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Bowfishing boat set up
Have some time to kill, so here is the evolution of our 14 x 40 jon boat up to this point. This doesn't involve politics or covid, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway....it does involve bow stuff
Happened across this boat and trailer for a steal close to home. It's something we have talked about for a few years, figured this would be a good start. After the boat sat in the yard for a year and half I finally made enough time to get it ready to start hunting fish.
There is a lot of information on jon boat modifications on utube, some of what I have done are variations of other people's ideas.
I started with building a deck on the front to shoot from, nothing too elaborate but functional....didn't watch enough videos to know that you aren't supposed to use pressure treated wood against aluminum....until I had it done.
I ordered a Swamp Runner long tail mud motor kit and put a 23hp Briggs on it. With the long tail you give up reverse, but we haven't had many issues without having reverse yet. If the boat will float there the long tail will push it.
Maiden voyage making sure it was going to float, quick spin to figure out how bugs needed working out.
How it looked when we were ready to start shooting from it.
The boat worked pretty well and we had some good success last summer
On to winter time, with a little free time to make some changes to the boat getting ready for the spring.
The transom board was pretty soft and needed to be changed, added a couple extra strengthening pieces.
Added some bracing for the pods
Framing up some side benches and converting rear bench into small shooting platform.
Current condition, more pieces ordered to finish up these projects and be ready for the ice to melt.
Looks great, Gene! Any plans on putting any type of railing around the platform?
Also, thanks for the heads up about the pt lumber and aluminum. I was unaware of that potential issue.
Yes, a rail and some shooting lights are in the plans. I have a small light bar and a couple "driving" lights ready to go on the front now.
What a set-up!!! Great job. Hope ya'all have a ball. Mostly, be safe.
After a little break for hunting, got back to finishing up the list of stuff on the boat. A little clean up left and will be ready start the season.
Figured if 1 bildge pump was good, 2 would be better.
Finished up the benches,added a little storage and did an aerosol make over on the inside. The benches are covered with rattle can bed liner for now. Planning on covering them and the deck with Hydro Turf when time allows.
Relocated the flopper stopper and push pole to new locations under the benches.
Condition of the old transom board that was replaced.
Couple pictures of the mud motor and mount.
Hopefully the weather cooperates and soon there will be fish pictures added.
How fast will that motor push that boat?
Depending on the load, can get mid to upper 20's with it. Still experimenting to find the best prop size. The motor is still stock, there are some aftermarket hop up parts available for them.
Looking good, go slay them.
Cool project! You've done a very nice job with it. Good luck!
Looks good but be careful loading it up.
I’ve setup a couple different bowfishing boats and The one common factor is these small boats are extremely sensitive to weight
Looks like a nice rig. No lights? It's not complete until you have it rigged up for night bowfishing!! Then your kills will be 10x what your day kills are.
Good job fabricating!
Lights and a front rail are definitely in the plans. Going to build a mount over top of the bildge pumps to mount a small "suitcase" generator.
What a kool project
Nice! Spent a LOT of years sticking fish in NC , SC , GA, FL, TN, IL, OH, KY. Its addictive! If you ever hit the ohio river for bigheads and silvers, you will be ruined. LOL. I havent bowfished since i killed my gator at Seminole in 2015. But im probably going to draw a gator tag this summer again finally. Ill be getting my gear rigged out again. sold my bowfishing boat last year and bought a tractor. So ill have to hire a guide this time for gators. I had a Lowe 1862 Tunnel Jet with pods. LED lights and light bars. Worked great. went thru 3 different boats in the process. lol
I like the double pump set up… I think I’ll do the same. Mine has a tunnel hull and I never thought of it till just now…
I upgraded the piece of nylon rope tied around the rib for hanging the motor when not in motion. Thinking this has the possibility to work as a low speed cruise control too.
New body containment system.
We were able to get out for a quick scouting trip between the rain showers today.
A polar bear hunt probably pales in comparison to foul weather free range carp hunting. Is that new body containment system box, a visual reminder for guys to wipe their feet before getting onboard?? Your rig turned out great, Gene!
You did a great job customizing that Jonboat, Gene! Nice job!
Troy...the adventure level is pretty high in the wilds of Northern PA, notice we were almost attacked by a rouge free range chicken lurking under the trailer. Free range carp in a man made lake,not sure if they will be eligible for "book" entry?? Yep, don't be mucking up the custom Krylon over dirty aluminum interior....
Made that old boat look pretty sharp!
Took one of my sons friends out today, it was his first time bowfishing, pretty sure he is hooked now.
Good haul on a hot summer day.
Looks like you had a good day Gene!
Looks good… Bowfishing is great fun…
I cashed in a stack of saved up gift cards and bought a new foot steer trolling motor. Much nicer for shooting while being captain.
Custom mount for the trolling motor.
Found the perfect size cooler for space available.
After a month break we were able to get back out for a morning trip yesterday. Water is very low and clear from the lack of rain this summer in PA. Some of the carp are getting a bright yellow color to them now.
Finally got a light setup on the boat and got out try them out.
First fish under the lights.
Day after trophy pic of the nights haul
Making memories...nice rig as well!
Finished the weekend strong with another night under the lights. A 30 pounder and another full bucket
My son and a friend are on a road trip with the boat this week.
Set up base at a state park with these rental tents set up on a platform.
Adding a few iguanas with pellet gun and blow gun
Iguanas seem to be pretty bright colors this time of year.
Lots of fun and experience for a couple 18 year old boys with a little cheap boat project.
I'm going down to spend the last day with them and help with the drive home.
Hopefully, they remembered to wipe their feet. I’d hate to see either one of them get thrown in the “body containment hole”! Looks like a fun trip! I’ve never heard of a clown knifefish. Did you guys save any iguana legs to try?
Sock feet only on the Krylon interior...
There are iguana legs on ice.
The clowns are only supposed to be in 2 lakes, but they got into a bunch of them last night 50 miles away.
I managed to get there in time for a combo trip last evening.
Nice thread, i was thinking of doing a boat for bowfishing . I have a 14 v boat. But think i need a flat john to do it right. I got a reservoir by my house that a few years back I saw a bunch carp in it why kayaking it. I never onces saw anyone bowfishing it. A buddy lives right by a reservoir thats knowen for having a lot and big carp.. Again nice thread.
What no snow, wind, ice nor warm clothes?
Is this for real? haha
Happy for y'all, fun trip.
More off season boat enhancing. After the Florida trip we had a better idea of what we wanted for lighting. Ordered up another stack of 100w led lights from Mr Le in China.
Then started building a railing out of the latest space age polymer materials available.
The mounting brackets that come with the lights are pretty flimsy and need some extra stabilizing.
For $20 the lights are actually pretty bright.
Low tech, but effective. Left , right and front groups of lights are on separate switches in case all sides shouldn't be lit up, because of houses or whatever wouldn't be impressed with led lighting in the middle of the night.
Switched back to tiller steer trolling motor to get all the clutter off the deck.
Wanting for the open air rattle can paint booth to warm up to color match the railing to the deck now.
Looks great … I’ve been using HPS for too long. I’ve toyed with the idea of switching to led’s also. Did you research light color and how well it cuts water? (Your findings) Also could ya share a link to where ya bought the fixtures… thanks
You order those latest space age polymer fittings from NASA, or Home Depot??
Looking better each go-round, Gene! BTW….Treeman has been forewarned about wiping his feet.
Excellent work! I like your attention to detail.
I like your batting cage too.
Any plans to install an LED light bar under the top bar of the ROPS on your tractor?
Actually Lowes aerospace section which happens to be in the same isle as the poop transportation section.
Treeman should be fine, he will most likely walk on top of the water to get in the boat with clean sandals on.
Tractor is going to be limited to daylight activities.
Shug, light info on the way.
Here is a link to the lights. Like everything they have went up, $30 now.
I knew I didn't want to screw with hps lights and didn't want to pay over $100 per light just because it has a picture of a carp on it. Took a chance on the first pair of these to try and they worked fine. Using auto window tint could be an option if you wanted a more yellowish tint instead of bright white.
Can't get the link to post, but you can look them up on Amazon
Roughly how much weight have you added to the boat?
huntinelk - Great project, great results, and what a great example to those young men! Well done!
Bow fishing is the most fun you can have with your pants on.
I had to put my sunglasses on just to look at the pix!!
My very first bow kill in 1954 was a carp while wading in Lake Erie marshes. What you got there is way over the top. Nicely done. Paul
Thanks for the comments.
I'm not sure how much all the additions weigh, but has definitely made a 4 person boat into a 2-3 person boat
Very nice. Are you able to run all the lights off battery or are you using a generator?