Help Me Choose a Boat

Non-Trout pursuits

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jsrieck
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Help Me Choose a Boat

Post by jsrieck » Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:25 pm

I went fishing in Concan. While wading the low water crossing works, having to either brush-bust the banks or swim from rock to rock in the deep holes (where the fish are!) gets annoying. I need a boat, y'all help me decide! I fish usually by myself - so I need a single-man craft.

Kayak - I've fished from one and I find it hard to control the line while I am casting - it seems to always get tangled when I use the paddle to reposition.

Canoe - Easier line control, slightly more comfortable, but the single paddle can make maneuvering a little more difficult.

Pontoon - never used one, but it seems to be a favorite and good blend of the canoe & kayak qualities. The only issue I see is that covering a long slow pool can take a long time compared to a canoe or kayak.

What do y'all use? Any thoughts to help me decide?

stiles
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 10:17 am
Location: Austin

Post by stiles » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:15 pm

I use the Ultimate Native 12. Its a bit pricey, but you can easily stand and cast, its pretty light and its a comfortable, dry ride. I sold my pontoon because it was slow on the water and slower still to set up. I use my Native in lakes, rivers and on the flats. On the flats I sometimes wish I had the 14'er, but in the end I have no regrets.
There's a great users group here:
http://www.lwnog.com/forum/

Good luck, its not an easy choice.
- Pete



~~~ ><Ǽ>

pontoonman
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Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:39 pm

Post by pontoonman » Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:24 pm

I use a pontoon and really like the versatility. They are cheap used or from Cabellas bargain barn. Smaller versions are still very comfortable and can fit flat inside a pickup bed with flat cover. Manuverabily and stability is better than any single hull product. Lighter weight than any single hulls for the smaller versions. They can be left set up so there is very little loading/unloading. Dryer because self bailing so your feet don't track in mud or water puddles which make you sit with wet muddy feet and have to be cleaned up later. They are slower which is a consideration if you plan to go long distances on unprotected waters, but work better in rivers if you are going with the drift. You don't have to constantly correct your position with a paddle which leaves both hands free for fishing. I use a tiny motor with mine that I invented, but most fins work well. I particularly like the fins that fold up against the top of your shins, though they are expensive.

Pon

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Coconut Groves
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Post by Coconut Groves » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:39 pm

I'd go with the 17' Maverick HPX-T or the New Water Curlew. Wait.... those weren't on the list....

:D
"Strip... Strip... Strip...... Fish On!"

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Coconut Groves
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Post by Coconut Groves » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:49 am

I figured I'd add some advice on top the mention of my two dream boats...

I've primarily used a Tarpon 140 (14') kayak on the rivers. It is a little big, especially for narrow waters. The draft is very shallow, but the length is a factor when dealing with current. Trying to stay in place and cast can be a challenge, so if you can afford it, get a yak with the foot paddles and an anchor. I have not used the paddles myself, but I've heard great things about them.

I borrow the 14's from a friend, but if I had to buy, I'd go with a 12'. The length gives you stability, but unless you are planning on padding in the open ocean, shorter will be better for the local streams. The yak is also really handy at the coast in the flats, so the versatility is good.

Canoes are good in getting from point A to B and wading, but can be cumbersome. Stability is also a factor. Rod and paddle storage/placement is also a factor. I prefer the yak over the nu. The fishing yak is more streamlined.

I have not fished out of a single person pontoon. Some have foot paddles to help keep you in place, plus you get the higher plane to fish from. I am familiar with them and have considered them, and one factor I looked at was an open floor compared to a platform. The standing platform seems like it would be handy - you could drop anchor in a good spot and stand up to fish. Also, stuff gets dropped, so I'd rather have the closed floor to catch my goods.

I'd say just get whatever your budget and style allows. You know what they say, "any boat is better than no boat at all!" All that matters is that you are on the water and catching fish.
"Strip... Strip... Strip...... Fish On!"

Capt. JP
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Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:00 pm
Location: Katy, TX

Post by Capt. JP » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:48 pm

I have the Ultimate 12 and a pontoon. If you use the toon be sure that you have enough flow. I made a trip on the Nueces and had a headwind all day. Those things do not row very well. I now have a trolling motor for the toon but it takes the right situation to justify lugging a battery around. The yak seems better suited to the rivers. My next trip to the Nueces was in the yak and I had a much better time. So far I have used the yak more than the toon but I guess it's like most boats. Everyone is a compromise. I guide out of a Hells Bay and am still trying to convince the wife that I need another boat.
Fish long fish hard: you never know

bhigdon

Post by bhigdon » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:19 am

Aire has a commercial grade rubber kayak with row rack, swivel seat. I have rowed one down the Devils with 20mph winds, by far the best single man watercraft I've owned. It is called Aire River Drifter.

maxh
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Location: Austin

Post by maxh » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:11 pm

Pete and JP,
Why did you choose the ultimate over the manta ray or magic? I'm considering a flats kayak and those Natives look real sweet. My scrambler works very well on rivers and gets me by in the flats but standing in it and fishing is not really do-able.
Also, has anyone here been in one of the new hard sided pontoons they sell at Cabelas?I think they call them Tahoes. Those look like an affordable alternative to the Hobie fishcat if they work as well as the Hobie's.
Pete, I enjoyed talking with you the other night, the film tour really charged my batteries!
Max

Capt. JP
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Location: Katy, TX

Post by Capt. JP » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:26 pm

Light, and the seat is super comfortable. Plus I could stand up in it if need be. The hull shape is a bit different and seems to be more stable than most. It works for me. They also make a cushion that fits under the seat if you want to be elevated a bit. I have also stopped for lunch and put the seat on the bank and used it as a chair. Beats trying to find a comfy rock.
Fish long fish hard: you never know

stiles
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 10:17 am
Location: Austin

Post by stiles » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:11 pm

maxh wrote:Pete and JP,
Why did you choose the ultimate over the manta ray or magic? I'm considering a flats kayak and those Natives look real sweet. My scrambler works very well on rivers and gets me by in the flats but standing in it and fishing is not really do-able.
Also, has anyone here been in one of the new hard sided pontoons they sell at Cabelas?I think they call them Tahoes. Those look like an affordable alternative to the Hobie fishcat if they work as well as the Hobie's.
Pete, I enjoyed talking with you the other night, the film tour really charged my batteries!
Max
Hey Max- I chose the Ultimate mainly because it is so easy to stand and cast in and because its single hull design makes it lighter. I have no trouble tossing it on my shoulder and carrying it to the water. Traditional sit-on-top owner either drag the kayak or have a cart to move it. The only real drawback is that it doesn't drain because it doesn't have scuppers - a problem solved by most of us by keeping one or two large sponges aboard.
pm me if you want to take it for a spin...
- Pete



~~~ ><Ǽ>

pontoonman
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Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:39 pm

Post by pontoonman » Fri May 01, 2009 9:08 am

If those are the venturecraft, the versions I have seen are not hard sided. They have a thicker, semi rigid pontoon with a sealant inside that is supposed to take care of leaks.

Pontoons are much harder to propel for any distance than any single hulls using anything but a motor. My 9# motor battery combo goes 4 hours in 10" of water at 3 knots, so many of the shortcommings of a heavy motor/battery are overcome. For the Concan situation you originally described they might work better if there is some kind of current flow, because of stability and not having to constantly correct with a paddle. You can just put your feet down to stand, no having to get in and out. If you are looking for something that works at the coast or in big water, that is another situation, and they wouldn't work as well.

Hope this helps.

Pon

maxh wrote:Pete and JP,

Also, has anyone here been in one of the new hard sided pontoons they sell at Cabelas?I think they call them Tahoes. Those look like an affordable alternative to the Hobie fishcat if they work as well as the Hobie's.

Max

pontoonman
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Post by pontoonman » Fri May 01, 2009 10:41 pm

Oops, looks like Venturecraft makes 2 different Tahoe models:

http://www.ventureoutdoors.net/pontoon_boats.htm

The dura pro is the one I've seen and the fisher is their hard sided. Don't care for the blunt shape of either one which usually means a slow craft.

Pon
pontoonman wrote:If those are the venturecraft, the versions I have seen are not hard sided. They have a thicker, semi rigid pontoon with a sealant inside that is supposed to take care of leaks.

Pontoons are much harder to propel for any distance than any single hulls using anything but a motor. My 9# motor battery combo goes 4 hours in 10" of water at 3 knots, so many of the shortcommings of a heavy motor/battery are overcome. For the Concan situation you originally described they might work better if there is some kind of current flow, because of stability and not having to constantly correct with a paddle. You can just put your feet down to stand, no having to get in and out. If you are looking for something that works at the coast or in big water, that is another situation, and they wouldn't work as well.

Hope this helps.

Pon

maxh wrote:Pete and JP,

Also, has anyone here been in one of the new hard sided pontoons they sell at Cabelas?I think they call them Tahoes. Those look like an affordable alternative to the Hobie fishcat if they work as well as the Hobie's.

Max

shane cavitt
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Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:59 pm
Location: Grand Prairie, TX

Post by shane cavitt » Sat May 02, 2009 8:05 am

Bill, is Aire still making the kayak you mentioned? I went on to their website and didn't find anything like what you described.

maxh, I have been looking at the Tahoe Fisher myself. I have a fishing buddy who recently bought one to use on farm ponds and he loves it. To my understanding the biggest difference between the Tahoe and the Hobie is weight. The Tahoe comes it at approximately 20 lbs heavier. I think the performance between the 2 is comparable.

maxh
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:01 pm
Location: Austin

Post by maxh » Tue May 05, 2009 2:16 pm

I'm a big fan of the Hobie fishcat for certain waters and definitely not for all around use. The only problem I have is the pricetag. Thats why I was asking if anyone had experience with the Tahoe Fisher. I've been using my Scrambler for all around go anywhere use for a long time and one of my favorite things about it is how easy it is to handle/carry by myself.
Those Natives look nice for the flats though...

Jack
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:49 pm
Location: New Braunfels

Post by Jack » Tue May 05, 2009 8:51 pm

I just finished going through this exercise myself for a pontoon craft.

I ended up ordering the Skykomish Sunrise from Northfork Outdoors for $999.00

It's 10.5' long with a 600 pound weight rating. I'm a big guy and needed it!!

What I really like is the fold away standing platform and leaning rail which both fold away!

Cabela's has them and the reviews are very favorable. I wanted to order through Cabela's but there was a 6 week backorder. So I ordered from Northfork Outdoors at the link below at the same price as Cabela'.

I haven't received it yet but am hopeful it will live up to it's billing!

Jack


http://www.store.northforkoutdoors.com/ ... ducts_id=1

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