Looking for a serious fishing boat that you
can easily trailer? Look no further than Starcraft’s Fishmaster 196. The aluminum hull keeps it
light just 1400 pounds, but it’s also tough as nails, and the company stands behind that
too, with a limited lifetime warranty on the hull and structure and a six year warranty
on all components, upholstery and electronics, so your only worry should be where the fish
are, and in that regard you shouldn’t worry too much. With a max rating of 200 horsepower
you can get to where you’re going in a real hurry. As tested, with a Mercury Verado Pro
200, we ripped across the lake at a top speed just a hair under 50 miles per hour and comfortably
cruised at a peppy 47.5 miles per hour at 4300 rpm. The hull design with a high free
board and full beam windshield will keep you protected and dry as you race to your favourite
fishing spot. And you’ll have a blast while getting there, always a nice bonus. You’ll
get there dry but also in comfort, the fold down seats that can be moved around the boat
and up to the casting platform are solid and sturdy but soft enough to enjoy the ride.
At the rear the transom jump seats that pop out to open the deck up for casting and netting
are comfortable enough and serve the purpose of extra seating well. The bow casting platform
is raised and roomy, in the floor you’ll find storage and a massive 41 gallon live well.
At the very tip of the bow is a lockable storage compartment. Moving back through the walk
through split windshield, there’s lots of open space back here, especially if you take
off the bimini top. Large storage compartments in floor and in the transom offer plenty of
room for life jackets, fishing gear, or even a small cooler. Along the port and starboard
sides is long rod storage so everything can be tucked away when you’re running. The helm
is sleek and well laid out. Gauges, switches, and stereo controls all within easy reach.
With the Starcraft Fishmaster 196, you’ve got a tournament quality fishing boat in an
accessible and fun package.