Little help with boat choice for TN fishing

LookinforDirt

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Jun 7, 2021
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Franklin
I recently relocated to the Nashville (Franklin) and need some direction on what is a good boat for fishing this area and areas 2-3 hours away. I also want to use the boat for hunting spots with water only access and possibly duck hunting. Even take it on out of state trips on occasion. So not asking much of one boat, haha. But the main focus is fishing what’s available within an hour or so of Franklin. I‘d be fishing solo to 4 people in the boat and occasionally bring my dog. From what I’ve read so far, a jon boat seems a good choice. Maybe the 16-18ft range and the ability to get into some shallow water (jet motor?)?

I know there’s a lot of information out there on this. I’m trying to get up to speed on a number of things at once for fishing and hunting (along with buying a house, opening a new corporate headquarters, and starting a new job role lol), so a little direction on where to focus would be a big help! BTW, beautiful state you have here and looking forward diving deep into what it has to offer.
 

Snowwolfe

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Dec 2, 2013
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Between Crossville and Cookeville
4 people and a dog? Maybe a jet? I wouldnt go any shorter than 20 feet with anything less than 150 hp and would prefer 200. You lose 30% of the hp due to the jet pump. Outboard jets are more difficult to maneuver than a prop at low speeds so make sure you have the experience needed.
You sound like a good candidate for a 19-20 foot classic semi vee.

My advice is to first figure out your budget, then list the top 3 things that will be using the boat for.
 

LookinforDirt

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Jun 7, 2021
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Franklin
Thanks all. Good feedback and all of it helpful. I’ve been consistently hearing welded, err on the side of bigger, and a mod or semi v hull. Definitely need to figure out what I’ll be doing the most with it and buy something that fits that. And need to figure out what good fishing opportunities are available in the area and take it from there.
 

younggun308

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Feb 26, 2007
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Cleveland, TN
I agree with the advice of “get the biggest you can afford.” If I had to choose between a bigger hull and more HP, I’d choose the bigger hull.
If you’re wanting a jet engine be sure there’s not too much aquatic grass where you plan on fishing—name specific bodies of water or call area managers near WMAs to figure out (or in some cases, look at GoogleEarth maps—the grass will be visible even from those pics). Grass will mess up a jet, but you can make do with an outboard—maybe have to go in reverse from time to time to lose what you’ve picked up before continuing.
 

spoonie

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Oct 3, 2015
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Middle TN
4 people and a dog? Maybe a jet? I wouldnt go any shorter than 20 feet with anything less than 150 hp and would prefer 200. You lose 30% of the hp due to the jet pump. Outboard jets are more difficult to maneuver than a prop at low speeds so make sure you have the experience needed.
You sound like a good candidate for a 19-20 foot classic semi vee.

My advice is to first figure out your budget, then list the top 3 things that will be using the boat for.
This right here! I own a jet outboard boat and love it for what it can do, but if i could get by without having one i would. You can buy whole lot more boat for the same money if not needing to run super shallow
 

mike52

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Jun 24, 2020
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60
There are many, many good fishing lakes 2/3 hours from Franklin. Just depends on what kind of fishing you like . Priest overall is some of the best fishing close. you have deep water down river / shallow up top end.. Old Hickory is river lakes like Cordell Hull , Cheatham. Center Hill is like Dale Hollow /deep clear . Kentucky lake long and a little of river to huge , huge open water near dam same as Barkley. As for as hunting most of your good duck hunting is going to be west, some draw blinds on Old Hickory, Cheatham just have to put in for the draw. As all of the lake s around Nashville you will have to put up with all the jet skis, wake boarders, dumb asses that can't drive a boat on weekends. There are going to be many lakes that I didn't mention but just a general list. Keep your power dry and your hook wet !
 

scn

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Feb 5, 2003
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Brentwood, TN US
If you are really talking about four people and a dog, you most likely will be in the 20' or larger range. There will be a USCG plate on the boat that lists the number of people allowed on the boat. If you exceed that, you are open for a citation from both TWRA and the USCG. There would also be extensive liability if you are over the stated numbers if you had an accident.

An all welded jon boat with a modified V will handle most of what you have listed. As you are probably aware, there is no "perfect" boat that does everything.
 

LookinforDirt

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Jun 7, 2021
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Franklin
Looking at my original post I can see I was not describing things very well. It would be at most two adults and two kids (12 year olds). If the dog is ever onboard, then only one or two people at the same time. One or two people most of the time. If 4 can‘t fit comfortably it’s not a deal breaker. I looked at a Grizzly 1754 in BassPro the other day It looked like enough boat. That is going to be the max I can get in my garage anyway it appears. And that’s only if a fold away tongue can take off 12“-14” length.
 

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