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Stix

Fishing big water

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Not really sure if this should be here or over in the tournament forums so an adimn may move as they see fit. I'm looking for some opinions or experiences from people who have fished some "big" water Chickamauga, Okeechobee, Kentucky lake, and the like out of older bass boats. I have a 1989 stratos 289 that I would like to run the BFL and southeastern Costa series events out of in 2017. My question is for those running similar boats are you comfortable running in some bigger water with it and do you think its any kind of disadvantage come tournament day? The Costa schedule this year would put me on the big O which I've run many times, but the second and third are Lake Seminole and Lake Chickamauga respectively. I have never been to either of these lakes and would hate to get there only to feel limited to what i can do due to the size or age of the boat, and then put my co-angler at a disadvantage also. Thoughts?

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Personally, although the recommendation of others is helpful, if I were spending the time and money to fish the series in 2017, I would be at Seminole and Chickamauga in my boat before I run out of 2016.  Comfort level is very subjective.  If you want to be competitive, which I assume you do, take that question out of the equation while you still can.  You will have enough other things that can pose challenges during the tourney. 

Good luck to you either way.  

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10 hours ago, Stix said:

I have never been to either of these lakes

If you're gonna fish at that level, you must change this situation.

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Your boat will run that lakes fine. Go get lake maps, learn where they launch from and go spend a week on each body of water. Heck I have had 11 boats including 1 2o foot 200 hp rocket. I am back to aluminum.  I fish Dale Hollow, and Center Hill. Both are close to Chickamaugas size. You will find it helpful to have paper maps, electronic chips for your gps and I would use Angling Technologies website, as well as Navionics webapp to help learn the lake and make a plan to fish it.

While you are learning the lake chop it up into sections and launch in that section each day. This will save gas and money running around. Then before tournament day lay out the route you need to follow creating waypoints to different spots. Use these so tournament day you can just run a route making it impossible to get lost or waste time.

Most imporatnt have fun and good luck. 

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I am currently planning trips to both lakes as soon as possible. I understand everyone's comfort level running around larger lake will be different. I usually try to run on the safer side of things which is why I was looking for some insight.

 

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I would add, spend some time running those lakes when it rough!

Know your boats limitations & your's!

Just because your boat can handle it doesn't mean ya have to run the whole lake.

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Stratos 289 FS? What engine do you have?

The 289 is a 19' bass boat with only enough front deck for 1 angler and that isn't going to work for today's younger anglers who expect to share the front with you when flipping or pitching.

If your 29 year old boat and engine is in excellent condition and and the electronics and trolling motor are up to date, it may work, if not don't do it!

Tom

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A lot of running rough water is the driver. It isn't something you're going to learn in a day. As described , your set up will be fine assuming you aren't under powered engine wise. Spend as much time in rough water as you can to get the hang of it. 

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4 hours ago, WRB said:

Stratos 289 FS? What engine do you have?

The 289 is a 19' bass boat with only enough front deck for 1 angler and that isn't going to work for today's younger anglers who expect to share the front with you when flipping or pitching.

If your 29 year old boat and engine is in excellent condition and and the electronics and trolling motor are up to date, it may work, if not don't do it!

Tom

Im running a 175hp on it now. Per flw rules coanglers must fish the back deck at all times so the size of my front deck won't be issue   (although you're right it is small) Trying to find some rough water down here in Florida might an issue consider most places are not more than 10ft deep.  Looks like I'll be making some road trips before the season starts. 

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12 hours ago, Stix said:

Im running a 175hp on it now. Per flw rules coanglers must fish the back deck at all times so the size of my front deck won't be issue   (although you're right it is small) Trying to find some rough water down here in Florida might an issue consider most places are not more than 10ft deep.  Looks like I'll be making some road trips before the season starts. 

Try crisscrossing  Lake Istakpoga on a windy day. If you can safely do that you can cross anything else you encounter, you have to learn to read the water. Or cross the open parts of the Big O in high winds.

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I run Okeechobee in an a 18 foot ranger all the time and have no problems at all. 

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