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Help Me Choose/Build A Catfishing Boat

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by H2O Mellon, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    Well I think I'm going to start getting ready for a new boat this spring. I'll be selling my current boat soon. What I'm looking for is a 16-18 foot boat. I would love a Tracker Targa, but will prob settle for something like a Tracker Pro Guide 16. I want to be able to handle the Ohio River next year and prob a trip to the James River once and a couple trips to the Cumberland. I don't have the $ to get a $20K boat, so I have to be realistic. I've seen a couple Tracker Pro Guide 16's 2000-2003's sell for the $6-7K range. I figure I can get close to $3k for my boat, so I won't be that far away $ wise. I'll prob sell several cat rods and reels in order to help and then by the time the tax return comes, look out Ohio River Tourney's (someone has to come in last palce, right? I'm your man!:eek: :eek: :D )

    Anyways, I will need to have a large enough livewell to keep 6-8 large cats, unless I use a sick or soft cage, etc....

    If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. I am not looking for something that I can take to the Ohio in flood stages and the such, as I will start slow and get a feel and respect for the OHio before I hit it hard.
  2. Brain,
    I know this may sound funny but you should look into a pontoon boat
    Before you start laughing think about this...plenty of room for what ever it is you want (live wells, bait tank ect) mine has a 40# trolling motor on the front, with the motor up I can go in 1 foot of water with no problem
    I know you have kids so they have a place to lay down on the overnight trips
    there light so there easy to pull
    you know me and we have a gas grill on the boat...cold cuts are fine for the afternoon but when your going out for 24 hours you need some cooked food (steaks for dinner, sausage for breakfast) you get the point
    rod holders hook right to the railing with 1 1/5" u bolts
    and most trips out I use around 6 to 10 gallons of gas

    now the down side

    there slow...mine is anyway its a 20' with a needs double that
    with a 75 or a 90 you could water ski behind it
    on really ruff days on the water (big waves) you will get wet moving around, there plenty stable when sitting still but they will splash you when you smack the big waves head on

  3. Look into the Carolina Skiffs. You can get them from 14' to over 20' and you can fully customize them. You tell them where you want your console, if you want a front casting deck. rear casting deck, or both. You can have rails around it or no rails. They can sink a few different sized live wells into your casting decks. You can set up where your seats are, etc. Plus they will run in 6" of water I think. Very nice boats and would work great on the Ohio River. When I start looking into a boat next spring thats what I am going to look at first.

  4. A couple other downsides worth mentioning with a pontoon. Fuel, they tend to use more. And the big one, trailering. It's not a lot of fun hauling and launching one, when compared to a regular fishing boat.
    Whatever you decide, the livewell will need to be custom made. But, obviously you need a boat large enough to accommodate it. Doc could help you out on how much room you need. My boat has room for everything you'd need, but I wouldn't want to take it up against barge waves. :D
  5. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    I know what you mean. My boat did okay on the Cumberland River, since it's a very deep V, but man, I would not want to be right next to one. :C

    I am almost certain that I want to stay w/ an aluminum deep v, but those Skiffs are nice. I've looked at a couple used ones.
  6. H2O Mellon - check your pm
  7. Mellon - check out the boat Deadwood has for sale in the market place - very good family river boat there and suitable for lakes large and small also. At $6500 it looks to be in your price range although it is glass.
  8. The semi-v johns are nice cat boats. I had 17' lowe roughneck with a 50 horse merc. It had good room, flat out screamed, cut 2' chop, got good mileage, and was reasonably priced. Pontoons are nice, but they blow around like a kite in the wind. Trackers are very wet boats, my brother had a 16' pro guide that was very wet in any chop. Everything on the boat broke under tough catfishing conditions. Caroilina skiffs have no deadrise, creating a wet ride. I just talked to a deputy last week in a 22' skiff, he said in a 4" chop he gets soaked. I have a 16.5 lowe fishing machine that is 3 years old, and I like it alot. Look for a reverse chine in a deep v, it keeps you dry.
  9. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    Thanks for the info Supercanoe. I have noticied that my Tracker gets a little wet if the winds are blowing, nothing that the bilege pump doesnt kick out, but still it does get a little.

    I wish I could afford to go out and guy around a 20 foot brand new Lund but I cant do that, so I'm going to rely on lots of peoples advice. Thanks again.
  10. You may want to look for something without carpet, it get's trashed. My boat now is the first one I've owned with carpet. It has it's good points-cool in the hot sun, and quiet, but it gets destroyed. Aluminum floors are hot and noisy. Vinyl or sprya-on liners are good. Trucked had a nice 18' semi-v for sale on here awhile ago for a good price.
  11. So now that you sold your boat, what are you looking at?
  12. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    I bought a 2001 Tracker Targa 17(wt). It's actually what I excatlly wanted, so I'm pretty happy! :)
  13. Mellon,

    I saw at one time you were going to try and make it up to the COCC tourneys on O'Shaughnessy. My buddy and I have been fishing them since last year and fortunately have finally started to get on the fish this year with a couple of first and second place finishes.
    I own a 2000 18' Targa and am fairly satisfied with it. Both the front and back livewells seem to provide ample room for an eight fish limit. Livewells have timers which are convenient. There's still two tourneys left before the championship with the next one scheduled for next Saturday. Might be a good place to break in that new boat.

  14. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    I keep saying that I'm going to make it up there. We'll prb be tourny fishing somewhere next weekend & I dont think there is an ACats or Duracats tourney next week, so that just may be the week we hit it!
  15. we'd like to see pics of the new boat!