View Full Version : Seeking advice for boat and getting started

05-22-2018, 07:25 AM
Thanks for taking a look at this thread I posted on this same topic over in the North Carolina section of this forum but figured I'd post here and see what kind of information came back as well. I am looking for advice and input on boats and getting started to Crappie fish. Our family boat is a pontoon and we love it but I'm wanting to get something small that I can easily manage by myself in the water and launching and loading. I've had my eye on some aluminum boats, likely a 16' boat with a small tiller motor. Honestly I'd be fine with a 25hp. I don't plan on running from one end of the lake to the other and don't plan to do any kind of trounement fishing. Just looking for something small and easy to operate. A good trolling motor and Sonar are both a must. What do I need to look for or stay away from? I've fished with a friend who had a 25hp motor on a smaller boat and I honestly felt like it was plenty for us to run around in but I have another friend who says he likes more motor. In a boat this size I am leaning towards tiller steer to save room that the console would take up.

Once I've got the boat I'll be drooling to put some fish in it. Likely will be fishing the Yadkin lakes. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the most productive and best ways to learn how to catch crappie for someone farily new into the game. Of course nothing will beat getting on the water and fishing.

05-22-2018, 07:41 AM
They are dozens of aluminum boat manufacturers that make a good product.

A 14-16' Semi-V with a 25-30hp tiller is a great do-all IMO. Will still take some waves without giving you a shower, and they still retain a lot of stability due to the flat stern. The wider the better, I would not go any narrower than 48".

I have a 14' Alumacraft F7 Semi-V with a Johnson 25hp. It will do 29 mph loaded and hop on plane in a second. Easy to load/unload, easy on fuel, will handle some pretty rough water if you can hang on, and it's very stable.

Javelin 180
05-22-2018, 07:56 AM
If you haven't seen one look at a stick steer boat most are around 16' I personally don't own one I can see one in my future when I get a little older but seems like everybody that owns one loves it just might be something you would want to look at.

Erin Brewer
05-22-2018, 08:03 AM
The biggest thing is finding a boat that will work for the type of fishing you plan on doing. Will you be spider rigging, long lining, pulling cranks, or just going around casting? If you plan on spider rigging I would say get something that can handle a little bit of rough water, something with a mod v hull. Flat bottom boats will work but they bounce alot more when spider rigging. I started out in a 1436 flat bottom jon with a 25hp, still have it and love it but when the crappie are out deep and I have to troll, I have now a tracker 175 with a 60hp. Only weird thing is the tracker will only run 3mph faster than my jon so its not about speed its about comfort.

05-22-2018, 08:24 PM
I ran a 15' Monark boat for 3 yrs. It was my first boat that I purchased. It was a semi v bottom 42" at the top beam. To me it was too narrow and it wobbled side to side alot easpecially if it was windy. Like another said, no narrower than 48" for stability. I tightlined stumps and also fished deep in the winter out of that boat and enjoyed the fish I caught. Whatever you decide on I wish you the best.

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05-22-2018, 10:03 PM
Don't be afraid to fish from a small flat bottom unless you are going to run the big lakes. I have caught more fish from my 14' Duracraft with a 15hp than I will ever catch from my 175 Tracker. At my age the bigger boat is just more comfortable.

05-23-2018, 04:23 AM
I fish from a Monarch stick steer, and I love it. With the bow mount foot control trolling motor, I shoot docks pretty easily, and I'm set up to pull from up front. Like Stovall said it is a bit narrow.

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05-23-2018, 05:47 AM
For what you describe, something along this line would fit well.


Most boat companies have a similar model. I had a G3 1448lw riveted boat and fished 2 people all the time. With a 25 Merc it would run 27 fishing ready and packed livewell.

05-23-2018, 07:29 AM
A 16' wide V-hull with that 25 HP tiller will serve you very well. It's adaptable to many types of presentations and techniques. If you elect to go to a flat bottom design, be aware, that even with that smaller 25 hp engine, you will get wet, steering from the stern. Just the nature of the beast. This is why I prefer a V-hull. Much dryer ride in adverse water conditions. JMO!

05-23-2018, 08:05 AM
Had one and loved it!
If you haven't seen one look at a stick steer boat most are around 16' I personally don't own one I can see one in my future when I get a little older but seems like everybody that owns one loves it just might be something you would want to look at.

05-23-2018, 11:29 AM
Had one and loved it!

My fishing partner & I have been fishing out of one of these for the past 30+ years. Excellent boat for many types of fishing. However, as I said above, the guy in the rear of the boat is going to have a wet ride in rough water. Just the nature of the beast. Not intolerable, but as long as you are aware of that (and the guy in the back of the boat faces aft while running), this would be an excellent choice.

05-23-2018, 11:31 AM
I prefer a deep v tiller and it works well in small lakes up to big lakes. As for motor size, stick to the manufactures recommendation. Too small of a motor and you won't get on plane. If your lakes have to restrictions, use that as a guide to the boat/motor combination. Again sticking to man. recommendation.
I fish everything from 300 acres to Canadian shield lakes in all types of weather. Rough seas don't bother me.

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05-23-2018, 05:56 PM
4 stroke motor would be my first requirement. Stick Steer would be my second requirement.
Look at this one.

river scum
05-23-2018, 07:55 PM
i have had a 16ft lowe jumbo semi-v for several years now and love it. it had the middle seat removed and a flor dropped in. it is great for walking around, very stable, and light weight. if i wana go up in shallow bays and back waters i can do so. i can even pull it up over logs that block the creeks. the 20hp moves it rite along too. i spend many hours in it every week and wouldnt trade it for a ranger! well i would, but just to sell the ranger and up date the 16ft semi-v and evinrude. lmao

wannabe fisherman
05-24-2018, 05:39 AM
on getting started- - if you have never backed a boat trailer or any trailer for that matter take it to a large parking lot and do a little practicing with it. People at the launch site will love you for that. :ThumbsUp

05-24-2018, 06:14 PM
Had a 16' stick steer and wish I still had it. A 1648 jon and a 25 hp would be my all around choice, and wish I could find one cheap right about now. They do get you a little wet but I know they are more stable than the round bottom v hull Lund I had previous to the stick boat. The size of the water you plan on frequenting would be my deciding factor. Smaller waters, or less run time, and it's a hands down flat bottom. The 25 is a good choice, but insist on electric start and try your best for forward shifting, not leaning back over the transom in rough conditions and getting off balance to shift. If you do go with a v-hull, look into the newer models with reverse chines. Much more stable. Just my opinion, and thanks for listening.