Why do you need jet boats for fishing? Skinny, rock filled waterways hold prized smallmouth bass. River fishermen know that to get to the remote areas that hold those 20 inch smallmouth bass, you’ve got to get to areas that can only be accessed via kayak, canoe or jet boat.
The great thing about having a jet boat is that if one area is unproductive, you can quickly move to different waters to get on the fish faster, find a pattern and catch more smallies! Also, when you blow past someone wading in 6 inches of water at 40 mph, the look on their face is priceless.
Jet Boats For Fishing
Many people have seen jet boats and wonder about them. I thought it would be great to provide helpful information about jet boats in case you get the bug to spend a bit of cash on one of these fantastic tools for smallmouth fishing.
From our friends at Wikepedia:
A jetboat is a boat propelled by a jet of water ejected from the back of the craft. Unlike a powerboat or motorboat that uses a propeller in the water below or behind the boat, a jetboat draws the water from under the boat into a pump inside the boat, then expels it through a nozzle at the stern.
Jetboats were originally designed by Sir William Hamilton (who developed a waterjet in 1954) for operation in the fast-flowing and shallow rivers of New Zealand, specifically to overcome the problem of propellers striking rocks in such waters….
In a jetboat, the waterjet draws water from beneath the hull, where it passes through a series of impellers and stators – known as stages – which increase the velocity of the waterflow. Most modern jets are single-stage, while older waterjets may have as many as three stages. The tail section of the waterjet unit extends out through the transom of the hull, above the waterline. This jetstream exits the unit through a small nozzle at high velocity to push the boat forward. Steering is accomplished by moving this nozzle to either side, or less commonly, by small gates on either side that deflect the jetstream. Because the jetboat relies on the flow of water through the nozzle for control, it is not possible to steer a conventional jetboat without the engine running. Original article here
Jet drives come in 2 types: inboard and outboard
I’d say that the inboard Optimax is preferred over the outboard as seen on this boating forum:
Hey guys I’ve narrowed my search down to Rockproof Boats OR Snyder Boats! I am going with a 20’x78? Boat. The Snyder boat is offering a 140 HP Suzuki outboard Jet and the Rockproof Boat is offering a 200 HP mercury optimax Sport Jet! Both have the plastic rockproof bottom! what do you guys think about the outboard vs. the inboard? Also…The boats are very similar in price!
I like skinny water and for that there is nothing like an inboard. My wooly AK o/b runs shallow but I just don’t have the turning precision and speed that you get with an inboard.
I feel you will get more power, GPH and lift from the bullet proof Optimax, plus you can get the stomp grate option added. Although I run one and would not change it for nothing. I’m not knocking the Suzuki for they too are great motors although the Opti has proven itself to me. Good Luck! Original post here
If you become obsessed with smallmouth bass, you’ll want to get a jet boat for fishing.
If you have a preference for inboard vs out or brand..River Pro, Rockproof, Snyder, Tracker, etc., let me know