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Shallow river/bass fishing and trolling at the lake

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Shallow river/bass fishing and trolling at the lake

Postby Norcal_Hoss » Fri May 11, 2018 5:37 pm

Hello,
Im looking to get a boat that I can run the shallows and still go to the lake and bass fish and troll with downriggers.. Ive had some g3 jet boats and a few lunds multispecies but im at an age where I don't want to buy another boat and want a boat that can do it all. I am looking at two boats that I narrowed it down to and would like some feedback if people have these boats.
So one is the Wooldridge Alaskan xl 20'.. The sales guy im talking to says a 150 honda jet is fine for that boat with 3-4 adults.. The 200 I have to buy it as a pro then buy the jet kit so it would be a pretty expensive upgrade for that 50cc but man I don't want to regret it I never heard someone say "I wish I bought a smaller engine " haHe is checking to see if Yamaha come from the facory with a jet on the 200 model.
Im planning to cast for stripers in the rivers, jig for salmon then go to the lake and bass fish then troll with downriggers. These boats have a ton of room in them but wondering how they ride in a lake when there are some 1-2 ft waves? I use to take a g3 17ft jon boat across the lakes and it beat the hell out of me but it was fun lol I know these boats are much heavier gauge to soak up some of the hits. Im putting a kicker, downriggers,36v trolling motr, chargers, fish box and some cpt chairs in there.. 150 still?
The other boat rigged the same way basically is the northriver scout. Its a little more V to it im sure better for the lakes but will it run the shallows ? 6" or so?

Any other boats that I should be looking at?
Thank you
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Re: Shallow river/bass fishing and trolling at the lake

Postby Crawdad Johnny » Sat May 12, 2018 8:11 am

The best all-around (lakes and rivers) boat I ever had was a Hewescraft River Runner. If I recall correctly, it had about 13 degrees of dead rise in the bow and much less at the rear so when it was up on plane, it drew very little water. It was not as shallow water capable as my current Wooldridge Alaskan but it was certainly the best "all-around" boat since it was much more comfortable in lake chop than my current Alaskan. I spend almost all my time in rivers so I'm very happy with my Alaskan but if I spent more time in lakes, I would want more deadrise at the bow for comfort in lake chop. In my experience, the Alaskan XL will be an awesome boat, but it will be a rough ride in lake chop. Based on my experience, I would consider a 150/105 jet the minimum for a 20-foot XL. A 175 or 200 would be even better. Just one guy's opinion.
17 Ft Wooldridge Alaskan
150/105HP Mercury Optimax, Flow-Tec Quick Steering
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Re: Shallow river/bass fishing and trolling at the lake

Postby holdmybeer » Sat May 12, 2018 9:22 am

150 is too few ponies for the XL 20 Wooldridge Alaskan with a pump once you get it activity-capable the way you've described, and filled with 4 adults. It's just not enough. My XL 17 is an awesome all 'round boat set up with bow-mount electric, kicker, oars, down riggers, extra seating, and bimini top; and the main power is a 150 Pro XS. I am always pleased with the performance of the boat, but 99% of the time it's just the dog and I and an occasional dead something. On the rare occasion that I do load it down with five people (or a moose) performance falls off dramatically. If you were to set up a 20 the same way as mine, I think you'd wish for more power. I asked for a 200 when I ordered my boat but that would have exceeded the USCG power rating, and was told no.

If you buy that 200 and then have to buy the jet, you'll be tripping over the prop lower unit forever. I know people do change them back and forth for different activities but on my third sled now, and I never felt the need.

Call Mr Wooldridge in Seattle and have a chat about what you can and cannot get from him through your local dealer. I found he and his staff to be extremely helpful. And, If I recall correctly, they've got performance, haul weight, and speed charts, for various hull/motor combinations on their website.

Have fun.
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Re: Shallow river/bass fishing and trolling at the lake

Postby Norcal_Hoss » Sat May 12, 2018 12:22 pm

Hey fellas thanks for the replies.. Ya the dealer did mention about if I went bigger than a 150 I would have to buy it with a prop and then buy the kit.. I did this years ago on g3 and your right I actually tripped on it lol The difference for a 200 is $7500 over a 150. I gotta say the 20ft xl looks massive in all the pictures ive seen I wonder if the 17 ft is enough for the family .. Im coming off a 19' lund so a 17'10 is going backwards but there is nothing in the A xl no winsheild and the bow comes to a V where on the XL your like gaining 2-3 feet inside the boat.. The dealer has a 17 ft Alaskan xl he took some pictures but again I cant tell if 4 adults would be ok in it. Im looking to buy a boat to last me close to forever ha Want no regrets
Can the 17 xl handle 4 adults casting and or jigging? The other thing is there is not much price difference between a 20 and 17 footer just for that I want a 20 but again the thing it looks massive and the 200 is pricey change.
I will give them a call Monday and have my questions lined up to ask.
Hoss
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Re: Shallow river/bass fishing and trolling at the lake

Postby holdmybeer » Sat May 12, 2018 3:47 pm

The difference between the 150 and the 200 is $7500? Um, that's a surprise. Wooldridge is not going to force you to buy a prop lower unit and then a pump. If memory serves, there was a credit back for the prop lower unit that I didn't want.

The XL is extra wide and incredibly stable, so fishing (even side drifting) several guys at the same time is very doable. On the 17' I can easily fish a caster on the front deck, another mid-ship, and a third in the back behind the console. However, all bets are off when you add anything overhead such as a bimini, even stored in a leaned back or raked position. There was a 20 at the shop next to my 17 when I picked it up and I could clearly see where it would accommodate another fisher but I just don't need that much room and I like how mine pushes around the shop, tows, loads and unloads, etc. If I were to get back into duck hunting, the 20 would just be that much more to hide. If I were to decide to salmon fish out over the bar, my boat might feel kinda little.

And, so much depends on your floorplan. I fished the Columbia for salmon last year in a 20 foot Willey sled that was just a wide open tub with a flat floor, move-anywhere seating, and tiller steer. I think there was seven of us on board and we were not cramped at all.

My boat is perfect for what I need and is likely my last sled. If I were to want to fish more guys I'd step up one notch and get the xl 20 but I would not settle for less power than a 200, and I'd set it up exactly the same way as my 17.
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Re: Shallow river/bass fishing and trolling at the lake

Postby Norcal_Hoss » Sat May 12, 2018 5:06 pm

Holdmybeer
Thanks for that info I will check about a credit on the lower unit. I see about a 1k difference between a 200 and 150 so not sure either on the $7500 .Do you have any pictures of your boat set up? I’m looking to move The center console towards the front of the boat next to the front deck with the bench in front of it and about a foot and a half of foot room before the deck then a couple chairs with armrests just behind the center console so I can sit in one when I troll looking a downrigger‘s and when I’m driving someone could spin around forward. Good to hear three can fit casting in the 17 I’ll take another look.
Thanks
Hoss
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