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mortgage banker
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Hey everyone. Want some boat advice for W Galv Bay. I have never really fished this bay much. Only hit greens lake a time or 2, and that was many years ago. I recently sold my triton seaflight that I used all over East, lower and upper gbay.
Does WB get rough a lot? Do I need a V hull or would a semi V or flat bottom work? I’m only going to fish W bay as I need some new scenery lol. Probably hit Moses a few times as well. 18 ft boat is plenty for me. I was eyeing the 17ft mako skiffs. I usually buy used boats under $20k. Appreciate any skilled W Bayr’s feedback.
 

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Take em boys
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I agree with Sgrem. I have run a 14' Dargel Skout (currently for sale) and a 20' Gulf Coast HS all over West Bay. West Bay can kick out some nasty chop that make the Dargel a long wet ride across the bay. Doable? - Yes on about 90% of the days, but not comfortable.

The 20' Gulf Coast is a much better fit for the bay. It can get shallow enough for just about everything in West Bay while providing a much better ride when the wind kicks up. I know I am comparing apples to oranges here, but just my .02.
 

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If you’re not wanting to run the back end of the lakes and marshes, you can fish 95% of west bay in a V hull and get the better ride. And if you know what you’re doing like Thomas Barlow, who fishes all the redfish tournaments, you can still fish almost every marsh in west bay. He runs them in a Haynie magnum.

People get scared of west bay. It has a lot of reefs and some shallow areas, but it’s not that bad. You don’t need to make long runs in inches of water in west bay.
 

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'81 Aggie
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If a new-to-West-Bay boater with a commercially available GPS started out at Sea Isle and headed off to San Luis Pass or even Chocolate Bayou right across the West Bay, there's a 95% chance they'll end up stuck on at least one sandbar. Most noobs get stuck just going out to Snake Island before they figure out what that lonely PVC pipe is for. I've kayaked out 35 yards from a Sea Isle canal to help boaters get off the sandbar right there during a low tide. On a high tide, they just sharpen their props.

It takes many trips of bopping around that part of West Bay to learn where not to go, especially on a low tide. Quicker if you have a local in the boat with you, and even better if you get one of your buddies to download all of his good GPS tracks to upload them to your GPS. But the maps they come with are nowhere near adequate to keep from getting stuck in that area's shifting sand.

Tobin himself has conceded to me that TroutSupport doesn't have much coverage in that area because it focuses on oyster reefs and not on sand. There aren't many oyster reefs in the area. Just lots of sandbars. I'm a big fan of TroutSupport, but it has its limitations.
 

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If the wind is blowing 15-20 out of the SW or NE, West Bay can get pretty rough. We run a 17' Whaler Montauk and it gets shallow enough for us, has good fuel economy and does pretty good when it gets a little rough.
I also run a 17’ Montauk and I think it’s the perfect boat for West Bay. Handles the chop and gets me plenty shallow.
 

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I fish west bay 99.9% of the time. Have an older Dargel fisherman. Gets me wherever I need, if it’s windy I’ll stick to the south shoreline. Next new to me boat will have a v, something like a mosca or jh with the v.


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Trust me, I'm a professional.
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I like the SPORTSMAN 214 Tournament.... She has a 10 inch Draft and comes with a 9 inch Garmin from the factory !!!
Not in a million years! Well, I take that back; maybe if it’s run up on a sandbar that’s only 10” deep.

That being said, the boat would still work well in West Bay. I’ve run a 240lts and 25 Magnum all over west bay with very few issues. Idle the places you don’t know or know are very shallow.
 

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Catch a New Personal Best- Learn How!
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Tobin himself has conceded to me that TroutSupport doesn't have much coverage in that area because it focuses on oyster reefs and not on sand. There aren't many oyster reefs in the area. Just lots of sandbars. I'm a big fan of TroutSupport, but it has its limitations.
For Clarity, what I let you know was that we did not put the sandbars of San Luis pass on reef recon.... all the oyster reefs are marked, including all of Chocolate, Bastrop, and Christmas. So there is a ton of coverage for oyster reefs in that area. Sand bars, and especially San Luis Pass shift constantly... the only thing more dangerous than not having them on there is having something on there that is wrong after 6 months and a boater thinks it's accurate when it's wrong and then grounds the boat on it. We did put waypoints on many of the sandbars of the south shoreline indicating a 'shallow' area where it was a sandbar. We did include ... to the maximum amount possible... hidden concrete duck blinds and made at least several trips during winter low tides to mark any pipes that were right under the water. No, it can not include everything... but it has full coverage of that area for reefs.
 

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Catch a New Personal Best- Learn How!
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Hey everyone. Want some boat advice for W Galv Bay. I have never really fished this bay much. Only hit greens lake a time or 2, and that was many years ago. I recently sold my triton seaflight that I used all over East, lower and upper gbay.
Does WB get rough a lot? Do I need a V hull or would a semi V or flat bottom work? I’m only going to fish W bay as I need some new scenery lol. Probably hit Moses a few times as well. 18 ft boat is plenty for me. I was eyeing the 17ft mako skiffs. I usually buy used boats under $20k. Appreciate any skilled W Bayr’s feedback.
Does West get rough? Yes it can get rough during cold fronts and hard south or south east winds, absolutely.

I agree with others... a tunnel V or modified V of some sort is a great boat for west. Cats can do it ok as well but I'd stick with the V's in this area due to the chop West can get in 6' of water. Mosca, Mowdy, JH, and others are great choices.
 

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'81 Aggie
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For anyone fishing any where near Galveston or Freeport ... Reef Recon is the best investment you can make in your fishing gear. Certainly the case for West Bay.
Don't forget the Trout Support videos. Knowing where the reefs are is so much more meaningful if you know what they mean and when and why they hold fish. Thoroughly explained in the video series.

I'm a huge fan of Reef Recon. I'm amazed at how accurately they have demarcated the edges of oyster reefs around West Bay. But my nemesis has always been the sandbars and huge swaths of shallow sand. That's where I get stuck 9 times out of 10. My point is that navigating around the reefs doesn't avoid the sand, especially on a low tide.

Also, nowadays I mostly fish out of a kayak, which doesn't give me the range or make me vulnerable to reefs. Not to mention, I don't keep a dedicated GPS in the kayak like in the bigger boats. But the knowledge I've gained watching (and re-watching) the videos helps me out immensely when I approach an area near Sea Isle where I'm living.

I realize that goes far afield of the OP asking for a boat recommendation. I just hate to see people sticking their $100K boats all over West Bay because they trusted technology alone rather than getting help learning what spots to avoid. As I've mentioned before, watch 10 boats pulling out at the Sea Isle boat ramp, and 8 or 9 of them will have sharpened props and polished skegs. And that's expensive.
 
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