Big Jon to catfish rig?

Discussion in 'Boat Modification Journal' started by SCcatman, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. SCcatman

    SCcatman New Member

    Messages:
    64
    State:
    South Carolina
    Hello all, new member here and love this site. I have always been a bass man but last summer I caught catfish fever and now want to convert my Lowe 1448 big jon into a catfish rig.

    First, is this boat to small for this? should I buy a larger boat for weekend catfishing?

    Oh, im in South Carolina and mostly fish on Lake Wateree.

    I currently have a raised casting deck up front that I plan to take out and just put a wood floor lying on the ribs on the bottom of the boat. I have a livewell built into the center bench I plan to use for a bait tank, any other suggestions?

    I really would like to remove the center bench and open up the boat but have read that's not a great idea??

    Attached is a stock photo of my boat.

    Thanks!:roll_eyes:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. dusty1529

    dusty1529 New Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    Winamac, IN.
    Welcome to the BOC!!!

    I have the same boat and have it set up to mainly catfish but I do have a full front deck for bass fishing and bow fishing. I love the size of my boat but I fish mainly in a small river in Indiana. A friend of mine took the center seat out of a boat like ours and has had nothing but troubles since. The two main things for me are a good comfortable seat and sturdy rod holders. But anything that you can do to organize things and keep them off the floor helps so you arent tripping over stuff or looking all over to find something in the dark.
     

  3. Trapper-steve

    Trapper-steve Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,101
    State:
    Bicknell, IN
    Welcome Jeremy, to the BOC.
    I have a lowe 1448 that I use up here in Indiana on the small rivers works fine, but I don't know of the lake you plan so I will let somebody from your area answer do want to get you hurt.
     
  4. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    Welcome to the BoC and the world of Catfishin......... You wont wanna bass fish again once you hook a giant Cat ; )

    -Jim-
     
  5. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Hey brother, I don't know too much about boat construction so I will leave that to the experts.

    Welcome to the BOC, this site is full of good info and great people. Good luck fishing
     
  6. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Welcome!

    Please don't go removing your flotation. It's the only thing standing between your boat and the bottom of the lake when things go south. And things do go south.:sad2:
     
  7. o'boro cat hunter

    o'boro cat hunter New Member

    Messages:
    1,869
    State:
    kentucky
    Fished that boat on the Ohio River all year last year:smile2::smile2:That is a sturdy boat ,Always pay attention to weather reports,win speed and bigger boats you'll be fine. Good Luck
     
  8. o'boro cat hunter

    o'boro cat hunter New Member

    Messages:
    1,869
    State:
    kentucky
    wind
     
  9. jkm4874ford

    jkm4874ford New Member

    Messages:
    115
    State:
    Bowling Green,
    If the boat worked well for bass fishing in similar water it should more than fine for catfish. Don't know that I would get rid of the casting deck up front just yet you may find it handy while working the fallen trees and bank areas. Welcome aboard.
     
  10. grandpa7

    grandpa7 Member

    Messages:
    72
    State:
    alabama
    welcome to the BOC jeremy. theres more good info on here about anything that has to do with fishing than you can process or remember in a lifetime
    :smile2:
     
  11. Poppa

    Poppa New Member

    Messages:
    1,233
    State:
    Pinson, Al
    I have fished out of a Lowe Big Jon 1648 for 25 years and have had no
    problem. Mine is a true flat bottom and not the modified vee like yours
    mine makes for a rough ride if the river has a chop. I have thought about
    taking out the middle seat also but decided against it. You would loose
    the flotation under the seat plus might weaken the sides your boat.
     
  12. Trapper-steve

    Trapper-steve Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,101
    State:
    Bicknell, IN
    If you put wood floor in be sure not to use treated wood it has adverse reaction with aluminum. :sad2:
     
  13. BobbyLee

    BobbyLee New Member

    Messages:
    858
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohio
    Welcome to the BOC Jeremy. You'll find a good home here. Your boat should be just fine for cattin'. Welcome aboard...
     
  14. tunnel hull

    tunnel hull New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    SO.il.
    the best catfish boat is the one YOU own an thats payed for>>what ever it is brother.. The people on this site are the BEST !! Do'nt be afraid to take pics of step by step production and ask the people what they think ALOT of wisdom here..The people here on the ( BOC ) are the best it gets ...Remember it is hard to see what a fella is thiking so thats why pics. are inportant in boat-modifications ..WELCOME ABOARD....RED LED's ARE were its at IMO..:cool2:
     
  15. SCcatman

    SCcatman New Member

    Messages:
    64
    State:
    South Carolina
    Thanks for the welcome and comments.

    I have not used this boat in the lake I plan to fish, I just have always bass fished in small lakes around the house (100-300 acres in size) Lake wateree is a pretty large lake and all my experience in it has been on friends or relatives boats.

    I understand about the flotation and support the center bench gives to the rig, only question is I have is, they sell boats without a center bench in them, how are they structured different? If I had aluminum ribs added to the floor and walls where the bench is will this not support the boat? Im thinking I may just look to buy a open center boat since that's what I really want.

    I have a 1999 25hp Johnson outboard, would this be enough power for a 16 -18 footer? I am not in a huge hurry when I hit the lake.

    Thanks
     
  16. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,502
    State:
    Napoleon, Mo.
    Welcome to the BOC Jeremy.
     
  17. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    There are several NCS (No Center Seat) boats made, both welded and riveted, flat bottomed and modified v.

    The 25 will be fine if you resist the urge to start adding weight in the form of decks, carpet, seats, trolling motors, batteries, extra fuel, bait tanks, etc, etc, etc. Otherwise, I'm afraid not.
     
  18. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    Welcome to the BOC from Bennettsville, Jeremy. I run a 25 hp on my 16 foot Carolina Skiff. Works fine.

    Bill in SC
     
  19. ateamfisherman

    ateamfisherman New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Texas
    Welcome to the fishin place. This is where it happens from boat fixin to sinker makin. join have fun and well try to help. Thanks Sam Davis
     
  20. baptistpreach

    baptistpreach New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Oklahoma!
    I'm modding a jon boat and have done quite a bit of reading

    Here's my .02...

    Can you take out your center seat?

    YES!!

    You should add the rib like you mentioned, and you will not lose any stablility. As to the flotation, you can add some on your own in quite a few different places if you're concerned about that.

    Will your 25hp be enough?

    Definitely. Even if you add decks, batteries, etc, you will be more than fine.

    Is a 1448 big enough for catting?

    Absolutely. I'm looking for one right now, and I have a 1436 modded for catting. You'll be fine, go with it! I can't wait to see the finished results. If you're really curious, this website will be a great help to you:
    ............. - if you decide to join, tell them I sent you... it gets me.... hmm... nothing actually.:cool2: