"Fishing Platforms" - The Ultimate Foundation for Proper Presentation

By Ted Pilgrim - May 1, 2011
Writen in conjunction with Scott Glorvigen

Don't worry, this isn't a complex story about boat control. We promise not to make you read all about how to execute the perfect backtroll; slip-drift a steep breakline while quartering with a 30-knot gale; half-circle troll for king salmon with three different motors while standing on one leg. Yes, they're all show stopping techniques given certain sets of circumstances. But for this exercise, the focus is on kicking back and letting the boat control itself.

It's all about stability. Crunching waves, grinding teeth and spearing rollers with the trolling motor? Miserable, even painful. Smoothly breezing across open seas, enjoying the lakescape and setting hooks? Yeah, baby, now we're talkin'. Stability on the water means your spine's a happy camper. It also means you're free to think about catching fish, as opposed to giving yourself a headache trying to stay on structure, and doing it all without taking a rogue wave over the stern. Sure is nice when you're fishing-Roach rigging crawlers for walleyes, figure-8'ing a monster muskie, even dancing a Northland Mimic Minnow for crappies- to have the luxury of operating from a stable, reliable platform. Otherwise, it's roughly the same as a preacher struggling to deliver an inspirational message from a crooked, wobbly podium-all the while parishioners douse him with buckets of cold water. BlasphemousÂ…

Lund Guns Jeff Gussy Gustafson and Tony Roach impart immaculate boat control on the backtroll from the breakwater-solid deck of a Lund Boat. Photo by Bill Lindner Photography on Lake Norfork in Arkansas
As anglers go, Lund Legend Scott Glorvigen might just be the "high priest of presentation." Having won on the grandest stages in walleye fishing-including the 2000 RCL/FLW Championship and 2004 PWT Championship-Glorvigen delivers a confident credible message. "I've fished in several buddies' boats that made it tricky to really execute a precise presentation," the professional Northern Minnesota angler admitted. And literally, he compared the experiences to fishing from the waterways' most unstable crafts. "We've all tried fishing from a canoe at one time or another, and we learned pretty fast lessons about instability. Lucky if you didn't end up in the drink."
"While I was recently jigging for walleyes in one of these, let's just say 'unstable' other boats, I started thinking about this, and it really made me pine for my personal 'fishing platform.' What I realized was the absolutely overlooked advantage of fishing from a solid platform-a stable, well-designed fishing boat. Consider ice fishing, and how we're able to sit on a Frabill bucket over a single hole, stare at sonar and lend 100-percent concentration to our presentation; we don't have all the distractions of balance and control to keep us from focusing on the task at-hand - catching fish.

Dragging live bait rigs or pumping jigs, Lund Legend Scott Glorvigen can't imagine performing his craft from an unstable platform. His Lund makes if feel like fishing from a dock. Winning Walleyes
"When I'm rigging livebait for walleyes, often the most important element-the thing that separates the anglers who are constantly setting hooks from those who continuously struggle to pinpoint their presentations - is stability. I want to be able to put a lively leech, crawler or minnow right in the fish zone and keep it there. You start jerking around your sinker and bait, losing control and sense of feel, bouncing up and down in waves, or even just having the boat lean or jump to one side, and you'll miss out on a lot of bites. In my mind, it's one of the main reasons you see so many of North America's top anglers fishing from Pro-Vs and other Lund models. These solid rigs just give you so much steadiness on the water. They simply never interfere with your presentation. Instead, they enhance it. Stability means you're fishing comfortably and precisely, and that translates into confidence and abundant bites."

Recalling his 2004 PWT Championship victory, Glorvigen revealed select advantages to his choice in boats. "I started out the final day of the Championship rigging 'crawlers on a 1/16-ounce sinker, being absolutely diligent about keeping my rig no more than 6-inches off the bottom. This was the most critical element of the presentation. There's no doubt that because my boat stayed totally still-wouldn't rock back and forth or lean to the side or slap water- when I or my partner shifted position, I was able to keep my sinker dead still, and my crawler continuously in the strike zone. It was the absolute difference to inducing those finicky biting walleyes.

"Later on in the day, with walleyes in the box, I knew I still needed one nice kicker fish to lock down a victory," Glorvigen continued. "The wind really picked up, so I simply went to the back of the boat and started backtrolling. Advanced design elements in my Pro-V-a reverse chine coupled with the IPS hull, which work essentially like stabilizing outriggers on a yacht-were vital. Even in howling wind, that incredible Lund hull allowed me to hover motionless above a single big fish marked 1-foot off bottom on my sonar. I kept one hand on the rod, one on the trolling motor, and delivered the sinker and crawler right to the fish's face. The rest is history."

If stability got credit for the assist, Glorvigen added, versatility scored the winning goal. "There aren't too many fishing boats I've been in that allow for an instant switch from a bow to transom presentation. But to do it so seamlessly and without any sacrifice in boat control, comfort or stability, is truly amazing."

Tom Neustrom, a Lund Legend and comrade of Glorvigen's supplies another instance where staying stationary is paramount to micro-control of a presentation. "Vertical jigging, whether I'm holding a Buck-Shot Rattle Jig inches off the bottom or dragging a Fire-Ball Jig across gravel or sand, the power to hold steady makes or breaks things. Sometimes, walleyes will only take a bait that's in their immediate line of sight, fish refusing to rise or dive and chase. Make things hard for them, and you can forget about getting bit."

Glorvigen summarizes succinctly about his lifelong choice in fishing boats. "Lund is the only boat I've run where the wind and waves don't affect my presentation. Lund gives me that stability...and confidence."

Author Ted Pilgrim
Ted Pilgrim
Ted Pilgrim (nom de guerre) is a veteran outdoor writer, ex-fishing guide, and trained biologist who hails from Northcentral Minnesota. First published in national fishing periodicals at age 16, Pilgrim has for over two decades contributed to numerous national and regional publications on a wide range of angling related topics- from bass, walleye and catfish to ice-fishing, conservation and fly-fishing for monster carp.