Thread Tools
Jun 07, 2009, 09:15 AM
Thread OP

Need info on a bait deployment boat for the surf.

I'm new to the board of RC. I'm a shark fisherman that surf fishes for large sharks on the Texas coast. We generally use kayaks to take out shark baits from the beach to 500+ yards out in the surf. The problem is that on some days are too rough to use the kayak for bait deployment. My past experiences kayaking heavy surf has landed me in the ER, So more heavy surf for me. My idea is to build my own boat that will be at least 6' in length with 2' wide for heavy surf applications. I need info on what kind of radios and servos to use that will range out to 800 yards in the surf. NOBODY in the US has developed a boat like this for surf fishermen. I plan on using salt water trolling motor in front with a rudder in the back to keep line tanglement from happening. A small car battery should be enough to propel baits out that will be about 5 lbs of payload and 5-8 lbs of line drag. If somebody can and will help me with this project, It would be appreciated. This is not a joke....serious problem solving required from you.

Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jun 07, 2009, 10:13 AM
Registered User
I won't be much help but I will do what I can.

First, Some states have made it illegal to use R/C to aid in fishing. I am very unclear about this and it most likely will depend on your state regulations, statutes and laws. Check with your game and fish department for more info involving the use of R/C in this matter.

Having lived on the Gulf Coast and done some surf fishing myself, I understand the problems you face and this may be quite a project indeed.

I have considered using R/C for calm freshwater fising to get the bait or lure to places under brush that one cannot cast towards for fear of losing the bait/lure and the time to repair. I was told I cannot use R/C for this.

Surf conditions on the other hand are very different. I would never consider those conditions to be safe for model boating.

Still, It probably can be done if one were to put their mind to it.
As for radio, most brand name radios for R/C cars will be able to maintain good contact with the craft for as long as you can see it.

Things to consider are:

Water proofing. Salt water can be a beast on the equipment used.

Rip tides and undertow besides the surface conditions.

Vision: Lights could be helpful except on sunny days. Also one must be able to see the craft to be able to make decision on what action to take and when to take that action. At a hundred yards, an object that is 6'X2' will not appear very large at all and trying to decide which is front and which is back in bobbing surf will not be easy. As you multiply this distance the problem grows.
In the troughs between swells, you may not be able to see the craft.
Something like a bicycle flag (do they still make those?) would help with visibility.
That is what I can come up with from the top of my head.

As for the mechanics and hardware, I hope someone else can be helpful to you.

P.S. I have enjoyed shark fishing myself. We used bonita for bait. You?
Jun 07, 2009, 10:36 AM
Thread OP

Thanks for the response. I shark fish at Follites Island near San luis pass between Galveston and Surfside Beach Texas. Far as building a fiberglass boat will not be a problem. Electronics will be water proofed to the max. I will not launch the boat in heavy surf...but medium surf with breakers breaking to the forth bar at max. We both know sharks run about 100 yards past the 5th bar in about 20' of water. I have a 20 ' car hauler that has been converted as an RV with a roof to stand on which is about 12' the math. I will not be a problem seeing the boat in the surf. I don't know anything about RC electronics period, but I do know electronics far as 12 volt systems go. My plan is to build a boat 6-8' boat with a bait holding chamber in the back that will be spring loaded for line pulling out the bait and weights to fly out the bait box when required. There is no law against bait deploying with RC boats in Texas waters that I know of, just that you can not fish with them. If I have to, I will put TX # on the boat to be legal because it will be a motorized boat. We use 9/0 penns with 130# braid and 80 mono. Sting ray and mullet are a favorite bait for us down here.
Jun 07, 2009, 10:47 AM
Registered User
Seems there have been a lot of guys doing R/C fishing since last I checked!
You might want to get in touch with these guys:
They are doing what you want to do on a smaller scale in fresh water. Perhaps They could advise you.

Also there are a lot of videos on youtube regarding fishing and R/C. Pretty entertaining. Perhaps you could get some ideas there as well.
Here are a few to get you started.
Remote Control FISHING PHENOMENON (1 min 15 sec)

redneck rc boat fishing (0 min 52 sec)

Lazy Man's Fishing (3 min 14 sec)

Fishing with R/C Boats! (The R/C Fishing Pole" (1 min 19 sec)
Jun 07, 2009, 11:03 AM
Thread OP
Good ideas, but a little under scale. Can you imagen a 8' bull shark taking them boats down....LOL. I need info on servos and trans mitters for a 12 volt system. Ideas wanted.
Jun 07, 2009, 11:52 AM
Registered User
CornelP's Avatar
Tricky, but it could be done... I already built 2 bait boats, different principles, and it works like a charm. For your needs, you need to go for a design similar to the one in the picture: unsinkable rescue boat. Very low CG, bottom heavy. You can use a standard prop in the back, as long as it is a Kort nozzle: easy to protect, all the thrust you need. For the bait, get some ideas from the pics. It is a new unfinished version (have no idea when I will finish it) with a bait delivery system based on a dual swing door. Blow this up and it could do what you are after...
Jun 07, 2009, 01:32 PM
Thread OP
Here is my design for the boat....

Jun 07, 2009, 03:03 PM
Registered User
CornelP's Avatar
The only problem I see is the interface with the motor. You want to be able to control speed and stop. Maybe going for a mechanical link between speed controls and a hi torque servo will do the trick. Same for the steering: you are looking at some serious servo... As for design, it is going to self level, so it is ok, but do not make it too wide. Just make it a little more round around the corners, for strenght purposes.
Jun 07, 2009, 04:45 PM
Registered User
cos918's Avatar
Hi there this has been talk about before see link. The short of it is the boat is going to have to be so over engineered to surf the surf it going to cost a lot . That idea having a prop hanging down is a non starter it will get smashed props need to be in tunnel like the have on the RNLI life boat , they can take one hell of a pounding.

Jun 07, 2009, 06:05 PM
NeverAgainVolunteerYourse lf
nick_75au's Avatar
I think your basic idea may be sound, a few thoughts.

I would use the smallest trolling motor available due to current draw and you are not pushing a man/full sized boat around.
Lose the rudder, control the direction by rotating the motor, servo city has high torque servos that will rotate the motor.
as an example.

To control the speed you may have to hack the throttle mechanism to allow a servo to operate it.

Either a 3rd servo on separate channel or full rudder plus trim input can be used to release the bait hatch(only needs 2 channel radio)

Cage the prop aka surf rescue rubber ducky's to protect it and help from getting the line tangled.

Make the top higher like the lifeboat pictures but keep all the weight down low, the trolling motor will act like a sail boat keel helping even more to keep the vessel upright in the surf.

As long as the hull is watertight, a small hatch to access is better than splitting the whole hull, use hockey tape to seal the hatch before a mission. Keep the watertight internal box as well.

Don't use a car battery, choose a sealed lead acid/gel/AGM battery for safety, the boat will roll and you don't want spilled battery acid sloshing through the boat. They are available in large sizes as well.
Something around 20 to 30 Ah capacity will give you around an hours use at full throttle on a small trolling motor. Use straps or other method to secure the battery so it cant move regardless of the boats attitude.

Jun 07, 2009, 06:14 PM
Thread OP
Is there a gas powered chopper that can lift 15-20 lbs or so out there? That would work!!!
Jun 08, 2009, 12:02 AM
USA'd ex Brit
toesup's Avatar
Originally Posted by ggofish
I need info on what kind of radios and servos to use that will range out to 800 yards in the surf.
Radio's (FM and 2.4) should be able to operate at that range, they (in theory) should be able to operate as long as you can see the boat....

Question is, can you tell (see?) the orientation of a 6ft long by 2ft wide object, in rolling surf at nearly half a mile away?
Jun 08, 2009, 03:13 AM
Keep a Steady Strain....
capntroy's Avatar
You'll need to install a surfboard type skeg in front of the trolling motor to take the brunt of the impact when you surf it back into the shore.

You can even get fancy and have a grounding plate that sits under the trolling motor and is supported by three legs back to the hull.

This will also give you something to sit the boat on at the beach without damaging the trolling motor.
Jun 08, 2009, 09:20 PM
Registered User
Some thoughts. Immediate and off the wall
I really have no idea what I am talking about.

As suggested a high superstructure for visbility.
Paint it four colors. So from above it is divided along Centre line and amid ships across the beam.
Learn your colours and you will always know your orientation.

Power. (I think your biggest problem)
Will a trolling motor have enough power to push through the surge at the beach?
Probably not on 12v, perhaps on 24v.
Also how long will it take to go out 800m and return?
Then work out how many trips your boat needs to make.

Heavy boat may not be a problem, it will have more inertia, which may help with the surge.

A skeg was mentioned. Perpaps a full length keel would help her keep going straight. The motor could then be mounted between tow sections of keel to keep it off the bottom.

You mentioned a gasser. See if you can buy a salvaged jet ski. Rip the guts out of it. That will give you a jet drive. And should be powerful enough to punch through the surge.
A few big cheap servos (from 1/4 scale aircraft) should be able to operate the throttle and steering.

A darned big sailboat.
The storm winds will give you a lot of drive, and battery life will not be an issue. It will also be more visible
Jun 09, 2009, 05:30 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by ggofish
Is there a gas powered chopper that can lift 15-20 lbs or so out there? That would work!!!
How about a tethered, rc controlled, helium or hot air blimp? Or if you've got an offshore breeze, you can use a kite. I know they use this method in Asia.

A buddy of mine in Hawaii uses a "sit on top" kayak to drag his lures outside the reef (a couple hundred yards from shore). He's caught 100+ lb Ulua using this method.

BTW, there's an 8 foot bull shark up here I wouldn't mind someone catching. He chased me out of the water a couple weeks ago.

Quick Reply

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question GWS brushless outrunners - need info on props for them! A.Kovala Power Systems 7 Apr 08, 2007 09:26 AM
Question Need info on mini crystal for Bluearrow submicro Guidoco Vendor Talk 2 Nov 15, 2006 01:09 PM
Need info...on/off control for circuit from RX ChuckD DIY Electronics 6 Jul 11, 2005 08:01 AM
Need info on upgrades for T-33 nbj6879 Electric Ducted Fan Jet Talk 6 Sep 23, 2002 08:36 AM