You’ve read the details on more than a dozen fishing rigs and a bevy of outboards designed for hardcore anglers in the January/February 2014 issue of North American Fisherman. We know you can’t stop there, so we’ve added this selection for your online enjoyment.
Tracker Grizzly 1654 Sportsman
Tracker calls this neat little boat the “duck hunter’s friend,” but it will definitely serve as a tiller-controlled small-water rig as well. Rated for up to 30 horsepower, the 1654 Sportsman is 16 feet in length and has a sizable 54-inch bottom width. Its modified-V hull makes for a drier ride than a standard flat bottom offers, and its all-welded hull makes a reliable and sturdy platform that’s extremely maneuverable for hunting or fishing. Tracker VersaTrack accessory-mounting system in the gunnels is ready to accept most optional blinds or rod holders. Welded-in eyes at the four corners allow for the use of anchor poles to hold the boat in place while hunting.
G3 Outfitter V150 Tiller
A new model from G3, the Outfitter V150 Tiller deep-V measures 14 feet, 11 inches, with a 73-inch beam, and is rated for outboards up to 40 horsepower. Its three-piece welded hull, combined with a full-length riveted keel and heavy-duty gunnels, makes the rig as sturdy as it is comfortable for trolling, casting, drifting or stillfishing. Plus, it offers a number of angler-friendly features, including a 14x30-inch, 15-gallon, aerated livewell, side storage box, two fold-down fishing seats and an easy-to-maintain marine-grade vinyl floor covering.
Tracker Targa V-18 Combo
The new Tracker Targa V-18 Combo is an ideal choice for bringing the family’s interests together in a single ideal rig. The 19-foot, 1-inch sport utility boat not only looks great, but is fully equipped for serious fishing with a 24-volt Minn Kota trolling motor, Lowrance Mark 5X sonar, plus a spacious 19-gallon aerated forward livewell and an 11-gallon aerated livewell aft. Two top loading liveboxes are located in the gunnels. A wrap-around, walk-through windshield and passenger console keeps everyone in the boat dry and comfortable, while four upholstered seats, five pedestal-base locations and additional cushions and backrests in the bow complete the amenities. Rated for outboards up to 150 horsepower, the Targa 18 Combo also offers an aft swim platform, boarding ladder and removable ski pylon, which turns this fishing machine into a family-fun craft instantly.
Alumacraft Bay Series
Alumacraft introduced a number of new boats for 2014. Their Bay Series comes in both 18- and 20-foot models and are designed for intercoastal waters. The 2072 Bay Series center-console is rated for 130 horsepower, while the 1860 is rated for 115. Both are easy to trailer and their modified V hulls cut through waves for a soft ride.
The company’s new Escape Series 145 and 165 are both available in console or tiller steer. These open-plan boats feature a large livewell and extra-large rod holders.
Alumacraft’s Voyager Series includes the 175 Sport, 175 Console, or 175 Tiller. All feature dual 8-foot rod compartments, and the exclusive AlumaTrac gunnel system to hold rod holders and other gear. Other features include a built-in cooler and a large livewell.
Lund 208 Pro-V GL
If you’re looking for the ultimate in a fiberglass multi-species boat, the Lund 208 Pro-V GL is an outstanding choice. Maximum horsepower is 300, and the big, sturdy 20-foot, 8-inch hull boast a broad 96-inch beam that provides a stable fishing platform and a smooth, dry ride in the rough stuff. The sleek, low-maintenance rig features four Pro Ride seats with Air Ride pedestals, six seat bases, and is rated for up to seven passengers. It also features a 13-gallon, 31-inch livewell up front and a whopping 26-gallon, 51-inch aft livewell built for trophy-class walleyes, pike, catfish and stripers.
Smoker Craft Millentia 192
Smoker Craft’s Millentia 192 features a racecar-inspired console with chrome accented speed, tach, volt and fuel gauges. Mission-critical fishing amenities include a top-of-the-line 21-gallon, lighted and aerated livewell in the stern and an 18-gallon livewell in the bow. A lockable center bow compartment hold up to eight rods, with additional rod storage along the port side. Even with fore and aft casting deck the hull offers a spacious cockpit area comfortably tucked behind a full wrap-around windshield. At 18 feet, 10 inches, with a 96-inch beam, this multi-species rig is rated for up to 175 horsepower.
Sylvan Mirage Fish 8522 4-PT
This luxurious pontoon features a spacious floor plan and four fishing seats. At 23 feet 10 inches, the Mirage Fish 8522 4-PT boasts a huge 102-inch beam and is rated for outboards up to 150 horsepower. Regardless of whether you’re fishing, cruising or lounging, the Mirage Fish is equipped and ready. Seating consists of a helm chair with swivel/slide and armrests, and rotocast furniture bases. There’s also a lounge arm changing room. An 8½-foot bimini top provides sun protection and a rear entry boarding ladder is easy on swimmers. Docking lights add to the amenities. On the fishing side, there’s a built in livewell and stern rod holders.
War Eagle 754VS
If you like your fishing up-close and personal, consider the War Eagle 754VS stick steer when making your boat-buying decision. Its unique benefit is that the front-drive system keeps everything close at hand. Once an angler launches the boat, they can drive, run the trolling motor and fish without ever leaving the comfortable front seat; it’s a crappie angler’s delight. The rig is 17 feet, 7 inches in length, rated for up to a 60-horsepower outboard and its starboard livewell and portside rod locker allow for maximum space down the middle. Standard equipment includes running lights with rocker switches, bilge pump, 24-V trolling motor wiring, two seats with class A spiders, two class A pole extensions, rod storage for 7½ footers, two pocket trays and two built in tackle trays.
Polar Kraft Outlander 186 CC and Classic 156 T
For 2014 Polar Kraft has added two new rigs to their line of 70-plus aluminum sport boats designed for fishing and hunting. The new Outlander 186 CC is an 18½-foot center console that meets a sportsman’s fishing and hunting needs. An elevated forward casting platform, full 92-inch beam and wide-open space behind the console makes the boat a true multi-tasker on the water. It has dedicated lockable storage for tackle and rods, easy-step extruded gunnels, Accessa Trac channels for securing aftermarket accessories, a Lowrance X-4 sonar unit, and is also available in several colors, including Mossy Oak Camouflage.
The PK Classic 156 T is designed for fishermen who prefer a tiller control on an easy-to-handle boat that offers an open floor plan with plenty of room to maneuver. Features include lockable rod storage, aerated livewell, Lowrance X-4 sonar and a Minn Kota 45 Edge, bow-mounted trolling motor.
Charger Boats 797
For more than three decades Charger Boats has been known for its quality construction and for building boats that can tame rough water. The company’s new flagship in its bass boat lineup, the 797, measures 21 feet, 4 inches and features a new wide-body design that carries maximum beam width farther forward than any of Charger’s previous models. The 797 also maintains Charger’s signature smooth-ride and tops out at speeds near 80 mph. It features all-composite construction, a built-in jackplate, and a robust four-inch thick transom. Maximum horsepower rating: 300.
Lowe 22 Bay
New from Lowe is a big, center-console bay boat with an overall length of 22 feet, 3 inches. This fully-equipped saltwater rig can carry up to eight passengers, and is rated for outboards up to 200 horsepower. The 22 Bay’s deep-V, self-bailing hull provides a smooth dry, ride, with plenty of maneuvering room for fighting big fish. Hull construction features all-welded aluminum, but the console is fiberglass, with a stainless steel grab rail and wheel, and windshield. Other features include a MotorGuide 60-inch, 24-volt trolling motor and Lowrance X-4 Pro Compact sonar. Seating also includes one fold-down pedestal seat, four base locations and two rear-deck jump seats.
Blazer 625 Pro Elite
The newest Blazer model is a sleek, high-performance bass boat. The company touts, “No other boat model on the market this size, and with this many features, will perform as the 625 Pro Elite.” I’ve tested several Blazer model in the past, and they are guaranteed fast. With 100-percent all composite construction, the 625 Pro Elite is 20½ feet in length, has a wide 93-inch beam and offers an unlimited horsepower rating. Performance features on this water rocket include a Hot-Foot throttle with slide and a 10-inch jackplate for ultimate get-up-and-go. The fishing machine also offers a Lowrance HDS-7 high-definition color graph and GPS on the dash and a HDS-5X color graph on the bow, a Minn Kota Fortrex 101-pound bow-mount trolling motor, plus a 33-galllon divided livewell equipped with a pump-out system and Max Air Intake System. When you see one on the trailer, take a good look; once it’s on the water, it’ll just be a blur.
Alumaweld’s 16-foot Talon combines great fishability and performance and features an innovative 10-degree full-V hull that is ideal for either a shallow-water jet, or standard prop, outboard. Built for tackling the tough stuff, the Talon’s bottom is heavy-duty, one piece .160 gauge aluminum that transitions to .100 gauge sidewalls. The hull measures 16 feet, 3 inches and rates for a 70-horsepower standard outboard or a 50-horsepower jet outboard. Storage space is ample, with storage box seats, rod storage and full-length storage trays. The walk-through windshield is welded with metal hinges. A sun top also comes standard.
Crestliner Sportfish 1850
Combining serious fishing with family fun, the Crestliner 1850 comes with the standard outboard configuration, or Crestliner’s Space Saver Transom, which increases cockpit space and includes a smart new water-entry system. The hull stretches 18 feet, 9 inches, rates for 200 horsepower and carries up to eight passengers. A new key feature is the SureMount Gunnel System with aluminum accessory brackets. Also included is a three-seat conversion bow with bases and backrest cushions, and innovative vinyl-wrapped side storage with topside cubby tray, as well as lockable sidewall rod storage and an in-floor compartment for rods or wakeboards.
Stratos 186 VLO
Stratos Boats expanded its line of VLO bass boats with the addition of the new 186 VLO, a feature-rich 18-foot, 9-inch platform that’s rated for 115 horsepower. Aimed at anglers who are looking for their first fiberglass rig, the 186 offers a full fishing package at an affordable price. Standard equipment includes a Lowrance X-4 sonar unit, Minn Kota Edge 12-volt trolling motor and 6x1 onboard battery charger, as well as a full gauge package on the console and necessary switches on the bow panel. Its large front deck is highlighted by loads of lockable storage on the port and starboard sides, plus a center rod locker, which can store rods up to 7 feet, 6 inches. The custom layout also includes an integrated center bench seat that folds forward to reveal extra storage and doubles as a secure step-up to aid in moving the cockpit to the rear fishing platform.