Even in bigger boats, space is at a premium. There’s only so much deck space, and when you’re onto the fish of a lifetime, you need to be sure that you can move freely to reel it in.
But if you’ve got bait, knives, and tackle strewn across the deck of your boat, it becomes pretty hazardous. That’s why most boaties prefer to take their tack off the floor and store it appropriately, but doing so often means getting creative with your boat fitting ideas.
The best place to start is with a bait board, although you’ll need to make sure yours is the right fit for you. Here are our five top bait board ideas!
Over outboard tinny bait board ideas
Our number one contender is the over-the-outboard bait board, simply for its convenience, simplicity, and accessibility. There are plenty of ways to get a bait board fitted over your outboard, but on a tinny the most reliable way is to get an aluminium fabricator to weld some brackets into your transom either side of the outboard. From there, you can purchase or fabricate a stand for your nylon bait board, which can slot easily into the transom brackets. If you need to get under a low bridge, then, or park your tinny in a tight space, simply take the bait board out and lay it down in the boat.
Bait board with rocket launcher
This one is exciting, but not quite as exciting as it sounds…when we talk about rocket launchers, we mean a certain type of fishing rod holder that spreads your rods in an upward direction – much like a real rocket launcher. Adding a few to your bait board is a great way to get your rods off the floor and into a sturdy and accessible position. If you’ve got an over-the-outboard bait board, even better – the rocket launcher style of rod holder will offer the perfect angle for you to run trolling lures out the back, or even a floated pilchard for some Spanish mackerel. You can get ones with adjustable angles, too, so that you can get your lures running at the perfect depth, with the perfect amount of strike resistance to set the hooks.
Gunwale bait boards
If you’re not into the permanence of welded bait board brackets in your tinny, then we would recommend bolt-on brackets for a gunwale bait board. You can get them to suit a wide variety of gunwale rails, and in a number of configurations to suit rod holders of all styles.
These ones are great for the dedicated bait fishermen, because you can easily cut up your burley and slide it straight into the water, with less mess in your boat. You can also get ones with rods holders that extend at 45 degree angles to the water. Those options are ideal for static bait fishing because they allow your rods to absorb bites with the optimum degree of resistance.
Behind the cab bait boards
If you’re looking for bait boards that work better in transit, then you should consider ones that fit behind the cab. The big drawcard of this configuration is wind protection. If you’re motoring along at twenty knots, then a gunwale bait board isn’t going to be very user friendly. But if you’re tucked away behind the cab, then you can prepare your baits and burley without having to contend with the wind and sea spray!
Bait board rigging tables
Finally, let’s look at the best bait board option for the serious game fishermen: rigging tables. We’re talking nylon bait boards that are a metre or more in length, and suitable for rigging large swimming baits for big game fish like sharks and marlin. Your conventional over the outboard options simply won’t cut it in those cases; you need something long, stable, and easy to work with. The best part about them, though, is that they double as filleting tables if you have some success!