Fishing in Style!

It was last fall when we made the annual trek down to Princeville, Quebec to see just what Princecraft Boats had up their sleeve for the coming model year. For 2019, the plentiful array of Princecraft pontoon offerings are spread over eight different model lines, many available in your choice of four different hull designs: standard, speed, sport and performance configurations. The 2019 Sportfisher 25 LS 4S might just be the single best configuration of the entire bunch.

The Sportfisher 25 LX 4S is all about fishing in style! While it has a Mercury 150hp Four Stroke outboard on the transom to get you to your favourite fishing hole quickly, it also has a 12V or 24V Minn Kota trolling motor at the bow to quietly sneak into those amazing places where the bass like to lurk. Our test boat had the forward access gate notched out at the bottom to accommodate the Minn Kota PowerDrive 70. There is no foredeck outside the fence which means the Princecraft designers used every available inch of the deck for fishing purposes.

Just inside the fence, in each of the four corners, you will find a folding fishing seat (with no pinch hinges so little fingers are safe). Up in the port-side bow corner there was the optional aerated livewell with rod holders.

Moving slightly back aft, the two forward sofas are built with Roto-Cast bases and seat backs to prevent rot, and finished in supple two-tone upholstery.

The fiberglass helm console is finished in light beige with integrated cooler and storage underneath behind a small door. There is a small prep sink (but no freshwater tap), cupholders and a small windscreen. It featues Princecraft branded gauges and switches for the accessories that flank the three-spoke steering wheel. Right above the well-placed throttle, I found a necessary cup-holder for the Captain. The Jensen stereo is wired to four speakers (two fore and two aft), and there was a Humminbird Helix 5 fish-finder on a pedestal mount on our test boat.

Opposite the helm, an l-shaped bench surrounds a kidney shaped table, perfect for a light lunch or little kids to play or colour on while anchored.

The entire aft section of the Sportfisher 25 LX was redesigned for 2019, and now features a fishing station on the centreline flanked by two rear access gates positioned directly in front of the two rear-facing folding fishing chairs. It is an ideal layout for safety while fishing, especially with kids, and for access to the water once you hook a fish and need to bring it in. There is a four-step folding swim ladder to starboard for the times when the sun is hot and the fish are not hungry. Our test boat was finished in Metallic Black with Boca Raton Carpet and TPO Vinyl on the rear platform.

With the Mercury 150hp Four Stroke outboard on the transom, I recorded a top speed of 32mph – perfect for getting to the fishing hole in the morning. The torque of this outboard is not surprising, but yet still fun to experience as it that produced some exciting G-forces in some very tight turns. Of course the three tube configuration helps a lot! I also found a nice quiet cruising speed at 16mph – perfect for a sunset cruise after din-ner. Of course with the performance configuration you could outfit this Sportfisher with up to a 300hp for a truly exhilarating ride.

By Brad Roberts

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Brad grew up at the family cottage on Lake Simcoe using both powerboats and sailboats. A veteran journalist with large national daily newspapers, outdoor interest magazines, and syndicated television shows, Brad has entertained and educated readers for over 25 years with his unique family-inclusive perspective. His favorite pastime is teaching others to use their boats to access the freedom and beauty of a Life Afloat. Brad, his wife, and their three daughters have traveled and boated all over North America and the Caribbean, but choose to keep their "floating home" on the fresh waters of Central Ontario.