How To

Accessorizing Your Boat

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Lund’s unique Sport Trak system allows you to position rod holders anywhere in the boat, without having to drill any holes to install them. Here, Hall of Fame fisherman Ted Takasaki is handling the controls for he and a fishing partner, who snapped the photo. They are each allowed two rods, which lets them set up a spread of lines and test various presentations.

Lund’s unique Sport Trak system allows you to position rod holders anywhere in the boat, without having to drill any holes to install them. Here, Hall of Fame fisherman Ted Takasaki is handling the controls for he and a fishing partner, who snapped the photo. They are each allowed two rods, which lets them set up a spread of lines and test various presentations.

As you get ready for another season on the water, efficiency, durability and comfort should be your number one goal when adding final touches to a boat you just bought or to one you’ve had for a while.

The timing is always wrong for key equipment to break. Plus, you’ll be spending too many hours on the water to have a seat which needs to be endured rather than enjoyed.

That’s where Mark Lozelle, his dad Jim, and sister Lise come in. They own Tempress, makers of Fish-ON Rod Holders and mounts, Tempress Seating and Hatches and Boatmates Storage and Organization.

“We are a USA company that’s making a USA-based product line which helps the weekend warrior have more success on the water,” said Lozelle, president, CEO and “general handyman” of the business.

A fishing family from Michigan, the Lozelles purchased Tempress in 1999. The company was started 30 years before, by a guy who loved to fish for salmon. When he wasn’t at work overseeing a Seattle-based company that focused on pressure-molded dashboards for semi trucks, he used the same technology that combines temperature and pressure (Tem-press, get it?) to create Fish-ON rod holders. He even trademarked the brand name, “Fish-ON!”

Remember that next time you shout those words whenever you get a bite.

Rod holders are essential when fish are scattered over large expanses of water. Many species, from walleyes to salmon to crappie, do just that at various times of year to feed on suspended bait fish. On huge waters like the Great Lakes, trolling allows anglers to try a variety of baits in different styles and colors at various depths. Baits can be spread out to the sides of the boat, or even farther, with in-line Off Shore trolling boards to find active fish fast. Modern sonar with side imaging gives detailed views to each side and downward, making the search even simpler.

Even river species like sauger can be targeted effectively with trolling. Floating baits are attached to leaders on three-way rigs with weights to make sure they are on the bottom and trolled along contours. Or, leadcore line can be used with larger shad-style lures like Shadlings or Wally Divers. The rods are set so the lure runs just off bottom at 2 mph, placed in rod holders and trolled fast upstream.

The Fish-ON has 360 degrees of horizontal adjustment and 90 degrees of vertical adjustments. A sliding locking ring secures the rod. The enlarged opening makes removing a rod easier when a strike occurs.

Trolling for big fish like muskies is even more exciting – and taxing on the rod holder when a strike happens. Lozelle fishes for salmon at the family retreat in Michigan. He knows how important a rod holder that can withstand the assault of a big fish is. “The key is that the rod holder is strong and durable,” he said. Tempress has sold more than a million Fish-ON rod holders.

For crappies, which are at the other end of the size spectrum, Tempress created the Mr. Crappie Pro Series Rod Holder Kit, which allows the use of up to four rods per unit while slow trolling, or spider-rigging. The kit was designed in conjunction with Wally Marshall, aka. Mr. Crappie, one of the most recognized figures in professional crappie fishing today.

In addition to Fish-ON Rod Holders and Mounts, the Lozelles also acquired Tempress’ boat-seat business. At the time of acquisition, the company provided regional upholsterers with just the molded plastic shells to build the chairs. The Lozelles soon started to make the durable seats from start to finish. Today, in addition to the aftermarket products, the company supplies boat seats to prestigious companies such as Lund, Bass Pro, Stratos and Triton, to name a few. There are cheaper seats for your boat, Lozelle admits. But you get what you pay for, and in many cases, a cheap seat is one that grows more uncomfortable by the day and may barely last a season. Tempress seats are built to withstand serious loads without breaking or wearing out.

“A $59 seat is a solution, but not if you are on the water 100 days a year,” says Lozelle. “Boat seats must be dependable and hold up over time. You can’t afford to have something break – something that is cheapened up just because the economy changed. There is a better way.”

Have you ever noticed the difference between pro fishermen and weekend anglers? Much of the success of the pros depends on being organized and paying attention to detail. Boatmates, a company Tempress acquired in 2005, helps with that by manufacturing neat plastic storage systems to organize everything from fishing tools to crankbaits and more. Many adhere to the side of a boat with suction cups. Others, such as the pedestal cooler and the pedestal gear bag, clip together under pedestal seats to create 360 degrees of useable storage out of former dead space. When you discover one lure color is hot that day while trolling, you can easily find another within a Boatmate storage unit. A functional organizer, the Tournament Series Knife and Pliers Caddy keeps essential tools out of the way yet convenient to get to.

To help you plan your own boat accessorizing, visit www.tempress.com.

Image courtesy Ted Takasaki

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