Pathfinder Boats

General Questions

Pathfinder Boats

Postby fishcast » Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:20 pm

Larry,

I absolutely love your knowledge on the sport and thanks much for your contributions to the sport. I've learned a lot from watching your shows from back at In-Fisherman through today! Anyways.... Here's my question....

I do a large mix of fishing from freshwater stream fishing all the way to the florida keys saltwater flats and passes. I love it all. I love casting applications especially, however, I'm also beginning to do a little guiding for walleye involving a lot of trolling, controlled drifting etc etc. I spend a lot of time on Sakakawea and Fort Peck along with lakes across Northern MN and WI.

I currently own an Alumacraft 185 tiller with a 90 hp yamaha outboard. There's so much wind and big water on Sakakawea and Fort Peck that it can frequently be hard to comfortably (or safely) and efficiently venture from spot to spot or make longer runs. I'm considering looking into options for boats that would work well in big water freshwater offshore applications (particularly walleye and muskie) but still be fun and effective for shallow water bass fishing to muskies and panfish.

It seems like Pathfinder bay boats or similar brand bay boats may bridge that difficult gap. I am interested in something considerably drier and smoother and safer and something I can run faster in for very rough water than my current 18'10" tiller Alumacraft (fyi it has an 85" beam). I also want something with very well thought out and bulletproof (relatively) items on the boat. Waterproof storage, no carpet, self draining scuppers, and what seems to be very well thought out (and easy to maintain) live wells and electrical wiring seem to be huge plusses for Pathfinder from internet research and youtube videos I've watched at least....

Eventually I would have to jump in one personally before making final decisions but I'm considering selling my Alumacraft and jumping on a used 20' or 22' pathfinder. Also, would you see there being a considerable difference in rough water handling with the 22' foot pathfinder compared to the 20 pathfinder? As far as garage space the 20' would be ideal but I could probably make the 22' work. Also, have you ever heard of anyone mounting a extension plate of some kind to a pathfinder to run a remote kicker motor? Ideally I would use a 9.9 hp kicker for some walleye or general trolling applications but that may not be completely necessary... I know pathfinders are meant to run with trim tabs and some extension plate would need to extend the kicker past those and i'm not sure if anyones tried that before....

Thanks so much for any general thoughts. Living up north theres very few pathfinders obviously and I'd value your opinion a lot
fishcast
 
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Re: Pathfinder Boats

Postby dahlberg » Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:59 am

Your suspicions are right about bay boats, but in my experience the 24' pathfinder is quite a bit more sea worthy in rough water than either the 20 or 22 foot models.
For trolling and drifting, both power paddles (fit on power pole) and drift socks help a great deal. Not too sure about the kicker motor, but I'm sure it could be rigged up with a little yankee ingenuity.
I've owned several pathfinders and they really are great boats. The 23' step hull and the 24' are my favorites. Several musky guides are using them in Minnesota. Ben Olson, Jason Hammernick, are two.
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L
Larry Dahlberg
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Re: Pathfinder Boats

Postby fishcast » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:51 pm

Thanks a bunch for the reply! I actually just sent Ben Olson an e-mail inquiring about a few things including a possible guide trip to really see his boat in action. Looks like he has a 2200 trs (or at least he has at some point it appears).

I was checking out more videos on the power pole paddles. They really are crazy convenient and helpful for controlling speeds and drifts.... More so than I'd even thought beforehand.
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Re: Pathfinder Boats

Postby dahlberg » Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:21 am

yup, ben is running the 22 footer. I had one for a year and sold it in favor of the 24. In big waves the difference between the the two hull is very substantial. Also the 22 will get some water in it( inch to half inch on the floor between console and rear deck)l thru the skuppers if you've got two guys fishing off the rear deck.
Yeah, you are right about the power poles. I had the 22 footer rigged with a 250 Yamaha and the slowest it would troll was about 3.5 mph. With power poles fitted with drift paddles the speed was reduced to .7 mph!
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Re: Pathfinder Boats

Postby fishcast » Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:07 pm

I just read that apparently a lot of people install something called rabuds around the drain on the transom which eliminates the water coming up through the hull...

That is very incredible with the power pole paddles. Incredible versatility with power poles! I've been watching videos on them and really hope to have them in the future.
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Re: Pathfinder Boats

Postby dahlberg » Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:02 pm

yes, I've heard of that as well. Main diff, though is big, rough water. Both the 23' step hull and 24'er will far out perform the other hulls when things begin to really kick up. Just sayin, I've had all three boats and you asked! Any one of them will out perform any aluminum I've owned by a mile, especially in terms of getting your a_ _ soaked or hammered up around your adam's apple like a turtle neck !!
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Re: Pathfinder Boats

Postby fishcast » Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:01 pm

haha thanks for the input, Larry!
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