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    I got serious about bass fishing the first minute I did it. After more than fifty years of serious bass fishing alot of experience and information has come my way. Alot of it through tought times and tough doings. Alot of it through the pure pleasure of pursuiting my favoritest pastime to its fullest. In the late 1960's bass fishing began to take leaps and bounds in popularity and in the sharing of information. Competition began! Not only did competition begin on the water but in the boating industry, tackle industry and clothing industry.

    Those "jump suits" Ray Scott tried to put us all in are another story. My first bass boat was a pair of sneekers I used to wade the streams of Missouri in. Then came those 20" john boats that floated the streams. And one day we got a three horse to push that thing up a shoal. WOW! That was a treat back then. I guarantee you it was alot better than pulling a 20' john boat up a shoal. Later a 5 hp, then a ten, one day a hundred, and so on. Well, boats grew and finally trailers did.

    I remember the first time I saw a Wonder State Trailer. Here was a trailer with a huge frame, giant 14 inch wheels and bearings you could lube from the outside. No need to take the wheel apart to lube the bearings. And.... YES!!! You DROVE, I say again...You DROVE the boat on the trailer. It was in the early 70's that I saw this trailer. If you were someone you had one of theese. That trailer set the prototype of design for other trailer manufacturers to follow. While Wonder State Trailers fell by the way side and is no longer manufacturing trailers, their original concept of a solid frame, large wheels, and a drive on platform remains the standard of trailer manufacturing.

    Over all the years I have been in the public eye, or out dealing with the public I can't possibly imagine how many times I have been asked about bass boats. You know every one has an opinion and every one has a favorite. I do not remember ever answering a trailer question. The wrong trailer, or an improper trailer can lead to a world of problems. Most trailers are well made and will do the job. You can go to any boat dealer and select the boat of your choice. But, guess what, unless you special order a boat you get what ever trailer is under the boat. That should get you to thinking. Not that it is usually a problem. But there are some things to consider.

    I have two bass boats now. So, I have two trailers. One boat is a 20 foot...all boat.... boat. And the other is a little shy of 18 feet with lots of back and a pointed front. Not as much weight. But, a well built boat. Each comes with the manufacturers trailer. Each trailer made to fit the boat it is under. Each trailer was manufactured by the boat manufacturer. There are trailer companies that manufacturer trailers for several different boat manufacturers.

    I know your boat is important. One dealer can reduce the price of a boat package by short changing you on a trailer. You pay less and get less. Does it make a difference. Yes. A trailer is important. Think of a boat trailer as a frame. You would not put a subcompact frame under a pick-up truck body.

    What to look for in a trailer. Things I have found in my years of pain and gain to be of importance. Does the trailer have enough guts to hold up the boat? Is the freame strong enough? Is the frame treated for the kind of water you will put your boat into? There is only one trailer tire to put on a boat trailer. If you go any where or do any towing, at all, the only trailer tire you should allow on your boat trailer is a Goodyear Marathon Trailer Radial!!!! These tires carry 50 lbs of pressure. I have NEVER had a problem with one. Some manufacturers put tires that look pretty on the trailer. Well.....my tire is supposed to hold my boat. It needs to be the best.

    Was the trailer made with my boat brand and model in mind? If so, that is AWESOME! If not, look for another trailer. Does the trailer offer any kind of protection for occupants in a vehicle in the event the vehicle has a head on? Or if the boat is hit from the rear? Boats have been known to come through the back window of vehicles in head on collisions or in the event the boat is hit in the rear. What kind of protection is awailable? If the front eye of the boat is BELOW the front roller and the hook to the winch hooks on to the bow eye below the roller you are set. If not, there are chains and ties available that go from the trailer frame to the bow eye of the boat. Back tie downs are essential and valubale but, not very helpful in a collission. Back tie downs are designed to hold the boat on the trailer as it travels down the road- basically- to keep the boat from bouncing on the trailer.

    Brakes!!! Essential!!! I HIGHLY reccommend disc brakes. They are easier to maintain and easier to take care of. They also work better and work longer. Years ago Chevrolet had an advertisement on television with a Chevy Luv Truck towing a railroad car. AWESOME display of power. Well...... they never showed you the truck trying to stop that railroad car. Think of your tow vehicle as the Luv Truck and the railroad car as your boat. What is the relationship of weight to weight? Your tow vehicle better be way more than what it is towing. Brakes help on the trailer, but, there is a limit. A four wheel drive goes great in the snow and ice, but, it stops the same as a two wheel drive. The best vehicles have four wheel disc brakes- most of the stopping power comes from the front brakes- front brakes on almost all vehicles are disc brakes- why not disc brakes on the trailer that carries your prized possession?

    Look over the photo carefully. You will note that the axle and tires are gone. Where did they go? The trailer owner never found them. This trailer dissentigrated from under the boat. The owner had gone off to buy a new trailer while the pieces of the old trailer and boat laid on the road waiting for his return. Oh, they had to gather the pieces of the old trailer and put them by the boat that was dropped on the road.

    Legendary Professiona Angler and Guide, Hugh Crumpler, takes his clients out catching in Stick Marsh and Farm 13, Florida. Hugh' website, www.HughCrumpler.Com offers guide service, photos, lake maps and more.