Bass guide Jimmy Mason has to be versatile in a variety of fishing styles for every season of the year. Often, that requires shallow-water navigation—something he’d never consider without a jack plate.
Creating space between the engine and the transom, jack plates like the TH Marine Atlas that Mason uses move the prop further from the hull turbulence, thereby improving the prop’s bite and optimizing efficiency.
Jack plates also allow for vertical adjustments, of which Mason points out three key benefits:
1. Better Hole Shot
Raising the jack plate to maximum height as your take off allows the boat to jump on plane quicker.
2. Avoid Speed Bumps
Hidden obstructions such as rocks and logs can wreck your day, but raising your lower unit often provides sufficient clearance to keep you out of trouble. (Caution: Don’t assume invincibility. Even with a jack plate, newly flooded areas and any unmarked shallows until you’re certain it’s safe to run.)
3. Speed Tweaks
Once you’re up on pad, lower the engine as needed to adjust for load (weight of tackle, fuel, anglers).
Manual jack plates offer an economic option, but the convenience of quick adjustments via console switchers make hydraulic jack plates the preference. Either way, this is one accessory that’ll instantly improve your boating experience.