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Local dealers great source when putting a boat package together

Boat package payments are steep, so know what you're buying. (Gary Korsgaden / For the Enterprise)

By Gary Korsgaden, Guest Columnist

January boat shows are a great time to see what is new in boats and water craft under one roof. Boat show shoppers have individual preferences in their thoughts on that perfect boat. Having been years since I took in a boat show, last weekend I thought it would be a good time to get caught up on what is new in fishing boats.

My personal preference in a fishing boat is rear tiller rigged boats. Walleye market tillers grew in popularity since conception in the 70s.

Today’s walleye boats have gotten wider, the hulls faster with increased stability for whatever conditions anglers could be faced with. Color matched seating adds comfort and style to the boat’s interior. Outboard engines idle slower, quieter and more fuel efficient and lighter in weight. It’s a particular benefit to the walleye tiller boat when trolling in reverse.

Bass fisherman like sleek stable high performance boats with a steering wheel and a large casting platform in the bow to operate from. Top end out-of- hole shot performance is important to the bass angler. But as the walleye boat market matured, walleye anglers chose steering wheel boats, realizing the comfort behind a windshield and the ability to rig a large horsepower engine on a wheel boat safely.

A boat and motor is a huge investment in itself without the addition of thousands of dollars in accessories such as electric trolling motors, depth sounders and automatically-deployed anchor systems.

Trailers today incorporate bunks or rollers and take the work out of loading even the largest boats and motors.

My recommendation before going boat shopping is to determine what is important to you and your fishing style and buy what you can afford.

If lakes that you frequent are small and accesses unimproved, a smaller vessel with a lower horsepower engine and a roller trailer is a good choice.

For large lakes, a wider, longer boat with more horsepower will get you around safely and comfortably. Trailering bunk trailers will give your hull more support but could be a nightmare at unimproved accesses or in low water seasons.

No time to attend a boat show?  Fortunately, our local dealers are in touch with the pros and cons when putting together a package that will fit your boating and fishing style. Before heading to the dealer, become a knowledgeable consumer by browsing online boating and fishing websites. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Boating and fishing enthusiasts are eager to help out.