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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? #13720593 10/05/20 12:56 PM
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Ron Douthit Offline OP
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This is my first year fishing for white bass and hybrids on Cedar Creek Lake. Prior to buying a house out here, I mostly fished for largemouth. I've had a blast the past few months learning to locate and catch white bass thanks to the many tips, techniques, maps and fishing reports published by Dennis.

Right now I'm fishing from an old 23 ft Sea Ray with a temporarily mounted Humminbird with DI and GPS but no trolling motor. Now that my wife and I have moved to Cedar Creek full time we are looking to buy a new boat.

We were initially looking at a NauticStar 231 hybrid which has a center console but also has lots of seating which is why it's called a hybrid. Our other option is an Avalon Catalina 231 Rear Fish tritoon.

Unfortunately the NauticStar t-top will not fit vertically on my lift when the lake is at full pool. We could get one without the t-top but that was actually one of the features I liked most about the boat. The pontoon is definitely much more family friendly but I've never fished from a pontoon boat.

Any feedback would be appreciated. My assumption is that as long as I have a high end trolling motor with spot lock and remote that fishing from the rear of a boat for white bass would be no issue.

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Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13720700 10/05/20 02:42 PM
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I like the idea of getting the NauticStar and then looking for a 2nd/3rd hand pontoon for cheap later on.
Do pontoons have a high resale? Seems like I've seen some pretty cheap before.


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Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13720701 10/05/20 02:42 PM
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learnin to fish Offline
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I bought a 231 hybrid this summer and love it!! My dad has a pontoon boat and the NS Hybrid is a much better fishing boat and family boat. Ski, wakeboard, tube, fish. The hybrid does it all. Just get a 250hp as the 200 wouldn’t have enough power to pull skiers with a boat full of people.

Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13720852 10/05/20 04:59 PM
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etu Offline
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I have fished out of both. I now have a pontoon so I have more room for the family. I have the 112 so it stays spot locked even in white caps. I also have a Helix12 so I can fish the back of the boat and still see the graph. The Bimini top is a plus in the summer! A lot slower but im rarely in a rush anymore. Congrats and yes Dennis is good people!


Ed
Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13721066 10/05/20 08:08 PM
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That NS 231 Hybrid is an awesome boat! I’ve checked it out at a few boat shows. It will obviously be a better fishing platform, but you can definitely catch tons of fish from a pontoon. I fished from a 22’ Berkshire pontoon for several years. Pontoon boats are like kites when the wind picks up. I would definitely get a 36v trolling motor. They are slower, but they are really comfortable. All that being said, we traded our pontoon boat in on a center console in January and I couldn’t be happier. cheers


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Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13721095 10/05/20 08:20 PM
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Coastline Marine down in Seabrook can take that T-Top and weld on their "Boss System" which will allow it to fold over and give you the clearance you are looking for. I had them do a custom burn bar for me and a custom ice chest rack. I needed the burn bar to fold over so it could fit in my shop. Very solid work.

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Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13721204 10/05/20 10:12 PM
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Carb, Do you have any pictures before and after if your boat?



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Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13721231 10/05/20 10:45 PM
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I personally love my center console boat. Worth every penny to get you a smart trolling motor that can spot lock and better yet “Ipilot Link” where you can drop a way point in the fish and have the trolling motor driving to that way point and then spot lock above them. Takes the guessing out of it


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Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13721600 10/06/20 10:52 AM
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Ron Douthit Offline OP
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Thanks for all of the comments so far.

MilesHunter thanks for the feedback regarding getting pushed around by wind. I've read this elsewhere. Based on etu's feedback, it sounds like a 112lb thrust can solve that problem and still spot lock in white caps a pontoon. Regardless of which boat we get, I was planning to get the highest end trolling motor -- 112lb thrust Ulterra.

Learning to fish, the 231 is definitely a better fishing boat, I have no doubt. I would also expect it's turning radius and handling to be superior with water sports. Watersports isn't a big deal for us -- I fish in the mornings and we cruise the lake in the afternoons and evening with our dogs, visitors and/or neighbors and their dogs. Our kids are in their early 20s and in college but aren't into water sports since we didn't raise them around the lake (we just bought our lake house 2 years ago.) They like to get out on a tube occasionally but that's about it. Some other considerations we have is ability to get our dogs out of the water and onto the boat. The 231 has only a small landing area on the back -- it looks like the Avalon has a bigger area and this seems a little more dog friendly getting back into the boat -- although it isn't clear to me yet the distance between water level and the back platform on each boat.

Right now we are leaning toward the pontoon. Once we have grandkids in the picture and possibly more dogs (we have 2 and my daughter and likely future husband have 1) I think it will be much more comfortable for everyone and much more enjoyable for cruising. One of the things we've noticed when cruising with our neighbors on their pontoon is the benefit of having the L bench next to the console. This makes it much easier to interact with other people on the boat vs having them behind you or up front.

Luckily the dealer currently has the 231 hybrid we've been looking at and has multiple Catalinas on order so we will get a chance to look at them side by side before making our decision -- assuming they don't sell the 231 before the other boats arrive.

Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13722352 10/06/20 10:42 PM
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Does thumping work on pontoons? Had heard it doesn’t work as well but never done any winter fishing out of a toon. If it doesn’t then you may may be missing out on some of the best fishing of the year


Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: ATM97] #13722458 10/07/20 12:38 AM
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etu Offline
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Originally Posted by ATM97
Does thumping work on pontoons? Had heard it doesn’t work as well but never done any winter fishing out of a toon. If it doesn’t then you may may be missing out on some of the best fishing of the year



Yes it does


Ed
Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13722615 10/07/20 02:53 AM
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I have an Avalon LSZ QF 2085 fishing model pontoon. I really enjoy mine. I fish for white bass and crappie. Comfortable ride, plenty of room to fish and versatile enough for family activities as well. It's at CC as well. I'd be glad to show it to you.

Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13722658 10/07/20 03:36 AM
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Personally, I love fishing out of my Pontoon. Plenty of walking and fishing room. just need to add a lot of sensible accessories. An Excess of Rod holders, a bait tank, trolling motor with spot lock, good fish finder, a large additional rod rack, and a couple of 5 gallon buckets for cast net and other must haves, that need easy access, and of course, a large ice chest mounted somewhere out of the way. Then, of course, you can always just go out and enjoy a day on the water with friends or kiddos.

Last edited by z289sec; 10/07/20 03:40 AM.
Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: fishincuban] #13722716 10/07/20 10:58 AM
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@fishincuban, I looked at the model you have and it is an identical layout from the console back. I'd love to take you up on your offer and see your boat in person and how you have rigged it out.

Since you fish CC, how does the pontoon handle the rough water days ?

Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: learnin to fish] #13722974 10/07/20 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by learnin to fish
I bought a 231 hybrid this summer and love it!! My dad has a pontoon boat and the NS Hybrid is a much better fishing boat and family boat. Ski, wakeboard, tube, fish. The hybrid does it all. Just get a 250hp as the 200 wouldn’t have enough power to pull skiers with a boat full of people.

+1 on the 231 hybrid... got one this summer as well with the T-Top and it's an awesome boat... chasing whites/hybrids was a lot more fun being able to get out of the sun as well as move around freely on the boat (it has an 8.5' beam)... I owe @atm97 a trip on LP so he can show me how to actually catch fish in the thing...

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