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    Categories: 1904Apr

METAL ON THE ROCKS – April 2019

Aluminum Boats for Jetty Fishing

SOME SALTWATER ANGLERS have an amazing talent for under-rating aluminum boats, which can be ideal for certain types of fishing—including jetty fishing.

How so? Let us count the ways…

Whenever you’re fishing near rocks, there’s a chance of coming into contact with them. Hit the jetty rocks in a fiberglass boat, and you’ll have smashes and cracks that are painfully expensive to get fixed. Hit them in an aluminum boat and you’ll probably bounce right back off, or at worst dent the aluminum. In order to threaten the seaworthiness of the boat, you’d have to smash into those rocks full-tilt (and that still might not be enough to puncture the hull).

Aluminum hulls are lighter than fiberglass. That means it’s easier to trailer, launch, and retrieve them, and they require smaller, more efficient powerplants. But there’s a special perk that goes along with having a lightweight boat when jetty fishing: it can be difficult to get an anchor to set in an inlet, especially when the current is roaring, and you’ll often need a large anchor and chain to hold that heavy fiberglass boat in place. A light aluminum boat, however, puts much less strain on the anchor line. That means you can use a smaller anchor, and your boat’s less likely to break free.

A lighter aluminum center console can still be fully equipped.
(Photo: Courtesy Ranger Boats)

Size matters in this fishing scenario, too. When you need to maneuver up close to the rocks to get your lures and baits into just the right spot, having a relatively small, light boat that’s easier to maneuver can be advantageous.

Naturally, there are also some attributes any boat has to meet to be used effectively for jetty fishing, and not all aluminum rigs will prove ideal. First and foremost, remember that any time you’re fishing in an inlet or around a jetty in open waters your safety gear needs to be in top condition.

A rugged modern aluminum hull is a good match for jetty rocks.
(Photo: Courtesy Xpress Boats)

You may be subjected to high currents, lots of boat wakes, and at times (especially when the wind and current are opposed) rough seas. Secondly, when you’re in rough seas in an aluminum boat you’ll want to keep the weight low, to minimize the rocking and rolling in the waves.

Many aluminum boats have raised pedestal seats, which can be detrimental when jetty fishing. If possible, lower or remove pedestals to keep the weight low. Third, because pinpoint positioning can be so important it’s great to rig the boat with alternative “anchoring” systems, if possible. A Power Pole or an electric trolling motor with GPS-controlled functions like “Spot-Lock” (you press a button and the motor’s onboard GPS holds the boat in position without any form of physical anchor) can be incredibly advantageous.

 

DIGITAL BONUS

 

Fishing for Jetty Giants

This video features an early morning trip to the Port Aransas jetties, where bait were everywhere. And following that bait were BIG fish.

 

—story by LENNY RUDOW

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Heather Bryan: