring the significant weight savings over traditional battery types. Weight savings correspond to reduced draft, meaning you can run your boat more efficiently through shallow water and at greater speeds.
OTHER GEAR (retail links)
- Z-Man Texas Eye Weedless Jighead: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- Z-Man MinnowZ: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- Z-Man Finesse Trout Eye: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- Z-Man TRD GobyZ: Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- Z-Man 5” Scented Jerk ShadZ: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- Z-Man ZWG Weighted Swimbait Hook: Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- FISH FINDER – Garmin Echomap Ultra 106sv: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- FISH FINDER MOUNT – T-H KVD KONG Mini Extreme Electronics Mount: Check out at T-H Marine
- BOAT – Boat: Dragonfly Emerger 16: Check out at Dragonfly
- TACKLE STONE – Big Drip Load Stone Magnetic Tackle Management System: Check out at Big Drip Outdoors