About your boat…

imanalien asked 5 months ago

What year and model is your boat? Draft? Engine HP? Been looking at the Trackers and interested in how they do. I fish around Biloxi Marsh mainly but want to get back into the ponds as well. I like the price point and the features.

5 Answers
Captain Devin Staff answered 5 months ago

Hey Robbie, my boat is a Tracker Pro Team 195 TXW.

Draft is 12"

150 HP

It’s not the best boat for getting shallow. Bass boats stern squat pretty hard, but I’m able to get shallow enough and fish.

Honestly, you shouldn’t be fishing shallower than 2 feet anyway.

It’s not a bad boat, very economical and a lot of bang for your buck.

If I had to buy it again I would, but remember I got it because it fits my style of fishing.

It’s not a popping cork monger and it does run wet, but it works great for jigging, etc. (you know what I like to do).

Hope that helps.

Captain Devin Staff answered 1 month ago

LOL Nice martini analogy.

I wouldn’t cross Lake Borgne in anything more than 5 knots. As you can imagine, a northeast or southwest wind is the worst.

That comes from a lot of experience crossing that body of water in a lot of different boats, to include a 15ft flatboat with a 70hp outboard.

My suggestion is to choose your days wisely and don’t mess with anything stronger than 5 knots.

That way you don’t beat up you and your boat (or worse).

Wind predictions resources I’ve used over the years are the NOAA Marine Forecast and (more recently) Windfinder.

DO. NOT. USE. NON-MARINE. FORECASTS.

I cannot tell you how many times people have told me, "Captain Devin, the wind forecast said it was going to blow 5 miles per hour but once I got out there it was blowing more like 15mph!"

Well, they looked at an AccuWeather or Weather dot com forecast and got a forecast that’s made for people on land, not people on the water.

The NOAA Marine Forecast gives you a reliable marine forecast for a 24 hour period to include a sea state. Here’s one for Lake Borgne:

https://forecast.weather.gov/shmrn.php?mz=gmz534&syn=gmz500

If I am going to cross Lake Borgne, then I’d really like to see "waves less than 1 foot" in their prediction.

Windfinder doesn’t always give a sea state (this is station dependent) but does give a wind forecast based on a 3-hour period.

This is better because you’ll be able to see variations in wind strength throughout the day, instead of a single prediction for the whole day.

So, if the wind lays down in the morning, but will blow its ass off in the afternoon, then you’ll know that the morning time will be fishable (and the rest of the day won’t).

NOAA Marine Forecast doesn’t have this advantage, but I still look at it to make sure that the two forecasts are saying the same thing.

Just to recap, I’ll only cross Lake Borgne if the wind is blowing 5 knots or less and the waves will be less than 1 foot.

That ensures a clean, smooth ride.

When you start gambling with 1-2 ft sea predictions and 5-10 knot predictions is where you’ll find yourself in a pickle in the middle of the lake, get wet, beat the crap out of your boat and many other undesirable things.

Hope that helps.

imanalien answered 5 months ago

Appreciate the info…just doing a little dreaming. I’ve tried catching what your HP was on videos but just couldn’t get it. And none of the info I could pull up list draft. 12" is still less then my 18ft Kenner CC. My issue with it is the front keel touches ground first in the ponds. May have to experiment with lightening the load on the front, shift trolling motor battery to rear. One good thing about the Kenner is it runs pretty dry unless the wind is really up and/or there is big wave action. I like it…just wish it was a little faster. HP is maxed.

John Kesler answered 1 month ago

Devin, I was gifted a 2014 tracker 175 ProTeam TF with a 60hp Merc 4 stroke. I find I can get it as you say, shallow enough, definitely float fine in 1.5 ft of water but need at least 2-3 feet for getting on plane. It’s a slug getting on plane but once there it’s a nice ride. I’m working on replacing my beat up aluminum 4 blade (I think it’s a mercury spitfire 13 or 14 pitch) with a trophy sport 13p stainless for better acceleration onto plane, top end speed for my with that beat up prop is around 37-38 mph with a full bag of gas minimal gear and no water in livewells. I am about to add a 3rd battery to make a 24v system however.
I want to know with a 17.5 ft tracker I want to be able to cross lake borgne to get to biloxi marsh when the conditions call for it. About what strength and direction of winds would you consider a no go vs. a go for that type of boat if I were to want to head out to biloxi marsh launching from Island Marina (which is where my boat is stored) I’ve always thought if I had to I could take the (very long way around) through the ICW cross the chalmette wall, down the MRGO and into the marsh that way. It’s about a 30-40 mile jaunt but I’m not really in a position to trailer my boat out to hopedale if I wanted to get out that way. Plus my boat sips gas like a virgin drinking a martini on a first date so I know it’s got the range plus I also could fill up at hopedale on my way back home if I were to take such a long trip.
Anyway, your thoughts?
Thanks.

John Kesler answered 1 month ago

Thanks a lot for that answer. Def will heed that advice and adding the NOAA forecasts to my arsenal of marine bookmarks to better judge the conditions when going out next time.