October 27, 2016
Larger bay boats have become increasingly popular in recent years, mainly due to their versatility inshore and offshore. With a wider beam for more displacement and deck space, they're very stable at rest in calm conditions, while the extra length and width of their hulls allows them to run in heavier water than smaller bay boats. With an additional casting deck at the bow, multiple anglers can fish at the bow and stern at the same time while the boat drifts or sits on anchor.
The lower freeboard of these boats allows for the mounting of a trolling motor on the bow, which brings multiple advantages offshore. It can be used as a virtual anchor to hold position over a wreck or reef, and it can also be employed in slow trolling. Anglers may want to slowly troll along a weedline while also casting to specific spots from the deck or bow. The trolling motor can also be used to slow-troll live baits along a weedline, or color change, in the way center console anglers employ a standard slow, bump-and-go action.
Powered by a single engine, these bigger bay boats can still cover distances fast, and they carry enough fuel capacity to make moderate-range trips possible in the right sea conditions. While single engines are economical to run, slowing your trolling speed will do more than anything else to increase your fuel economy. To get the best fishing at slower speeds, it's crucial to experiment with the best placement for maximum visibility of your lures in your trolling spread, depending on your boat's prop wash and its wake.