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Old 10-19-11, 06:31 AM   #1
Crankbait
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Default Bass boat delimma

Ok Iím in a boat dilemma and would like some opinions. I want to fish tournamentsÖ.Iíve been fishing local but want to also start hitting the BFLís over here in NC. If you havenít seen my Huck Fin bass boat here it is. I managed two wins in a season with it, which I was happy with, but it was ruff as hell. Between being rocked by other boats and the laughing at my boat it almost made my wins not enjoyable. Anyway I also want to join a club thatís in the federation. Ok Iím giving myself 6 monthís to a year on the boat. I want to spend another year or two on working my skills and new techniques. Before really hitting tournaments hard! Now hereís what Iím trying to decide. Iím looking at this pontoon (yes I know) that I would rig up with a 25 horse. Itís called a Pond King Pro. Iím also looking at a tracker (2010-2011) or a used Nitro with a150 (not sure what year). What Iím trying to decide is based on this. Iíve got 3 kids two heading off to college next year, and a 12 year daughter. I have many friends who never get their boat on the water (other than tournament time) or when they do they only run the trolling motor. Thatís not me. Before coming to Florida (on my way back to NC) I fished January to December, and fished at Least once a week (missed maybe 4 due to family activities) but I put A LOT of time on the waterÖ..Iím trying to get better. I know it cost to tow and cost more to run your boat. Can you run a 115-150 at 20 30mph and get better mileage than the average 2 mpg? I wouldnít have a problem not getting up on plane if I didnít guzzle gas. As much as I get on the water I just donít think I could afford filling up my boat tank once or more a week. My buddy told me if I want to compete I need a fiberglass Bass boat with a 150. What Iím wondering is should I look at the Pond King Pro with a 25-30 outboard and take the two years to get better and then start looking at Bass boats. The thing about the Pond King is I could also run it electric only (like Iíve been doing with my huck fin boat) the bottom line for me is cost runningÖ..but like I said before I donít want to be off the water. I asked about the tracker because I would be a step up from the Pond King but Iíve been told I wouldnít be able to compete that well with it. Iím addicted to bass fishing and Iím past the level of just fishing to fish. Just curious what some of your opinions are?
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Old 10-19-11, 08:04 AM   #2
lilmule
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Some tournaments have a non boater entry available,ABA being one of them.
ABA/BASS another but more costly.BFL also has a non boater catagory.
Most require a gas outboard,no stick steering or cumbersome toon boats(it looks like a nice rig you have,for fun fishing) and a min size of say 15 or 16 ft,with insurance of 100,000 to 300,000 covering the other fella.
Something like a 115,actually gets best gas mileage between guess of 32-36,larger like 150 about 38-42.at around 4 mpg
Even a tracker with a 25hp providing its long enough and not stick steering will qualify,and also kill switch ,just cant run to far.They are extremely affordable.Somehow think maybe your catching yours close to the ramp.

Last edited by lilmule; 10-19-11 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 10-19-11, 01:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmule View Post
Some tournaments have a non boater entry available,ABA being one of them.
ABA/BASS another but more costly.BFL also has a non boater catagory.
Most require a gas outboard,no stick steering or cumbersome toon boats(it looks like a nice rig you have,for fun fishing) and a min size of say 15 or 16 ft,with insurance of 100,000 to 300,000 covering the other fella.
Something like a 115,actually gets best gas mileage between guess of 32-36,larger like 150 about 38-42.at around 4 mpg
Even a tracker with a 25hp providing its long enough and not stick steering will qualify,and also kill switch ,just cant run to far.They are extremely affordable.Somehow think maybe your catching yours close to the ramp.
Lilmule thanks for the answer. So a 115 at 32-36 would get how much. Yeah youíre right about being close to the ramp although sometimes I travel 2 Ĺ hours one way sucks. I mostly fish offshore and only enter a tournament when I believe there is a reachable pattern. I have learned to deal with the drawbacks of my boat but not being able to move quickly to another pattern/area is just something that only a bass boat offers
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Old 10-19-11, 01:35 PM   #4
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http://www.flwoutdoors.com/bassfishing/bfl/rules/

Bassmaster Weekend Series follows the same rules and entry fees. With the exception that in the BFL co angler limit is 5 as opposed to the 3 fish coangler limit of the BWS.

Scroll down to number 10 and 11 for boat requirements and HP Regs

For the BWS website go to www.abaproam.com
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Last edited by TN_Bassin; 10-19-11 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 10-21-11, 05:11 PM   #5
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That is some rig! I can't laugh, my two boats are "wonders of engineering" too. I know what a foldcat cost, and it seems to me that you could pick up a nice 16' tracker, that meets all tournament requirements, gets around fairly quickly, and economically off of Craigslist cheap, for almost what those foldcat cost, IMHO. My fishing buddy has a Tracker tx17 w/ a 50 hp('84), and we have gotten up to 50 mph on the gps, and when we go to my local lake, that is hp restricted, he uses a 15 hp, and it still moves the boat at a clip(and we use it at several electric only lakes too). He fills it up, maybe every third trip. It's also relatively light(He pulls it around with a 4 cyl. RAV 4, sometimes) so towing cost isn't so much either. He paid $1400 for the boat.
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Old 10-22-11, 02:43 AM   #6
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First of all I think you did a hell of a job of fishing with what you have available to you and there is nothing to laugh about as far as I am concerned. Here are some random thoughts I have after reading your post.

1. I don't think pontoons are allowed in any of the bigger tournament trails, and in most cases there is a minimum length limit on boats. This is a safety rule (although I don't understand where a pontoon would be unsafe).

2. You are just not going to get good gas mileage out of an outboard motor, period end of story. But running in the midrange of your RPM band will save you a little.

3. You don't "need" a fiberglass boat to compete, at least I never saw that in the rules lol. In fact there have been a few pros run aluminum boats in certain tournaments where fiberglass boats were at a disadvantage. Fiberglass boats do offer more advantages than disadvantages though like more storage, smoother ride, and a lot easier to fish out of in wind.

4. Being concerned about fuel mileage is not uncommon. In fact I bet that more guys take this into consideration than you think when they decide where they are gonig to spend their time on the water, even in tournaments. There is nothing wrong with saving a little gas and fishing areas closer to the launch. Rarely will you "have" to run a long ways to find fish. Sure sometimes the bite will be better on the other end of the lake and you might have a decision to make about whether to stay or make the run. But most of the time you can work smaller areas over harder because you will have more fishing time due to not spending as much time running.

5. I agree that fishing as a co-angler is probably the first step you should take, at least for the first year or two if not longer. This will let you get a better understanding of safe boating while also learning a lot of valuable information from the boaters that will help you out down the road.
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Old 10-22-11, 06:31 AM   #7
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carolina-rig-01
1. You have brought up some excellent points. I know that I couldnít compete with the pond king. Really I was looking at the boat as a go between. It would be more stable than my Huck Fin boat especially in the wind (Iím probably the only bass angler that uses a drift sock) But also the pond king could be rigged with a 25-30 hp motorÖ.something I couldnít do with my boat. The down side ids that boat runs around 3500-5000 and that would be a good down payment on a new or used boat. As far as the gas goes I think part of that is Iíve become accustom to fishing for free. Las year I was on the water a lot! Trying to learn sometimes just motoring around looking but it was still time on the water. I want to tournament fish but wouldnít be cool if I could only fish when I show up for tournamentsÖ.not practical either if I wanted to ever place. I did fish as a co-angler several yrs back and I didnít like it but it was because it was a local club and I was paired with the same angler every time. He was a shore anglerÖ.not me, but more importantly I was learning new things being with the same guy. I just need to step my game up! Iím a diehard crankbait angler but Iíve got to put more styles into my arsenal. Iím not a run and gun type guy but I wanted to hear others thoughts on the bass boat! I appreciate it
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Old 10-22-11, 06:48 AM   #8
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Well back to square one again ,in any national org your pond king wont be allowed to enter,25 hp or not,local jar t yes as they are run what ya brung.
3,500-5000 will buy a pretty decent alum rig that will qualify,and aba also has a nonboater cat that permits 5 fish and costs 80 bucks to enter,the weekend series is bass.aba costing 100 and three fish,bfl 5 fish main difference being aba and 80 also gets one their half of the time on the water,latter two your a high paying passenger who goes where the boat does.
Remember that as goes both ways you may draw a pard.
You may have been getting away cheap on gas as didnt use any,but 25 hp wont use ten dollars worth unless you just like to put around.
I dont use over 20-30 in a 150-200 as try to fish near by holes,spend my time with a rod in hand,imagine now fishing those same holes with a few more added with a gas rig,unless your catching them inbetween then covering the holes spending less time getting to each one should mean something,
I play it like golf 9 hole course,occasionally play thu or skip one but always coming back to a good hole as will hit again later.All 9 in a five mile area.
Basically a pontoon boat isnt considered a bass boat,surely one can fish from one,and have a nice time.
There is no dilemma ,they wont let you compete with a toon,in any national org.
One needs a bass boat not a bass buggy,bass deck boat or pond jumper,certain length,livewell ,kill sw,gas operated,no stick steering must have steering wheel no tiller motors,no inboard motors.Another reason many stick to jar T as national orgs have set rules.
$3500 will generally buy a decent used tracker 16-17 ft with a 25-50 hp on it,already rigged to fish.

Last edited by lilmule; 10-22-11 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 10-22-11, 07:04 AM   #9
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$3500-$5000? That's a nice bass boat in my opinion, where do you live that you don't have C.L.? Skip the Pontoon, get a Bass Boat, sell the Foldcat(should be able to get nearly a grand for it).

Last edited by Dogmatic; 10-22-11 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 10-22-11, 09:18 AM   #10
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i agree with dog. for 3-5 grand oyu can get a REALLY nice glass or aluminum bass boat. see them all over here.
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Old 10-23-11, 07:10 AM   #11
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Haha no I know the tournaments wont let me in with the foldcat I was only allowed to fish some of the locals because Iím sure they didnít think I had a chance to win. Good info though thanks.
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Old 10-23-11, 07:04 PM   #12
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Hey Crankbait, check out Craiglist under boats.. I see LOTS of nice bass boats for 3-$5000 that would make good starter tourney boats... just a thought.
Select states /cities & areas close to big name lakes.. like Roanoke-- Close to Smith Mtn. Lake.. etc.
i fished outta a 9 foot bass tracker tub for 12 years.. I feel your pain.
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Old 10-23-11, 08:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaminVa View Post
Hey Crankbait, check out Craiglist under boats.. I see LOTS of nice bass boats for 3-$5000 that would make good starter tourney boats... just a thought.
Select states /cities & areas close to big name lakes.. like Roanoke-- Close to Smith Mtn. Lake.. etc.
i fished outta a 9 foot bass tracker tub for 12 years.. I feel your pain.
Thanks SaminVa.... your right i should be on craigslist
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Old 10-23-11, 10:57 PM   #14
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Craigs list is a great idea.... my buddy (15 yrs old) found a 86 ranger bought it for 4000 its an 18 footer with a 175 on it. And little by little he gets some money and buys carpet or other things he has fixed it up really nice.... haha that kid starts driveing next month
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Old 10-24-11, 05:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Craigs list is a great idea.... my buddy (15 yrs old) found a 86 ranger bought it for 4000 its an 18 footer with a 175 on it. And little by little he gets some money and buys carpet or other things he has fixed it up really nice.... haha that kid starts driveing next month
Awesome......i wished i had kept the rod in my hand and not been so consumed with football
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Old 10-24-11, 06:11 PM   #16
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I compete regularly with my Tracker and I only run a 90. Gas mileage is fine and I run 40+.
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Old 10-24-11, 07:17 PM   #17
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hmmmm i'm getting some good info!!!! Bass boat here i come!
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Old 10-24-11, 07:42 PM   #18
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also check bass boat central they have some good deals
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Old 10-24-11, 08:29 PM   #19
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For 3-5 grand you should take a look at some of the late 80's early 90's 17 foot Bullets. They can be had for that around that price range and are really good boats. Light, fast, but they suffer in big waves.

Just found this in the Nashville list... Worth the drive if it runs correctly

http://nashville.craigslist.org/boa/2633001052.html
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