“Puts his money where his mounts are” in season ’23
Six years ago, Brandon Threadgill, a professional crappie fisherman, had never intentionally caught a crappie. The Alabama pro had chased bass tournaments throughout the Southeast for many years, but was looking to scratch the competitive itch elsewhere with another species of fish. He explains how he launched himself into the crappie scene, adding, “I started angling smaller local crappie events just to get my feet wet and immediately liked the more casual camaraderie between the guys. I really love it now.”
His crappie tournament schedule now keeps him quite busy, as he explains, “I fish ACT (American Crappie Trail) with one partner and Crappie Masters events with another partner and next year we’ll be fishing the new Crappie Masters Elite series, which it is very similar in format to the BASSMASTER Elite Series events.”
His move to crappie-style trails has been met with multiple top-level results, one of the most notable being a first place finish last year at the national Crappie Masters event held at Lake D’Arbonne in Louisiana.
An essential technology common to bass and crappie anglers alike has been the introduction of live forward looking sonar. The ability to see fish ahead of the boat in real time, along with the fishing lure, allows anglers of both species to target fish that they were previously unable to spot. As Threadgill emphasizes, “forward-looking sonar has become so critical that an angler can rarely win or consistently compete in a tournament for bass or crappie without it.”
Like most bass and crappie anglers these days, Threadgill uses multiple sonar screens on both the bow and console of his fiberglass boat. Its forward design consists of two Garmin ECHOMAP™ Ultra 126sv units, both with live forward sonar: one transducer is mounted on the trolling motor and the other is mounted on a separate shaft for a more complete view all around and in front of the boat. Additionally, it mounts a 12” Humminbird Helix in the bow to run its mapping software.
In the dash, a 15-inch Humminbird Solix is used for side imaging, and a 10-inch Humminbird Helix mounted to the side of the Solix provides mapping from the driver’s seat.
Obviously, with so many sonar displays attached to the vessel, efficient mounting of multiple display configurations is critical. Rose Metal Products (RMP), makers of the Trophy Graph Systems probe mounts, have been a major sponsor of Threadgill’s exploits in crappie tournaments and a key to the effective placement of his electronics. RMP’s tagline for their Trophy Graph System mounts is “Put your money where your mount is”, something Threadgill has taken to heart by sporting various RMP products on his 20′ Skeeter boat.
He details the many Trophy Graph System products found on his 20′ Skeeter, starting at the bow. “Up front, I’m using the RMP Tall Dual Mount with the RMP Universal Gimbal Plate,” he explains. Threadgill details that he prefers to sit when fishing for crappie and that the height of the RMP high bow mount provides an optimal view, adding: “The RMP high mount is the ideal height for me – it doesn’t interfere with my fishing. “But it’s tall enough that I can easily see my screens. RMP also has a new version of the tall stand that positions the screens at a better angle for those anglers who prefer to stand while fishing.”
Threadill notes that the RMP Trophy Graph Mounts on the bow require no height adjustment during the day, providing a more efficient use of your time, stating: “The adjustable bow mounts that are on the market today require height adjustments. significant heights to provide visual space when running around the lake (from console), but I feel like I get 2-3 extra pitches every stop I make because my graphics are already set and in place. I don’t have to move them to fit my line of sight. When I move to the front deck, I start fishing.”
On console, the crappie pro relies on an additional variety of RMP mounts, as he details: “I use the RMP Universal Dash Mount which works well with any boat with an aluminum dash plate. This mounting bracket is highly adaptable to fit anywhere on your dash plate; in fact, my ship dealer uses them a lot because of their versatility. I also had RMP make me a special universal plate to accommodate my 10” chart, which is offset to the side of the boat console, but rotated so I can see it from the driver’s seat. RMP will build custom mounts for those anglers with special mounting needs.”
As Threadgill concludes, “What I like most about the RMP Trophy Graph System frames is that they are very solid, but also very simple. There are no moving parts to vibrate loose, all mounts are easily adaptable to fit your desired electronic configuration. In short, they are simple but difficult.”
To view RMP’s full line of Trophy Graph System mounts, visit their website at www.trophygraphsystems.com