Susquehanna River, Questions & Comments > Susquehanna River Boater

River Boat help

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Looking into a new boat largely for fishing the susky for cats smallies and some bowfishing. ive been looking at either a G3 or lowe pathfinder, my questions are which would you choose, and lowe makes a flat bottom boat and flatbottom with a tunnel jet. Is the tunnel jet required? as its about 4k more for this option on the lowe. the prices are fairly similar and i cant find any used boats of the models i want so im guessing boaters like and tend to keep them and dont need to upgrade much. I would like to be able to outfit the boat for bowfishing for out of state trips as well so this is a serious purchase im looking into and dont want to just go on what the saleman says and get alot of input from other ppl that fish the rivers and may have used these boats.

I have fished out of City Island a lot and I have fished out of every public launch from Columbia up to Swarta Creek on the east side at least once,  many times out of Columbia and Fort Hunter once.  Going north, I put in at Bloomsburg many times and Wilkes Barrie twice.  You won't get far any where without a jet in the summer time and some of those places you won't even get away from the launch without a jet.  I personally wouldn't wouldn't want a prop at anytime on the Susky.  My boat is 2012 Rockproof with a 80HP Mercury jet which is underpowered for that tank but that's what was on it.  When the water gets below 4 feet on the Harrisburg gauge, I'm going to hit some rocks somewhere and without that rockproof bottom, my boat would have had some gaping holes on a few occasions. 

I have a friend who bought a one year old G3 two years ago and then sent it back to the factory to have a half inch plastic rockproof bottom put on for $6000 dollars.  With all the added weight, it was really underpowered with the 40 HP jet that was on it.  He ended up selling it after a year when he moved to Florida.   I have to add that this same guy had an aluminum boat years ago, I don't remember the brand, with a 3/32 hull and a 30HP jet that had many holes repaired and there were two times he thought he wasn't going to make it back.  Fishing with him back then was my introduction to fishing the Susky.   Hope this helps with your decisions.

I dont plan on blindly flying up the river i am going to invest in a good gps fish finder so i can safely map out my courses and track were ive been and know is safe, if im spending 25-30k on a boat i dont want to risky punching a hole in it because i was in a hurry to get to the fishing spot. i am just trying to figure out if a mod v bottom with tunnel jet is good or if a straight flat bottom with jet is better, and i looked at rockproof boats but i dont know if i wanna spend that kind of money sadly

No matter what brand a tunnel will help reduce damage to the jet intake as it will sit up higher and have more protection.  It will also allow running in a little less water.  That may not matter most of the time but if you float into skinny water and need to get up on plane it could be the difference between success and failure.  Regardless of what you think you are going to be doing, for the Susquehanna I would get a tunnel.

As for brand pay attention to the thickness of the hull.  Lots of guys have punched holes in the bottom of the thinner builds whether they were in a hurry or not.  You can do it just drifting into a rock.  Many with thinner hulls have opted for K5 or UHMV.

Zelmo and 1iarrowking
Had some good information. Zelmo just built a beautiful jet.
I will just say the the skinnier you want to run the more it's going to cost you.
If serious about running shallow get a heavy bottom with some kind of coating.
Usually the minimum bottom thickness is 1.25 to put UMHV on.

My situation is, I have a 18' - 115/80 jet with no bottom coating. I usually try and run that in not less than 1.5' of water. To much money in it to tear it up.
I also have a 1648 Jon that I run 8" -12" of water. It drafts about 6" and If I put a scratch on that I,m not really worried. But the bottom is in pretty good shape on it.
One last thing...the more weight you have, the more your boat will draft depending on length and width.

There is just not an over abundance of boats right now new or used. So that makes it tough to find something.


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