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Northcoast Madman
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How many of you fish Erie in a small boat? I just bought my first boat(thanks Boatnut!) and its a 19'er. I've lived on Lake Erie all my life and I am familiar with her temper and I know to watch the weather. Now that being said, how far do you guys with the smaller boats dare venture? Any tips for a new boat owner that will make life easy? Thanks.:)
 

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Cowboy Charters
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How many of you fish Erie in a small boat? I just bought my first boat(thanks Boatnut!) and its a 19'er. I've lived on Lake Erie all my life and I am familiar with her temper and I know to watch the weather. Now that being said, how far do you guys with the smaller boats dare venture? Any tips for a new boat owner that will make life easy? Thanks.:)

I just bought a 18.5 Lowe last year for Lake Erie. I go whereever I want to go with it. I go from the mighty muddy Maumee River to Pelee Island to the Detroit River to Lake St. Clair. As long as you keep an eye on the weather you can go anywhere with a 19fter. Just try to stay out of the 4-6 fters if possible. You should have a problem with anything 4 and under. I have been out a lot of time where I couldn't see shore.
In my opinion you will be fine with your boat, just keep an eye on the weather.
 

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CONGRATS ON THE BOAT! Here is wishing you the best of luck with it.:)

Mine is 18'-6" aluminum with 115 ponies and I will go out 20 to 30 miles depending on the long term weather report. I'm normally 12 to 15 miles out of port but have been caught in some of Erie's quickies and had to slowly work my way in deprnding on wave height. Worst I have been in with the current boat is 6's with an occasional 8.
Take your time in learning how your boat handles and make sure you get out in some 3's and the some 4's.
 

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Thats the key "WATCH THE WEATHER" With the boat you have I'd say your good to go!

I've got a Lund Tyee 1850 Grans Sport, but a cautious type person. I'm not going about trying to impress people or to be Macho. I go when its fair, out & will NOT go out & get bounced around in 4/6fters. Thats not my way of ENJOYING MYSELF.
Also I have 3 rules that I live by;

1# I never go out alone.
2# Both motors MUST be 100% main & kicker
3# All electronics, must be 100%, GPS, Marine radio etc.
Nik,
 

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Congratulations on your new to you boat !
I've had my 19' Spectrum for 1 year and I feel very safe in it, even after coming from a 21' glass boat. I hung a 15hp, 4 stroke off the back with no weight problems.
Going out with an experienced boater should provide great hands on lessons. Learn to quarter the waves, trimming for optimal ride and with good common sense you'll gain confidence quickly.
Be safe and E-N-J-O-Y !!

GR
 

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Lots of good advice so far. Learning to read the weather and read the waves is important. While trolling downwind, waves don't usually seem as big as they really are, but when you turn around and run back into them... whoa Nellie! Lot's of 'eye guys fish Erie out of 19-21' boats in all types of weather. I've ridden with guys I wouldn't feel safe with in a 30' boat! The biggest factor is your experience in handeling waves and what you are comfortable with. Some people are uncomfortable in 2-3' chop...I love it! BobK and I fished a week ago Friday up by the line in 6-8' waves and Saturday in 6'+ waves with no problem. Build experience in handling the boat in intermediate conditions (say 2-4' or 3-5' waves) and you can decide what you are up for. There is no substitute for good, reliable equipment and the same kind of judgement and the ability to use both well when needed.

Tim
 

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Bit by Musky bug
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Lots of good advice so far. Learning to read the weather and read the waves is important. While trolling downwind, waves don't usually seem as big as they really are, but when you turn around and run back into them... whoa Nellie! Lot's of 'eye guys fish Erie out of 19-21' boats in all types of weather. I've ridden with guys I wouldn't feel safe with in a 30' boat! The biggest factor is your experience in handeling waves and what you are comfortable with. Some people are uncomfortable in 2-3' chop...I love it! BobK and I fished a week ago Friday up by the line in 6-8' waves and Saturday in 6'+ waves with no problem. Build experience in handling the boat in intermediate conditions (say 2-4' or 3-5' waves) and you can decide what you are up for. There is no substitute for good, reliable equipment and the same kind of judgement and the ability to use both well when needed.

Tim

Yeah Tim you aren't kidding, you spin the boat around next you know your looking at mountains of water coming at you. Knowing your boat and how it handles is a HUGE factor, also depends on your pucker factor :D.

How did Bob's 620 do in that rough stuff I seen you guys busting through right next to me, seems the 621 nose sticks a little higher up. How is it compared to your boat both being 20's. I'm always curious to see how other boats handle in the rough stuff.
 

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I fish an 18.5 ft'er and my favorite lake conditions has got to be 2-3's; it makes the perfect "chop" to fish. I hate fishing a flat lake. I have had my boat out in 5-6 ft waves, but neither my partner or I am comfortable fishing in those condistions. The boat will get you back safely & dry (and slowly) in 5+ft. waves, but we do not fish unless the forecast is 2-4ft or better.

A few trips out on the lake and you will see how the boat handles the water - just make sure you have all your gear like the others have said.

Enjoy!!!!!
 

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Kevin,

I'm not sure who ever said Rangers were "dry boats" but they never drove one in 6 footers in a crosswind:p Seriously though, the 620 is a sweet ride and I really like the layout but 90% of how most boats ride depends on the driver. Bob handles the boat quite well. It's hard to tell when your on the other side of the boat, but it seems that his boat handles waves very much like mine. His boat gets on plane quicker...it is a holeshot monster with the 21P Rev 4 prop and the 225 Merc EFI. No doubt the extra length and weight of the 621 would help to both span and bust thru waves. The "nose up" attitude of your 621 vs the 620 might be a "weight distribution" issue.:) Don't kick my butt for that one...just kidding man:p

Tim
 

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All good advice so far.
I run a 16.5 footer and had a full freezer last year and have had some good sucess so far this year too!! One advantage with the smaller rig is you learn how to fish where others aren't, especially in the summer when "all the fish have moved offshore";) I will go 5-7 miles IF conditions are right but for the most part limits can be found somewhere along the Ohio shoreline closer to shore than that.

I also love to smallmouth fish and the best spots for them are all within a couple of miles of shore unless you are planning on fishing the island area.

Bottom line, a solid boat and motor in the 19' range with a working VHF radio and all other saftey equipment along with good weather could find you safely 12-15 miles offshore (if you feel you want to) with MANY other boats in the same size range. Have fun be carefull and welcome to the addiction!!

reo
 

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Bit by Musky bug
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That's good buddy :D, it's cool I like taking heat but good at dishing it myself at times :p Yeah I had Hettfieldinn with me that day cause he was suppose to be my partner, he said he was very surprised how good my boat handles in that rough stuff, he was waiting for a pound when coming down inside the swells and it never came, although I made his stomach drop a couple times, good thing I never saw his breakfast... he said I was a good driver in that cruddy water, your right about the driver, that's a huge factor. I have a windshield on my boat, we stayed pretty dry if you ducked, some of the cross breeze did blow some spray in but for the most part we were pretty dry, I'm not a perfect driver and with the chops between the swells I busted a couple sideways that went thud, splash, DOH sorry Het.... but the boat goes go like a raped ape in rough water. I wouldn't trade it for nothing as this point.

I prefished and Co-anglered a FLW tour event and spent time in a 620 and a 621, from what I was able to tell being in the 620 then the 621 the day after, the 621 does ride better and lands softer, spans the waves quit well. I would like to drive a Triton 215 and a 22 or 24 LTS, to compare the rigs in rough water

Yeah i know Bob loves those EFI's my buddy Steve Viper 205 has his old 205, that dude scoots really good to.
 

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It's not the size of the boat that matters most, it's the size of your brain and using good, common sense. I have an 18 1/2 footer. I've fished in 5-7 foot rollers that I was very comfortable with, and I've fished in 3-5 foot breakers that I was not so comfortable with.

If you know someone that has a boat, and has spent time on Erie, I'd see if they would go out with you for your first couple of trips, or at least caravan to the lake together and fish close by each other.

Make sure that you have all of the necessary safety equiptment for Lake Erie, plus a radio, and a compass. A GPS would certainly help, of course.
 

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i totally agree with het - ive drove to geneva on several occassions to see a line of boats and no-one launching only to find out the weather report was wrong again - i go ahead and launch and people cannot believe it - ive caught my 2 biggest walleyes to date trolling with the waves without the motor running - but then again i dont care if it takes me an hour and a half to get to my marks - slow and easy - on the other hand i will not go out usually if the wave reports are bigger than 4's - i fish out of a 17'6 lund and have never felt unsafe
 

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Fishpro, You're not the only new boater out there. I took my old '73 18' Starcraft out the first time at the Turtle Creek Gathering. Monday got a little choppy. Other OGF'rs were close by, but I was alone in my boat and once the wind started picking up more, I got a little uncomfortable not knowing how my boat would handle. My estimate (and inexperience at determining wave height), I'm guessing 3-5 footers. I decided to head in with only 3 in the box. I took my time and was actually suprised how well the boat handled, but better safe than sorry. I've been out there in boats ranging from 18-30 foot, in calm and 7+ footers, and it truly does depend on the captain. As I gain experience, I'll feel more comfortable and know the capabilities and limitations of my boat. But don't take unnecessary chances, trust your instincts. All this coming from a rookie.

Thanks to all who replied. I have, and will no doubt continue to learn from you all. TC was a blast and had fun meeting everyone, but now priorities have shifted. Hopefully make it back over soon.

Thanks again.

Brian
 

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I have a 17.5 Crestliner Fishhawk. I like the boat for all around use but it sits so much lower than the real deep V's. I was out Sunday around noon and got out about 1mile snd turned around. I only have a 60horse also. What do you guys think chicken or smart???
 
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