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Their are guys who take boats of that size out perching and even close in walleye fishing. I think they key is to make sure the weather forecast is 2' or less, less than 10 knot winds and those are the actual conditions when you go out. Erie is unlike other lakes and can go from calm to fury in no time at all. And make sure you have flares, their required on Erie...

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my rule when I was out there in a 17' aluminum was the minute I saw a white cap on a wave I was off... don't wait to see if it keeps building. that mirror craft can end up as a reef in no time. make sure you have working bilge pumps and I wouldn't do it without 2 pumps. you have to watch the weather close and pick your days careful. that was the biggest frustration for me was drive up on a predicted 2 or less day only to arrive and see 2-4 foot waves. another problem is watch that you don't leave too little of line out on the anchor the right combo of short line and wave could swamp the boat.
 

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You may be ok perching off Vermilion area or someplace where the perch are within a mile of shore. My biggest problem would be lack of power, not length in your case. I would not recommend it around the Island area. It gets sloppy between Islands and Mainland even with little wind. Add in large wakes from big powerboats and ferries and you could be in trouble.
 

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With extreme caution ya can fish Erie successfully. Lots of 16'ers but most have more than a 9.9.

Do you have a bilge pump? It's not uncommon to take large wakes over the bow in my 16'er. Just another consideration.

Weather guidelines....only 2' or less forecasts and conditions that match. Prefered wind is under 10 from the S, SW. Stable conditions only.....don't fish frontal days. Lots of perch,walleye,bass are caught within 2 miles of shore.

Never never never be brave if weather isn't perfect. Good luck....be safe out there.
 

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One thing you should consider is trolling for Steelhead in the fall / winter in either Ashtabula or Conneaut. You can stay inside the break wall and troll up and down the river / creek with little Cleo's and KO wobblers. They do try and rip the rod holder off the boat so beware!

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back when I first started fishing the western basin I used a couple of 16 ft boats before I got me an old aluminum Cherokee 18 fter. but I did have a 80 hp on both of them. the 1st was a 16 ft Jayhawk with an 80 hp evenrude.then I had a Larson with a 80 hp mariner. then I put the mariner on the 18 ft Cherokee. we always watched the weather very closely. so be very careful using the 16 ft boat even with a bigger motor.
sherman
 

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walleyes and whitetails
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We have a 17 ft lund its wide but not a hig boat I have had it all over the lake no problem I use my head and watch the weather but I've still caught fish in 6 to 8 fters the day started in 2 to 4 Just go slow and you'll be fine anything over 6 usually is a no no but once your out there and they build you may get into some larger waves I've been boating for 23yrs so I have some experience as well om not trying to talk like superman but like I said don't get in a hurry with big waves and you'll be ok

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I had a 14' w/9.9 when I was young and foolish and did some real stupid stuff. Now that I look back I wonder how I didn't get in more trouble with that boat. The main thing is take the advice that has been given and use common sense ( although it's not to common anymore) and be constantly aware of what's going on around you. It's real easy to get wrapped up in the bite and not see a front bearing down on you. Good luck and stay safe.
 

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I have and I would still do it today in the Western end of the lake. We would go out from Anchor Point and we only had a 5hp sear motor we would go out on a calm day and go about half way to the intake and drop anchor and start fishing for perch and caught lots of them. Just make sure you watch the sky and the lake. You should do find.
 

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FatMat
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Think it was last Thursday at about 4:30 when me and my bud was out fishing and the lake was awesome, we were just perchin about 1 1/2 ta 2 miles out. Now we knew a storm was coming when we left but have a big enough boat that we also know we'd be ok. Let me tell you that storm hit with 30+mph winds in like 1-2 minutes. Lake turned into a nightmare with thousands of whitecaps in just a few minutes. Sometimes they predict these storms and they never happen others times they don't even warn you when they churn up. The lake was lifting the back of my boat right out of the water making powering and maneuvering a real PITA! The lake treated 6500 Lbs like a flea. I have a Lowe 16 that I would take out if I had no other options, but man when in doubt leave it out of the lake. If I would have been on my 16ft boat I am sure we would have been in a world of shi*!:C Like another poster said, 1 white cap and head in.
 

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Not sure where you are looking to fish on erie, but presque isle bay in erie, pa stay pretty calm and has some great perch and bass fishing. There are steelhead around in the fall and spring too! I've personally seen the main lake get nasty too quick to ever go out in a boat that small.
 

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Carp53.65
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We have a 17 ft lund its wide but not a hig boat I have had it all over the lake no problem I use my head and watch the weather but I've still caught fish in 6 to 8 fters the day started in 2 to 4 Just go slow and you'll be fine anything over 6 usually is a no no but once your out there and they build you may get into some larger waves I've been boating for 23yrs so I have some experience as well om not trying to talk like superman but like I said don't get in a hurry with big waves and you'll be ok

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17ft boat.
6-8ft waves.

And you "still caught fish".

Amazing.

So if I read your post it sounds like you're telling this chap anything under 6ft waves and he should be ok? In his 16ft boat? With a 9.9?

Just making sure I'm getting this.
 

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FatMat
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206 Posts
17ft boat.
6-8ft waves.

And you "still caught fish".

Amazing.

So if I read your post it sounds like you're telling this chap anything under 6ft waves and he should be ok? In his 16ft boat? With a 9.9?

Just making sure I'm getting this.
Right on just making sure cuz hopefully he sobered up today:confused:, 6-7 in a 24ft boat makes for a bad trip. No way no day should you or anyone else in a boat of these sizes be on the lake in those conditions. You say you take it real slow, with an 8 footer what choice do you have. You do realize people surf 8 ft waves right?
 

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I prefer 20+ but 18-20 is pretty popular. Mine is 19.6. I have been in 6 footers several times with mine. Very rough and you will not fish! Unless you lay on the deck and hold on. LOL! 3 footers is the most i fish reasonably and prefer 2 foot or less. Yes any size can be used. When the lake is flat. That being said remember Erie rarely is flat and true 1-2's have been pretty rare for long. I have went out when they call for 1's and end up with 3's or bigger. So dont trust the weather reports.
I asked this question my self. And heard all kind of response from row boats to canoes. People all claim to have used over the years. After knowing some of these guys some probably is telling the truth. But! Some would do a lot of things I consider stupid too! I prefer to walk away and fish another day! Ever see the number of drownings each year?
But if your going to go the Boat is really not the most important thing.
Get good life preservers not the cheap ones.
Get all the required safety Equipment.
Get a very good radio with weather reports.
Also a very good gps as coming off the lake in fog or pouring rain is hard. Easy to get turned around and head for Canada or another port.
Pay attention all the time for any thing. Even other boats or water pouts.
Get confidence in your boat and your ability. Do only calm days and work up. You will learn to handle the waves and wind better.
Remember the waves on the ocean are easier to handle then Erie where you deal with more then just the wave. Do all this especially learning your ability's and most decent size boats will work. Don't and you'll not make it in a 25 footer. And most of all Respect the lake! It has no favoritism! This is just my opinion, but got it doing the same thing.
 
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