Fishing and boats go together -- but not all boats go with all kinds of fishing, and finding the perfect match can be an interminable struggle or a life-long passion.
The United States Powerboat Show in Annapolis Oct. 14-17 is a great place to ease the struggle or refuel the passion.
Whether your plans include bottom fishing for perch in a tidal creek or heading offshore to the canyons for billfish, there will be scads of suitable boats on display.
Boston Whaler, Pursuit, Grady-White and Legacy Yachts are among the seasoned manufacturers who have new models that should be of interest to inshore and offshore fishermen with upper-middle incomes and too few hours in the day for fishing.
Boston Whaler plans to have its new, 34-foot Defiance at Annapolis, although a company spokesman said recently the show model still is being constructed.
The Defiance, with twin inboard diesels, is the largest boat Boston Whaler has built and it appears to be strong, fast, safe and very fishable.
The spacious cockpit is open and dry, there are fish boxes and a 54-gallon, recirculating live well, rod holders and rod racks, bait prep station, transom door and fresh and saltwater washdown systems.
Options include hardtop and tuna tower.
Below decks the Defiance has a cabin nicely fitted with wood trim, a double berth and convertible dinette, 6-foot 5-inch head room, galley with two-burner cooktop, microwave and refrigerator with freezer. The head has a full separate shower.
The base price for the Defiance is $309,036 with twin, 340-horsepower Caterpillar diesels and an EPS 1000 exhaust system that makes the ride very quiet.
Pursuit's new model is the 3070 Offshore, a twin-outboard fisherman/express cruiser that is extensively outfitted and appears to be a top-of-the-line machine.
The cockpit is open and the 3070 has plenty of standard features fishermen have come to expect from Pursuit -- transom door, bait station, live well and a bait locker that has an optional cold plate. There are ample rod holders, large fish boxes, washdown system and tackle station on the back of the leaning post.
Below decks there are separate sleeping areas for two couples, stand-up head and shower and a galley with microwave and refrigerator. Wood trim is well-used throughout.
Two 250-horsepower Yamahas cruise the 3070 Offshore at 35 miles per hour and top out at nearly 50 mph.
Base price for the 3070 Offshore is $123,635.
Grady-White has been building excellent fishing boats for years, and its walk-around models are very popular on Chesapeake Bay and in the Ocean City area. Now the North Carolina builder is introducing the 265 Express.
In the 265 Express, the wide side decks of the walkaround have been narrowed, leaving room enough to pass safely forward or aft. The additional room in the cockpit and under the hardtop allows for a central helm station and bench seats to either side.
The 265 Express is powered by twin 200-horsepower Yamaha outboards.
Base price for the boat is $87,685.
Legacy Yachts designed the Legacy 28 as a traditional express cruiser, with a single diesel engine and lines that are closer to a lobster boat than an offshore fishing machine. And no doubt most people who buy the 28-footer will use it as a picnic boat.
But this appears to be a relatively fast, economical and very seaworthy boat that easily could slip out to the fishing grounds just as easily as it could idle up to the yacht club docks. The estimated range for the Legacy 28 is 300 miles.
With the standard 250-horsepower Yanmar diesel, this boat should cruise in the mid 20s. The manufacturer expects speeds in excess of 30 mph are possible with an optional 300-horsepower engine.
The cockpit may be somewhat small for a fishing boat, but on the ride to and from wherever they are biting, the picnic seat across the transom will be the most comfortable spot on the boat.
Below decks there are vee-berths, galley and head, and the cabin is well ventilated, which suits it well to Chesapeake summers.
Base price is $125,000.