Bait boats, what are they and why should I use one?
Bait boats are remote control boats that deliver your bait and terminal tackle to a chosen point on the lake. When they were first introduced, many carp anglers were not happy, with many branding their use as cheating. This led to many fisheries banning their use across the UK.
Today, views are changing slightly, with many carp anglers now owning a bait boat, with high profile anglers promoting their use in the right fishing situation.
The benefits of bait boats
The main advantages include accurate placement of rigs and bait, fishing at ranges where casting is not possible, fishing under overhanging trees & snags and tight bait application into clear patches among weed and other debris.
Another huge advantage of using a bait boat is the ability to fish small particle baits at range. Looking for cheap carp bait? You can accurately place baits such as pellet, partiblend, hemp, maize, groundbait and other particle baits at range. A bait boat will allow pin-point accuracy of your baiting and rig placement when fishing at range.
You can now buy a range of fish finders which allow you to map out the contours of your lake bed while using your boat. This is a huge advantage as it limits the use of a marker float, which can be disruptive when plumbing a swim while carp are present.
Should I buy a bait boat?
Owning a bait boat is very much a personal choice. As more fisheries are permitting their use, many people are adopting an “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude. For many, it is a horses for courses situation as many waters simply do not require them. If you can get away without using a bait boat on your water then do so, otherwise, your angling ability will suffer if you rely on them too much. Nothing can beat feeling the lead down on the bottom of the lake, although this can still be achieved when using a bait boat to some degree. Bait boats are great when normal angling conditions restrict your ability to fish 100% without one. If your planning on a fishing holiday to France in the near future then a bait boat will come in handy, not only will it make your life a little easier while on holiday, it will increase your chances of catching on the larger French venues.
It’s defiantly an advantage to have a bait boat in your carp fishing arsenal, you don’t have to use it every time you go fishing, but it will certainly come in handy on some waters and in certain fishing situations.
One of the main issues for anglers was the price, however, technology has moved on significantly in recent years and the price of new bait boats have come down in price. There are some fantastic cheap bait boats for under £500 that come with many of the features of their more expensive counterparts.
Owning such an expensive piece of tackle is a big commitment. Boats need maintenance and may require servicing after a few years of regular use. As long as your boat is well cared for, kept dry when in storage and cleaned regularity you shouldn’t have any problems for many years.
If you do decide to purchase one, use our buyers guide as a starting point.