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Right sizing the boat.


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I am in the market for a boat for the great lakes/bigger water and I'm wondering how big to go. I've been out on pretty bad waves in a 16' Lund Predator, but I couldn't fish.

I'd like a couple of things for sure in the new boat. An aft cockpit for fishing, with a for'd cabin/cuddy. I really like the Bayliner Trophy boats, and I've seen them ranging from 20' to 25' feet that look like they are trailerable and under the 8' DOT requirement. I'd like less power, versus more, and I typically stay within 10 miles of shore unless there was a freakishly calm weather forecast.

How different is a 20 footer versus a 24 footer for handling the waves, for example?

And does anyone have any boats they really preferred for handling in rougher water?

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Lots of variable in boat designs. My Alumacraft 175 Trophy wont fish in the waters we easily fish in our Tracker Targa 17. Now a 18-20' glass will fish water the Targa won't. Glass or Alum are both different and even that changed from brand to brand and year to year.

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How different is a 20 footer versus a 24 footer for handling the waves, for example?

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If I were looking for a new boat in that size range I would probably go with a 'glass hull but I definitely would test drive one of those welded aluminum boats as I have heard lots of good reports about them.

Steve

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I would look at hewes craft. My old man has a 20 ft. sea runner with a 2 ft. extended transom. The boat is welded aluminum and has alot of options as far as a cuddy and hard top vs soft top. If you want to know any specifics you can email me. I have used this boat in big waves and rough water and it handles unbelievably. Also the floor layout really is nice, everything is open and spacious. If you are looking for a stylish boat like a sea ray, this isn't the boat for you. This is a fishing machine and its looks are exactly that. I personally like the look...I know they do make a cuddy and fishing cab, not sure if this one has the cuddy...

573-Boat2022-1.jpg

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FFey, that was exactly what I was going to recommend to him but couldnt remember the brand!

Steve

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For the 15 years prior to moving to Minnesota I fished Lake Huron out of a 23' Aluminum Hulled Crestliner (was my grandpa's now my borthers). It has a Cuddy in it also, which made for a great storage area. I am guessing you will be fishing Superior and Michigan which tend to get bigger waves than Huron. I have had that boat out in 6 footers before. Had to anchor from the front while fishing for Perch and drive it slow, but handled the waves fine. I wouldn't take it out in anything bigger. The best part of a boat like that compared to what I typically fish out of here in Minnesota is the room. You can fish 4 guys in that size of a boat very comfortably. Remember Michigan is two poles so that is four guys running 8 lines. Absolutely a fiberglass hull will plow right through some of the bigger waves compared to the aluminum, but keep in mind the difference in weight (towing) on a boat that size.

I don't think I really answered any of your questions, but my opionion is 22' or 23' is plenty big for most situations on the Great Lakes. Also..... I have been out 18 miles on the boat I mentioned.

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go take a look at the warrior 2300. The only prolem with that is they only come in a side consel. they don't have a cockpit. but they are one hell of a boat

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • SkunkedAgain
      Those are some fine specimens. Great job
    • gimruis
      I'm quite shocked to hear that a walleye tournament is still doing a live weigh in.  Virtually every event these days around here is doing a catch, photo, and release format.   Regardless, nice work.  Congrats.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A great week of fishing with walleyes and saugers caught in good numbers.   The go-to presentation, again, was a jig and frozen emerald shiner.  Emerald shiners are a staple in LOW and walleyes love them.  Other minnows worked also, but emerald shiners are a favorite of anglers for good reason.   The Lighthouse Gap area, Morris Point Gap and just in front of Pine Island held nice fish in 17 - 21' of water.  Various schools of walleyes and saugers across the south shore.     A quarter ounce jig in gold, glow white, pink, orange, chartreuse, or a combo of these colors tipped with a minnow worked well again.   Some big pike and jumbo perch being caught by walleye anglers. On the Rainy River...  Some nice walleyes were caught on the river this weekend, although most anglers normally head to the lake.  12 - 15' of water is holding some nice fish.   Sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River is closed until the keep season starts up again July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  Some nice walleyes being caught along with a mixed bag.  12 - 25 feet of water.  Points, neck down areas and bays with warming water were holding good fish this week.    The go-to presentation was a jig and minnow as on the south shore.  A mixed bag as is common around the Angle.  
    • leech~~
      Nice work!   Here's two words you hardly ever hear anyone say anymore.  "grateful and humbled"   
    • Brianf.
      RLG, thanks for the shout-out!     Jeff and I are still trying to wrap our heads around what happened this past weekend.  We are humbled and full of gratitude  for having won 'The Classic' for a second time.     We practiced through all the rain on Thurs and the wind on Friday and found six different spots holding big fish.  Fishing was good on both days with several 'overs' in our catch...but would it hold up for another day?   We didn't know.     On tourney day, we made a long run to our first spot where I lucked out on a 26.5"er on my second cast.  Jeff followed up with a thick 27" er a few minutes later, which turned out to be the big fish for the event at 7.26lbs.  We finished out our limit and weighed-in at 10:30 am for the welfare of the fish in our livewell.    There were some big weights in this event which would have won in most other years, but - for whatever reason - this was our day.  Everything just went our way.  Again, we are just super grateful and humbled by this success.  We also want to congratulate all the other anglers who did well and give a big 'thank you' to the tournament organizers who put on such a great event!  
    • SkunkedAgain
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    • redlabguy
      Let’s start this by congratulating Brianf and son for winning their second City Autoglass Walleye Classic last weekend. These guys know how to fish.  We just got to the lake for the season. Chores are almost done and I’m ready to fish.  red(new dog is more yellow)labguy
    • Jetsky
      I tried starting a 2024 Lake Vermilion Fishing Report topic but it doesn't show up on this board.   Maybe somebody else knows how to do it?
    • Mike89
      then use the BB gun after catching them!!!    and then enjoy rabbit dinner for revenge!!!   
    • leech~~
      Yep crazy. 🤪 I played goalie in HS and my two grandsons play hockey now.  
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