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ok so I have gotten bitten by the fishing thing.

normally I spend the mojority of my summer in canada with a freind of mine at his place and we fish up there with their boats.

but now that I am getting old and not being able to just take off for a month at a time in the summer I am starting to fish colorado.

My fmaily has a place in estes park, and I used to fish up there a lot when I was a kid.

I live in Fort Collins right now, for school.

anyways.... on to my question

I am thinking that a small belly boat, or ponton thing might be the way to go.

I am looking for things like this: http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catalog.TextId?hvarTextId=54850&hvarTarget=search&cmCat=SearchResults

how fast can these be borken down/set up? just how big are they borken down?

ideas, advice? I need some thanks.

I am trying for something with oars. around 200 bucks.... used new does not matter. just has to keep me from having to swim, and to be fairly tough.
what is the best place to shop? online? Jax? Discount tackel (ft colluns shop).. some place around denver?(I am down there quite often)


looking for some quick answers. trying to aviod an impulse buy session... like I always seem to be doing.
 

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Welcome. Great name for a fishing board! Or for any board for that matter!

I am also thinking of buying something similar, and I have been meaning to check out pawn shops to see if I luck out.
 
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For fathers day I got a pontoon boat. It's the Fish Cat Streamer XL. Here's the link: http://www.outcastboats.com/outcastboats/fishcatpontoons.shtml

We got the boat at Gander Mountain for about $330. I've found that GM has very good prices, overall. You might find a cheaper place online, but maybe not.

So far I've used the boat once on Lake Estes, and I like it. Here's some comments for you:

In general, a pontoon boat will cost more than a float tube. But if you go with a pontoon boat, don't skimp too much. One thing to look for is a hard seat. The cheaper boats use fabric seats that don't support your back very good. And after a day of rowing, even a 25 year old will feel the difference.

And speaking of rowing all day... Use gloves! I think that bike gloves are probably the way to go.

Waders are a nice addition when fishing the cold mountain lakes in the summer. In the spring/fall, waders are a must for those lakes. The boat puts you very close to the water. In my case, the heals of my feet are in the water most of the time. And the water is just a couple of inches from the bottom of the seat. So assume you'll be getting wet and plan accordingly.

An anchor is a big plus. I used two 2.5 pound weights on an eye bolt. You can get pre-made anchors, but I couldn't find one small enough locally. My boat came with a pully in the back for raising/lowering the anchor. Big plus.

Think things through BEFORE you get onto the water. You don't want to get out there and then realize that you have no place to set down your rod while rowing. Put a lanyard/leash on everything, especally your rods!

Don't underestimate the amount of stuff you'll put on the boat, then size the boat accordingly. Already I have a GPS and Fish Finder mounted on mine. Now all I need is a waterproof laptop so I can surf this web site while out on the lake!

There are lots of stuff that you'll need with a boat (or float tube). So keep that in mind when you think of a budget. Life vest, air pump, etc.

I looked at the float tubes, and wasn't that impressed. It seem that their main benefit is that you can hike them into remote lakes and they are cheap. Otherwise they look uncomfortable and impractical for day long outings. Also, I haven't seen one with oars.

$200 for a pontoon boat is a bit unrealistic. You might find a really cheap one for $250 (with the bad seat), but $300-$350 is more reasonable for an entry level boat that you won't regret buying.

I asked the guy at Gander Mountain how easy they are to break down. He said "Not at all", as in "put them on top of your car while assembled, not in your car disassembled". After I got mine home, I realized that at least this one could be broken down. I went to Lake Estes in my little Toyota Tercel! The frame and seat took up the front passanger seat and one rear seat. The inflatable pontoons were in the trunk with the rest of the fishing gear. So you can take it in a small car, just don't bring along any friends! It only seats one, so you won't need friends anyway.

It takes me about 30 minutes from the time I park the car until I'm in the water. This includes putting the boat together, packing things on it, and putting on the waders. If you work fast, it might take 15 minutes. Breaking it down and packing the car back up might take a bit longer since you're worn out from a day of rowing.

It sounds silly to put a GPS on a small boat like this while in a small lake. But it's not. You could easily be drifting at 0.5 mph while not noticing any motion. This will make it difficult to stay above a good spot. An anchor will help, but you won't know if your anchor is dragging or not. A GPS will help you stay on your good spots, and allow you to return to them later. A GPS will also give you a reliable speedometer, so you know how fast your trolling or drifting.

Well, hope that helps!
 

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Boner --- Have you considered a kayak? Throw it on top of the car, take it off, throw it in the water, and you're fishing. It's also tough, and you row it. Like Red Sox Rocks said, try Dicks. They have kayaks for around $250. If you're out and it starts to storm, you can get in quicker. You can get roof racks for $29, and you can store them w/ pully systems up in you garage. Just something to think about.

Good luck.

DavidK --- How often do you fish Estes ?
   
 

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check out the "buy sell" section on this board somebody has something like that for sale i think they called it a fish yak but i looked it up on the web and it is a pontoon type float with oars it was just posted today
 

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I have both a belly boat and a pontoon. They both have qualities I like for different reasons. If you want full portability...I would go the belly boat route. Packs in and out in a backpack easily.

I like the pontoon for larger water, especially if I'm going to be out there a long time. It fishes a little easier and I save more energy. The setup/breakdown time is about 15 minutes including pump time. However, the pipe tubing, chair, and pontoons take up three times as much room. Carrying it all over a distance can wear you down.



This is my pontooner setup at Ward...I've hauled my pontoon here twice and it was a bit of a chore.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
as for the nick name... It is actually what my freinds call me.... since I was in the 4th grade.  my real name rhymes with it very nicely.

thanks DavidK. your post was very helpful...
I got a good laugh out the wareing gloves when I row thing....(I was on a crew team for my 1 and 2nd years of college out east...before I came to fort collins) I have only worn gloves once when rowing in my life. They call mittens with special holes in for the oars "poogies" spelling? anyways no harm though, It just gave me a flash back after the first few weeks for being on the crew team and looking at my plams coverend blisters that had joined into larger once...


well I think I may just go with a belly tube... Talked with some other people today and they all said that the extra money for a an oared ponton boat is not really worth it for me...   but I am ok with that.   I will just be in flippers for my power soucre.  I found one where everyone says the seat is great on it.

James.... there is no way I can do a kayak.... I got a smaller very impratical car(read: fun as $#%^ on the street, and the main money drain of my life) (but I always have freinds with trucks that  I can borrow a lot of time but not all the time). I am also 99.9% sure they don't make any sort of a roof rack for my car(not that I woul be cought dead with on it.) and although I am trying to find a more daily driver freindly truck.... my serach is not going well...

mattsabasser - nice lloking setup you got there.

and thanks to everone else who responded. I might see anyone whom is fishing lake estes on sunday/monday.... it looks like I will be there then along with the rest of the heards. fri sat I will be on horsetooth.

and as for the fishing I did today.... well let me tell you I could have cought a hell of lot more with a fly rod(even though I can't fly fish worth a damn).   but I did get one nice large mouth bass of note... bout 3lbs. maybe only 18"  not nice size or nothing but it was in splened color, although it did not fight as much as I would have thought for such a healthly looking fish... oh well better luck over the holiday with the heards of people.... as for the fish it's back in the water. along with the others I got today.

sorry I get long winded.
 

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I'll be on Horsetooth tomorrow (Friday), probably from 8 to 3. My boat looks almost identical to Mattsabasser-- same boat, different "stuff" on it. I'll probably spend most of my time on the north end of the lake. So if you see me, give me a shout!


James, I've fished Estes maybe three or four times this year.
 

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well I think I may just go with a belly tube... Talked with some other people today and they all said that the extra money for a an oared ponton boat is not really worth it for me... but I am ok with that. I will just be in flippers for my power soucre. I found one where everyone says the seat is great on it

Boner, I was wondering which one you came up with? I am in the same search as you. I think I will be going the belly tube way also. Just trying to find one that is pratical. Good luck with fishing this weekend. I am thinking about going out sat., sun., and mon. Not sure where yet so if anyone has any ideas please share.
 

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one benifit of the rowable pontoon is in the shallows and thick weeds you can just go right over the stuff up in the shallow end of brush hollow the weeds are thick and moving about in the float tube can be a bit ruff the weeds tend to fould my fins aand stuff but i saw this guy just skim right over them with his pontoon, this guy mentioned that he had upgraded for the better visability due to sitting higher and liked being able to move forward and cover more ground but concured that when the wind picked up it was harder to keep it where he wanted it

hope this helps if anybody is still trying to decide
 

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Being in school I bet you're probably limited on storage space, but have you considered a small john boat or similar? They have a few on craigslist that seem to be in a similar price range to the pontoons and belly boats you've been looking at.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I thought about a jon boat....

and if I see one that really like I would buy it .... but then I would mount a motor to it(motors and me = I go nuts and buy ultra powerful ones.).... and that means I would be eating raman noodles again for like 6 months.

and I figure I will get more exercise if I get a float tube.

I do miss Skulling (rowing with two oars instead of one - crew term) but I would porbably get really annoyed when the seat was not sliding... just kidding the reason I am not going with a pontoon boat is that I hate fighting the wind, (I know I will have to fight the wind from time to time as well in a float tube) cost - fish cat 4 (everyone seems to say it is good) ~~150 bux. decent ponton boat. - 350+. and the one point that sealed the deal. Limited tansporation space. winner = float tube.

looks like I am going with the FISH CAT 4.


but I guess if I see that jon boat with my name on it.... well I guess the next question is "has anyone ever seen a turbo outboard motor?"....... I kidding.... or am I?
 
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im wondering if anyone has seen a belly boat or pontoon that can handle a big guy . i bought a pontoon boat at garts a few years ago and its cool but i just dont trust it with me and my gear . im 6'4 about 265lbs and im not really sure how much my gear wieghs but i take as much as i can fit . ( worst feeling to be out on the water and know that you have the right stuff in your car . ) and usually three rods the fly rod a bait caster and a little spinning combo with light line . ok im rambling has anyone seen a belly boat/pontoon boat for big guys or would i be better just getting a little boat
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think some of the fat cat.... or fish cat models are rated to 300lbs.... I have read stories online of some guys with about the same bulid as you on super fat cat float tubes, with more gear then I would know what to do with, and they seem to do just fine.
 

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no turb out board but i have see a turbo suzuki motorbike i bet you could make it work
 

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I bought a water skeeter sprey cast at gander for 279 and love it. It takes about 15 minutes to get ready and on the water plus it has the trolling motor mount off to the side so it is a easier to steer then having to reach straight behind your head and i think it was rated for 300 or 350 lbs. The wind can be a pain but i use the anchor from my 16ft crestliner so it is plenty big enough to hold me still but the wind does still seem to always make me face the direction i dont want to be facing. Only thing about the pontoons is you have to register them.
 
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