The perfect catfishing boat?

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by Mr.T, May 16, 2006.

  1. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    What features do you think should be included in the "perfect" catfishing boat? Forget cost for a minute and dream!

    I primarily drift fish in large reservoirs and occasionally fish in river current. While I'd like to be able to comfortably fish for any species, I've come to the conclusion that a "do it all" boat really doesn't do *anything* well.

    So here's the list I've come with for the perfect catfish-only boat -- A lot of this list is based on what I observed when fishing with a guide a few weeks ago and the rest is based on the things that irritate me when fishing in my current boat:

    • Large, lighted, aerated livewell - at least 50 gallons and 48" long. With hatches big enough to get a large catfish in and out of without struggling.
    • All-weather capable - the main deck (or at least most of it) should be fully enclosable and shaded for fishing in the heat of summer, in the wind, rain and freezing weather. Probably implies a dual console with full windshield and a full canvas top with removable side curtains.
    • A built-in catalytic heater for the enclosed fishing area. Keep you toasty warm on a 25 degree January day when the big blues are biting.
    • Big enough for 3 to 4 adult-size humans to fish without being on top of each other. 20 to 22 ft seems just about ideal, depending on the shape and beam of the boat.
    • Able to fish from the rear of the boat without having to climb over a raised fishing deck. Important when anchoring in a current or drifting from the rear of the boat.
    • A comfortable place to sit while waiting for a bite - close enough to the rods that you can get to them easily, without having to scramble over or around anything (raised deck, center console in the way, whatever). Swiveling captains chairs fit the bill perfectly.
    • Room for (or a built in) baitwell.
    • Room to throw a cast net without banging in to stuff on the deck, probably from the bow.
    • Plenty of flat surfaces for mounting rod holders at the rear and front of the boat. Sometimes you want to drift with the bow into the wind and sometimes with the stern into the wind, so rod holders need to be at both ends.
    • Low-intensity interior lighting so you can see the deck while night fishing.
    • Fiberglass or aluminum decking -- no carpet, nowhere. Whoever decided to carpet the inside of a fishing boat should have been shot.
    • Built-in bait cutting station with a hose for cleaning up.
    • Space to mount large-screen sonar and GPS displays
    • Tiller-handle trolling motor on the bow - no need for a fancy autopilot or even foot-controlled motor; it'll only get used in "forced drifting" when there's no wind and while looking for bait.
    • Lots of nooks and crannys for storing small stuff that you bring onboard
    • Storage for one or more large drift socks
    • Built-in rod locker with capacity for at least 8 large 8' rods
    • Built-in swiveling spot light for finding your way home in the dark

    What else would you add to the list? Or what would you change?

    And finally, does anyone know of a boat that fits this list of requirements? I know of a couple that are pretty close, but they all have one or two "deal breaker" issues.

    I'm sure everybody has different requirements and the kind of fishing you do makes a big difference in what you need, as well as the kind of weather you fish in -- if you don't fish in cold weather, you probably don't care if the boat can be enclosed and heated.
     
  2. Arkie55

    Arkie55 New Member

    Messages:
    669
    State:
    Mississippi
    After reading you "wish list" I would say you got most if not all of the needs down. I would add a few more thoughts:

    Front raised deck for the cast net throwing.
    No raised deck in the rear.
    I would perfer a modified V hull with a long rake in front
    I would opt for the foot controlled trolling motor myself.
    Floor room for several coolers. One for lunch, one for bait, and so on.
    Live well at least 60" long and deep.
    Circulation system and good drain system
    Wide flat rail all the way around the boat for rod holder bases
    At least two bilge pumps
    I would opt for a portable bait cutting station that mounts to the side of the boat. I like the hose idea for clean-up.
    I would opt for a stick steering system.
    Multiple seat mounts with at least two side by side in the back.
    As much open floor space as possible.
    As for length, I would go with 18', very wide beam, and around a 50hp 2 stroke outboard motor with tilt and trim.

    I am told that Experss or G3 will custom build a boat to your liking.
     

  3. mspratt

    mspratt New Member

    Messages:
    173
    State:
    missouri
    Long as we are dreamin....Here go's 7'bottom, 1/4'hull,All aluminum,8'5"beam,35"sides,12"draft,4"on plane,hardframe,soft top,hardwindows-side sliders/with sliding screens,stick steering/air ride seats,closed bow/anchor box and rails,full swim deck /step and ladder,kodiak marine 8.1 liter V8 396hp,engine forward walk around motor box,hamilton jet model 212 pump,hydr reverse,100 gal fuel tank,bench seats that convert to sleeper bed,in floor stoage,in floor beer cooler,and fish box,trasome bait well/recirc,multimedia system for recording those big cat catches,15" in seat LCD TV,Alpine DVA-9860 multimedia unit,CD/DVD,MP3,FM sirius sattellite radio,4 6" focal speakers in roof,JL audio subwoofer,900watt marine amp,Hitachi DS-6X20 ma vidio camera,records to DVD,remote camera and mic,Lowrance LCX-26 GPS depth finder-remote wiring for rear mount,full length storage trays,Yamaha HI thrust 8hp kicker,remote start and tilt,TR1 clod autopilot,side mount removable fish cleaning /bait prep tray,rail mount barbecue,VHF radio,CB radio,electric downriggers,cabin hearter/defrost,batt charger,washdown system,350watt inverter,wake tower,remote spotlights and rear deck lights,swing down swivel seats beside engine cover with swing out cup holders,mag/EZE anchor release system activate fore or aft,LED nav lights,indide roof trays with tackle storage,portapottie in rear bench seat,and any thing else that will make u happy,maybe a brass pole for the dancin girls:roll_eyes: :eek:oooh: :big_smile:
     
  4. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    Yeh,everything you all said!!!
     
  5. solomon

    solomon New Member

    Messages:
    735
    State:
    MS
    mspratt I think you forgot the french maid.
     
  6. Rivercat2

    Rivercat2 New Member

    Messages:
    76
    State:
    Morton,Illinois
    My perfect cat boat would be a 24ft 72in. Seaark jon boat

    125 treadplate floor
    30 gal. fuel tank in front
    two side console moved up three ft from the back bench so you can turn around and watch your rods.
    60gal livewell in the back
    30gal shad tank in front of the console
    storage in the front deck
    250h.p merc.


    AND TO BE ALL PAID FOR. :big_smile:
     
  7. mspratt

    mspratt New Member

    Messages:
    173
    State:
    missouri
    how about a few pic's of that dream boat.....ur humble servant beartrap:eek:oooh:
     
  8. mspratt

    mspratt New Member

    Messages:
    173
    State:
    missouri
    I have the hardest time postin pic.hope this worked........:crazy:this boat is 24' long
     

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  9. Believer

    Believer New Member

    Messages:
    1,362
    State:
    Greenwood, AR.
    I don't have a boat so it wouldn't take much to be perfect in my book. :cool2:
    Eric
     
  10. mspratt

    mspratt New Member

    Messages:
    173
    State:
    missouri
    Here's a few pics of the boat I now own.I've got this boat sold this fall, and i'm ordering a new one.Hope the pics come out all right.These pics are from north river web page. I hope to get a d camera soon,and will start posting lots of pics.....ur humble servant beartrap and buoy ...:cool2:
     

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  11. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

    Messages:
    3,170
    State:
    Illinois
    Don't look now Mark, that ain't a boat, that's a [size=+2]boat[/size]
    _______________
    I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older then it dawned on me . . . they were cramming for their finals.
     
  12. btmfdr

    btmfdr New Member

    Messages:
    85
    State:
    missouri
    ill take marks boat!!!lol i wish they would make semi v's like that. whats your draft with that v bottom? and did you have to go to oregon to buy it or what? that looks like a salmon boat.
     
  13. mspratt

    mspratt New Member

    Messages:
    173
    State:
    missouri
    They do make them in semi v's,you can get about any deadrise u want, these are semi custom boats, the northriver that is.There are lots of custom builders too. Most are in the northwest.And I did drive all the way to Oregon to get it.Got sick of these thined skin aluminum boats they make around these parts.I'm lookin at hells canyon marine,Bentz boats and precision weld boats for my new one.These guy's will make just about any thing you want.YEA BABY, JET BOATS THE ONLY WAY TO GO...Do a search on aluminum jet boats ,lots of builders out there...Got to go ....ur humble servant beartrap and buoy:cool2:
     

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  14. btmfdr

    btmfdr New Member

    Messages:
    85
    State:
    missouri
    so you did have to drive all the way to the PNW. lmao, thats crazy. i wish i was THAT crazy. maybe the gov. would send me a check to help pay for that thing. lol
     
  15. Majesticman

    Majesticman New Member

    Messages:
    186
    State:
    Missouri
  16. Ace

    Ace New Member

    Messages:
    881
    State:
    Gastonia N
    Most of us poor boys can not afford a $150,000 for a boat.The best I can do is rebuild an old pontoon.It does the same thing the big buck boats will do_Old buddy Dragger has one of the best catoon I have ever seen.But it was built by my old buddy Dragger.He is the best builder I know.It's like setting in your living room at home.

    :big_smile_2:

    :cat:
     
  17. catfishingRon

    catfishingRon New Member

    Messages:
    81
    State:
    Earlville, IL
    I think a pontoon set up right would be the perfect cat boat. I fish the Illinois River in my 16' vbottom boat and its fine, but I am ready for something bigger and with a cover over it for the weather. I dont need anything to fancy. And instead of a jet drive I would tow a 12' jon with a trolling motor behide to get over those shallow humps and get into shallows for the cats.
    Now that Im thinking about it, I think I might start looking at getting rid of my boat and getting a pontoon. Thanks
     
  18. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    There is no perfect cat fishing boat. No matter how you have yours set up, there is always something you will add...so, how can it be perfect?
     
  19. crazychuy

    crazychuy New Member

    Messages:
    92
    State:
    Southern California
    You best bet is probably to get a used boat either a pontoon or something that has alot of deck space. I love alot of deck space. And fix it up the way you want it. It's going to be an investment that is going to take all of your money.

    CHUY
     
  20. Hootowlc3

    Hootowlc3 New Member

    Messages:
    409
    State:
    Florida
    Cat boat. I would live on that boat. Better than my house.