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Pensacola boat recommendations

Old 10-07-2019, 10:21 AM
  #1  
AMR
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Default Pensacola boat recommendations

I will be moving from Swansboro, NC (near morehead city) to Pensacola in 7 months and am trying to figure out what type of boat I should get. I currently have a 21í bay boat which is fine for inshore and nearshore (15 miles or less) in NC, however, it is not enough boat to get to the gulf stream in the constant terrible N.C. wind and sea states. I love all types of fishing, but would like to be able to do more offshore for wahoo, tuna, dolphin, and sailfish.

1. How far from Pensacola do you have to run to get to the above-mentioned pelagics?

2. (1 boat option): Would a 24 Canyon Bay hybrid or 24 action craft Coastal bay (or similar boat) be sufficient to get to the Pelagics on a routine basis? Or is it always rough seas offshore like N.C.?

3. (2 boat option) Or would it be more prudent to get a 22-24í steep deadrise/high gunwales CC and a cheap skiff for inshore?

Im not too concerned about specific brands, I just want to hear thoughts from Pensacola area locals

Thanks
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:30 PM
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I boat out of Panama City Beach, so similar conditions...I would absolutely go with an offshore hull. Not really any swells here, when it's rough it's a tight 4 sec chop.
There's a lot of good relief towards Pensacola and if you get a boat with some range, lots of guys hit the oil rigs for tuna. Bottom fishing for snapper and grouper (when the seasons are open) is also popular.

The Cape Horn factory is located just outside Pensacola...if you want a hard core fishing hull for the northern Gulf, there you go. I have a Sailfish 29 and am happy with the ride in our conditions.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:16 PM
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I appreciate the input! The 22í Cape Horn is on my short list of go the two boat route. I was really hoping to hear that the gulf is milder than the Atlantic/Carolinas.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:00 PM
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Gulf sea conditions surprise a lot of boaters. The short interval chop is brutal.
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by AMR View Post
I appreciate the input! The 22í Cape Horn is on my short list of go the two boat route. I was really hoping to hear that the gulf is milder than the Atlantic/Carolinas.
I lived in Pensacola for 25 years. The closest run for Pelagics will be the nipple or the elbow 30-40 miles out. The gulf has more short chop and less swell. The thing you have to watch out for in the gulf are the late afternoon summer thunderstorms. They can be extremely violent.
The bottom fishing for red snapper, grouper and triggerfish is world-class (when the season is open) and you donít have to go very far out. Iíve caught limits of snapper 3-4 miles offshore before. Inshore fishing for redfish, trout and flounder is pretty good too.
Iím a big fan of Cape Horn boats and have spent many days offshore in my buddies 21. Very safe, functional and tough as nails. The factory is just outside of Pensacola in east Milton.
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:32 AM
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get a deep-v boat in the 23+' range if you want to go offshore regularly. A bay boat will work on those calm days and hybrids are popular. I like the higher gunnels of an off-shore style boats and they tend to have a little more beam.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:30 AM
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I moved here from the same area, shoot me a pm if you want my number and we can talk about it.

I have a 26í sea hunt that gets the job done, but Iíd really be happy in a low 30ís. Some of that would be for spanning chop, but most of that is because is because I want the fuel capacity for rig trips.

Upur bay bay boat will get you by for quite a while exploring the bay and nearshore though. The fishing can be really really good here. Blue water fishing for Pelagius is actually harder here than NC because we donít have the Gulf Stream. We have to run to go find rip lines.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:56 AM
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i moved here two months ago. I have a 25ícc. You can pm me with phone number and I can tell you what Iíve learned so far.
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:32 PM
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I've been boating/Charter boat here for the past 15 years plus..... I suggest you go with a 25 footer, reason, is because thats the right size to manage by yourself. Twin engines, depends on how much you trust a single engine.... I have my boat on the market now... retiring from the charter business... i'll send yo a PM...
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Old 10-11-2019, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by AMR View Post
I will be moving from Swansboro, NC (near morehead city) to Pensacola in 7 months and am trying to figure out what type of boat I should get. I currently have a 21í bay boat which is fine for inshore and nearshore (15 miles or less) in NC, however, it is not enough boat to get to the gulf stream in the constant terrible N.C. wind and sea states. I love all types of fishing, but would like to be able to do more offshore for wahoo, tuna, dolphin, and sailfish.

1. How far from Pensacola do you have to run to get to the above-mentioned pelagics?

2. (1 boat option): Would a 24 Canyon Bay hybrid or 24 action craft Coastal bay (or similar boat) be sufficient to get to the Pelagics on a routine basis? Or is it always rough seas offshore like N.C.?

3. (2 boat option) Or would it be more prudent to get a 22-24í steep deadrise/high gunwales CC and a cheap skiff for inshore?

Im not too concerned about specific brands, I just want to hear thoughts from Pensacola area locals

Thanks
Depending on budget, I would say a 21-25ft CC fits the bill and I would try and get to the upper end of that.

The closest wahoo, tuna, dolphin, and sailfish type of fishing starts around 30 miles SE of Pensacola pass and isn't that good too often. There is better of that type of fishing 60+ miles but those runs are tiring and the fishing is hit and miss. If you want to go out and bottom bump for snapper, grouper, kings, jacks, etc. there is a ton of that in a 30 mile arc from Pensacola pass.

I don't see any need in having 2 boats. Inshore fishing is redfish and trout and very achievable in a 25 foot offshore CC and that 25ft CC is going to be a whole lot better inshore than a bay boat would be offshore.

This is coming from someone with 30+ years experience fishing out of Pensacola who owns 2 boats
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Old 10-12-2019, 05:46 AM
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I think it depends a lot on you. And, if I were you Iíd keep my current boat and use it for a year and decide where you want to go from there. Iíve had some great days fishing for palagics in a 21 ft boat around the nipple elbow area. The weather has to be great so those days are limited. You might find the hybrid will let you fish a few days offshore and that is all you really want. A bay boat is great for sandbar hopping and inshore fishing.

All that said, Im a two boat guy who currently has one boat. A bay boat that Iíll take for snapper on nice days. When my kids get old enough to venture offshore Iíll get something else for blue water trips.
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