HomeblogsEhrler’s Edge: New Boat with Cool Toys This morning I picked up my new Ranger Z-521 at Angler’s Marine in Anaheim. I am excited about the new boat for several reasons. First, it’s a bigger boat than I have run in the past, moving from the 20 footer to the 21 footer should make for a smoother ride and a lot more room on the deck. I’ve also made the switch to Mercury and have a Mercury Pro X2 250 on the back of the boat. It’ll be nice knowing I have the most dependable motor on the water behind me when I am racing from spot to spot all season. Some great new accessories I have on the boat include the Humminbird 1197 units on the front and the back. These screens are HUGE, the biggest I have ever had by far and I am looking forward to, as Humminbird puts it “Getting the whole picture.” I’ve got a couple new Minnkota Talon shallow water anchoring system units on the back of the boat as well. These units seem easy to use, quiet and strong, I can’t wait to give them a try. After checking out all the new equipment I hooked up the boat and hit I-10 headed for Phoenix. I arrived in Phoenix a little bit ago and will take the boat over to Tim at Liquid Wraps in the morning to get the new National Guard wrap put on. While in Phoenix Kelley and I will be hanging out with Brett Hite and his girlfriend Courtney. We may find time for a little golf or Quail hunting but, mostly we’ll just be hanging out and waiting for the wrap to be completed. I should be back on the road to Redlands on Saturday sometime and when I get back I’ve got a lot to do. I’ll need to load the boat up with all my tackle so that its easy to find when I need it. Then I have to break the new Mercury in and maybe get a some local fishing in while I test out the new Mammoth sized graphs and the Talon anchoring system. I think I’ll be needing that when I get to Okeechobee late this month. Speaking of Okeechobee, that’s my first event this season and it’s one of the best fisheries in the U.S. but, the weather can change things there literally overnight. I remember the first time I went to Okeechobee it was 85 and the water temperature was 75 when I arrived. There were vacated beds everywhere and I was catching them well on the Lucky Craft G-Splash and LVR D-7 lipless crankbait. Then overnight a cold front came in and the water dropped 17 degrees in about 10 hours. Fishing changed a lot, the fish went from roaming and feeding to locked down under the vegetation. Here’s a good tip, when the water temperature drops like that the fish move to the vegetation because it holds the heat. That’s when I pulled out the punching gear to get the fish to eat. Hopefully this year it’ll be warm enough to stick to topwater most of the day, nothing beats the giant swirl of an Okeechobee lunker taking down a topwater bait. I think the Kelly J topwater bait may be just the ticket for some Okeechobee pigs this year. Happy New Year to all of you and your families and I hope everyone has a fantastic 2011!