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Anyone double duty bay boat as bass boat?

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I am looking at a Robalo 206 Caymen bay boat w/ 150 Yamaha, although not a bass boat it looks like it really can double as one in most situations. This boat is family friendly, has 10" draft, large casting deck up front and decent in rear. Benefit is I can us a family sports boat, cruise with wife, bay and shallow water boat, near shore on real nice days BUT also use as bass boat.

 

I was looking at bass boats but they really are one purpose machines.  Anyone doing this or have thoughts?

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First that is a nice boat and believe me Robalo has a great reputation for building high quality boats. 

Tell me a little more, I see you have some small lakes near you.  You also live close to the James River and plenty of tidal Chesapeake Bay waters.  Is the tidal waters and the James your intended boating areas?

 

I live om the Upper Chesapeake bay and that boat would be super up here. I am sure I could run pretty comfortably around my area. I live near Middle River, The Gunpowder river, Pooles Island and Hart Miller Island.  I had a friend that ran a customized parker boat like that and he guided off it for stripers and bass.

 

I think that boat will adapt well and fill several needs.  Add striper fishing to your bas fishing and your freezer can also get filled.  Your wife will probably enjoy a good striper fillet cooked on the grill.

I run a typical aluminum bass boat and have to worry about water conditions, I have considered trading for something like that or a bigger deep v boat.  The nice thing is the boat still can go shallow.

 

Have you looked at  this yet?

http://www.boattest.com/review/robalo/3077_206-cayman

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Fishnkamp, thank you for thoughtful reply, I do bank bass fishing on small ponds/lakes  in Richmond area. I am tired of the bank, so the idea is to get a boat I can use as bass boat plus other uses I mentioned. Last year I didn't fish as much as I normally do partly because of getting bored with fishing from bank or wading in a few feet.

 

I plan to use it mostly on James, Rappahannock, Appomadox rivers and creeks along with lakes in Central Va, plus tow around further including SE Florida.

 

I was thinking this size might be a little small for Chesapeake, it's bigger brother the 222 or 246 would be much better but on calm days this could hit some striper runs. Plus as you mentioned ths would open up opportunites for more species in rivers/tidal waters.

 

I started looking at pure bass boats, but to satisfy all family members I though this was better fit. Maybe not best in any one category, but overall pretty good in many.

PS, I did see the link you provided.Thanks 

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I have a friend that runs a 20 foot Ranger all over the Potomac River including out near Point Lookout.  He runs that thing all over the Upper Chesapeake Bay as well.  Certainly that boat should handle as well as his boat. Much of his striper fishing, as well as mine when I owned my 20 foot fish and ski boat, was done around the route 301 bridge and below down towards Colonial Beach. 

 

I have never fished your rivers, nor boated them.  I believe Bryan has, so if you would send me an e-mail at fishnkamp@comcast.net   I will share his fishing website.  Go ask him about the boat you are considering and the waters you intend to fish.  He and his dad have had all kinds of boats including a Skeeter center console.  

 

Here is the style boat I had that fished like a bass boat but played like a runabout.  I loved mine!  I used it on the Potomac and Upper Bay, Lake Anna, Raystown Lake etc.  Mine was a Pro Craft but here is what it looked like.

https://skeeterboats.com/boats/bass-sl/sl-210   

We fished, tubed ands skied off it as well as just plain went riding in it.  Often we used it as transport to the crab houses on the Potomac while camping at a campground on the Port Tobacco River.  We kept a travel trailer there for years.

 

That boat was great on the rivers as it did not draft anymore than the a standard bass boat. It was okay on the bay as well. It is still a carpeted boat, so if you intend to go catch big cats and such than the non carpeted boat is better.

A simple hose down and the boat is cleaned up.

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my buddy had a nautique star bay boat that we tournament fished out of for a year. of course it was slower than a bass boat and it didn't have carpet, which I really like but it fished very well. it was a little hard to maneuver but it was a very capable boat for bass fishing. I would say that as long as the bay boat has an adequate trolling motor that it will not be an issue other than the little creature comforts.

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I looked at bay boats hard...wanted to convince myself they were a good fit for me.

 

Stuff I liked:

  1. Raised seat, center console - I felt like I could work my way around the boat with a big fish on and not have to worry about dancing between side consoles, and I like being able to see the water in front of the boat.
  2. High decks for fly casting
  3. As noted above: Easy to clean (I dislike carpet)

Stuff I didn't like:

  1. Raised seat, center console - standing on the front deck, I could see bashing my rod into the console, and wrapping fly rine around it.
  2. Not as much deck space as a bass-type boat
  3. Nowhere near as much storage as a bass boat

When all was said and done, it was really the last one that killed it for me.  As a dedicated multi-species fisherman, I carry a lot of tackle and gear (I often switch from bass to pike, back to bass and then to musky...and then switch to fly rods all in one day) and I am a little nuts about storage space.

 

If I wasn't such a gear nut, I'd probably be running a Skeeter Bay boat today, probably a lot like this one: http://www.skeeterboatcenter.com/InventoryDetail.aspx?boattype=Used-Boats&model=&stocknumber=S1788A

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Instead of my Tracker 190, I almost got a Mako 18LTS/inshore/flats boat. Problem was, after adding a depth finder, a trolling motor and upgrading from the under-powered 90hp they have on the base models, I was priced out of it rather quickly....

In retrospect, with the amount of time I hit salt water (nearly 0), I'm glad I went with the bass boat, but have to admit I still drool over those inshore bay boats...

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Robalo has a strong following here on the south shore of Ontario. They have a couple of models that are an ideal smallie fishing machine. 

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Lot of guys run those on the lakes down here in central FL when they are too lazy to hit up coasts.

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