Daryll MacNeil is a former guide and current tournament angler that finds himself on big waters like Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River, but despite these formidable waters, he doesn’t mind tackling them in an aluminum boat.
Each season MacNeil searches out mostly walleye with his Polar Kraft Kodiak Pro 200, but he also targets salmon, steelhead, and brown trout seasonally.
“The Polar Kraft is the smoothest, driest ride of any aluminum boat I have fished,” he said. “It's got plenty of storage, big live wells and handles the Lake Erie chop while remaining stable in the water for trolling or drifting. It trailers easily with an SUV, too.”
The Lake View, New York angler retired from guiding but still fishes about six tournaments a year, so he really put some time into getting his new rig.
“When shopping for a new boat, think about your main usage and select one that is best suited for these needs,” he said. “Look at hull thickness and design and try to get a motor at or close to the horsepower rating of the boat you are considering. Under powering will leave you disappointed with the performance and handling of your rig, while the correct power will balance the boat better and give a smooth economical cruise speed and quicker hole shot.”
One of his favorite patterns and seasons to deploy his Kodiak is on eastern Lake Erie.
“I’m predominately trolling,” he said. “Yes, in spring, jigging or drifting can be productive, but as the fish move off the reefs and into open water, trolling is the way to go. I prefer stick baits for most of my walleye trolling, running lead core and inline boards to spread out the presentation.”
MacNeil said his approach works well June through August.
“As the water warms, more lead core is needed,” he said. “In June I’m running one, two, and three colors of lead core for fish high in the water column. By August it's eight and 10 colors to get down 70+ feet. Dipsey divers work well in hot summer water also.”
If a person is looking for a new Polar Kraft in the New York Area, MacNeil recommended checking out bluewatermarinagi.com.