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  1. #1
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    Speed, what's the big deal?

    Hello all. Newbie here. I have decided to get into bass fishing a little more seriously, so my john boat just isn't going to work anymore. I've looked at A LOT of posts, forums, articles and looked at some boats. A 86 Ranger 18' 371v (solid but wear and tear showing), a 1995 Javelin 377a (wasn't taken care of well), and will be going to look at a 88 Hydra Sport tomorrow if I can get the guy nailed down.

    My question is, as someone who's completely new to big boating, what's the obsession with speed that I see? I can't see why it's so important to go 70+ mph. Am I missing something, or do I "just not get it"? It's fun to go fast, no doubt, but does it have a purpose?

    Also, please feel free to give me any advice on type, brand, length, etc of boat a beginning bass boater might need to know. I am trying to research and soak in as much info as possible. I don't fish what I consider big water. I'm in TN and Center Hill, Percy Priest, Dale Hollow, Cordell Hull, Old Hickory are all within an hour of me, so I figure we'll start there lol. Appreciate any info or thoughts you have!

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  3. Member
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    #2
    Fast=Fun

  4. Member SoonerFan's Avatar
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    #3
    Speed is only a factor during tournament competition. In the morning at takeoff the angler wants to get to their "spot" as fast as possible and before the competition gets to it. Speed is important when moving from one spot to another and also at the end of the day. A guy with a fast boat may be able to fish 5 or 10 minutes longer before heading back in for a 3:00 weigh in. The idea is more line in water time and less driving time.

    Anybody else that is concerned with speed is just wanting to see how well they can get their boat dialed in. And, going fast is fun.
    Don't worry Ma'am....
    I'm only here for the
    Bass.

  5. Member J Risco's Avatar
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    #4
    1. (and that is in big bold print for a reason) It's FUN!

    2. It's nice to be able to get somewhere fast in a tourney, whether Im beating someone else to a hole, or just saving time which equals more fishing time.

    3. The faster a boat is, the faster it's cruise/economy speed will be... while some guys have to ride WFO and suck down gas to run 65, my boat is cruising along at half (maybe 2/3) throttle getting twice the MPG they are getting. To get the same MPG they would have to be going 40ish.

    In the end, it's a preference thing, and not for everyone. Some of us just like a fast boat, others dont, neither is right or wrong. Up to you to decide what you want.



    2007 BassCat Pantera II w/ Yamaha SHO
    "There is no such thing as a bad day fishing!"

  6. Member
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    #5
    I was in your shoes 4 years ago when I bought my first boat. I bought a 1990 Skeeter SX 175 and fixed her up nice. She's a beauty and she fishes as good as any boat out there. I was focused on what I could afford and didn't see the sense in spending the money and time on making it go an extra couple MPH. After 4 years of fishing hard though I see that with a bigger motor and boat you can fish hard AND GO FAST, which as everyone else said is fun! Now I'm in the market for a bigger boat and bigger motor since I can afford it. Not a necessity at all, but still want to do it.

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    #6
    So it's pretty much a tournament thing then. I was assuming so, and definately see why it's important there. A boat's mpg economy is a great point. I don't mind fast, as long as it's for a reason haha. When I get dialed in and comfortable with a bigger boat and start fishing tournaments, you bet I want to get to the spot as fast as possible. Thankfully I have a buddy that's fished for years and will help me learn how to operate and be safe.

    Now, boat motors. The boats I've looked at all had Mercury 150s. Seems to be pretty popular on the level of boats I'm looking at. Any suggestions on motors that I definitely need to watch for, either good or bad? I've seen a ton of no go's on the Fitch built motors.

  8. Member J Risco's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by gollygee View Post
    So it's pretty much a tournament thing then. I was assuming so, and definately see why it's important there. A boat's mpg economy is a great point. I don't mind fast, as long as it's for a reason haha. When I get dialed in and comfortable with a bigger boat and start fishing tournaments, you bet I want to get to the spot as fast as possible. Thankfully I have a buddy that's fished for years and will help me learn how to operate and be safe.

    Now, boat motors. The boats I've looked at all had Mercury 150s. Seems to be pretty popular on the level of boats I'm looking at. Any suggestions on motors that I definitely need to watch for, either good or bad? I've seen a ton of no go's on the Fitch built motors.
    For the 150 family really the only one you really have to avoid is the Ficht. The Merc EFI's, OMC Fast Strike/Intruders (really any carb OMC), and Yami Vmaxs (EFI and HPDI) are all very good reliable engines. The carb mercs like XR4 are very good and reliable too, just harder to cold start.

    Learn how to check compression and do that before buying any outboard. A seller shouldnt mind if you do and it will tell you a lot about the health of the engine.
    2007 BassCat Pantera II w/ Yamaha SHO
    "There is no such thing as a bad day fishing!"

  9. Member
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by J Risco View Post
    For the 150 family really the only one you really have to avoid is the Ficht. The Merc EFI's, OMC Fast Strike/Intruders (really any carb OMC), and Yami Vmaxs (EFI and HPDI) are all very good reliable engines. The carb mercs like XR4 are very good and reliable too, just harder to cold start.

    Learn how to check compression and do that before buying any outboard. A seller shouldnt mind if you do and it will tell you a lot about the health of the engine.
    Good info. I appreciate it. Like I said, it's a big step up from piddling around with a trolling motor in a 12' john boat! I will find a compression tester to have handy.

  10. Member J Risco's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by gollygee View Post
    Good info. I appreciate it. Like I said, it's a big step up from piddling around with a trolling motor in a 12' john boat! I will find a compression tester to have handy.
    You can find relatively inexpensive comp testers at your local auto parts store, most come with the common spark plug thread attachments. It doesnt need to be an expensive one because mostly you are just looking to see that all 6 cylinders are close to each other in psi, and anything around 105psi is normal for most 2 stroke outboards (every outboard and tester is different so some might be 115, others 95, but whatever a particular combo shows all 6 holes should be within 5-10 psi or less of each other). Lots of youtube vids to show you how to do a comp test.

    Other important things to look at are the transom and hull, make sure they are structurally sound and there is no water intrusion. Again, lots of info in the Novice boaters forum.
    2007 BassCat Pantera II w/ Yamaha SHO
    "There is no such thing as a bad day fishing!"

  11. Member
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    #10
    Number 1 is FUN, but beyond that I use to do a lot of run and gun point fishing and the speed and a good hole shot was handy for that. Not to mention getting back to the ramp quickly when a storm was blowing in.
    Speed cost money. How fast ya wanna go? I have done so much for so long with so little. I can now do the impossible with nothing!

  12. Member lilduckx3's Avatar
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    #11
    Be careful on that hydrosport. they ride very rough and the older models had an issue with the cap and the hull coming apart
    2016 RT 188

  13. Member
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    #12
    lilduckx3, I guess it's all relative, as I've had others say that Hydro Sports were just fine. In fact I found one yesterday randomly on Facebook that was a 98 and it shined like she was brand new and I couldn't get there fast enough to lay some cash on the table. Sold within 2 hours of being posted. So I guess there's a market for them. From all my research and looking at stuff, it looks like what I can afford are somewhere around mid-90's 18 footers like HydroSport, Javelin, Stratos. I grew up in a john boat with a trolling motor and being behind a steering wheel on the water is going to be a learning curve, so I was just curious as to why it was so important to go fast! Other than the big grin I'm sure haha

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    #13
    High speed, on water no brakes, no experience on boats that go fast will kill you or someone else, speed and hit a wave wrong well guess.

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    #14
    I sent you a pm.

  16. Member
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    #15
    Everyone around here holds it to about 50 in the morning. Its not getting there first, its just get there. Where it comes in nice is like on the river, trying to get away from everyone. Then your 40 to 60 mile trips come into play

  17. Member tav's Avatar
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    #16
    i had a 2003 16' stratos javlin (160J) it had a 40 on it and topped out at 28, awesome starter boat.... it did good for me the last 4 yrs. then i got into a bass club and wanted put my boat in.....couldn't do that ,not enogh live well room.
    so i bought a 92 ranger 175 2 stk. she does 52 @ 4900, gotta change the prop to max her out (motor wise). it's another reason to go fast
    checking your speed from prop change. but if you buy your bass boat with a good motor set up i guarantee you'll be flying down the lake at 50 mph.
    SFC TAVALOZZI US ARMY NATIONAL GUARD.......HOOOAH!! (20 YRS AND
    2013 Silverado crew cab 4x4
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  18. Member
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    #17
    dkibat, I agree. That's why I'm not concerned about getting a jet first thing. Maybe if/when I start fishing tournaments in a couple of years or something I might want to get faster, but I have a healthy respect for speed and how it can hurt you. I don't go that fast in a car, motorcycle (well, maybe just a squeeze on the throttle occasionally), or boat.

  19. Member
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    #18
    It's a lot about testosterone.
    2017 Phoenix 618Pro

  20. Member
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    #19
    I don't tournament fish at all, but run a Skeeter with a 300hp. It is about covering water, run time on big water is not productive, faster means more time fishing. I top out just short of 80mph, don't run wide open all the time, but do it enough. Also when top end is 80, it runs 50's like a stroll through the park.

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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TableRock55 View Post
    It's a lot about testosterone.
    This...

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