Many boats intended for freshwater fishing have a fishfinder at the bow, which comes in quite handy when you’re running the boat from a foredeck fishing seat and casting from the bowdeck. By “boats intended for freshwater fishing,” naturally, I’m talking mostly about bass boats. Today, models that lack this feature are few and far-between. Despite the similarities between bass boats and bay boats, however, few saltwater boats have a similar set-up.
Why is this the case, since the fishing advantages are so significant? The answer is simple - put a fishfinder at the bow of a bay boat and it’ll get blasted by saltwater half the time you leave the dock. You simply couldn’t expect it to survive. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could rig a removable unit up there? You can. Yes, I know, the fish in the picture below is what draws your eye, but look past it:
As you can see, the owner of this boat mounts his fishfinder to a rodholder mount, and routes the wiring for the unit through the anchor locker. Wait a sec – doesn’t that mean you can’t use the anchor locker for its intended purpose? Yes. But in this case, as is the case for the majority of the new bay boats being launched these days, anchoring is done with a Power Pole. The regular anchor is used rarely, so it can be stowed in one of the boat’s regular bulk-stowage compartments. And in many cases, you won’t need to drag it out for seasons at a time.
This set-up does take some work to put in place. You’ll need to route power and transducer wires (or a NMEA cable if you use your helm-mounted unit to drive the system and simply make the forward screen a repeater) to the anchor locker, affix the fishfinder to a rodholder mount, and if your anchor locker doesn’t have a notch, you’ll also have to drill an exit hole for the cables and cover it with a clamshell.
Once the system is in place you can stow the fishfinder safely away as you cruise through rough seas, and when you get to your hotspot, pull it out and begin looking for the fish.