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Jan 23rd, 2013
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What size boat do you really need? #13946568 04/04/21 03:32 AM
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Swyt Offline OP
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Went fishing with a co-worker the other day. He's got about a 22' bass cat. Went to Lake Buchanan, was a bit cold and fairly windy. In the middle-ish of the lake there were some fairly big waves, (to me at least) pretty sure we went airborne at one point. Was a lot of crashing down. ...Kind of thrilling... I really don't know where we started or where we went. That's all him and his experience tournament fishing many years. We stopped at Academy. They actually happened to have a Jon Boat outside. We took a look at it. I cannot remember the brand of it (tempted to go drive out to it) but I thought it had Game in the brand name. Was about 15' long. Thing I noticed pretty dang quick is how shallow it was. If I stood in it, I don't know if the "railing" would have gotten even close to my knee.

I was thinking 15" walls were the standard and this was it. Which had me questioning my whole idea of a Jon Boat is what I need. I've been looking around at a couple different 12' & 16' Jons from Tracker and Lowe. There was actually a 1648 Tracker Jon in the parking lot. But I failed to realize if it was the Grizzly mod V they have. Maybe it was a discontinued model? I'm not sure if these Transom and Depth heights are adding up in the listed specs. Perhaps they don't mean what I think they mean. I was trying to find videos of Jon Boats in rough waters and there is and isn't many.

I've been on Fayette, Bastrop, Somerville, Buchanan, and banked Pflugerville. Everything but Buchanan had a max wave of maybe 6" unless it was a boats wake. Am I going to have to change my boat plans up or something?

Thanks,
Swyt

Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: Swyt] #13946909 04/04/21 04:01 PM
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New boat owners are usually confused and uncertain. Bass Pro takes advantage of your ignorance (which isn't a sin) and will let you talk yourself into something a year from now you'll regret.

I'm not going to tell you what to buy, but I am going to ask the questions that will help you decide what will work best for you.

Is bass fishing your major goal? Is tournament bass fishing part of the plan?
What is your two vehicle?
Trust me those lakes can whip up pretty good. So, how important is ride vs shallow water ability?
Do you have notion of dragging your toy to the coast?
Family? Do you have other people to consider?
We'll start there.


Pat Goff
Seadrift TX
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Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: Swyt] #13948263 04/05/21 06:39 PM
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The inherent design issue of the smallish jon boats tackling rough water is that they don't have a deck to help deflect the water as it crashes over the bow and ends up staying in the boat. A bass boat at speed is essentially skipping across the water only hitting the crests of each wave. A much slower jon boat is going to be riding the wave going up and down like a bobber. As the boat comes off the top of the wave the bow will pitch nose down. Occasionally because of the wave spacing you're going to crash through a wave having water coming into the boat with no where to have it run off. This can be catastrophic for an aluminum boat without any form of buoyancy. Having taller gunnels wouldn't wouldn't necessarily help with this. Of course, this isn't to say fiberglass boats are immune but many modern ones are foam filled. Just remember to always respect the water.

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Good luck on your search!

Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: Swyt] #13948398 04/05/21 09:05 PM
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I have had a 14 foot Jon boat, it was great for small rivers and oxbow lakes, when I was in the Army stationed in TX I had a 16 foot Tracker style boat and fished Belton and Stillhouse and other lakes around but wind was the killer, mostly because you would get blown around but heck I was fishing! After that I have had a 18.5 foot skeeter, 18.9 foot Javelin and they were both fine 97% of the time, when I was looking for my next boat I knew I wanted something at least 19.5 foot or greater.

Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: Swyt] #13953238 04/09/21 03:22 AM
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Swyt Offline OP
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Alright, so I was originally wanting a bass tracker classic xl but they keep on going up. I changed ideas and was thinking Jon boat because it's way cheaper and I could build a deck for it later on and build it up and such. I was thinking, I could get me a big hull that I could fill in over time. Like a 1648 Jon, start with a trolling motor or < 5hp outboard... well essentially start with minimal and build it up over time. While learning the ropes and not investing too much if I decide fishing actually isn't for me. But I was told it wasn't that good of a idea. I've been watching some SBFishingTV with their Jon Boats. It's interesting.

So to answer your questions,
I would like to be able to catch bass but also others as well. I had the idea of catching fish for a fish fry. I haven't cleaned a fish yet.
Don't laugh too much, but my one and only vehicle is a '10 Prius with bigish AT tires and a 1.5" lift. It keeps on chugging. I towed a trailer that ended up being about 2,040lbs, which was a lot more than I thought it was. Towed fine, but would be better to keep it around 1,500lbs. I jokingly call it the "F two fiddy, Prius" and "4 cylinder Silverado 1500". It's class 1, 2000 trailer and 200 tongue. I thought that trailer weighed a LOT less than it did. I think I did a bad job balancing the trailer too. Car was happier when it was empty.
I'm not sure about ride. But my co-workers basscat went in about 2-3ft deep water.
I don't think I will ever take it in salt water? But maybe a lake by the coast?
I think it would be good if I could take at least 1 other person. But if we're future proofing, maybe 3-4 max?

Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: Swyt] #13953398 04/09/21 12:10 PM
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In the same size; the boats that are marketed for duck hunting tend to be more robust and of higher build quality.
They also tend to have higher gunnels.

Example: Lowe Roughneck.


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Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: Swyt] #13954439 04/10/21 12:39 AM
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I've own a jon boat for over 25 years. If you keep them light they are safe. Aluminium boats have their advantages and so does fiberglass. That's why I have both smile

Last edited by Alumacraft 14; 04/10/21 12:41 AM.
Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: Swyt] #13954693 04/10/21 03:51 AM
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The question can only be answered, by the type of water being fished.

Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: grout-scout] #13955997 04/11/21 07:00 PM
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Swyt Offline OP
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Originally Posted by grout-scout
The question can only be answered, by the type of water being fished.

I don't really know? Whatever type of water Fayette, Bastrop, Somerville, Buchanan, Pflugerville have.

I've seen those Lowe Roughnecks online. I'm just not sure on that price. $10k for 16ft 20hp, trailer. Albeit a minimal setup, I could get a folding HF trailer, 12' Jon, 2.X HP outbaord for about $3k done. I wouldn't have to pay for storage either. I just don't know if it will handle the water as well. I will also be more cramped and probably outgrow it faster as well. I never actually mathed it out, but it sounded cheaper, but I guess it's really about the same for me to get say a $3500 16' Jon hull V, $2000 trailer, and then 20hp $4,500 outboard. I was thinking maybe I could find a used outboard but there doesn't seem to be much. Or use a minimal outboard. If I'm going to be spending that kind of money, I wonder if there is something else like a Tracker Classic XL that would work. But I was kinda hoping to get something for about maybe 5-7k? I wish that Classic XL was still 10k. It's about 15k now. I'm not sure if all prices are high right now or if they will go down in a year or two.

Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: Swyt] #13956151 04/11/21 10:11 PM
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I promise that little bitty Fayette can get rough in a hurry. Only lake I’ve see built on top of a hill.

And Buchanan can be a ocean.

Which is all fine if you understand your limitations. Being a boat noob you might not know the first wave you stuff in a John boat will stop you, and in five seconds the second one sinks you. Not trying to scare anyone but making you aware of what you just haven’t learned.


Pat Goff
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Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: Swyt] #13956362 04/12/21 01:15 AM
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Wind is everything, if I was going to far from the ramp or on a big lake anything over 15mph I'd play it safe and stay home or fish something more protected like a river. That is your limit I believe in a 14-16ft. Tilt and trim will help a lot of you can get it. Keeping your bow light is a must, weight and weight placement is very important in a jon. Get you a jon, start out on small water, keep an eye on the weather and stay close to the shoreline/ramp until you get a feel for it. I've been caught in some nasty winds/waves in Baffin Bay and always felt safe though it was very uncomfortable.. Light bow will go with the waves not through them and that is where you can get swamped. Dual large bilge pumps will help as well because you will get water in the boat from spray and it will add up.

Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: grout-scout] #13956401 04/12/21 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by grout-scout
The question can only be answered, by the type of water being fished.

My experience has resulted in a consistent trend each time I sold one boat and bought the next one - BIGGER, with more horsepower, and better rough water ability. As for thinking small lakes will be a safer place, the reality is that turns into what southerners call a "farm pond" or "tank." I have a 21' Ranger, and can attest that even "little 'ol Fayette" can beat the [censored] out of you - at least the ride is short given the distances. I've owned flat-bottomed (or essentially flat-bottomed) alum. boats powered with 25-60hp over a period of decades. Their limit - anything more than a ripple is too much. The OP may be convincing himself to find out the hard, expensive, and possibly dangerous way.

Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: Pat Goff] #13958725 04/13/21 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Pat Goff
New boat owners are usually confused and uncertain. Bass Pro takes advantage of your ignorance (which isn't a sin) and will let you talk yourself into something a year from now you'll regret.

I'm not going to tell you what to buy, but I am going to ask the questions that will help you decide what will work best for you.

Is bass fishing your major goal? Is tournament bass fishing part of the plan?
What is your two vehicle?
Trust me those lakes can whip up pretty good. So, how important is ride vs shallow water ability?
Do you have notion of dragging your toy to the coast?
Family? Do you have other people to consider?
We'll start there.

Your questions are spot on. I was tempted to get a Skeeter Fish & Ski since the wife thought it would be great to go skiing sometimes. The dealership talked me into a regular bass boat which could also do skiing in a pinch. In the six years we owned that boat we never went skiing. I got into tournament fishing and never looked back.
I eventually went with a 21ft boat after getting totally beat up on Buchanan in my 18 footer.
If you need a shallow boat check the draft on the ones you are looking at. My Skeeter ZX250 may not be able to go where a Skiff can go but I can run it so shallow I need a push pole.


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Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: Swyt] #13963969 04/17/21 03:38 PM
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I have a tracker xl and like it very much. Easy to haul and launch especially if I am alone. That being said I don't take it out if wind is going to be a problem and even on light wind days if I am in the middle of Lewisville lake I wouldn't want less than the sixteen feet or fifty horse motor. So another question that you should consider is how often you will be able to take a boat out. I am retired and can go anytime the wind allows so the tracker is fine for me. If my schedule limited the days that I could fish I would have a larger boat that would perform better in rough water. I have owned many boats and I have never wished that I had purchased something smaller.

Re: What size boat do you really need? [Re: Swyt] #13972664 04/25/21 01:51 AM
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I would love to own a 20'+ glass boat, but my problems are $$ and towing capacity and future storage. I think my Prius has about 2 more years left. Will I upgrade to something that can tow a bit more? I'm not sure. I'm looking to rent a place outside to store for now. I'm expecting my future house to have a garage with a 19' depth which I plan to store the boat in. It sounds like a good idea to go fishing every weekend or every other weekend. But I would hate to find out after spending so much that the hobby isn't all that much for me after all. Local Bass Pro has a Grizzly 1648 which I want to go check out. I was talking to my co-worker and he thinks my idea of building a boat like that up isn't a bad idea, I'll just be fairly limited in the start and I may never take it in the center of the lake. But I'll be spending pretty much the same as a built boat, just not right away, I guess. Not quite sure what I'm doing with this at the moment.

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