FISH CATCHING TRAVEL
Fishing Season is coming so get the best wading belt on the planet.
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This post was looking like it was going to be a long one if I added the next fishing report so I decided to post it today. Getting the trailer had been in the works awhile and it is good to finally get that taken care of.
Today I took the boat up to McClain’s to have the boat fitted to the new trailer. I found Michael and he said drop the boat right there and we will get on it. Saying it would be about an hour and a half I took off for Cabela’s, which would be about right. While I was there I picked up some free stuff with my points and was headed out the door when he called and said it was done. When I got back it was on the trailer and ready to roll. He walked me around it, I forked over the bucks, and I headed to the house.
Time for a long trip!
So now the good stuff, I can not say enough about dealing with Michael Aguilar and the folks at McClain Trailers. First, the cost was super competitive, I looked at 3 different trailers before McClain. While price was a consideration, once I stopped and talked to Michael I was sold. And the best thing, the trailer was exactly what Michael promised it whould be. It was built specifically for the boat and looks great.
Second, when I ordered it Michael said 4 – 6 weeks, and guess what? It was done in a little over 3 weeks. Dealing with boat stuff for decades things rarely gets done early, in this case it actually happened and was done correctly. But more importantly was what I saw when the boat was sitting next to the old trailer. Yikes. There was a big visible difference in material, hardware, and workmanship. And I love how the warranty on the axle can be extended to 10 years for a small fee, and in my case the extended warranty is a must. So the only thing left to see is how it survives me, the Boss has green lighted long trips now that I have replaced the old one with a “real one”. The whole experience was great and I can not recommend them more highly. Thanks Michael, it was a pleasure.
Check out their web site: http://mcclaintrailers.com/
(And one final note. After owning lots of bass boats I would never replace a trailer with a standard bass boat trailer. I can see no downside to going to a saltwater trailer. No way it won’t last longer. Just a thought.)
Speaking of boat stuff I got this very interesting and complicated question from Gary. I really had to think about it for a while and what should have been a short answer ended up being a dissertation.
I’m considering buying a mako 18lts, what do you think about yours? I’m downsizing from my JH performance since I quit guiding. Thanks
I have had this one for some 8 years now, it was one of the first rigged in Texas. I love some aspects, and some not so much. Keep in mind that when I bought this there were several considerations besides fishing salt. Most importantly I fish lots and lots of fresh water and it is a great little bass boat. Weight and size was a serious consideration considering it is 30 hour tow to the Keys, 10 hours to south Louisiana, 12 hours to north Arkansas, not to mention tows to places like Amistad and Falcon. (And I am considering a late fall muskie trip to Canada this year. Since the 4Runner is a V6, I am a lifetime Toyota man and have towed with 4Runners for 30 years, that is always a consideration. Being a “smaller” boat it really is a great 2 man boat if you are casting, 3 man if they are good fishermen and careful, and it runs fine with 4 in it, though that is a load. And with the 90 Optimax (I chose the Opti because I had a couple of 4 strokes that came apart and this thing after hundreds of hours has equal compression and runs like a top.) and the big gas tank it has a huge range. As an example I van just about fish 3 days say on a trip and not have to visit the gas pump. Love that! And it trolls like a dream, great for me 3 days every spring. Now it come with a 115hp which I am sure speeds it up a bunch.
I can tell you that if you are downsizing from the JH Performance you will notice a big difference. When it is super rough on the bay the LTS has it’s limitations. There are days when that long run is just a little to much for the boat (Or me.) and you can take a pounding, been there done that. It does not have the “solid” feel of your JH or a Majek, again a compromise with a lighter boat. And another thing, it is not near as shallow a runner as they say it is. It is not a real tunnel and consequently will not run as shallow as a lot of the other boats I haved fish in, which depending on your style would be a big difference if you are used to really running shallow. When I fish out of my buddy Chris’s Dargel we go places the LTS just can not go. Now we did not get a jack plate, and I know it would help some, how much is the question. But my days of just jamming like a mad man are over, so running really shallow is not a consideration since I spend most of my time now on the bay shoreline wading. To give you a practical example there are lots of days and tides where running into Pringle ain’t happening while other folks make it. Mine runs just fine at 4500 rpm at 26 mph, top end with the 90hp is probably 38 mph with me wide open, at best. Right after we bought it the saleswoman actually called while we were fishing and had a couple of guys in the room considering one and she said: “You get 50mph don’t you?” At which point we had to hurt the sales pitch as high 30’s with a light load is the size of it. But since speed is not a real issue with me that part is fine.
There are a few complaints, some which they have fixed on the boat, some that came with buying from Bass Pro. I got this one at the Katy store and I would not let them rig a canoe. Completely incompetent rigging, the whole experience with them sucked in that respect, but at least it was their first and many of the issues we had have been addressed on the new boats. And the lay out, it is a tough boat to do simple things like change trolling motor batteries or do other work under the console. It is way to cramped, stuff is crammed in there, and nothing, and I mean nothing is all that simple to work on. So take a good look under the console before you buy and think, “What would I have to do to fix “X”? With most of the rigging below the floor that is not particularly helpful either. The only thing I have to say about the live well, is they should have dropped the live. I built a live bait tank if that tells you anything. And do not even think that the storage is anywhere close to “dry.” Stuff gets wet all the time in any of the boxes, as I type this all the life jackets and other stuff out of the boxes are hanging on the fence drying.
I am actually picking up a new McClain trailer today to replace the factory one. The factory one was poorly designed, though lots of the “problems” with the design of the boat and trailer have been fixed over the years. One advantage of the factory trailer is it is low profile, if you can get the trailer anywhere near the water you can get the boat off. But since I am not buying a new trailer from them it should tell you something. But again in their defense, the trailer had a hard life, it has been thousands and thousands of miles on the worst roads, bad ramps, you name it, and I always made it home.
Enough of the “bad” stuff, I can have a new boat if I want one and seriously considering doing so, but I am happy to keep the LTS, it suits my needs just fine. So first a new trailer, then new trolling motor, and finally upholstery and it will be good to go. It has fished literally hundreds of times and I readily admit I am hard on stuff but it still has some good years left. So would I recommend it to you, that is a tricky question, not knowing what you do and what you want to do. Of course price is a consideration, but with that comes a little “less” boat. They have to get the savings somewhere. So I guess the final answer to your question is – I can have any boat I want and I am sticking with the LTS. And thinking about it, as long as I fish salt and fresh water, from big water to creeks, if I was looking at buying a new boat it would be first on the list until proven otherwise. The multi use thing is important to my style of fishing.
Since you had a JH the one piece of advice I would give you is absolutely find a way to take a ride in one before you even think about plucking down the bucks, you will see/feel the difference. But I bet with the 115hp it hauls butt. If you are ever in the Victoria area drop me a note and I would be happy to give you a ride, lake or bay. So if it seems I am wishy-washy about you buying one, it is tough to give that kind of recommendation. In the end it is a great multi use boat, including taking the kids tubing, and the upfront costs are not as high as some of this type of boats have become. It has served me well and it says a lot that I didn’t sell it when stuff started breaking and wearing out. So good luck in your search and we would love to hear what you finally decide.
And speaking of Houston the fishing show is coming up February 28 – March 4. I love the show and like the rest of you occasionally drop a buck or two while I am there. I am looking forward to what My Coast Outdoors, the makers of Controlled Descent Lures, and Wade Right have in the works this year. If I hear anything early I will let you know. Besides both of them making good stuff they are family owned Texas operations and the small guys deserve our support.
And SA Joe sent along this comment.
Nueces river are producing white bass. A couple of guys that are in my Facebook groups have guide trips running down there for $75 a person. And they are posting pictures.
Thanks. That is why I said the other day they were either there or on the way, and it sounds like they are moving, it is so temp sensitive and now is the time. So if you are a white bass fan get over there, with this second moon it won’t last long. Good to hear from you and thanks for keeping in touch. And the rest of you this is exactly what I hoped the site would be 7 years ago, sharing information that helps us all catch a few fish. So keep it coming.
The Boss is back in town after her excursion to Minneapolis and Iowa. She visited with her folks in Iowa but while in Minneapolis she toured Prince’s house and went downtown to the area where folks are beginning to gather for the Super Bowl. All she had to say about the weather was it was cold, real cold.
Today it will be licensing the trailer and getting a few things tweaked on it then back in action. Time to sit down and look at the weather and make a plan for the next trip, which is going to be Amistad or Falcon. That is always a tough choice for me, fishing Amistad is just like fishing Norfork and Bull Shoals in Arkansas where I did my guiding and it rarely dissapoints. And of course Falcon is the place dreams are made, and where I caught what at the time was my 3 personal bests in 3 days. Additionally I will be watching the Corpus weather looking for the perfect couple of days to try and catch a big trout. It feels good to have the trailer issue resolved and it is time to get my monies worth. So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.
Good Luck and Tight Lines