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Best Upgrades to the boat #13846986 01/15/21 01:21 PM
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cg203 Online Content OP
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So in order what would you guys recommend for equipment upgrades to the bass boat. I have a 1998 Champion 203 in like new condition, so buying a new boat is out of the question. It has an old Motorguide tour trolling motor and a Garmin side imaging unit at the dash. I’d like to get a new spot lock trolling motor, a set of power poles, better electronics at the dash and one on the bow. There’s a few other little things I’d like to do, but these are the big ones. It looks like this will be 10-15k total, so I might have to do some this year and some in the future. There’s a lot of cool new toys out there and I think it’s time to catch up. Thanks.

Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847000 01/15/21 01:33 PM
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rickys Offline
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Trolling motor, then electronics, and poles last. I use spot lock a ton. I would spend a lot of time researching on all the new brands. I have an Ultrex, and it's fine but I would like to try the others for a day. 2nd would have to be a live scope type system up front. I love my Gramin LiveScope. That's what I would say. Power Poles are great, but I would say that's something I don't have to have. More of a nice to have.

Last edited by rickys; 01/15/21 01:34 PM.
Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847003 01/15/21 01:34 PM
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T Bird Offline
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Trolling motor first.


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USAF "Thunderbirds" Alumni 1985-1989

Okie by birth, Texan by choice.
Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847020 01/15/21 01:44 PM
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I can tell you that from myself as a boat owner for about 25 years and being boatless for the last 6 or so, my son in law bought an old Ranger for me and him to start fishing tournaments out of. When he got it he made some upgrades on it and now that I have run that boat and fished tournaments out of it I can say without a doubt the Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor has been awesome. Just the ease of running the motor and having the Spot Lock to keep you in position and allowing you to move around the boat fishing places like docks etc gives you the ability to hit angles and make more accurate casts by not having to always be at the foot pedal all of the time. It has made running the trolling motor and fishing so much easier and better. That's the upgrade I would recommend.

Last edited by TBassYates; 01/15/21 01:44 PM.

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Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847026 01/15/21 01:48 PM
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Rube G. Online Content
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Add a Spot lock trolling motor 1st. I put a Livescope on mine & love it, I would also recommend either a PP or Talon.

You are going to spend a chunk of change, but a lot less than a new boat.

Good luck

Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847036 01/15/21 01:59 PM
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SteezMacQueen Offline
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Sounds like you have the list of major stuff settled.

Things I’ve added to my boat that are great to have.

Radio integrated through the fish finders.
Rubber covered, flush mounted charging port.
Remote mounted drain plug ( get shallow anchors and you’ll see the beauty in one of these)
Recessed foot pedal tray
Tackle management system for hard baits
Ruler holder
Upgraded rod straps
Digital volt gauges in the bilge to see batt voltages. I designed the main power switch to latch and unlatch a 500 amp relay, so when I power down the dash switch, the relay disconnects the batteries from everything.

Lots of fun things to add to boats to make fishing easier.


Eat. Sleep. Fish.
Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847038 01/15/21 02:03 PM
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BMCD Offline
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I got a decal.

Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: BMCD] #13847052 01/15/21 02:09 PM
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tmd11111 Online Content
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Originally Posted by BMCD
I got a decal.


Salt Life ?

Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847238 01/15/21 03:44 PM
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tejasbass Offline
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Originally Posted by cg203
So in order what would you guys recommend for equipment upgrades to the bass boat. I have a 1998 Champion 203 in like new condition, so buying a new boat is out of the question. It has an old Motorguide tour trolling motor and a Garmin side imaging unit at the dash. I’d like to get a new spot lock trolling motor, a set of power poles, better electronics at the dash and one on the bow. There’s a few other little things I’d like to do, but these are the big ones. It looks like this will be 10-15k total, so I might have to do some this year and some in the future. There’s a lot of cool new toys out there and I think it’s time to catch up. Thanks.


I just went through this process with a new to me BassCat Cougar. Sent you a PM.

Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847301 01/15/21 04:18 PM
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Definately trolling motor 1st...


PB Largemouth 8.56 Lake Fork

Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847316 01/15/21 04:25 PM
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Outdoordude Offline
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I'd start with the trolling motor. You may find after using it a while that you don't even need PowerPoles/Talons/Raptors. Then you could look at a new set of Garmins with Livescope and be top of the line on trolling motor and sonar tech.


Scott Jones
Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847333 01/15/21 04:37 PM
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bassnman Offline
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I believe you will still want power poles even with spot lock if you fish shallow water at all. You don't want the noise of the trolling motor in shallow water.

Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847348 01/15/21 04:45 PM
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David Burton Offline
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I would tweak the list a little bit. I love my Ultrex and it allows me to fish in deeper water without dreading the breeze. But I am still a shallow water fisherman and use my poles a bunch. If you spend 99% of your time in 10 FOW or less, poles might be higher than the TM in your case. All of them are great, and I agree with the lists provided. Just a slight tweak, depending on how you fish.


David Burton
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OK, OK, OK... I guess I was wrong about PhotoBucket being out of business.
Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847378 01/15/21 05:06 PM
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Personally I would put the poles last on the list. Get the trolling motor first and then any upgraded graphs if those are a priority for you. I would even put compartment/deck lights in front of the poles. I have a set of powerpoles and they're great but WAY overpriced IMO.


Thats my money fish
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Kris Winhold
Re: Best Upgrades to the boat [Re: cg203] #13847443 01/15/21 05:47 PM
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Put on some Easy Steps on Trailer


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