Posted by jd on March 31, 2003 at 09:48:34:
In Reply to: Tailrace Boat posted by Bob on March 28, 2003 at 09:52:01:
Tailrace fishing is a very broad concept in my mind. Some people fish for smallies, while others use shad guts to fish for cats, while others may drift along with jigs. So, the first consideration is how messy will you be. Even without using shad guts and chicken livers, you may catch the foul hooked skipjack that bleeds all over your boat. If you don't want carpet, that narrows it down pretty quick. Jon-style utility boats are pretty common in the tailrace.
The comment about rail protection is good advice. I had a 16' flat bottom that had section of black plastic pipe that had been split and placed over the top edge around the boat. One other thing to consider is if you would like the bar commonly associated with center consoles. When the water is like a washing machine and swells are bouncing off each other, such as when flood gates are open or the wind is blowing up-current, any boat is going to rock. A casting deck is not where I like to be, so I stand in the bottom of the boat. I have a fish and ski and can hold the windshield or chairs on decks to stabilize myself. The bar in the center console boats seems like it would be good for this.
After I had a few waves come over the front of the 16' flat bottom while fishing below Wheeler dam last February, I decided that boat was just not enough for me. The water was fine when we left, but the wind picked up out of the west while we were fishing. Where the turbulent water meets whitecapping water from the opposite direction, you better be ready. I had the same thing happen to me in a 17' bass boat 10 years ago below Guntersville dam.
Depending on your quarry, make sure you get a livewell that is big enough. Check out the Triton 1860SC and 2070CC. Boat House in Athens will sell the 1860SC with a 75 Mercury for around $12k. You may be able to get simliar models in other brands for less. With a new boat, I would get one from a local dealer that is convenient for dropoff if possible.
Some people rig large bait tanks for shad, so if that is your thing, make sure you get a big enough boat or one laid out for you. You probably want a keel guard for docking, but some of the dams have piers. Fiberglass is more stable in rough water, but it might make you nervous around all those rocks and concrete.
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