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Best Fishing Boat for Mille Lacs


wahkonfisher

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We have a place on Mille Lacs and have a 26' pontoon boat that we have been using for fishing for the past few years. As you can imagine, once the wind picks up over about 5 mph its darn near impossible to get anywhere without swamping it. I'm just starting to look around at fishing boats and don't really know anything about them. I fish exclusively on Mille Lacs. Does anyone have any recommendations about what size boat / motor I should be looking at? I'd also welcome any input on different models as there seem to be alot of them. About the only thing I'm insistent on is a full windshield with a surrounding top/sides for those rainy / windy days early and late in the season. I hate it when the weather stops a good day of fishing.

Thanks.

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I personally would suggest a Lund Tyee or a one of there sportsman series boats ( adventure, fisherman). I grew up on lund's and will stick with them. However the most important part in my eye is having a full windshield. You get out on those rough waters and the winds blowing the water splash at you, youd love to stay dry! Ive been in a boat thats had just the windshield counsel and its NOT fun being wet. Its nice to hunker down behind a windshield to stay warm and dry from the elements.

In my opinion that is the best investment if you are going to fish mille lacs!!!!!!!!!!!!

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A lot depends on how much you want to spend? I wouldnt go less than a 18 footer with a 115.A Lund Fisherman would be a good choice then it depends if you want to spend more on a bigger glass boat.A good used boat is going to start in the high teens to low 20s and up from there.This is a good time to be looking for a deal on boats.

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as big as you can afford. you wont regret it. most any boat can have a canopy and sides made from a custom canvas place if it doesn't have one.

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Yeah, "best boat for mille lacs" is kind of a loaded question, but I'd agree with buying the biggest boat you can afford. I started out in a 16', then went to a 17' and now currently have an 18'. My first 2 boats were tin and my current boat is fiberglass. I do most of my fishing on Winnibigosh, but this year I've spent more time on mille lacs. I don't think you can go wrong with most of the big-name aluminum or glass boats as there are a lot of good ones to choose from. If I were to buy an aluminum boat for mille lacs, I'd buy a Lund 1900 Pro V. I spent a lot of last year fishing out of my friends and it's a very nice fishing boat but can be used for family fun just as well. As far as glass boats, I have a Skeeter WX 1850 and love it, but I know the Rangers, YarCrafts, Triton's as well as others make very nice rigs. My boat was in the mid 30's by the time I had it accessorized. I really think you do get what you pay for when it comes to boats. More money buys bigger boats, and you just can't beat a big boat when you fish big water.

As far as motors, I've owned 2 Johnson's (same as Suzuki) and currently a Yamaha 4 stroke. Personally, I like the Johnson/Suzuki best. It's considerably quieter than the Yamaha - not that the Yammi's loud, cuz it's not, it's just that the Johnson was whisper quiet. The Mercury Verado may be even quieter yet and I've been very impressed with the Verado on my buddies Pro V. Good luck and let us all know what you finally decide.

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I personally would suggest a Lund Tyee or a one of there sportsman series boats ( adventure, fisherman). I grew up on lund's and will stick with them. However the most important part in my eye is having a full windshield. You get out on those rough waters and the winds blowing the water splash at you, youd love to stay dry! Ive been in a boat thats had just the windshield counsel and its NOT fun being wet. Its nice to hunker down behind a windshield to stay warm and dry from the elements.

In my opinion that is the best investment if you are going to fish mille lacs!!!!!!!!!!!!

agree! full windshield is a must! I woulnd't fish Mille Lacs without one.... actually I prob would but would be miserable!

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The best boat is the one you can afford. I remember 20 years ago the boat you had to have was a 16' lund with a 50hp tiller. You never hear that nowadays. When I first started fishing Mille Lacs I had a 14' Lund with a 25hp tiller. Spent 30+ days a year fishing with that boat. Yea, I fished some days I probably shouldnt have. 6 foot waves, getting caught in some pretty good storms but with respect to the conditions the boat was great. As I earned more money I bought a used 16' Pro-V with a 60 hp tiller. Great boat, fished several years with that. Then I wanted to do some tournament fishing so I bought a new 18' Pro-V with a 90 hp tiller. It's crazy but I had one of the smaller boats in the tournaments. Great fishing boat. For ultimate in fishability a tiller is the way to go.

The thing to remember with the larger boats is the added expense to running them. I have a 40 gallon tank now, some days i have used 20 of those gallons. My old 14'er I could go all day on 6 gallons. You'll also have to buy bigger trolling motors, more batteries, a larger truck to pull that big boat, maybe a gas kicker motor because the big motor won't troll down well enough.

I love my boat, I wouldnt trade it for another. There is still something I miss about that 14' with 25 hp though. Funny thing if according to my log books I caught just as many fish out of that small boat as I do with the boat I run now.

The boat does not catch the fish. The person putting the boat over the fish is what makes it happen.

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I used to own an aluminum boat and now own a fiberglass boat. Fish Mille Lacs and other big bodies of water like Lake Oahe, Sharpe, and Francis Case in South Dakota. I would never go back to an aluminum boat. however, which route for you to go depends on your budget and how much you will use the boat. Fiberglass boats will be more expensive, but there is no comparison on the ride in rough water. Someone mentioned that the bigger boats will use more gas; that is true, however, with a new four stroke or high performance two stroke, your fuel efficiency will be very good. My glass boat is much heavier than the aluminum I had, but I can tell you with a yamaha 150 four stroke I use much less gas than I did with my older boat; it had a 125 two stroke. Full windshield is definitely a must, especially if you fish early/late in the year when it is cold out. FYI I have the Ranger Angler 1860 and it is comparable to a Lund Tyee Aluminum price wise.

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Tadster, you're not Josh are you? Because if you are, I'm Ryan, the guy that bought your 617 with the 125 2 stroke. Motor is still running great, and you're right, now that I've gone glass I'd never even consider going back to aluminum, no matter what!

Buy glass, you will never regret it, especially on big water or in rough conditions!

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i fish mille lacs often.. with a 16 ft 1994 lund rebel deluxe 40 hp merc. honestly i feel fine with my boat out there. there are windy days where i simply cant fish out there tho.. i have been caught on the wrong side of the lake in changing high winds and i was pretty freaked but have got off safely with care. but on most days if i pick the correct side of the lake to fish and right areas i am am ok. there is tons of structure to fish out there even if it is not the norm you can still find fish a lot of places thats why i love the lake. i am only 19 so i cant afford a new boat but if i could i would definitely buy at least an 18 ft with a deep hull and at least a 90hp. my friend has a 19 ft lund pro v with a yamaha 115 4 stroke and it is perfect you can fish alomost anywhere anytime. its an aluminum. fiberglass might be better but in my opinion it does not matter if you have a decent sized boat and you are smart out there. (dont beat the hell out of your boat drivin too fast in 5 ft rollers, and take good angles) as for the most important thing i think having a good gps (lakemaster chip) and graph makes the difference regardless of the boat if you are smart and can handle some rough water. a full windshield is a plus for sure!! someday i hope to buy a good boat as well!

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Ryan,

thats not me. my name is Todd Kramer. I live in NW Iowa. I actually had a Sylvan 17' Pro select. was a good boat, but nothing like a glass boat. what kind of glass boat do you have? lots of good ones out there.

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I bought a ranger 617 from a guy named Josh this past summer, he lives in Spencer Iowa too. The boat has a 2002 125 mercury ELPTO on the back, so I thought maybe it was you. No worries! I love the new to me boat though!

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Wow....small world. dont happen to remember his last name, do you? know several guys who own Rangers here in town, but cant think of anyone named Josh that has one....just curious who it might be.

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if you fish mille lacs religeously absolutey get yourself into a

18-20ft glass boat

dont even think twice about it

if you hafta buy used do so

mweb... said he has 16ft lund and needs to decide what side of lake to fish

i have a 20 ft glass boat i fish where ever i like when ever i like

and dont worry bout getting from point a to point b

fishing is spose to be fun and enjoyalbe

if you hafta to watch clouds and wind kinda takes alittle of the fun away

as tadster said he had a tin boat and switched and would never go back

lots of guys will tell there lunds crestliner alumcraft all ride pretty good

90% of those never been in a good glass boat..i've been om winnie in a 20mph wind in a prov lund if i had to fish outa one of those i'd quit or fish small lakes with 5mph winds

go over to east side (mille lacs) and go to Lybacks he has glass boats.. probably will take you for a ride in one weather it be a tiller or wheel go while you still can get on the water then try a tin boat if want to compare be sure to match the right hp to the lenght and weight of your boat

i'll be at appledorns the 8-9th stop i'll give you a ride in mine if you like

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I have an 18 foot Crestliner. I do wish I had the full windshield. I take my boat to Erie, Michigan, Lake of the Woods, Mille Lacs, this past weekend I had it on Lake of the woods in 4 footers. Pick what you want you don't need to have one or the other.

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yep, I am in a fishing club. We have guys who have pro v's skeeters, rangers, yar crafts. I have fished in them all. I won't bash any but there are glass boats I wouldn't buy and there are aluminum boats I wouldn't buy. But there are lots of nice boats.

One of the nice things about my current boat is I can get it launched easier during low water where other guys have had to drive around the lake to put in with the heavier boats.

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i'm not saying lund crestliner &alumacraft arnt nice boats

but he is talking one lake he going to be on 99% of the time

its a no brainer to me

like i said i fish where and when i want to and enjoy being on the water..dont wory bout gettin back if the wind comes..or if i need to run to a flat or rocks that are several miles away i can go from sloppies to 8 if i need to in order to catch fish and not be soaked to the bone or beat to death in a 20 mph wind......i know everyone has rain suits

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Like I said I do wish I had a full windshield. Other than that I have not had any issues and I fish lakes a lot bigger than Mille Lacs. There is nothing wrong with your personal choice of having a glass boat but saying it is a no brainer is wrong when it comes to other peoples choices. There are pluses and minuses to both types of boats.

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I run a Lund 2010 Pro Guide it sure can take the rough water but I do get a little wet, my guests do fine in the middle of the boat. Used to run a 17 foot consul and I cracked the hull on the pond from hitting big waves. Glass boats are the way to go if the pocket book allows for it.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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