We've come up with three dream fishing boat setups, with three styles of angling in mind.
If you're in the market for a new fishing boat, the spring of 2014 is lining up to be a great season to get one. Lots of top manufacturers are bringing out their latest and greatest, and even previous year's models can be found for good prices and still stack up.
But if we're talking about dream fishing boat setups, then the sky is the limit. We wanted to let our imaginations run wild, and ultimately pretend that money, well, grows on trees or something.
In that case, here are three fishing boats that would make anglers happy, in three different preferences.
Cobia 296 CC
Dubbed as a boat that's designed to "handle any conditions Mother Nature throws its way," the Cobia 296 CC is a pretty impressive angler-specified offshore machine. With 82 square feet of cockpit space and a level deck from stem to stern, it's ideal for moving around efficiently when your catch is keeping you active.
Two 28 gallon livewells come standard, as do two in-deck 64″ macerated fishboxes. Handy tackle organizers will keep everything where you need it, and two insulated boxes will maintain your bait's freshness for as long as the 230 gallon fuel tank will keep you on the water.
What's interestingly great about this boat is that it's CE certified, which means it meets some pretty strict structural specs. The 10-foot beam gives it a roomy feel, with plenty of room for friends and family.
We would opt for the Twin F250XCA engines that Cobia suggests matching up, and know that we'd be set up with a reliable set of strong-willed pieces of machinery.
Cobia offers Raymarine electronic systems, and we would gladly use them along with the optional hard top rod rack, just so we made sure we had enough room to keep several people's gear in place.
The comfort and "fishability" is nearly unmatched in such a powerful and expansive boat, which is why the Cobia 296 CC would be our dream offshore vessel.
We know the professional performance of Nitro has been well documented, and we're pretty excited about the 2014 Z-9 model. Bells and whistles aside, it's a 20 foot, nine inch beast with the ability to be customized exactly how you want it.
The Z-9 comes almost completely stacked with everything you would need to bring the onslaught to the bass in your lake or river, but we'd be sure to add enough rod holders to be able to bring a couple fishing buddies. We'd opt for the 300 L Verado Pro FourStroke that Nitro recommends, and the Power-Pole Blade 10 anchor should do the trick.
The echo 550c from Garmin would fit in nicely, and not just because it was recently announced that Garmin has teamed up with Bill Dance, the legendary angler.
Because we can, we'd add the line spooler and built-in Coolguard livewell cooling system (After all, we're in Texas, and summers can get ridiculously hot). A Minn Kota trolling motor would be handy for sneaking up on that spot we know has fish.
Jackson Big Rig
The Jackson Big Rig began production a mere month ago, and we already want our hands on one. It's designed specifically for standing and fishing, with increased stability thanks to a 37-inch platform. The only real drawback from the size and design is the weight; it comes in at 92 pounds.
The much anticipated kayak comes standard with an Elite seat with optional high/low seating positions, and a leaning post for stability. A rear tankwell and multiple rod holders will let you occupy everything you need. Adding a Power-Pole anchor built for kayaks would be key.
Of course, we'd want to optional rudder, which would add some expense but is totally worth it. As far as an all-water, all-style fishing kayak goes, the Jackson Big Rig takes the cake.
What other features or accessories would you look for in your dream boat?
Cobia 296 CC via Cobiaboats.com
Nitro Z-9 via Nitro.com
Jackson Big Rig via jacksonkayak.com