Canyon Express

When it comes to offshore boats bigger is not always better.

Southport Boats
There's a new breed of center-console these days.Courtesy Southport

Pelagic-filled canyons along the continental shelf’s edge off the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast coast have drawn avid anglers offshore for years. Hemingway-worthy tales of tackle-busting, yellowfin, bluefin, bigeye and albacore tuna are easily found at myriad dockside watering holes. But there’s more. Feisty and furious white and blue marlin abound in these waters too.

For years, distance, and often, unpredictable weather limited the fishery to those with larger, diesel-powered boats that could make the two-day round trip comfortably and safely. A typical voyage would start with an early morning ride of 4 to 6 hours depending on the boat’s cruising speed, followed by trolling cobalt waters until dark, chunking until dawn and going back on the troll before heading to the barn.

But times have changed. Enter the center console. Today’s CCs are bigger, faster and rugged, and when combined with improved offshore weather forecasting have given rise to a new generation of canyon hunters. What used to be a multiday affair can now be as simple as leaving before sunrise and getting home by dark. Call it a commuter trip to big fish and bluewater adventure!

This new breed of mid-30 foot center consoles – powered by two or three high-horsepower outboards – are capable of putting you on the fish in relatively short order hours, while providing an offshore platform with everything needed for a successful day of big game fishing. With fuel capacity to spare, fish boxes large enough to pack a day’s catch, electronics that rival the larger battlewagons and the ability to troll, chunk or jig for hard fighting pelagics alongside boats 2 or 3 times their size, these center consoles can do it all. And they can do it faster with less preparation time, less cleanup and less maintenance once you get home. Not to mention, you don’t need for a large crew for this size boat. Just grab a friend or two, ice, snacks and bait and you’re ready to go.

It’s no wonder so many bluewater fishermen are joining the new breed of center console warriors.