Professional bass angler Brandon Palaniuk gave an inside look at his boat (shown in photos on this page from earlier in the season and in La Crosse, Wis., last week) before the championship on Lake Mille Lacs. His setup, which he said cost $80,000-85,000, is state of the art. “There are a lot of things that have just come out in the last few years, and I have added them into my arsenal,” he said.
• Skeeter FX20 (20 foot)
• Yamaha 250 VMAX outboard motor
• Deck lighting: Rigid Industries deck light kit. Palaniuk also swapped out all of the compartment lights for Rigid A-Series LED lights, “so it’s super bright early in the morning, late at night, when I am working on tackle.”
• Eight storage lockers and boxes
• Two live wells
In the stern
• Two 8-foot Power Poles on the back for shallow-water anchoring.
In the bow
Two Humminbird Onix 10 units
On the front deck and secured with a dual-mount. “You need a mount that is really sturdy, especially if you get a place like Mille Lacs where it can get really rough if the winds blows. The last thing you want to do is rip a $3,000 unit off the front of your boat.”
A unit that emits bait fish sounds. A speaker box is underwater. Palaniuk can pick sounds, with names such as schooling frenzy and crawfish on gravel. “I would say just about every guy on the Elite has one on his boat,” he said.
Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor
In the cockpit
Two more Humminbird Onix 10 units
Palaniuk said each of the four works together but has a singular purpose. For example, one of the cockpit Humminbirds runs mapping and global positioning. Another is for sonar — side imaging, down imaging and tradition two-dimensional sonar. One of the bow units shoots sonar around the boat and draws a picture within that perimeter in real time. “It constantly refreshes,” Palaniuk said. “If there is a tree off to the side, it will actually draw out the branches.”
Palaniuk keeps about 20 in the boat, all rigged and tailored for a specific technique he might want to use: frogs in deep vegetation, crankbaits in open water, and so on. He keeps 20 spares in a rod tube on the top of his truck.