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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New guy moving to CO some time next spring. I look forward to learning about all the fishing CO has to offer, yet admittedly it won't compare to the fishing back home in WA state... When we move out, we will start looking for a family/fishing boat that will hopefully do everything I need for family and fishing in CO. Being from the Northwest, I will probably be leaning to an Edge Marine inboard jet with a kicker motor for trolling and a bow mounted electric motor as well (I still planning on driving back west to fish for salmon and steelhead several times per year). Is there a specific type of fishing boat that guys in CO typically go for? Back home, most guys run welded aluminum boats for the oceans and rivers that are pretty specific to the PNW...

I look forward to someday contributing to the forum with reports, and hopefully not just bad reports! ;-)

Jet
 

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welcome to the forum. I wouldn't think an inboard jet would be worth bringing to colo. as our waters arnt big enough to to need such a boat. I have seen a couple here over 30 years of boating. most fisherman here like aluminum deep vees with 100 to 250 hp outboards in the 17 to 21 foot size. most of our rivers are to small and to full of rafters to run a jet boat in and our lakes arnt much better, a 10 minute run at speed and you run out of water on most lakes here. the state speed limit on most lakes is 40 mph. the other reason a lot of us like an outboard best is we use our boats all year around and outboards are easier to protect from freezing. inboards are a pain to drain all the water out of the engine block all the time. we do have good walleye fishing here, but our salmon fishing sucks, you wont find any kings here but our kokes are poor substitute's. I thought I would miss salmon fishing when I moved here 45 years ago but there is so much fishing here that it takes years to master it all, I am still trying.
 

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Being from the northwest myself the hardest thing about moving here is the lack of public water. Jet bots are definately scarce down here too. A good 17 to19 foot open bow outboard boat is so versatile that's what most guys run. Get used to having lots of company close by when out on these lakes here as well. There is good fishing it's just different. Enjoy the exploration of a new area and keep us posted how its going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks guys. I want a jet for several reasons, and it's not just for running shallow rivers. I'm looking at a 22-23ft boat with a kicker/Tr-1 combo, and Id probably throw an electric trolling motor on the bow. I want a family boat as well as a fishing boat. For those who have never heard of Edge Marine, you should check them out. They are fully convertible for a fishing boat to a ski boat. I won't own an outboard because you cant run a swim deck with an outboard... The big question I have is whether a boat with a kicker/TR-1 and an electric trolling motor would cover everything? I'm guessing you troll down riggers on places like Blue Mesa, yet would probably need the bow motor for fishing walleye? I would probably only fish for Kokanee, lakers, and walleye.... Btw. In the PNW, we fish year round as well, and all the inboards are self draining. Having a heater is REALLY nice when it's cold.
 

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Our altitude will effect a none turbo charged vehicles ability to tow a big heavy boat.
You fuel appetite will effect the size of your boat. Much of our water is 40-60 miles or farther away from metro areas. Add a mountain pass or two over 10K.
The deep V's mentioned are about perfect.
Many of us have converted to Kayaks due to travel, boat ramp inspections times and easy access to most any lake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My main concern is how to set the boat up. Do you guys troll using kickers? How often do you use electric motors for the front of the boat? Do you use live wells for bait? That kind of stuff. Here is an Edge set up the way you guys are suggesting, with the exception of the outboard, would this cover most of the fishing in CO?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Last one.... Again, I want a boat I can fish out of, ski out of, camp out of, and take out West to fish for salmon and steelhead in WA, OR, and ID, as well as fish for Kokanee, Lakers, and Walleye in CO.
 

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Jet, You seem to have your mind made up... so why ask advice on it?

The boat you are convinced about is a bit much for CO... and there are downfalls to it. If you troll as much as you say, trolling with a 23' boat is rough. CO waters kinda require some precision that is just tough in such a big boat. There are 2 rivers in the state i can think of that you might be able to run up with that boat, but not sure why you would want to on the CO... much more fun and fishable in a raft.

If you want a great all around CO boat, think 18'-19'.... 150-200hp, full windshield. A heater in a boat in CO is rarely needed... by the time it gets that cold, we fish hard water. A good kicker is a nice thing to have but only if you troll a ton.. if not, the best money spent is on a great electric with spot lock and auto pilot. Not sure how one would move a heavy boat like the one you speak of, but I suppose there is huge ones... 80lb thrust seems to suffice fine for the boat I described.
 

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oh, and if you wanna ski, a fish n' ski in the 18' - 20' range is great... I like the pro-crafts myself, but the Ranger Reata is unreal...
 

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Edge set up: Add downriggers, electronics to find the fish, Ipilot for anchor mode and co-pilot (some use the Ipilot for copilot and kicker for propulsion). For NW rivers better have a 15hp kicker I would think. If you want to run the shallows in the NW put a jet kit on the lower end. Live well, no different in Colorado than the NW, you hold your minnows in there and your catch. A cooler to keep your worms and leeches cool. When trolling I always use the Ipilot and 90% use the kicker too. Skiing, just have to have enough ponies to pull em and a way for the skier to get back in the boat. Watch the weather closely in Colorado, a calm lake can turn ugly in a hurry. I hauled my boat up the Columbia one time, had a blast. Will hire a guide next time though, the tow is a pia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Mycaye. That's what I was looking for. Believe it or not, most people run 8 or 9.9hp kickers for big boats, even in the NW.. When Bouy-10 cranks up, I still plan on making the drive out to fish for a couple weeks every August to fill my freezer full of salmon. That's why I'm starting to ask the questions now. I want something I can ski out of, camp out of, fish in CO with, as well as fish the rivers in WA, ID, and OR. Heck, I plan on taking the boat to ID as well to hunt chuckar out of on the Snake River. You need lots of room for that. With that said, I want to make sure I can fish out of it in CO as well. For the fishing I will probably be doing, it looks like it would work OK.
 

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You are gonna be bummin' in Colorado--
x2

leave the boat up there and go hiking or something here lol

kayak lakes are usually better for fishing in colorado
 

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Anytime you want a boat that can do 4 or 5 things (fish, ski, camp, shoot, fish lakes, fish rivers) its gonna be a compromise. Theres nothing that floats that can do all that well.

If you can afford it, have a boat there and a boat here.
 

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Anytime you want a boat that can do 4 or 5 things (fish, ski, camp, shoot, fish lakes, fish rivers) its gonna be a compromise. Theres nothing that floats that can do all that well.

If you can afford it, have a boat there and a boat here.
Best advice yet. I have yet to see a true "fish n ski" boat that is what I would want for either fishing or water sports.

If you can do it, two boats is the best option. And while I have not been on a jet like you are talking about, I don't see the appeal for it. But to each their own.
 

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Anytime you want a boat that can do 4 or 5 things (fish, ski, camp, shoot, fish lakes, fish rivers) its gonna be a compromise. Theres nothing that floats that can do all that well.

If you can afford it, have a boat there and a boat here.
He doesn't seem to have a boat there. Seems he's moving here to buy a boat for there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My dad has a boat in Seattle, but at 72 years old, he won't be able to use it forever. Someday he won't be able to be my fishing buddy any longer, so I'm planning on the future. I have many reasons for wanting a jet, and not the Sea Doo or Yamaha style jets that don't control worth crap either. Jets handle better, maneuver better, load better, have much better reverse, and are much easier to load on a trailer as well, plus there's the safety of not having a prop. It only takes one time seeing what a moving prop can do to someone to realize how dangerous they can be. Plus I don't have to worry about taking the out drive off if I manage to find shallow water at high speed. My dad currently has a 21ft Boice Jet with a 6.0 and Hamilton pump. We use it for skiing, camping, salmon fishing, and steelhead fishing as well. While it's not perfect, it's pretty darn close. It looks like you guys fish Blue Messa much like we fish for salmon and Kokanee back home. If that's the case, what I want would work almost perfectly. Plus, with a full top and heaters, my wife and daughters will be warm and comfortable when we are trolling, which is huge if I want them to fish with me, which I do. I looked at the BlueMessa fishing guide website and he fishes an all welded aluminum northwest style boat similar to what I'm looking for, the exception is his has an outboard. Just because you don't see too many of them in the Midwest (they are becoming more popular in the Midwest), doesn't mean they won't work, and work pretty darn well.
 

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Yes they will work here fine but there just aint any water here. Jets are about 80% efficent meaning if you want the power/speed of a 200 hp you need a 250. Then add in the altitude of say 9000 ft and you need a 300.
 
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