The Great Outdoors: Boating & Fishing 101

I f you plan to take long trips on your boat, fuel efficiency and cabin space is paramount. Just about any V-shaped boat with a cabin large enough to suit your needs will work. The V-shape will allow your boat to plane right over the water at optimum speeds without putting much stress upon the engine. Again, to save the most on fuel, a 4-stroke motor with the maximum horsepower recommended for your boat would be best.

For fishing, it is good to get a fishing boat with a live well and trolling motor. You can fish from any boat but a fishing boat provides maximum comfort and efficiency while fishing. For one thing, fishing boats have a raised platform that allows for standing and easy casting. It also has several compartments for storing your gear. The live well keeps your fish/bait fresh. A trolling motor will allow for trolling lures and casting as it moves the boat much slower than even the lowest motor setting. All fishing boats are V-shaped and built for speed. To maximize speed, a two-stroke motor would be best. Although it is less expensive and wastes more fuel, a two-stroke will get you to your spots quickly. A two-stroke is also easy to repair and can better withstand some harsh treatment. If you plan to cover plenty of water whilst fishing, a four-stroke motor would save you on fuel and may be a better choice.

Once you have decided upon what kind of boat to buy, start looking around for deals. Used boats can save you a lot of money but be wary of older boats and motors because they are less reliable, use more fuel, and require more long-term maintenance. Make sure to test run any boat before buying. It would be a good idea to hire someone who knows more about boats and motors to come along for your test run.

Once you do buy a boat, find out about the boater’s safety classes in your area. Although these are not required by law, they will teach you the various skills needed for safe and legal boating. Another important aspect of boating that is often overlooked is trailer maneuvering. Before bringing your boat to a launch, practice backing up your boat. Most boat launches are difficult to maneuver for beginners and many boats/cars have been damaged in this way. Most importantly, tell someone where you are going and walk with a GPS (global positioning satellite) device or a cell phone. Enjoy your time out on the water!

Above: Shaun Robbins is a 26 year old trophy fisherman from Rochester, NY. He has over 17 years of boating experience and works as a Muskie fishing guide on the St. Lawrence River.