If you fish pressured carp waters you will have probably seen bait boats, you might have thought about whether to buy one. They are quite expensive so it might be that they are on your list of possible purchases, along with many other products.
So, will a bait boat make a difference to your carp fishing? Or is a comfortable bivvy a better priority? Maybe you have been put off by bait boat bans on some fishing venues.
To get into the topic, I will give you a for and against argument from a “tackle tart” and a “fishing purist”
What the tackle tart has to say about bait boats:
“They are the absolute business, my fishing has improved 100% since I got my bait boat.
Here are the main advantages:
- I can put my baited rig, and freebies in the boat, then gently place the whole lot exactly where I want it. The accuracy of the rig placing and the freebies could never be achieved by casting, spodding or with a catapult or throwing stick.
- I can place my bait under bushes, around corners, and way further than I could ever cast. I can use delicate hook baits or fine ground-bait or even maggots and casters at range. This gives my a major edge over the old-fashioned purists.
- I can get my bait, rig and freebies out with minimum disturbance to the swim. I used to scare the carp off with massive spod splashes and recasting when I wanted to get my bait in exactly the right place.
- I can put a kilo of bait out in a jiffy, with no arm ache from the throwing stick, or split baits spinning off to the wrong place.
- I don’t know what I would do without my bait boat, really. I think that anyone who complains is jealous.”
Here is what the carp fishing purist has to say about bait boats:
“Fishing is all about the game, the sport, the challenge and adventure, we all know that with electronic equipment and machines we could put more fish on the bank, I mean isn’t that what electro fishing does?
Where is the fun in that?
Here are some more points:
- Part of fishing is the build up of skills that we employ, nothing feels better than a perfect cast, learning to cast accurately or at range involves talent and skill. If the “bait boat boys” aren’t interested in talent and skill then why are they fishing? Why don’t they go down to the fish monger and pose for the camera if they want it to be really easy?
- When someone who is used to using a boat goes to fishing venue that doesn’t allow it then they are useless, they cast into trees and cry about their arm aching from the throwing stick.
- A bait boat allows people to present baits to places that represent danger for the fish, you can drive your bait into bushes and sunken trees, but could you get the carp out after it bites? Or might you leave it tethered?
- Bait boats can give an unfair advantage to those who have them. That is not sportsmanlike behavior.
- I like to relax with peace and quiet while fishing. It is one of the main reason I go fishing. I don’t want radio control boats buzzing around everywhere. It is annoying.
- Overall, I don’t think that the possibility of a few extra bites is worth the hassle, expense and disturbance. Not to mention the idiots who use their boats to effectively fish in swims occupied by other anglers. Tackle tarts are selfish.
So, some strong views are held by carp fishing purists and tackle tarts alike. Who is right? Both make decent points. I don’t think that bait boats should be used in situations where the carps life could be put in danger. Consideration should also be made for other carp anglers on the lake. No one wants to be woken up early in the morning by the buzzing of electric bait boats.
We all would be annoyed if we see a boat bringing someone else’s carp rig into our swim for some “stealth poaching”.
At the same time there will be plenty of situations where a bait boat will offer a great chance to catch fish and turn a bad session into a great one. As long as we use consideration for the fish and for other carp anglers then bait boats are probably a plus overall.