Outboard Jet Units – Great Salmon and Trout Fishing in Braided Rivers

This salmon angler has crossed the Rangitata River in his outboard jet boat to fish the beach on the south side of the lagoon.
This salmon angler has crossed the Rangitata River in his outboard jet boat to fish the beach on the south side of the lagoon.

Outboard Jet Units

Outboard Jet Units are ideal for salmon and trout fishing on braided rivers

Have you ever wondered how boaties are able to traverse the lower reaches of our big braided shingle rivers without bashing their prop on the shallow bottom? The answer is that they aren’t running a prop at all. Instead, their outboard motor has been adapted to use an outboard jet unit. These are made to fit various different outboards down to about 15 horsepower. A modification is required to the hull for best performance.

It is a great idea that is more versatile and less expensive than a purpose-built jet boat. They are ideally suited for short runs. Excellent if you had a bach (small holiday home) at North Rakaia Huts or North Rangitata huts and just want to cross the lagoon to fish the gut or surf on the south side.

In the middle picture above these salmon anglers near the mouth of the Rakaia River have no problem crossing the shallow braids in search of fish. Only minor modifications are needed to the hull to use an outboard jet on a tinnie.
In the middle picture above these salmon anglers near the mouth of the Rakaia River have no problem crossing the shallow braids in search of fish. Only minor modifications are needed to the hull to use an outboard jet on a tinnie.

A Less Expensive Option

An outboard jet unit is a much less expensive option than a heavy fibreglass jet boat powered with a thirsty V8 petrol engine. The smaller outboard jet and tinnie combination is also easier to launch and retrieve. Many bach owners use a four-wheel-farm bike to tow their tinnie on a trailer the short distance to the water’s edge.

Often the best surf fishing for salmon is on the south side of one of Canterbury’s big braided river-mouths. Anglers on the north side having the ability to access the opposite side of the mouth get a big advantage. It is also very useful for lower river and lagoon fishing for salmon sea-run trout. A small runabout equipped in this way can certainly save a lot of walking!

Mercury Outboard Jets

more recommended stories