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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting ready to buy a 24 foot 2006 Sweetwater fishing deluxe model from Southeastern. I am actually waiting for pics of the 2006 model. It will be Sweetwater's first designated fishing pontoon boat. I am very anxious to see it. I am very curious to get current pontoon boat owner's reaction that use theirs for fishing for cats like i plan to. I know there are many makes and they all serve a purpose so I'd be interested in any obvious sturctural designs or modifications that i might not be aware of. It will have a vinly floor with full enclosure for the back half and a changing room/porta-potti, plus i believe 2 or 3 separate fishing chairs and the sofa and table with a deluxe console package and steering wheel. With my dad fishing with me so much and my family and "grandaughter" being around to use it for pleasure also, i can't wait. It should have all the bells and whistles and i just think it's gonna be one comfortable ride and trip once i equip it. I will keep MY TIME for the same use. My SeaPro has just been too good to sell. Just tell me some pros and cons if you currently own one as well as some advantages and disadvantages..... i know the obvious such as lack of speed, but can't think of too many more disadvantages vs all the advantages. thanks for the input. striperjoe[grin]
 

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I would love to give you some input, however, I've only been on the thing one time. Maybe you already have the answer or you could ask Bigcat or Reelman since the three of you guys have kept it "in shape" for me.

Thanks

Eric[grin]
 

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I'd think Eric's pontoon plus a few more 2x4's PVC pipes and duct tape would create the ultimate customized party and catfishing barge!
 

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I don't own a pontoon. But I have some advice.

First: I have never heard anyone complain that they bought too big of a motor.

Second: It makes a great CBBT boat.

Third: If you plan on allowing Big Cat, Love2fish73 and Wasabi use it, keep it well stocked with the essentials (ie: extra gas, extra oil and a good compass!)

Fourth: If you have it by the next tournament, can I fish with you?

Dayton
 

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Dayton,

I accept your generous offer to borrow Joe's new pontoon boat! The toilet sounds like a grand idea.
 

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I HAVE A 24FTR WITH A 40 4-STROKE AND I LOVE IT..........BUT I WOULD RECOMEND ATLEAST TWICE THE HORSE POWER !!IT ONLY RUNS ABOUT 18 MPH!I SAW ONE ON THE RAPP A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO WITH TWIN YAMMY 115'S AND SHE WAS BLAZING!!AWESOME BOATS FOR THE FAMILY,JUST A LITTLE SLOW UNLESS YOU MOTOR UP ALOT!!!
 

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Mines a 21ft Tracker Fishin' Barge with a 40hp. 18mph sounds about right for top speed on mine too. Word of advice- get the longest handled net you can find. Its hard to land a big cat from a toon without one. Use a bucket with some holes it it tied off to the back to help stop side to side sway and the wind from blowing you so much when anchored. You can also use the bucket to get the toon to angle one way or the other sometimes too depending on which side your anchor is and which side you put the bucket on. Speaking of anchors, get one rated for a boat way bigger than you have if you plan on anchoring in heavy current. I have 6ft of 5/16 chain on my anchor to help it set better. I'll tell ya, toons are slow and not as fishable as some other boats, but for all-night fishing comfort you cant beat em. Great for fishing with kids too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i was gonna get the 21 but the dealership was not very helpful. i am aware of the "slowness". I will probably end up with a 75-90hp. the dealer wants to sell me a 60 yamaha 4stroke that pushes like an 80, he says. not sure yet what i'm gonna do. do you use the bucket and does it work for you. I have taken out a toon before and never really had that problem. maybe just lucky those days, huh. striperjoe

ps - chris h. says the fish are biting like winter !
 

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One of my dad's friends has a 21 or a 22ft Hurricane with a fiberglass bottem and that has a 200 Mercury and it goes about 51 or 52mph. Very nice boat.
 

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Have you guys checked your actual speed with GPS or are you estimating top speed? My reason for asking is that we have a 20' with a 50hp Merc Bigfoot and as we were coming out of Deep Bottom one morning, I asked my dad just how fast he thought we were going. He replied "oh about 18 - 20mph." I flashed the GPS at him and he was shocked. We were moving at a blazing 9.5 mph at full throttle. I checked the unit in a vehicle to make sure that it was working right and it matched the exact speed with no deviation. Getting from one hole to the next seems like an eternity!

I am really interested to learn how the bucket trick works. We use 4 anchors (one off of each corner) and still have trouble holding in current. Wind can be a major pain as well. We have used a bucket to slow us down while motoring for striper with downriggers.

And for the love of God, if you are trolling and pulling lines for striper and a cuddy or other boat sends a decent wake your way, SPEED UP!!! I have watched the front of our boat submerge on more than one occasion because of this. Those toons will really lift you on the front side of the wake and then dive down the backside. There's nothing like trying to relax when everything is soaked. If you pick up speed, the wake isn't even noticeable.
 

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Mine was tracked on gps about 2 years ago. Seems like I remember it was around 18. I was actually surprised it was that fast. Seems slower to me when everyone else is blasting by. lol! Got to test out my new anchor setup last night and it worked really good. Cheap 10lb slip-ring fluke with 6ft of 5/16 chain. Grabbed the mud easily and held like a champ. If you do the bucket trick remember to put some holes around the bottom on the sides and a few in the center of the bottom. Its a heck of a lot easier to lift a bucket that drains itself than a 40lb bucket of water.

Amen on the wake. I try and cut straight across a wake without cutting back on the throttle at all. Learned that one the hard way. Helps to keep passengers to the rear when underway as well.
 

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THE SLOW SPEED IS THE ONLY PART I DON'T LIKE ABOUT MINE. 24 MPH TOPS W/ GPS. IT IS A 24' W/70HP. I WOULDN'T GET THE MONSTER PONTOON THOUGH. I DO LIKE THE WAY MINE SITS LOW TO THE WATER. IT HAS BEEN A GREAT BOAT.
JAY
 

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A good way to keep your boat straight is to use a sea anchor (drift sock). When you are using one just make sure you let out extra rope because it will pull the anchor loose.

Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey Jay, thanks. I haven't bought it yet. Now they tell me the fishing model this year for 06 will be in 21, 23, and 25 ft lengths. I will probably go with the 23. The dealer wants to sell me a 60HP 4stroke - Yamaha that pushes like a 70(?). I've still got a fast boat, if you call 42 fast(MY TIME) if need be but I am looking for some stability for the granddaughter, wife, and my dad (80) while we liesurly fish for big cats ! Appreciate all the inut - good or bad. I guess if it were the "perfect" boat, everyone would own one but guess what - THEY DON'T MAKE A PERFECT BOAT ! ! ! .....[grin]
 

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[Q]Big Cat originally wrote:
Arent the 4 strokes slower than a 2 stroke. Eric has a 115 4 stoke yammie and it isnt as fast as our 115 evinrude.
[/Q]

4s are heavier and I think the tourque comes on at higher RPMs.

The one thing I like about 4s is that they idle quietly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
RF - make sure you say pontoon, not deck boat, sometimes people confuse a pontoon with the fiberglass solid hull deck boats which ARE expensive.........I was told that the 60 Yamaha pulled 70 HP so who knows and if speed was a big issue with me, I'd be getting twin 250's on a 25' Grady, but..............I'm not. I'm looking for comfort #1 and fishability right behind that. [tongue]
 

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Yes stiperjoe - I was referring to the monohull fiberglass deckboat.

I sill like the idea of a 24' Carolina Skiff. Heck - you could setup a tent in front of the console, and still have lots of room to fish at the stern.
 
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