Many times over the years we have been asked, “What makes you guys so successful at catching walleyes?” These days we like to smile, point out the graying hair and say something like “Experience …. We’ve been doing this a long time.”, and to a certain extent that is a big part of it. A bigger part, to be honest, is the fact that we are very competitive individuals. It’s a trait that drives us; not to beat other anglers, but to beat the walleyes at their game. The fish are our true adversaries, and we simply love to compete against them every chance we get. Of course there are many other things that come into play as well, including the equipment we use, and few pieces of equipment allow us to perform at our best more than the boats we run. To a walleye fisherman, the boat plays a key role in not only getting out to the fish, but it’s a major part of most presentations used to catch these fish.
We have been very lucky throughout our careers to be able to be involved in the designing of many of the boats we’ve run. There have been some exciting innovations that we have had a hand in bringing to the market in the past and that aspect of our jobs is among the most rewarding. That’s probably why we are so excited about the new boat we’ll be running in 2013. The Nitro ZV 21 is a Beast in every positive sense and is going to go a long way to making every angler that fishes from it a walleye’s worst nightmare!
The beauty of working on a project like this is that we got to start from basically a clean slate. From there, we decided we wanted to build a boat that met some key challenges that walleye anglers had been facing with boats that were currently on the market. First and foremost the boat needed to be a good runner in rough water, so we took the basic hull shape from one of the fastest and best rough water boats we’d ever run, the Tracker Tundra, and incorporated that into this fiberglass boat. Then the design team was able to tweak the hull configuration (chines, strakes, etc.) for even more optimum performance and make it wider (100 inch beam) to make it an incredibly stable fishing platform compared to the Tundra design. The end result was a 21 foot 7 inch hull that performs better in rough water than any boat we’ve ever run.
One of the biggest challenges in designing a walleye boat is creating fishing space in the main deck area of the boat. Trolling in big water is a technique that demands anglers have room to move around, and in the ZV 21, the gunnels were designed in such a fashion as to increase floor space by some 5 to 6 inches. That’s a huge advantage considering that in most walleye fishing these days, 50% or more of the techniques involve trolling and utilizing the main floor space are of the boat. That also means that a great deal of an angler’s time is spent standing in that area of the boat, and over the course of a long day, that can be tough on the legs and back. The Z series of Nitro bass boats had addressed this issue for bass anglers