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help with boat

Im a crappie and pan fisherman guy from ky that brought the family down to Everglades city twice in the winter and we fell in LOVE with the place. I came with my wife and 2 kids under 9, a aluminum bass boat, and a hot spot map and to say it was a adventure is a understatement. There is no way to look cool while your thigh deep in water pushing your family off a sand bar!:wink We mainly fished around Russell pass and Indian key and made memories that will last a lifetime. Now im getting rid of the bass boat and need something i can use down there in the winter and up here in the summer. I want a flats boat but might be better suited with a skiff since there will nearly always be 4 people on board. Also i think i need at least a 19 ft. Ive looked at a 218 dlv Carolina skiff and a 19 ft spyder sundance and a ton of used boats that were similar priced( hewes, action craft, triton etc) PLEASE give me your input because we have out grown the Tracker anyway. Now i know that running skinny is a must down there but i also want to try the wrecks sometime. Cant wait to get back and hope yall can stand another snowbird, Id move the farm if i could!!:cool:


  • SnookMagnetSnookMagnet Senior Member Posts: 122 Deckhand
    Stay away from Carolina Skiff and other flat-bottom boats. The ride is horrible in a chop. Sounds like you need a "Bay Boat" - Pathfinder seems to be the most popular down here, but that market is also filled by Ranger, Skeeter, Actioncraft, and others at a lower price point. Don't get too hung up on running "skinny" as most of the water you will fish if you are gonna be a "backcountry" fisherman is at least a couple of feet deep. And when it comes to running in and out on lower tides, either use launches into channels that are deep all the way to the gulf (like Rod and Gun), or learn the area and know where you can and can't run for your draft. For the most part we aren't stalking fish in super skinny water like they do for bonefish and redfish and Florida Bay and the Keys. Similarly, don't think you need a boat with a poling platform and push pole as 99% of the guys that have those never use them here. What's most important for what you describe is a open layout and a v-hull so the ride is comfortable when running long distances in a chop. Not saying you should get a barge, but you don't really need a flatsboat that floats in spit.
  • nightflynightfly Senior Member naples,flPosts: 506 Officer
    I agree with the above statement. If your fishing 4 people your going to want more of a boat and not a skiff. A bunch of the guides in the area typically run a 22' to 24' bay boat. Bring the family and have fun.
  • Pucker FactorPucker Factor Senior Member PTZPosts: 875 Officer
    You some degree I am torn. The winter fishing takes a skinny water boat with the generally lower highs and lower lows. Not sold on the bay boat to be precise. I do think about it from time to time.

    With that said, there are limitations to a bay boat and definite advantages. Just realize what they are fishing the 10K in the winter.

    I have had my eye on this boat, but it has since sold.

    If I had my choice and money was not an object, I would probably go with a 24' Yellowfin Bay. You did not mention a price range.

    Now I think if I were interested in upgrading my 1981 20' Mako (semi V' floats in about 11/12") and holding onto the tunnel hull I think I would be looking at the 22' Lake and Bay. I have been on both the 20's and think they are a good boat.

    If you finally say the heck with it, here is another option:
  • muchocincomuchocinco Junior Member Posts: 20 Greenhorn
    thanks guys for your input! I thought the 218 0r 238 dlv skiff with the small amount of v would be fine but I see yalls point of view also. 10k is a hard place to choose a boat for. I have been looking at the bay boats yall mentioned and the only thing I see is some draft over a foot. Last winter the depth finder said .8 at a lot of the small creeks going through small openings along Russell pass. I agree the bay boat would be best for the kids. Keep the ideas coming and if you guys have a boat that would fit my needs feel free to mention it. Im hooked on the 10k area and the best thing is my wife is too!
  • Caxambas KidCaxambas Kid Senior Member Posts: 238 Deckhand
    I launched/fished out of Caxambas Pass marina for 10+ years. (hence the name).
    Most fishing was south, Cape Romano and further. Shallow, yup. Deep, enough to run and be safe.
    All in a 19 foot Polar bay boat. Yes, there have been days I've gotten out and pushed off the sand/mud.
    4 people in a boat, look towards a bay boat. They may not be as sexy as a Hewes, etc, but they'll
    float a family. Plus, they have enough floor space as well as deck space for casting, etc.
    If nothing else, whatever boat you do get, enjoy the 10K Islands. They are wonderful in all 4 seasons!
    Polar 1900 Yamaha 115
  • SnookMagnetSnookMagnet Senior Member Posts: 122 Deckhand
    But you don't need to be in or pass through that 0.8 feet deep water. You should be fishing right where that drops off into 8.0 feet. Unless you plan to get into the specialty niche of sight fishing in water barely deep enough for fish to swim, there is really no need for you to ever traverse or stop in water less than a couple feet deep. Sight fishing in the shallows is not really an activity for the whole family anyway. And while the shortest distance between spot A and spot B might cross a shallow flat or bar, you can always go around. There aren't really any deep water oasis spots that are wholly locked up by shallow entrances that only the skinniest running boats can get through.

    Granted that having a shallow running boat will allow you to get away with a lot more navigation errors, but you will be sacrificing a lot of comfort and coin to give yourself that insurance. And at the end of the day we all run aground somewhere once - comes with the territory.
  • muchocincomuchocinco Junior Member Posts: 20 Greenhorn
    snookmagnet is right about the skinny water that should be avoided. I just found a 2001 century 2101 in my part of the world. Im gonna try and look at it this week. Don't have a clue why it is up here in my neck of the woods but it didn't have many pictures. I could see that the yam. had the saltwater edition decal so im guessing it came with boat. Im not comfortable getting to deep in the mangroves with that old off a outboard but who knows it could have been treated well. Up here if you have engine problem you just float to the next party cove or wait for one of the 100s of boat on the lake to go by. anybody have experience with a century 2101 of that age. the century 2201 that pucker factor liked was a lot newer I think. We all feel like a kid at Christmas cause we are going to look at the first boat that might take us back to 10k:crowd
  • SnookMagnetSnookMagnet Senior Member Posts: 122 Deckhand
    What's your budget? I'm sure some guys here know of or have seen a boat for sale that meets your needs.
  • muchocincomuchocinco Junior Member Posts: 20 Greenhorn
    Id like to stay in the low 20's. I really want a efi four stroke. I currently have a 06 carb yam. that I love but always thought the efi would be the best. I wouldn't be afraid of repowering an older boat either. The century Im going to look at would be a good candidate for that. You guys have sold me on the bay boats after doing some research. By the way, how far would yall venture out in a 22 to 24 ft boat. I think I would be very comfortable going to the piles out from pavilion but that's the only ones I know of. thanks
  • blewitupsirblewitupsir Senior Member Everglades City/Labelle FLPosts: 774 Officer
    When I started fishing here, I did so from a 21' Duracraft Draftmaster which is nothing more than a big aluminum tunnel hull John boat with a center console. Over the years I have thought about trading out many times to something more traditional, but have always opted out. The cons of my old boat are as stated before, it will beat you to death, its not set up with release wells, live wells etc, and hull slap can be pretty bad at times, but with no jackplate I can go places where the small skiffs can, it's roomy (4 people is tough to fish) cheap to run and best of all paid for. I have taken this boat out to the pavilion key barge several times over the years by myself, and also gotten greedy out there, stayed longer than I should with weather coming in and wondered if I was going to make it as I headed back in. Overall all its a very solid boat for our area. The person I would call my mentor has been fishing here since around 1940. His current boat is a 21' Carolina skiff with a 25" shaft yamaha 115 4 stroke on a jackplate. 25" because he got a deal and said ill just deal with it, that was 9 years ago. Now I will say his skeg has no paint, and may be quite worn, but I have followed him all over the glades in all tides and weathers with no issues. He only runs backcountry ( I took him fishing for triple tail and cobia this past year on the wrecks. Furtherst he'd been since WW2 when he was on a carrier), so a Carolina skiff will suffice if that's the way you decide to go that route. There is no perfect one boat to do everything we are so blessed to have here at home. I built a new 24' tower boat last year to enable me to take larger groups offshore while still being able to run the islands or snook, reds and trout when it's snotty. Love the boat, but its to big for the where I like to fish in the Everglades, to tall for the creeks and bridges etc etc. keeping my duracraft is necessary for me with my addictions. Let us know a price range and all the fine folks on here I'm sure would be glad to keep an eye out for you. Welcome to the neighborhood.
    http://hopefishing.comFishing the Florida Everglades National Park with Hope Fishing Adventures.
  • muchocincomuchocinco Junior Member Posts: 20 Greenhorn
    that's a great handle blewitupsir! somehow my earlier post got stuck up above yours. Id like to stay in the low 20's. It would be nice to have a little 16 ft skiff sitting around to head to the backcountry with a buddy. Over a 1000 mile trip with one boat is hard enough though,last winter I had brand new trailer tires by the time I got home, one some where in ga and the other somewhere in
  • blewitupsirblewitupsir Senior Member Everglades City/Labelle FLPosts: 774 Officer
    muchocinco wrote: »
    that's a great handle blewitupsir! somehow my earlier post got stuck up above yours. Id like to stay in the low 20's. It would be nice to have a little 16 ft skiff sitting around to head to the backcountry with a buddy. Over a 1000 mile trip with one boat is hard enough though,last winter I had brand new trailer tires by the time I got home, one some where in ga and the other somewhere in

    In a former life I was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialist for the army, whenever anything was missing the answer was always the same " blew it up sir", after 12 years as a commercial explosive engineer and still holding all my license and permits today, so I can do blasting when I get slow in fishing the answer still seems to fit.

    Trailering is tough, I run all over with both my boats all the time so I feel ya. Low 20s is a pretty good budget to find a darn nice boat. I'll keep my eyes out for you.
    http://hopefishing.comFishing the Florida Everglades National Park with Hope Fishing Adventures.
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