For any angler, having a dedicated workspace for bait preparation and handling can make the fishing process much more efficient. Bait boards for boats are a great way to maximise space and organise your gear while on the water. It offers a stable and convenient work surface to prepare bait, rig tackle, and store equipment. However, with so many available options, choosing the right bait board can take time and effort. In this blog post, we will look at the different types of boards, factors to consider when choosing one, how to install and organise the bait board for your boat, and essential tips for maintaining it.
Understanding Bait Boards for Boats
A bait board is a board or table designed for preparing bait and handling fish. They are an essential accessory for any fishing boat, providing a workspace separate from food preparation and general use areas. Different boards are available in the market, such as adjustable, fixed, or rail-mounted. Choosing the right board will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Now, let’s take a closer look at the features of each type.
- Adjustable Bait Boards: As the name suggests, adjustable boards are designed to be adjusted according to your needs and preferences. This type of board is usually mounted on a rail system which can be extended for extra work space or rotated and moved out of the way. These boards are great for those wanting more flexibility from their bait board.
- Fixed Bait Boards: Modern boats have introduced innovative transom layouts, such as the half pod-style transoms with full-width internal cockpit/transom walls. These designs offer versatile options for mounting cutting boards, whether it’s along the rear transom wall or suspended above the side coamings. This eliminates the need for constant setup or adjustments and ensures a reliable and readily available workspace, greatly enhancing the fishing experience.
- Rail-Mounted Bait Boards: Rail-mounted bait boards have gained popularity among anglers who aim to optimise their storage space. This type of board can be easily mounted onto existing rail systems, offering a secure and comfortable workspace. Additionally, these boards often come equipped with quick-release mechanisms, allowing for easy storage when not in use. Anglers can take advantage of the available rail systems on their boat to conveniently attach the board and create a dedicated area for various fishing tasks.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Bait Board
When choosing a board, two essential factors are its size and mounting options. The appropriate size will depend on the size of your boat and space available. Selecting a board that provides enough workspace without taking up too much room is essential. When considering mounting options, you have three choices: adjustable, fixed, or rail-mounted. An adjustable board offers the convenience of adapting its position as needed, allowing for versatility in usage. Unlike a fixed board, which provides stability and remains in place, the adjustable board can be easily repositioned to accommodate various needs. Rail-mounted boards offer flexibility, allowing you to reposition them as needed.
Installation and Placement
Once you have chosen the appropriate bait board for your needs, and if you opt for a rail-mounted board, it is important to ensure that you have the correct size clamps for your specific rail system. It is advisable to refer to the installation manuals provided by the manufacturer or visit their official website for detailed instructions on installation and mounting. Following the recommended guidelines will help you properly attach the bait board to your boat’s rail system, ensuring a secure and reliable workspace.
Organising and Equipping the Bait Board
The key to successful fishing is having a well-organised bait and tackle setup. One of the most significant advantages of having a board on your boat is the ability to attach tackle and tool slots, freeing up space on your boat’s deck. Use these slots by attaching your scalers, knife, hook removers, and other necessary tools conveniently close at hand. Also, consider using storage compartments to store your fishing accessories, such as spare lines, hooks, leaders, lures and baits.
Knife and cutting surface considerations
Fishermen must have the right tools to prepare their bait and cut their catch appropriately. Consider purchasing a quality knife that’s the right size and sharpness. We recommend stainless steel filleting knives, as they’re durable and robust. Also, it’s essential to have a sturdy, non-slip cutting board to prevent your knife from slipping and causing injury.
Bait and fish handling
When fishing, handling your bait and catch carefully is essential to ensure it remains fresh and safe to eat. To ensure the freshness of your bait, it’s advisable to utilise a live bait bag, tuna tubes, or other similar equipment that securely attaches to the adjustable board. These tools are highly favoured and widely used among avid fishermen, with live bait tanks being particularly popular and commonplace investments. However, it’s important to note that tuna tubes belong to a more specific subset of equipment. Alternatively, you can also maintain the freshness of your bait by keeping a nearby cooler filled with ice. To ensure convenient bait replenishment, we suggest opting for a removable bait board that offers easy access. Additionally, when handling your catch, we prefer to use a fish grip to minimise harm to the fish’s gills and provide protection for your hands against sharp fins.
Maintenance and Care
First and foremost, cleaning your bait board after each use is essential. This will ensure your board remains hygienic and bacteria-free. To clean your board, use warm soapy water and a soft cloth or sponge to thoroughly clean the board’s surface.
It is also essential to sanitise the board to keep it free from harmful bacteria and germs. The simplest way to sanitise is to use water and bleach. Mix the bleach with water in a ratio of 1:10, pour the solution onto the board, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry it with a towel.
Maintenance tips for different bait board materials
Different materials require different maintenance techniques. Here are some handy maintenance tips for commonly used materials:
Plastic: Plastic boards are lightweight, easy to clean, and resistant to stains and scratches. However, to protect the board from the elements, storing it in a shaded area when not in use is best. It’s also essential to avoid using harsh chemicals and abrasive scrubbers on the plastic surface.
Stainless steel: It’s important to note that cheaper stainless steel materials may be prone to discolouration or rust if not adequately cared for. If left exposed to the weather without proper maintenance, rust may develop. To prevent this, after each use, it is essential to wash the board with warm, soapy water, ensuring thorough drying. Additionally, applying a protective coating of oil can help preserve the stainless steel and prevent rust from forming.
Protecting the bait board from environmental wear
Environmental wear can affect the integrity and appearance of your bait board. You can protect the board from these elements by following these tips:
- Keep away from harsh chemicals, detergents, and abrasive cleaners that can strip away its protective layer.
- Store in its protective cover or a shaded area when unused. This will help prevent the board from getting wet
A bait board is a crucial tool for fishing enthusiasts, providing a dedicated workspace for bait preparation. By exploring different types of bait boards and considering factors such as size, mounting options, and ideal placement on your boat, you can choose the perfect bait board that meets your specific needs. It’s also important to effectively organise and equip your bait board, regularly clean and maintain it to extend its lifespan and optimise its usefulness over time.
We offer a wide range of bait board options, including those not listed on our website. If you have specific dimensions and requirements, please feel free to email us, and we will gladly assist you in finding the right bait board for your needs. Our knowledgeable team will provide you with information on the available options that suit your specifications.
With a carefully chosen and well-maintained bait board, you can enhance your fishing experience and enjoy successful angling adventures. Happy fishing!