Post by CarolinaAngler on Aug 3, 2020 14:59:42 GMT -5
I can't afford a legit $20K bass boat, so I'm looking into a jon boat DIY project. I'd say my budget for a boat is close to $1K, trolling motor $3-400, and outboard...I don't know what I can afford. I plan on fishing the Blackwater for LMB and I don't need anything crazy. Y'all are super knowledgeable and I figured I'd ask for advice as I'm newer to fishing and boating. Been fishing SML since March of this year. Love it here!
1) I plan on either acquiring a used jon boat or buying new (12-14 feet)depending on the deals I see. The problem I'm having is that most of the craiglist boats are old and not priced reasonably considering a new 14 ft Tracker topper is right at $1K. That being said, none of the manufacturers seem to sell direct and the dealers don't show a lot of inventory online.
Any advice on acquiring a jon boat? Or does anyone have one they are willing to sell?? I'm considering calling folks on SML that have them stored on docks and appear unused. I cold call for a living so it seems like a decent strategy.
2) Once I get the boat, plan was to build a deck following one of the many youtube DIY guides on this topic.
3) Trolling motor. Seems like everyone prefers a bow mounted TM, and I see the advantage of foot controlled as well. Any tips here?
4) Outboard. I essentially inherited a 1985 2HP Johnson but I realize that won't get me anywhere fast. Any ideas for acquiring a motor that won't break the bank?
I would be weary on the lake anytime during summer crazy season with a boat that doesn't have any flotation. I know you can catch bass in winter also but i would definitely get one with flotation. I have had water come into the old boat during multiple times that was a 17foot tracker 40 horse Johnson. We got caught in a wind storm up there once at the bridge didn't even know it was happening we had gone into jakes for food then tried to get back to state park the prop was coming fully out the water on way back. The other times was just bigger boats putting off huge wakes. I would try to save up if you need to just for those reasons, stay safe is the main thing! Hope this helps.
sage advice right there ^^^. jons are terrific in some scenarios but can be a liability on big water. you'll always be at the mercy of weather and other boaters.
there are products out there you can use to add flotation to a jon - spray foam, block Styrofoam, etc. these take up space and that's something you don't have a lot of in a 12-14' rig. the decking, TM, and outboard you plan on putting in/on only add to the weight. then there's you and your tackle. you may need to size up if adding this [very important] safety measure is included in your plans.
i'd say a 9.9 minimum for your powerhead. that 2 HP would be great on a canoe but you'll ruin it in short order trying to push a loaded 12-14 ft sled.
you have some attractive options for your TM. definitely bow mounted. foot pedal operated is my preferred set-up but you may be space limited on your deck. they make some really slick handle extensions for hand-operated options. might wanna check those out.
Post by CarolinaAngler on Aug 4, 2020 11:40:14 GMT -5
I appreciate the responses, cmstower and 31Airborne.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the first comments were about safety! Greatly appreciated as I had NOT even considered flotation. I saw you can add float pods to the back of the transom. I have been fishing in an 8' dinghy around B21 for some months and not had any problems with wake, but that is a fiberglass v-ish hull.
Spoke with a rep at a boat dealer who told me they can order any model I need. Seems like finding a motor at a good price is just as hard if not harder than finding a jon boat. I'm shocked at the resell value of old motors! The rep told me if you are buying a motor you might as well just buy a bass boat...
Also, I didn't even add in the cost of a fish finder yet...I've never had one but it seems rather essential.
yep, you'll want/need a sonar unit but you can outfit yourself w/ some good technology for relatively little money. lots of options out there. recommend going to Cabela's or a BPS store and playing around w/ the demo models.
if you end up buying a used motor be sure to have a certified tech go over it w/ a fine tooth comb. compressions check, the whole none yards.
I fished for several months out of a 12v when I moved here. I stayed up the rivers above bay roc and around ponderosa. Had a 9.9. Did fine, but it was not a flat bottom Jon.
That said, the advice above is sound. You can get away with it during the week, early in the day and staying close to home. Otherwise, get a 16’ v bottom and you’ll be much better off.
I’ve got a 30hp I’ll be selling for relatively cheap. It ain’t cosmetically perfect but it’s got good life left.
Good used boats are hard to find. The looked high and low for months before stumbling on my V16. Saw it in a field and knocked on the door. Still do it when I see one I like , but haven’t been as lucky again.
FWIW, I don’t have flotation in mine. That is about to change...I’m older and wiser now. Got that t-shirt..
On small boats, two 1100gph bilge pumps are a necessity. Yes expensive, but it beats having a full bathtub bobbing in the lake.
If I had to pick between trolling motor or sonar, I’m getting sonar and a couple anchors.
Good point on bilge pumps. Read that somewhere about jon boats sinking after a good rain storm.
Very interested in your recommendation of sonar over trolling motor. Since March I've been fishing with no electronics whatsoever. Just the free i-Boating app for depth charts and I bought the SML Underwater photo guide from the 60s or 70s. All this time I figured my biggest need was a trolling motor so I could sit on a ledge or a dock and fish slowly. But you raise a good point. I could just use a daggum anchor.
How game changing is some kind of sonar and which feature is most key? Just started reading up on it. CHIRP?
Sonar opens up a ton of water if you know how to interpret it. Now you’re just looking at shoreline and map, but sonar tells you where to fish on those spots. Shows you what you need to target specifically. This alone puts more fish in the boat than a trolling motor ever will.
Yea a trolling motor makes it more convenient to fish. But you can also scan an area, drop anchor and fish it thoroughly. Then move along. I’ve got two trolling motors on my boat. I still use anchors, a lot.
Get what you can afford in the sonar department. They are all good. Some are bigger and better than others, but unless they’re making you money, I think there largely unnecessary for recreational anglers. Once you have something, LEARN.TO.USE.IT. And you’ll catch fish.