- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Is the fishing world ready for an all-electric boat?

It is if a small boat serves your purposes.

At the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) show in Las Vegas, which runs through Friday, the Carolina Electric Boats Company will unveil its 10-foot electric Twin Troller Boat, which provides hands-free maneuverability through the use of variable speed foot controls. The manufacturer hopes its boat powering system is the answer to fuel-guzzling outboards.

Maybe its time has come. With gas $4.50-plus a gallon at local marina pumps, propellers turned by electric motors might change a lot of opinions on the slow response experienced by bass boaters who always have had a bow-mounted electric trolling motor to maneuver in a tight spot when a gasoline outboard engine would have been useless. But these bass hounds never contemplate using only electric power.

The Twin Troller is a much better designed craft than the pontoon-like one-man fiberglass shorties that were popular a few years ago. You had to attach a transom trolling motor, and if the wind didn’t blow, you could fish and be reasonably comfortable but limited in movement. Most were built for one occupant; a few were made that could carry two, but fishing always was a precarious affair in those. I know; I had one.

The Twin Troller appears to be quite different. It comes with two independently operating electric motors that enable an angler to shift easily from forward to reverse or change direction by simply stepping onto the variable speed foot pedals. It sports a sleek hull design that allows the boat to work effectively in as little as 6 to 8 inches of water. Thanks to total foot control, you’re free to cast and concentrate on fishing.

The 10-footer is said to be virtually unsinkable and can accommodate two anglers with plenty of room for tackle and lunchboxes, but remember it will not take the place of open-water, large bass boats that can go just about anywhere except into a rough Chesapeake Bay. The boat plainly is intended for large farm ponds, small lakes, creeks and quiet rivers.

Have a look at it at twintrollerboats.com. You can also call 919/207-2622 for more information.

Smallmouth bass club meets - The Potomac River Smallmouth Club’s monthly meeting is July 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Vienna Fire Station. The guest speaker, Dave Shindler, has spent much of his life fishing the Pennsylvania parts of the Susquehanna River, wading or casting from a boat. His focus will be the smallmouth bass of the Susquehanna, which provides great fishing for these bass, as well as muskellunge and walleyes. For more information, contact Ernie at kiko13@comcast.net.

Act if you like yellow perch - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service already has asked the commercial fish netters of the state for their preferences on yellow perch allotments. Now it’s the recreational anglers who must let the DNR know how they feel about this popular late winter/early spring fish.

On July 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Fisheries Service will conduct a meeting at the Tawes Building in Annapolis to develop specific goals and objectives for the recreational yellow perch fishery. The biologists and the managers say they want to develop explicit recreational fishery goals and meet objectives that are needed to review and revise the 2002 Yellow Perch Fishery Management Plan. State Senate Bill 702 (2007) directed the department to develop objectives and management measures in consultation with stakeholders.

What’s needed July 28 is a grand turnout by recreational yellow perch anglers to let the state know how they feel because there’s sure to be some contention at another meeting in August, when recreational and commercial fishermen will “discuss” new regulations and management options. If you plan to attend, please respond before July 28. Send an e-mail to Rick Morin (rmorin@dnr.state.md.us) so enough chairs and printed handouts can be made available. If you cannot attend, send your recommendations to Morin.

  • Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday in The Washington Times. E-mail: gmueller@washingtontimes.com.
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