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How to Build Your Own Bait Boat

Updated July 19, 2017

While bait boats are not the most popular options among fishermen, they can come in handy when angling. Radio-controlled bait boats are used occasionally by fisherman to reach spots they cannot with their rod (usually heavily weeded areas). Bait boats, however, tend to be pricey. It's less expensive, and often easier, for a fisherman to build his own bait boat. With a bit of RC knowledge and some hand-tool competence, you'll be dropping bait in your local fishing hole in no time.

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  1. Measure your boat from both sides to see how long your motorised lever can be. You will be attaching levers on both sides to keep the boat balanced. Ensure you're measuring from the same spot on both sides to get best results.

  2. Program your programmable radio control (RC) transmitter to be able to manoeuvre your RC boat. Follow all instructions provided to you by both the RC boat and the programmable RC transmitter. Ensure it is able to manoeuvre exactly as you need it to.

  3. Program any unused controls on the RC transmitter you may see fit, in order to operate the motorised lever. Ensure it is able to move up and down as you would expect it to, as you use your designated controls.

  4. Test your GPS locator to ensure that it works properly and is able to detect your GPS transmitter. This will not only test the functionality, but it will allow you to get familiar with how the GPS unit works.

  5. Attach your baskets to your boat's motorised levers. Be sure to secure them to the levers so that they will not break free. You can either use a glue or even screw them to the levers to ensure they're fastened tightly. Ensure the baskets are centred upon the lever arms, so they do not set the boat off-balance.

  6. Attach the motorised levers to the RC boat using screws. Make sure they're in the same location on either side to avoid an unbalanced boat. Depending on the material your boat is made of, you may need to drill holes in order to mount them. Be sure to place the levers at the edge of the boat facing outward. This is so when you activate the levers to rise they will tip the baskets outboard and drop your bait into the water.

  7. Attach your GPS transmitter to the boat in a secure location. You want this to be in a watertight location (leak proof) as your transmitter may malfunction, or even corrode over time. If the boat does not have a secure location like this you may want to laminate the transmitter first then superglue it to the boat.

  8. Fill a bathtub with water and make sure your rig is stable and that there are no leaks that need to be repaired. If it's level and steady it is ready to be tested where you plan on using it. Test your rig in the shallows before taking it out deep end.

  9. Tip

    Make sure your boat is wide enough to handle the levers. Test your rig after each step to make sure everything functions as it should.


    Measure twice before making any permanent installations. You may not be able to go back if you do it wrong. Always be careful when handling superglue. Bait boats may be banned in your local fishing area, be sure to check that before using it.

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Things You'll Need

  • Radio Control Boat
  • Programmable Radio Control Transmitter
  • 2 Motorized Lever with Radio Control receivers
  • 2 Bait baskets
  • Screws or Superglue
  • GPS Locator (optional)
  • GPS Transmitter (optional)
  • Laminate (optional)

About the Author

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