Good boat for lake fishing

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Matt Hutch, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    A friend recently bought a well-used but solid Southfork on the Seattle Craigs List for $250. Even though he's 6'3" and 240, the waterline doesn't come close to being halfway up the tubes. It came with standard bronze oarlocks and 1-1/2" diameter oars with OarRites.

    K
     
  2. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I've had both but at different times. If I was in the market for another one it would be the Southfork. The Alpine is for lakes and slow moving water. It's too small for fast water with it's 7' pontoons.

    Jim
     
  3. Bank Bum

    Bank Bum Member

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    Matt,after talking with my bud,I guess I mislead you about his boat.He said he bought it at the fairgrounds in Puyallup and it was a older demo model in which it did not have the original size pontoons or oars with it,the tubes where only 14 1/4 inch in height,not the 16 " standard ones & the oars where 6 ft,not the 7 footers that come on the New Southfork boats,so sorry for giving you the wrong info about this boat.Thats why he only paid $300.00 and no tax for it all.That being said,with 16"pontoons on the southfork would set you up alot more & would hold the weight alot better.Are you looking to buy a brand new one or a used one?Again,sorry for giving you the wrong info on this boat.:beer2:
     
  4. scottflycst

    scottflycst Active Member

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    Matt,
    One of my earlier pontoons was a Southfork and I used it hard for six years before I sold it. It is still going strong with its new owner. That was a great boat and an excellent value. I did replace the oarlocks with the Outcast variety (brass oarlocks), not hard to do. One can make small inexpensive changes to personalize it, most of us do that with our boats no matter what brand they are. That boat got folded up and tripped to eastern WA so many times I thought it might get creased pontoons but it never did. Seemed to have an uncanny way of finding fish. Several times I wished the Southfork was still taking up space in my garage. You won't be sorry if you end up owning one, Buck's will take care of you too if that be your fate.
     
  5. Trout Master

    Trout Master Active Member

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    I have had my southfork for 11 years and it has seen some hard use has seen the pavement at 60 + mph twice. The tubes are getting worn on top from sun rot(my fault) but still floats well. I added a uhmw platform on back instead of the cargo net. I have 3 rod holders on it and a hummingbird depth sounder on it. :thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  6. Chad Lewis

    Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

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    I guess I'm the "anti-pontoon" crowd. I had one for six months and didn't like several things about it. Rowing was a big one; going from point 'a' to point 'b' and zigzagging all the way didn't thrill me. Going backwards all the time didn't do anything for me either. Not being able to stand and fish really bugged me. And although you get used to it and are able to minimize it, the line catching on every nut-bolt-oar-whatever got old pretty fast. And I simply wanted a boat that was able to do more than just fish. I did like its portability, maneuverability on the water and the option to use fins. I ended up with a Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5 canoe/kayak. Take a look at Native Watercraft's website. These are certainly more than you're looking to spend, but it adds something else to think about before you make a final decision.

    Having said that, I've plenty of fishing buddies that happily use their 'toons and have been for years. It just wasn't for me.
     
  7. Mike Ediger

    Mike Ediger Active Member

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    Matt,
    The southfork is a great boat. I live here is Spokane and have used mine for close to 8 years with not a single complaint. Hit most of the lakes in the region, along with most the rivers, Spoke, NFCDA, Clarks Fork, Columbia (Rufus Woods), John Day, etc... I am 210 and can add a trolling motor if I want, coolers, dry gear bag, you name it. It is light enough to carry in to a few of the lakes that require a short hike, or you can throw it on top of your car. Break it town in minutes to throw it in the trunk. Whatever works for you. Rowing forward or backward is a breeze, and a free workout.
    I also agree with Kent in that they show up on craigslist often. There is even one there right now.
    If you can wait until spring you are welcome to borrow mine and see how you like it before you buy one.
    I will also say enclosed boats are nice as well, but they have there drawbacks to. I have a 12' white water pram that is awesome, but I rarely use it by myself.
    The bottom line is just figuring out what you want. If you do want something portable that can do lakes and rivers for one person, you can't go wrong with a southfork.
    Let me know if you want try one in the spring, or feel free to give me a call and stop by if you want to see some of the modifications I have done (sonar, trolling motor, etc).
    Mike
     
  8. bbmfix

    bbmfix New Member

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    I have 2 " go to" fishing platforms:

    First, for fishing solo on lakes or rivers, a 9 foot Outcast pontoon boat. Am able to row, kick with fins, or propel with trolling motor. Have enough storage to float for 2-3 days. Easy to break down, lightweight. Would definitely go for the quad- pontoon design if possible, gives much more storage options plus lower profile...

    Second, for fishing with a buddy or myself in a Stillwater environment ( which includes bay systems) have a 12 foot 6 inch Porta-bote Genesis III. Ideal for lakes, can seat 3 people easily. Easy to break down, portage, extremely durable. Can put up to 5 hp outboard. Can stand up safely and fly cast with another person in boat without instability. Best lake/bay/stillwater boat I've ever owned. Breaks down, able to store in garage easily. Go to portabote website for more info. I've hade mine since 2000 and have yet to regret the purchase!:thumb:
     
  9. Robert Engleheart

    Robert Engleheart Robert

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    One point not mentioned yet is tube design; if lakes and rivers and class II & II are the waters you will be fishing most, I'd look at tubes with a flat design like the Outcast Quad pontoons. Rockered tubes will perform better in fast water, but not track as well on stillwaters. I'd strongly recommend the standing platforms, can't imagine not having one. If you're patient, deals will come, check Kiene's Forum in Sacramento, a Scadden Sunrise recently sold for $600 with all the accessories.
     
  10. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    My Fishcat Panther 9' quad tube pontoon tracks pretty well in still water and has handled all rivers I've tried it on thus far. Heavier than my older 8' pontoon but longer, wider, more stable, less draft.
     
  11. soundflycaster

    soundflycaster Member

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    If you are going to purchase one floating/casting/fishing platform the pontoon boat is the best. If you are going to fish lakes and ponds alot I recomend a 12 aluminum boat with electric motor to augment the oars. I fish alot of small still waters and find that I like the aluminum boat the best for comfort and being able to stand to do my casting.
     
  12. Rick Todd

    Rick Todd Active Member

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    This post illustrates why I like the Scadden design so well. With an electric motor, you can get all over the lake in a heartbeat, you can still use your fins to troll with it, and the slide-out standing platform makes stillwater fishing as good as a pram, while still retaining all the good attributes of a pontoon. I do have a long handled net for it, and occasionally use the Scadden stripping basket, but if I'm anchored, I just strip into the water in front of the platform. Rick
     
  13. CovingtonFly

    CovingtonFly B.O.H.I.C.A. bend over here it comes again

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    you can get an aluminium boat with trailer on Craigslist for pretty cheap right now. I wouldn't get a fiberglass boat as that is gonna be a heavy SOB. Aluminium boats are light and you can store it outside with out worrying about the weather.
     
  14. My vote for a pram, the only way IMO for comfort, casting, stability, relief, carry capacity, transportability, safety.
     
  15. Michael Nelson

    Michael Nelson Old And In The Way

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    I agree, that's why I have a Spring Creek Hopper II. I don't want to have to wear waders and worry about dropping stuff in the water. I don't want the difficultly of line snagging on everything and problems landing fish. I like staying warm and dry (I even have a propane heater I can use in my pram).