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Now is the time to shop for a boat

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Staff Photo by Brett A. Clark Mike Sweeney, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011.

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Saturday, January 12, 2019

When the winter comes calling and the days to get out on the water slim a little I like to go boat shopping.

When I say boat shopping I mean that I like to look at all the new boats that coming to the market along with the new motors and electronics that are needed to enjoy a day on the water.

The best part of doing this is the amount of boat shows that are starting in our area and the amount of different boats that can be seen in a small amount of time.

Some shows are as far away as Florida with hundreds of boats in the water and on land but we have our fair share of good, quality shows right here in North Carolina and Virginia that we can go to and be home in the same day.

One of the things about boat shows is people who buy boats at the shows usually have used boats to sell so the ads on Craigslist and other type of for sale sights start to load up with deals also.

This offseason influx of boats on the market is a great time to pick up a good deal on a new or used boat but either way there are few things you have to consider before you buy a boat.

The first thing you have to think of is what are you going to do with the boat.

Is it a fishing boat only or are you going to take the kids out tubing on it also.

How many people are going to get out on the boat with you and where are you going to go with the boat. We have big water around our area and if the wind picks up the rivers can get mean in a hurry.

Once you figured out more or less what you need then the next thing is to look at the motor on the boat.

I once knew a guy who owned the biggest boat dealership in the east coast and he told me I am not in the boat business Mike, I am in the motor business.

With today’s technology the motors have become more expensive than the boat itself so you want to do research on the motor that is on your boat and make sure it is the one you want.

Some people like inboards but they need winterizing while others only use outboard motors.

Outboards have become so advanced that they have begun to change the way manufacturers build boats with some boats having four or more motors on the back of them.

With the advancements in technology you get an increase in price with some outboards costing in excess of $50,000 each so it doesn’t do you any good to get a good deal on a used boat if you have to put a new motor on it.

The average price of a 150hp outboard right now is around $15k so keep that in mind when looking at boats.

When I go kicking tires at boat shows I am always looking for new breakthroughs in boat design and motor technology so even if I am not looking to buy right away I can spot a good deal when I see one and don’t be afraid to ask questions at the shows.

Talk to the reps who know the boats and see if the design fits your needs.

Trust me they are there for that reason so ask questions like now much gas does it burn, how many people will it fit and will it pull a tube behind it?

Make sure it fits your needs then go from there.

I love to look at boats and this is the time of year that I find every show that is coming up and get there.

What’s biting, where...

The fishing report for the offshore guys is a little slim simply because the weather kept them tied up to the docks but we had a window over the weekend and a couple of boats got out.

They scored on the tuna with yellowfin, blackfin and even some big eye.

The tuna bite has been good all year but this time of year they really start to come alive.

On the beaches it has been slow with a few puffers showing up here and there but other than that it is dogfish and skate.

With the cold weather coming in it should make the drum bite pick up but we will have to see.

Locally we have had some great crappie fishing on our rivers and the Albemarle Crappie Trail (ACT) had another tournament this weekend with great catches coming back to the dock.

If any of my readers likes to crappie fish you should hit these guys up on Facebook.

The largemouth bite picked up with the warmer weather and soft plastics seem to do the trick. Peg a weight to a critter bait and flip the wood on the north side of the water.

Bass move up after a couple of sunny days so get off the couch and find them.

If anyone gets out make sure you send me a report and some pics to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.

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