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MINIMUM BOAT FOR DEVILS HOLE DRIFTS

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Hey LOU team-

 

I’m wondering what the minimum boat size and horse power would be for getting up into the devils hole drifts. I ideally would like to get the 16ft deep V tracker with a 60hp. I know this is definitely a bit smaller than what most captains have. But, assuming I was smart about the water conditions, and respectful/intelligent in general...could I get up there? Next size up is 17’ and 90hp, but another $6k in price.

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

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I used to fish it regularly with my 2001 tracker 175 with a 60hp.  That being said it was a slow rough go getting under the bridge and past the plant unless it was low water levels first thing in the morning.   With todays water levels you are going to be puckering up and turning back more often than not.  You'd probably be fine under normal winter water levels but with the great lakes being where they are who knows when we will see those again.  Also with a 60 you'll definitely have a slow go with anything more than 2 guys under any conditions.  If your goal is to fish above the dams safely I'd reccomend spending the 6k.  

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not convinced you need to fish there, plenty of fish in the Artpark drift as well as others.  IMO the power of the trolling motor is as important as the one on the stern for controlling your drift.  Ive had some hairy experiences at Devils hole, wouldnt be thrilled to make the trip in a 16 foot boat.

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not convinced you need to fish there, plenty of fish in the Artpark drift as well as others.  IMO the power of the trolling motor is as important as the one on the stern for controlling your drift.  Ive had some hairy experiences at Devils hole, wouldnt be thrilled to make the trip in a 16 foot boat.


what about salmon run tho? people catch em at art park ?


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Sorry, have only been there during winter


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12 minutes ago, Burger said:

 


what about salmon run tho? people catch em at art park ?


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Your gonna end up in a bad situation trying to salmon fish up there in a 16 footer.  Water is still at summer levels during salmon season.  What if you have to chase a fish between the plants?  If you want to fish devils spend the 6k.  It's not worth risking your life.

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Your gonna end up in a bad situation trying to salmon fish up there in a 16 footer.  Water is still at summer levels during salmon season.  What if you have to chase a fish between the plants?  If you want to fish devils spend the 6k.  It's not worth risking your life.



ok yeah you’re absolutely 1,000% right, thanks man 🤙


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All the replies above are spot on . You will be happier in the long run with the bigger boat no matter where you fish. The 6,000 difference is on a new boat ? Seems to be quite a few nice used ones in the size range listed on here and Craigs. Just a thought if spending a extra 6K is not in your wheelhouse. Don't want to get anyone in a uproar but ,,,, I have not heard a lot of good things about Trackers. I would rather buy the 17.5  StarCraft listed on here and if need be trade in the desirable Honda 4 stroke 50 hp to go bigger. Quality aluminum hulls  last forever and what your saving by going that route would allow you to buy a brand new or slightly used engine . Would water test any boat to make sure it has the performance that you want. [ I have no connections with that boat or seller. ]

Edited by Bozeman Bob
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If you want to give your guests a thrill seeker type ride, they will have it. Remember going up there against all the current you will burn a lot of fuel. Make sure you have plenty of fuel as you also burn up even more picking up and starting a new drift.

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All the replies above are spot on . You will be happier in the long run with the bigger boat no matter where you fish. The 6,000 difference is on a new boat ? Seems to be quite a few nice used ones in the size range listed on here and Craigs. Just a thought if spending a extra 6K is not in your wheelhouse. Don't want to get anyone in a uproar but ,,,, I have not heard a lot of good things about Trackers. I would rather buy the 17.5  StarCraft listed on here and if need be trade in the desirable Honda 4 stroke 50 hp to go bigger. Quality aluminum hulls  last forever and what your saving by going that route would allow you to buy a brand new or slightly used engine . Would water test any boat to make sure it has the performance that you want. [ I have no connections with that boat or seller. ]



ok thank you. think i’ll fork up the extra cash!


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If you want to give your guests a thrill seeker type ride, they will have it. Remember going up there against all the current you will burn a lot of fuel. Make sure you have plenty of fuel as you also burn up even more picking up and starting a new drift.


lol. ya i think it’s out of the question. thanks for your input - much appreciated. never considered the fuel burning aspect


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Great responses and advice here. It's challenging enough in what was "normal" flow/level. I used to think a minimum of 70 hp but these days I would say 90 hp. It's flow like none of the 30 plus yr vets of the river have ever seen. Whirlpools can and do open with no notice--if you hit one of these while on plane you could throw people out of the boat. if you ever have a break down or have to fight a fish through the plants you can get the transom sucked down in a flash.

If you do opt for a hull 17' or less and plan on fishing up there regularly, strongly consider a closed transom over one with a low casting platform. 

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Great responses and advice here. It's challenging enough in what was "normal" flow/level. I used to think a minimum of 70 hp but these days I would say 90 hp. It's flow like none of the 30 plus yr vets of the river have ever seen. Whirlpools can and do open with no notice--if you hit one of these while on plane you could throw people out of the boat. if you ever have a break down or have to fight a fish through the plants you can get the transom sucked down in a flash.
If you do opt for a hull 17' or less and plan on fishing up there regularly, strongly consider a closed transom over one with a low casting platform. 


thank you, appreciate the response and thought


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