New to Forum and need some advice on boats for tournaments
Hello! I am Bob (with one O) from Orlando, FL. I am a complete newbie to fishing/boating. My teenage son was the one who has been pond hoping and got me to throw a line in with him a few weeks ago. I am now hooked! He/I wants to start fishing small tournaments around central Fl. We do not have a boat and that's what I am requesting. What is a good solid make/model for beginners with a 10K budget that can grow with us? Not looking to take over the bass fishing scene, just looking to spend time with my boys and catch a few fish along the way.
Thank in advance and can't wait to learn a new hobby!
I started with a Tracker 175 aluminum. Used it for seven years before making the jump to a glass boat. Won plenty of tournaments out of that boat and still wish I had it when the bite is super shallow. A tin boat is great on smaller lakes and in less than windy conditions. If you are wanting to fish big bodies of water I would recommend a 19 ft glass boat. It would be much safer on bigger rougher water.
Hello Bob, When I started out bass fishing I was much like yourself, I didn't really know what I wanted. Yes, I was on a budget too. I started out with a aluminum boat, and caught a lot of fish out of it. Fast forward...... 2 Rangers, and now a Bullet, I would recommend at least an 18 footer, with a 150hp. Just my 2 cents.
Bob, you can find a good used bass boat in your price range. Just so you know I live on a lake, I fish out of a 2000 year Ranger. I've had it for several years and it looks and performs like a new one and when I bought it from a Ranger dealer and what I paid was in your price range.
Im selling a 17.5 ft skeeter with a Yamaha 130. If you're interested I can meet you and show you all the ins and outs! I'm located in Jax. I used it as a beginner boat myself but I plan on upgrading soon. It's also 4k under your budget. =)
A buddy of mine has a Tracker with a 60 hp Merc 4 stroke. That thing has a very stable fishing platform. It runs like 35 mph.
I've seen alot of guys fish tourneys out of those. Some of us (me) are hardcore tourney fishermen, and it's hard for us (me too) to understand why anyone would get a boat for tourneys under a 150 hp.
That said, since you are just starting, and only fishing small local tourneys, an aluminum 17-18 ft boat with a 60hp would work fine. Keep in mind, you are new so it will get banged up a bit learning to trailer it and controlling it with the trolling motor as well. A windy day can be tough to control sometimes.
A fiberglass boat is prettier, and most guys want to keep it that way, So learning, in a pretty fiberglass boat, may not be right for a beginner. There will be scratches/gouges that happen...And that can be heartbreaking on a shiny fiberglass boat you just got.
Then again...Once you get the hang of things, IF you like the tourney thing, you will want a faster boat.
Just some things to keep in mind.
I started with the small aluminum Tracker (16 footer with 75 hp) long ago and they are decent for beginners but you will quickly find that you will want a bigger boat if you fish tournaments. I strongly recommend finding a good used brand name boat (Ranger, skeeter, Triton etc) with a 150hp. You will be much happier and won't be looking for a bigger, better boat months later. You can find a well kept 10-15 year old boat within your price range. Make sure the boats been garage kept and well maintained. Get a mechanic to check the engine before purchase.