The times they are a changing in the Great Lakes fishing scene. The traditional fiberglass deep V und style of fishing boat that once dominated on the Great Lakes may have run its course. Larger “charter style” boats provide a lot of space and creature comforts, but these boats must also be slipped in a particular port. The owner and/or charter client is saddled with the necessity of fishing only one port all season long.
Mark Romanack the Executive Producer of Fishing 411 TV has been running this X2 Phantom 20 foot welded aluminum hull since September. To say that Romanack is impressed with this hull would be an understatement. Unlike other welded hulls on the market the X2 Phantom incorporates a defined Reverse Chime and a V-Pad that gives this boat amazing performance and fishing attributes. Part of the Smoker Craft North American Angler series of boats, the X2 Phantom is rewriting the rules for Great Lakes fishing boats.
The Great Lakes recreational fishing resources are in turmoil. No one knows what the future holds for anglers who target species including lake trout, king salmon, coho salmon, Atlantic salmon, steelhead and brown trout. The uncertainty of the Great Lakes fishery has some savvy anglers opting for smaller boats they can trailer to hot ports at peak times of year.
Success on the water boils down to the ability to be mobile and to key in on critical fisheries at the most optimum times of year. A new breed of welded “V” hull boats are helping anglers enjoy the freedom of mobility on and off the water.
The new Smoker Craft North American Angler Phantom series are a good example of boats made for big water and made to take on the toughest conditions. These welded Deep V hulls are fabricated from .160 thick aluminum on the running surface and .125 thick aluminum on the side and top decks.
To say these boats are built tough is an understatement. These boats are built to last a lifetime and in fact carry a lifetime warranty up to the challenge of fishing the Great Lakes. The Phantom series features six models including the 222 Offshore, 202 Offshore, 202, 182 and a pair of new models including the X2-18 and X2-20.
This shot of the inside of the X2 Phantom shows the boat has ample room for mounting track and related accessories including downriggers, electronics, rod holders, tool holders and more. Rod storage is simple, under the gunwale racks, that make it easy to both access and store long trolling rods.
The latest boats in the series, the X2-20 and X2-18, both feature wider beams and reverse chine hull not featured on earlier Phantom releases. The reverse chine hull creates a super stable fishing platform and allows heavy accessories like a gasoline kicker motor to be mounted without the boat suffering from listing problems.
The X2 Phantom series also implements something known as a V-Pad on the hull. The V-Pad is a flat spot at the bottom of the hull near the transom that provides these hulls additional lift and performance characteristics. This extra lift allows these hulls to squeeze every ounce of performance from the outboard power while delivering the maximum fuel economy and a dry smooth ride.
Both X2 Phantom models also feature welded in strakes on the bottom that provide additional bite when quartering heavy seas. The result is a hull that will handle rough water beautifully without the bow raising or the hull listing.
The console forward design of all the Phantom series of boats makes for a fishing craft that is ideal for trolling chores. All of these boats feature an enormous amount of space at the back of the boat for rigging downriggers, rod holders, electronics and a host of other fishing accessories.
The console forward design of the Phantom series makes these boats ideally suited for trolling situations. The console is flat on top making it easy to mount electronics such as big screen sonar/GPS and temperature/depth probes such as this Fish Hawk X4 Plus Depth.
Built tough, designed to be mobile and a functional trolling platform, the Phantom series of welded hulls from North American Angler and Smoker Craft are worth taking a closer look at. Based on the early success of this welded series of fishing boats, consumers can expect to see more models of the Phantom series in the near future. For more information check out www.smokercraft.comand click on the Showroom tab for more details.