Do You Need an Upper Station?

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If you enjoy sight fishing for cobia, an upper station will seriously boost your catch.

When it comes to certain types of fishing, having an upper station can be invaluable. Offshore boats usually have ’em, but in recent years we’ve been seeing more and more pop up on bay and hybrid bay boats. These rigs can add $25,000 or even $30,000 to the price of a boat. So, is it a worthy expense?

upper station on a bay boat

If you enjoy sight fishing for cobia, an upper station will seriously boost your catch.

For those who like sight fishing for cobia, this question is a total no-brainer. Yes, you will spot more fish if your boat has an upper station. In fact, you’ll spot 10 times as many. But the other fisheries it helps with are vast and varied.

  • When schools of big bull reds are prowling, like cobia, they’re much easier to spot from afar from the elevated position.
  • Running a line of crab trap floats on the hunt for tripletail, you’ll see the fish from farther off and know to slow up and make a cast long before spooking them by getting too close.
  • While working a shoreline for specks or reds, you’ll be able to tell where the sharper drop-off points are at a glance.
  • If the fish are hanging around weedbeds or oyster shell middens, you’ll be able to see them in deeper water and from farther off.

Just think of how often you use your eyes when you’re fishing, and how often you’re trying to spot something in the water. In virtually any fishing scenario where this is the case, having an upper station will help you see better, and as a result, catch more fish. So back to the original question: is an upper station worth the extra expense? That’s your call. But if you can afford it, you won’t ever regret having it.

Added bonus: Even if you don’t sight fish much, the potential next buyer of your boat might. That means upper stations boost your boat’s resale value and widens the boat’s appeal to a broader audience.

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