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Ive been looking at boats lately... I duck hunt and bay fish..

Id be fishing Corpus to anywhere south.. (Not in one shot. Depends where we move to. Could be alot of Baffin, could be alot of manfeild, could be alot out of Arroyo area.) Id be duck hunting the same areas. Its hard to cross a duck boat with a fishing boat, so I figure get the fishing boat, a camo net to put over it, and hunt places I can hide the boat easiest.

I know I need to schedule rides on these boats on bad days. If I had the money Id buy a SCB Revolution 25. But boat prices are stupid to begin with.

What Im thinking so far:
25 Majak Illusion
Majek Reaper
Shoalwater Cat
Trans Cat
JH Performance Cat
Gulf Coast Cat
Shallow Sport maybe
Haynie Cat

I rode on an majek M2. It isnt bad, but you can feel the chop when that flat bottom hits water/waves. It doesnt slice through waves and create a cushion effect in the tunnel. On smooth water its great. I love the layout of the m2 illusion and reapers with raised decks. Love the low walk around sides. Just wish the M2 was better in chop for crossing bays or getting where your going until the water is smoother. Never rode on a reaper..

Looking 23ft to 25ft for family and raising kids up fishing. I want hull shot, dont care about speed. I like 18 inch or so raised decks. Im not chasing 3 inches of water. I rarely fish less than a foot of water for reds, almost never for trout. I like a big front deck for fishing..

Honestly if the 25 majek illusion was a cat thats what Id buy hands down. That makes me lean towards the Reaper as far as Majek goes.

Whats the pros and cons of the others I listed? Anything to help make decisions is great info..
 

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I have been on every boat you have listed and often fish with a friend with a M2 which is a great boat. That being said I personally run a JH Outlaw. I have found it to be the best all-around boat for me with more room than the Majek, Handles rough water better, turns on a dime, plenty fast, great workmanship and great customer service at Sport Marine. I know they have some that are used for sale at this time if that's a consideration. Also if you are ever in the Seadrift/POC area I would be glad for you to ride and drive mine.
 

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I looked at at all the boats you listed. I ended up with the Reaper because of many of the same reasons. The layout is almost exactly the same as the illusion 25 but it rides better. I can send you picks of mine if you want. I added the shoalwater style rear bench that seats 3 and I added grab rails and cup holders at the front console so my kids don’t fly off. Also a 4x6 removable top on the burn bar. If you were going to be in the Corpus area sometime when I’m down there I’d take you for a ride.
 

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I tried the Shoalwater, Trans Cat, two different SaberCats, a Haynie Cat, Mowdy 25 cat, and in the end I ordered a JH Outlaw 250. All great boats but the location, service, and attention to detail on the JH won me over.
 

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I own a Shoalwater 23 and have fished from a Haynie 24 Cat and 25+ Xtreme quite a bit. My SW isn't bad in the chop if you run fast enough to stay on top and it will go very skinny but that is how I fish. Haynie runs similar to mine but weighs a lot more so it rides better. The Xtreme is a great boat, I didn't get one because I fish in less than a foot a lot if not most of the time and I like the wide bow on a cat. You mention that you aren't looking to go that shallow so I don't see a reason NOT to go with the X. It will run in 10-12 on plane and 18ish to get up and the ride will be better than any cat hull.
 

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Based on what you need Id recommend a 24 Pathfinder or 25 Extreme. My Dad is about to list his Pathfinder 24trs and its loaded to the gills. PM me for more details.
 

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For what your requirements are and not needing anything less than a foot of water, I’d go with a Haynie 25 Magnum, Majek Xtreme 25 or a 24 Pathfinder. All of those boats will give you a great ride, handle chop better, and have plenty of fishing room. And the Haynie can have as big a front deck as you want since you spec out everything on them when you build one. I ordered mine with a 7.5’ front deck.
 

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If you want to ride in a boat you may have to turn to someone on here, at a ramp, etc. to find one to ride in. Test rides are not easy now days because dealers just don't have them in stock most of the time.

I have a 22 Illusion. Crossing a bay it's rough no doubt but a boat that does what I want it to do and handle chop was out of my budget. The Illusion is a pretty dry boat considering it has low sides, turns really well for a tunnel hull boat, runs in inches, floats in less than a foot (depending on what motor, gear and people you have) and has a great layout for fishing. You would love it for hunting because the low sides make it easy to get in and out of and the shallow draft means you don't have to walk as far.

I had a 24 Pathfinder and while the ride is ok the Haynie Magnum is hands down a better option IMO. The high sides on the Pathfinder make it a pain to get in and out of, that boat needs about 18" to draft in with 2 people (at least mine did) and it needs at least 2 feet of water to get up in. Pathfinder makes a great boat but if I had the option between Pathfinder or Haynie I would go Haynie.
 

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Get the boat for the type of fishing you do... you can find ways to camoflage in the marsh grass... don't use your boat as a duck blind.. they flare from the big box duck blind s and will surely flare from a big 22' bay boat with camo drapped on it.. ... get some ice fishing sleds (plastic drag boats) and hide in the marsh edge laying down in the plastic sled. I've had amazing success in them and you won't have to cover and uncover the boat. You're object is to kill ducks.. not scare them off right.

As for the boat.. Baffin can get rough... so can the open deeper water in PM. I know guys that have the JH and they are happy with it. the 25' length will help some in the rough stuff but 2'-3' chop is rough... and that can happen a lot on Aransas, Corpus, Baffin, ... all the big open water and Cats will be rough in that stuff. If you're just fishing grass flats and running the ULM.. that's one thing and cats are great for that.. but crossing big open water 9 months of the year if your fishing style requires it.. get a V and then wade and also use the plastic drag boats for the ducks.
 

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For where you fish and hunt, you might consider an aluminum boat. Long Beach Custom Boats (Long Beach, Mississippi) will build to your specs. All 1/8" or 3/16" any length/width. They only build to order. Look them up on Facebook. They are extremly well built.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For where you fish and hunt, you might consider an aluminum boat. Long Beach Custom Boats (Long Beach, Mississippi) will build to your specs. All 1/8" or 3/16" any length/width. They only build to order. Look them up on Facebook. They are extremly well built.
Im looking at gator trax for that reason too.. 3/16 hull to add weight... my biggest concern is choppy water and hull noise with water slapping it when drifting
 
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