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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 Online Content 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


Miles
Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13721095 10/05/20 08:20 PM
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carb Offline
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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.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/coastlinemarinetx/photos/?tab=albums&ref=page_internal


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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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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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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


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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...

Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13723036 10/07/20 03:38 PM
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I've only been at CC for a month but so far my 24V xi5 has been able to keep me spotllocked on windy days. That system was recommended, sold and installed by David at Shut Up and Fish. Only thing I did diffrerent was request the saltwater model. I will be at the lake Saturday and Sunday. PM me and we can get together if you will be there as well. May be there during the week as well but not sure at this point.

Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: carb] #13723320 10/07/20 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by carb
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.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/coastlinemarinetx/photos/?tab=albums&ref=page_internal


Thanks for the link, I have a feeling it will come in handy.

Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13727033 10/11/20 03:25 PM
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I am posting a few pictures of my tritoon fishing boat to show you some of the things that make this a great fishing platform with plenty of room for cruising. At the front is a minn Kota ulterra 36 volt trolling motor and next to it is a panoptics transducer. Mounted on the rail is. 10 inch Garmin used for pan optic. The 9 inch Humminbird next to it I use mainly for 2d. Back at the console I have two 12 inch hummingbirds with side image and down image. These are etherneted thru a hub connecting the front Humminbird, the trolling motor, the two dash units and the two 15 foot talon anchors on the stern. There is a large ski storage area forward of the center console where a thumper fish attractor is located. There are six 31 series batteries on board with onboard chargers maintaining charge either while under way or plugged into shore power. Under the pilot seat is lots of pullout tackle boxes , battery storage area, and a 40 gallon aerated timed live well. A optional bait well can be added. The boat has a tower above which provides rod storage for 16 rods and life jacket storage. The rails on the rear gunnels provide a place to mount accessories like rod holders or downrigger. Below on each side is diamond aluminum plating with flip out compartments for additional tackle boxes and other opening for storage and plug ins for electric downriggers.
Behind the console seating area is where the live well is located with seating for two on top. The rest of the area is open for landing fish and gives the boat a charter boat feel. The decking is very non skid even when you wash it down with the 70 psi wash down hose located at the rear. I have two front and back removable captains chairs which provide seating for 12. The top provides pleanty of shade for the hot summer days while leaving the stearn area open for fishing .
To move all this is a mercury 225 hp four stroke. With all the batteries and loads of fishing equipment on board and 35 gallons of fuel coolers and ice we run between 40 and 42 mph at wot (wide open throttle) using active trim.
I have a tow bar on the boat but have never pulled anyone. The little trolling motor on the back is a splasher fish attractor that seems to excite the strippers , hybrids and white bass (sandies)
This boat affords me a versitle fishing platform wheather fishing for stripper, white bass, crappie or hybrids. The trolling motor spot lock 112 lb thrust
Holds me very well even in strongwinds the 15 ft. Talons hold me rock solid for fishing shallow water without the boat swinging at spot lock.
Boat control is very important when fishing from a pontoon/tritoon boat the wind will move you much more than a center console boat so you should equip your boat with this in mind. You will never regret getting a bigger trolling motor than you think you can get away with.
Think about the shade while cruising with lots of people on a hot day a center console may only provide very limited shade while a pontoon boat coul be equipped with more than one shade and people don’t have to huddle in a small area. I’ve posted some pictures of my boat to give you some ideas and I hope this info helps you. I guess you can tell I love my boat it works for my wife and I so these are my biased opinions . Say hi if you see me on the water Texoma Ray Roberts Lewisville

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Re: Fishing for whites in pontoon vs center console? [Re: Ron Douthit] #13727069 10/11/20 03:52 PM
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Pontoon fishing boat
Didn’t get all picture posted this is my first time posting pictures

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