W A L L E Y E   H U N T E R
Fishing Articles by Samuel Forbes
The New Boat Bug
By Samuel Forbes
It's that time of year again. What time is that, you ask? Well, it's the last few weeks of winter rolling by and heading us right into spring time. It's the time of year that generally brings about something I refer to as the, new boat bug. It affects most of us at one time or another and maybe this year the bug has bitten you. If so, than you have probably fallen into a state of enjoyable confusion. The thought of that first trip to the lake in your new boat is ever so appealing but what boat will you be in?. All day long your head is filled with questions about horse power, aluminum or fiber glass, fishability, size, and brands. With the plethora of factors that now occupy your mind, buying your new boat can prove to be a challenge.
Well never fear, by breaking down this decision into a few simple categories, you will be netting fish from that new rig in no time and feeling confident about your selection.
One of the first factors to consider is your budget and exactly just how much you are willing to spend on the new boat. It really comes down to priority. Someone that fishes 200 days every year, would probably be inclined to spend more than a guy who goes out a couple of weekends during the summer. Setting a price range will narrow the search and head you in the right direction.
Now consider the style, or type, of boat that would best to accommodate your needs. When looking around, you will find low profile bass boats with large flat decks, deep-v walleye boats, and even fish and ski combo rigs that are set up for fishing as well as family fun. What species of fish do you pursue the most? What tactics do you employ the most frequently? By asking yourself questions like these, it won't be long until you start to get a clear mental picture of that new boat.
Next, examine size and how it would be relevant. Since a boat should be as functional as possible, try to figure out where you fish the most and go from there. If Lake Erie is your prominent destination, than your choice will obviously be a good sized boat as compared to fishing primarily the shallow rivers of the east, where that same boat would not work well. It really comes down to a compromise. Make a lists of the places you like to fish or would like to try, and choose a model that best suits what you are trying to do. A few more questions to ask yourself could be, if the boat is being stored in the garage, what size would properly fit? Is your tow vehicle adequate to pull this much weight? How many people would you normally take along? Personally, I have always felt that something in the 16-18 foot range can handle a wide variety of lakes and rivers, and accommodate a variety of situations.
One of the last things to look at are the details that can really make your boat enjoyable, comfortable, and convenient. Such things as sizable rod lockers, tackle storage space, seating arrangements, and even adequate battery compartments. I would advise spending some time just sitting in prospective boats making sure that everything is suitable. Contemplate different fishing situations and see if this rig would meet your criteria. Maybe bring your fishing buddy along and see what pros and cons he notices.
Well, now you basically have it all picked out. The only thing left is choosing a dealer. This too, is nothing to be taken lightly. The dealer can be very instrumental in making this a pleasurable experience. This is the place that will handle all of your rigging, repairs, possibly financing, and any questions you may have. Don't just go with the closest dealership. Shop around and go with the people who will give you the best service. Driving a few extra miles can really save some headaches later down the road.
So, if you are one of the lucky people getting a new rig this season, consider some of the factors mentioned here, and hopefully making your choice will be fun and rewarding. Take your time, shop around, and pick the boat that is right for you.
By the way, my new boat should be here in a few weeks and I can't wait. When deciding upon which one to buy, I thought about everything mentioned above and went with the Lund Pro-V. I found the quality, layout, and fishability to be the best for my needs. You can check them out at www.Lundboats.com, they may have just the boat you are looking for! If you live in the east, feel free to e-mail me and I will put you in touch with my dealer. See you on the water!!
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