Sea-Doo Fish Pro ReviewSea-Doo Fish Pro Review The 2019 Sea-Doo Fish Pro is the first personal watercraft designed for fishing to hit the market - and we review it here!
The 2019 Sea-Doo Fish Pro is the first personal watercraft designed for fishing to hit the market - and we review it here! It's shaking things up in the personal watercraft marketplace and also the recreational fishing industry too! The Fish Pro is the PWC to challenge kayak fishing, and lure a lot of folks away from big dollar boats and towards this fully-outfitted runabout.
Hey, folks. Glenn May here with BassResource.com. And I've been bass fishing for about five decades now, it's dating me. And I'd be the first to tell you that bass anglers don't necessarily like personal watercraft, and water skiers, and that sort of thing, mainly because they're loud, they are disruptive to the serenity of fishing, they put out these big wakes that rock the boat. And of course, some of the operators out there are a little dangerous, don't operate in a respectful manner. They get too close, they drive their personal watercrafts in a dangerous manner. That's again, they are the minority, bass anglers have that, too, in our community. There's some bass anglers out there that just aren't really good boaters, so they gave everybody a bad name. So there's always been this kind of a friction between fishermen and personal watercrafts.
So when Sea-Doo got a hold of me, and they said, "Hey, we want you to try this new personal watercraft that we've designed. We want you to fish out of it." I was like, "Really? You want me to fish out of a personal watercraft?" And they said, "No, this is actually designed for fishing. And you're going to be the world's first bass angler to use it, and you get to fish at Florida's famous 13/Stick Marsh Farm Pond that which is notorious for having giant bass. And I was like, "Wow, okay. All right. I'm gonna give it a shot." You don't really learn anything new unless you try something new. And you get to experience new things for yourself, so I'm just gonna put myself out there and see what happens. Why not? So I wanna tell you a little bit about what happened, what my impressions are and see if this might be something that you wanna try.
Now, for years personal watercraft owners, they've modified their Sea-Doos for fishing. They've added rod holders, and ice chest, tackle storage, and so on to make it possible to fish from the PWCs. Some of these are really whacked out modifications, they look kind of wild. And some of these, I'm telling you, they're pretty modified.
But now Sea-Doo has come out with the first production model PWC that's designed specifically for fishing. It's called a Fish Pro, and it's actually pretty cool. It's built on a large platform. It comes with a large cooler, rod holders, tackle storage, a depth finder, an extended rear deck, and it even has a nine-position slow-speed settings for trolling, which I'll talk about that a little bit. But my first thought was, hey, I could use something like this to get into areas that you just can't get into with a traditional bass boat. Those real skinny water, shallow areas, you're just not gonna be able to get into, this looks kind of promising. But, you know, is this really something you can fish out of?
So when I first got there, I got a little walk around, got to see what this thing look like, and upon seeing it, my first reaction that, "Yeah, this is big."
It's a very capable three-seater with an extra rear platform that gives it an even larger profile. I'd say it's one of if not the largest PWCs I've seen. It has a large 13.5 gallon cooler attached to the back with rod holders attached to that. The chest has a lot of room and it has plenty of room for beverages, food, ice. And of course, if you wanna put fish on ice, it has room for that. Today I had actually a bait bucket in there with several water bottles, ice, lunch, and I still had a ton of room left in there to put whatever else I wanted in there. And it's attached to this rear platform using these locking mechanisms they call link. And the reason they have this is it adds a modular approach to attaching all kinds of different accessories to this watercraft. You can put this in here, you can put a smaller cooler in there, you can add a fuel tank if you want. I can see transforming this cooler into a live well, for like tournaments. You can actually do that. So it'd be pretty handy. And then you attach the little other cooler on a smaller cooler and there you go, you got your lunch and beverages in there.
But one of the things that really stood as I walked around was this integrated depth finder. It's actually fish finder, it's built into the console for easy viewing while you're driving in also while you're fishing. I mean, the placement of this thing is they thought this out. It's actually well-designed and it's a good unit, it's a Garmin echoMAP unit, has GPS navigation on a trip technology.
It has traditional trip sonar and they're clear view scanning sonar. It's really impressive, the transducer is Thru-Hull mount, so you don't have to fuss with it. It's a really good fish finder and I was impressive that that's on there.
Also, it has a really large waterproof storage compartment on the front of the seat, and actually you can access this while you're sitting down in it. So you can put tons of room and it's actually huge. You can probably put easily two, maybe three tackle boxes in there, plus rain gear, plus a PFD and other equipment, tons of room without having to modify it. So that I thought was really thoughtful. So after getting a look through all this, I'd said, "Okay, well, now, it's time to get on and actually go ride this thing." And when I first got on, the very first thing I noticed was that it was actually very comfortable. It felt like a custom fit. Nothing was awkward about it, nothing felt uncomfortable. I actually felt that I was very safe in it. I actually stood up, had to check it, rocked it back and forth, is it gonna tip over? And really, it felt very, very stable. It felt low center of gravity. It didn't rock that much, it took a lot of effort to do it. And so what I did is I actually swung my legs over the console and I stood up on one side because I figured that's gonna be the real test and it just barely tipped, it really didn't tip much at all. So I was really impressed. I could move around, I swoop my leg around, put it backwards. I moved around, sat sideways on the bench, I could move all over this thing without feeling like I'm gonna fall over. It was a very, very stable platform. So I was very relieved about that.
And I've heard the PWCs, they're notorious for slow speed maneuverability, just not being very good. So that's the first thing I did as I kicked it on, and kind of motored around at idle and then real slow speeds and it actually was really easy to steer. I can make circles with ease, and this actually has a reverse throttle on that works as a break. And trust me, it is like a break. If you've been on a bicycle before and you hit the brake, it felt a lot like that on water, which is pretty cool. But it'll add an additional maneuverability on it. So I took off and got on plane. What I realized right away is that this engine was really responsive and very, very powerful. It had a lot of power and quick, quick acceleration. Now, I'm used to going 70 miles an hour in a bass boat. Don't get me wrong, but this has a very different feel to it. You're right there very close to the water and it's a different, you know, type of watercraft, so it took a little bit of getting used to.
But it was fun, I'm telling you. At first, I wasn't really confident in the stability and controlling this thing, so I didn't go full-out. But by the end of the day, I was going over 50 miles an hour in choppy water without any problem at all. And I can tell you the learning curve just wasn't very steep. So if you've ever piloted a bass boat before, or any kind of boat, you can handle one of these with ease, trust me on that one. The cool thing about this is that the engine really just as a gas miser, I drove all over this lake and it's a pretty sizable lake. And I used maybe 3 gallons of gas at the most, maybe. And this has a really large fuel tank and talking to Sea-Doo, they said you can go over 70 miles on a single tank. So you can reach pretty much any destination you want to with this and make your way back without any problems whatsoever. So that's pretty cool.
And the ride itself was really dry, even going through choppy water, it was a dry ride. I really didn't get wet, I expected to get wet and be soaking wet. In some boats, you know, during the day. But I didn't, it was actually really dry ride. So cool. Nice. I can drive it, steer it, not a problem. That's a PWC, but really, this is a fishing machine. So how old is this fish? That was really what I wanted to know. So let me tell you about this. So I'm used to standing in front of the deck with the bass boat while fishing and so naturally, that's what I did on this. I stood up to fish. And yeah, you can do it. Yeah, you can fish with these, but I understand it's not like normal standing up, you got a seat between your legs. So you're kind of at a stance, and that takes a little bit of getting used to. It wasn't really awkward, and I wasn't tired, and my legs didn't get tired at the end of the day, but it's just a different kind of stance.
And again, you can fish while you're seated if you want to, or while you're seated forwards, seated backwards. You can sit on it sideways. There's a little angle gunwale along the side, you can rest your feet on it while you're doing this. It's got kind of a gripping material on it so your feet don't slide and it's comfortable. And I can move, you know, I tried all those different ways. And again, it didn't feel like I was gonna lose my balance or this thing was gonna tip over at all. I felt really comfortable moving around on it, not a problem. But the one thing is when you're using this, the rod holders, you know, they stick straight up, they stick the rod straight up in the back behind you. So if you're facing forward, whether you're standing or sitting, you're casting, you gotta be very much aware of those rods behind you because you could get tangled up on them in the back cast. And you know, I nicked the rods a couple times and I thought I was doing pretty good, but there's one cast I made in the middle of that day where the hooks on my crank bait got caught on the line on the rod behind me and that made for a nasty backlash. So, you know, you just got to be real careful.
I'd like to see those rod holders, maybe have them adjustable or something that you can lay the rods down horizontally while you're fishing so they're not standing up in the way, but nonetheless it wasn't that big of a deal. It's just something you got to be aware of while you're fishing. So the ice chest is in the back and this is where you can…also has a little tackle storage back there where you can put your planos back in there and get your tackle. You do have to slide to the back to get to it which really isn't a problem. If you've ever been on a PWC before, they have a little bit deeper, like a saddle type seat. This one doesn't, it's actually shallower and they designed it that way so you can easily slide around and slide to the back if you need to. And that's what I did, the ice chest supports an external storage net like I mentioned, it holds about two plano 3700 boxes.
It's really strong, it's got this elastic top to it that holds things in, but whatever you put in this net storage thing, it will stay, which is great. While you're running around, you're hitting wakes, and bouncing around, nothing's going to fall out. But it does make it a little bit difficult to get those plano boxes out. You have to use both hands, you just can't reach back there and grab it. So keep that in mind. The ice chest has a recessed flat lid on the top and it works like a tabletop and actually has kind of a rubber like lining, so things don't slide around and move around. That works great, I used that while I was rigging. Nice little platform and that was really a good idea that they put in that design.
That said though, I would like to see it and add a few storage options up to the front of the watercraft or holding a few bags of baits, or hooks, or weights. You know, those things like if you're breaking off or you have to retie, or rerig, or what have you, it's right there available to you so you don't have to go to the back of the PWC and get all that. So I'd like to see that made in a future iteration. Hopefully, they make something like that. Now, if you're a bass angler, you're probably wondering about controlling the boat without a trolling motor. And this is a big thing for me. I was like, yeah, how do you do this? So I thought it was gonna be kind of a pain, but quite frankly, it wasn't as much of an inconvenience as I thought it was gonna be. For the most part, I just drifted along the shoreline using the wind. It just kind of pushed me along and of course the wind wasn't going perfectly parallel to the shore lines. Every once in a while, I had to kick on the engine and back it up a little bit or move it around, reposition a little bit, and then just turn the engine off and let the wind do its job.
The engine wasn't very loud. It's actually very quiet engines and so when you kick it on, it's not like kicking on a prop engine, it's very quiet. And so I actually wasn't really worried about spooking the fish. So with time and a little bit of practice, it wasn't really much of a hindrance at all. And I was able to fish just like you would normally for bass fishing, it's just that you don't have the full control that you would have with the trolling motor, but it's not that hard to adapt it to the wind. Now, what I'd like to see on this is maybe if you could attach an anchor to it, maybe a Power-Pole Micro Anchor, or something like that. I think that would be very useful if you wanna stay in a spot and maybe bed finish or fish a spot thoroughly. Or maybe if you had an anchor with you, again, that storage compartment up front is plenty of room, so you can have an anchor and attach that to it. That will work as well in a traditional rope anchor. But yeah, I'd like to see something like that where you can attach that to the boat. But other than that, again, it wasn't that big of a deal.
It did have this trolling feature. Now, it has nine incremental slow speeds for trolling. Basically, from 1 mile an hour to about 9 mile an hour. And I tried the 1 mile an hour, tried fishing that for a while along the shoreline and I found it was just a bit too fast. It was kind of a [inaudible 00:14:13], if you got a Minn Kota, about 40, right? Or four if you got, you know, other trolling motor speed. It's just a bit too fast. Now, I've got a headwind, then it probably would compensate and slow down enough where you could fish it. But it's definitely too fast if you were fishing, say, worms or plastics, jigs flipping a pitch and that sort of thing. But if you're fishing spinnerbait, crankbait moving, covering a lot of water is doable. Yeah, it's doable, you can do that. Now, if you are doing other kind of fishing, say walleye fishing, or trout fishing, then you can troll with this with ease. It's actually really designed for that. And it's perfect for that.
So if you're a fisherman that likes to troll, this will do it for sure. Overall, I think this is a good platform from somebody that will wants a family-friendly recreational watercraft that also wants to use it for fishing. Especially if you don't have the room to store a large boat in your garage or maybe you live in an apartment and you don't have a big budget, I think they started around $15,000, it's a lot more affordable than a pricey fiberglass bass boat, especially a new one. But I'd say for guys like us, or like me that fish for bass all the time, it's actually a really good option to get into those little tight small areas that you just can't get to with your traditional bass boat. And I think I'm gonna get one of these because I can think of several places that I want to get to, but I just can't with my bass boat. So those fish better watch out because I'm coming for you. Get the Fish Pro. Check it out, guys. You're gonna like it.
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