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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question for all, I have been on the water my entire life and it has always been a big discussion as to what size boat is needed on the Potomac? It's always been nice to have a bigger boat, but what size and style do you think is the best all around for trolling and bottom fishing (family swimming too)all of the Potomac?
 

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Since you mentioned use for all the Potomac, this is my suggestion. A 22 to 24 foot center console, with head compartment (female crew needs) under the center console. No bow rails so you can mount an electric trolling motor on bow, for bass fishing up above the 301 bridge to DC area, and the length is suitable for trolling for stripers down river from the 301 bridge all the way and out into the bay. If I was starting over something like I described is what I would try to get.
 

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I've got a 19' CC, and it's been a great boat on the Potomac and Rappahannock. Having said that, it isn't great for late winter trolling - where even a little wet is too wet, and no place to keep warm in 32 degree weather. I get too wet in 3' seas, so I'm only out when wind is 15mph or less. 19' is too small for a head - isn't a problem for us, but would be a nice upgrade. So from April through November it's a good match - December is okay if you're a hearty soul. I'll second basshby - but instead of an electric trolling motor, I'd just put a 10hp kicker on the back - 4 stroke nice and quiet for trolling. Find a friend with a cabin for late December trolling.
 

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I 20cc with curtains it doesnt matter if you get wet , however there are alot of styles of boats in the 19-20 foot class , design plays a big role in how wet or dry it is . I have fished mine from tappahanock to va beach and this past summer oregon inlet nc ,,,,, my boat handles really nice and keeps you pretty dry. In my opinion it depends more on design than size ,,,, its obvious a 25 footer is gonna be better than a 19 but you know what i mean .
 

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My suggestion for a bow mounted electric motor is not for trolling for Stripers but for any type of shallow water fishing someone might be doing. I have both a 27 foot Triton W/A and a 17 1/2 foot Scout CC with the bow mounted trolling motor. I have use the smaller boat for bass fishing at Lake Anna, upper Potomac River above Dam 4 south of Hagerstown, MD, bass fishing from Pohick Bay near Ft. Belvior, VA and even white perch fishing in lower Potomac River shallows. Used the small boat down near VA Beach fishing in sound waters for Specks and Puppy Drum. I have even used the smaller boat in lower Potomac and out to the Target Ship in the bay, but with a small boat you have to pick calm days to make trips out in big waters. I have even had the small boat down to the Outer Banks fishing in the Sound near Hatteras Inlet. A 22-24 foot CC with a full curtain enclosure would be ideal for the winter time trolling for Stripers and an all around boat for any time of the year and any place. A boat that you can trailer to different areas is ideal to have.
 

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I have a Robalo R227 Dual Console that I think is a perfect fit for what you're looking for. It's about 23' and it has several fish boxes,a live well and a built in cooler. There is a ton of storage and a head. In the summer my girls want to use it mostly for swimming and tubing (I fish too!). This boat has a 250 yamaha that provides plenty of power. Has a ski tow as well for tubing or skiing. For striper season I take the carpet out and it's fine all the way thru the end of the year. I use the curtain when it's real cold/windy and have no problems at all with the elements. I use my boat throughout the Rappahannock and into the bay. Again, I think a great choice for an all around boating experience.
 

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I purchased a 23 foot walkaround cuddy thinking that the kids could go down under for a nap when they got tired or bored. I regret the decision; they camped out in the cuddy the first night I brought it home and probably haven't been back in there in the last 3 years. The cabin is now filled with stuff, lots of stuff. I regret not buying a center console. The last center console I had worked very well as a family boat but excelled as a fishing boat for the Lower Potomac and Bay. 21 to 24 feet does nicely for 60% of the weather, I would go 26 feet minimum to get that up to 80%, the rest of the time weather is generally prohibitive for a reasonably comfortable day of fishing. It just blows too dang hard down where I am.
 

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23' to 25' walkaround is the perfect bay fishing and pleasure boat. If it is blowing harder than you can take in these boats you do not want to be out there. Get one with a bracket and you got a lot of room in the back to relax and fish. Get a hardtop and enclosures and you are warm in the winter. I agree that it is easier to fish in a cc but take some spray when it is 30 and you may end it for the year. The walkaround guys are out there until the end. Boats are a trade off. I love my walkaround.
 

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Since you mentioned use for all the Potomac, this is my suggestion. A 22 to 24 foot center console, with head compartment (female crew needs) under the center console. No bow rails so you can mount an electric trolling motor on bow, for bass fishing up above the 301 bridge to DC area, and the length is suitable for trolling for stripers down river from the 301 bridge all the way and out into the bay. If I was starting over something like I described is what I would try to get.
You nailed it. I have a 22' C Hawk center console and nothing could be better for fishing and fun in the lower Potomac. Can go anywhere, handle rough water (I do try to avoid this!) and a single engine outboard is very economical. Had a great fall season trolling for rockfish and every trip I was the only crew. It's a great size boat to handle by yourself. And plenty of room to take the girls
out for fishing or whatever.
 

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I have always fished on CC boats, just not the desired size. I would agree w/ the rest on size, 22-24. With t tops and curtains for fall wx. However I have been everywhere from buoy 72 to the cell in my 19' but have to choose the days. In a big boat there is not that extreme concern when mother nature has a way of changing plans when on the water.
The boat broker place at Green Top in Glen Allen has some boats come thru there but have never purchased from them.
 

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A cuddy or walk-around is a better choice for year round use and is much more comfortable for the wife and family. If, however, you would prefer that she STAY HOME, a center console is for you.:yes:
 

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in size range of 20-22,there are big differences in hull design. some have little freeboard, shorter bow, less V. 19's can be big, and 22's can be small. oftentimes, the smaller ones are sometimes referred to as 'bay boats'. due to scaling - there are a few boats you just can't tell until you get on the boat in person. i think determing that aspect of the boat is actually more important than length.

otherwise the walkaround and double console seem very practical but i think it was Pirates of the Carribean had a short discussion of 'what a boat is' vs 'what a boat means'. when you see a walkaround or DC going out what does it mean to you? when you see a CC go by; what does it mean to you?

a friend told me picking a boat is like picking a wife - no one can do it for you. and also suggested that you should feel compelled to turn around take one more look each time you leave your boat. :yes:

when you pick, you should feel happy and optimistic about your choice. if you're feeling a little funny that it might not be right, figure out why that is before buying. doh

good luck!

note to self - must remember to tell wife i love her more often than i tell her how much i love my boat,... :eek2:
 

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Nothing worse then the wind blowing 10-15kts and they are slaying the fish while you can't go anywhere in your 17-20ft boat. Once it gets over 15kts most everybody stays home and it does not matter how big your boat is. Yes on good days you can fish the bay in a 17ft boat but on a lot of days you will only be watching.
 

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I agree with what most others have said. I have been on the water fishing the Occoquan River and Potomac my whole life. IMHO the first thing that i think you must do is figure what you want the boat for. If fishing is the only plan, CC may be your best choice, if fishing plus overnight stays a walk around my be the best option. I have a 22' walk around and love it. It works great for fishing from the WW bridge on the Potomac to the Bay Bridge on the Chesapeake Bay. Like others have said its your boat, it will never be perfect, there is always something that we want to do to our boats. Just my .02.
 

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"a friend told me picking a boat is like picking a wife - no one can do it for you. and also suggested that you should feel compelled to turn around take one more look each time you leave your boat."

Agreed! :chugbeer:
 

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Another thing to consider is this:
When it's heavy into the fishing season and you're fishing daily, it's nice to be able to stuff all your rods and gear into a cabin and lock them up instead of hauling all of it out daily and loading it back in the next morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I appreciate all the input, I currently own a 22ft W/A and just confirming if I made the right choice. I had a Donzi before this boat so changing speed a little bit. Looks like it is pretty even, what do you all think the difference will be for night fishing? I know to open CC works well but it has been nice to get inside when the weather get nasty! I have seen the lol Cc going out when the big sport fishers won't why is that?
 

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A 20-24 foot CC with a full curtain enclosure is ideal, especially if it has the head.
Also, a TRUE walkaround, like the 80's Prolines and Gradys are awesome.

In the TRUE walkarounds, the cabin is smaller, but they are more like a big center console. The ability to store and sleep and the protection are big bonuses. Quite a bit more family-friendly, too.

The pro-line has no step-up in the walkaround area. A friend of mine has a 21 footer, probably an '89, and I still think that is the best layout I've ever seen for fishability, sleeping/storage and protection from the elements. That is a well thought-out layout! Excellent rough-water capability, too.

Maybe some newer boats have a similar design. Worth looking into.

-TH
 
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