Video: Model Choice and Kitting for an Optimal Offshore Fishing PWC

Aussie JetFisher Paul Hayes has been chasing down offshore trophy catches and sharing advice, tips, tricks and adventures long enough that he recently broke in his third fishing-outfitted PWC used in his podcasts and videos

In a post on the JetCast YouTube Channel in September, he discussed his choice of the 2023 Yamaha FXHO as his newest fishing platform, and discusses his reasons for the choice, the build specifics, and how he kitted out the ski to turn it into the ultimate jet ski for serious offshore fishing.

Hayes started out his fishing journey on a VX model Yamaha some seven years ago, which played a part in him choosing the Yamaha over other fishing-specific PWCs such as the Sea-Doo Fish Pro, which he calls a very popular model that many of his friends own.

His trouble-free experiences with the VX, and later with the 2019 FXHO, would have been hard to overcome when it came time to choose a new ski, and he said the FXHO series is “a great platform, its a stable platform, it’s tough, and the motor is extremely reliable.”

All of Hayes’ fishing is done offshore, and he said the inevitable bar crossings to get to offshore waters are something the FX handles well, and that he has never felt unsafe during those crossings, even in larger surf.

He said that the options of what PWC to use would be a lot wider if he did more flatwater fishing, but the FXHO, which he says is great at cutting through waves,  is his go-to choice for the environs he fishes in. 

He talks about the Australian JetFish package for the FXHO, which is essentially the same ski but includes a 6” Garmin sounder and the ability to add a rear cooler on the rear “rec deck.” 

Talking of new features of the 2023 FXHO, he said it goes beyond the new color schemes, and includes a built in sound system, the Yamaha Connect System with the new LED Dashboard and bluetooth connectivity and GPS capabilities.

Talking of his specific additions to the model, he covers mods such as a 10-gallon auxiliary fuel tank, mounted over the standard tank, to increase his range. A dual battery system with an A/B switch and a voltage-sense relay also improves safety and convenience, especially on cold winter mornings.

The addition of a tow-tap, or tow valve, blocks off water going into the engine during towing, and navigation lights are important with early morning starts for heavy fishing days in locations when operation of a PWC is legal before dawn. 

A Marine VHF radio is another addition that addresses safety, and he covers the importance of the best placement for the radio. 

Seat covers protect the PWC’s seat from hooks, knives and other sharp objects such as fish spikes, but can cause issues such as mildew problems, and Hayes said he designed a mesh option similar to what he saw on motorbikes in Asia. These mesh seat covers are available on the JetCast website

Hayes also added a Garmin 953xsv sounder to handle the deeper waters he sometimes fishes in, and he talks about optimal placement of the transducer. 

Front rod holders and “Tubbies” for storage and live bait tanks are included in his discussion, and he finishes off with a discussion about why he chose not to get a trolling motor, and the addition of a camera pole. 

Be sure to check out Hayes’ other videos for some great offshore fishing content. 

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Jessica Waters

Editor – Currently the News Director at WNEG Radio in Northeast Georgia, Jessica Waters is a photojournalist and reporter who has covered competition stock car racing, downhill skiing, motocross, horse racing and hydroplane races for more than 30 years, and added jet ski races and freestyle competitions in 2010, covering many competitions for local and national media outlets.

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