Pickwick Lake-Tennessee River

Fltcrew

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Hi SEMPERFI8387. Thank you for your service to our country. Our oldest son served in the Corps from 1999-2004. Best thing that ever happened to him. They changed him from a hopeless under-achiever to a young man that any father would be proud to call both "son" and "friend." Deployed several times including Operation Enduring Freedom. Now he serves and protects our civilian population. Driven. Focused. Mature. That's him today. The boat is a 2018 G25, the last one of that vintage on the lot at Paul Seaton in Counce, TN. That's why I got such a good deal (hence the name Economy Mike...bestowed upon me by my kids. You would think I never paid for their private school and college tuitions!) Floor plan is GSRC, just like the 2019 version of that model except that it has a starboard gate just in front of the helm, which is where we put our cooler(s). It is also handy at the fuel dock because the fuel inlet is on that side. It has the Kicker KMC10 Stereo upgrade, blue-light speakers, GPS speedometer with compass heading, 11 ft Bimini curved top with Blue Ice LED lighting, perforated Firecracker interior accent, custom steering wheel upgrade with piano black accents, 2 rectangular tables with zebrawood slate, portable cupholders, reclining helm chair with booster, sport upholstery upgrade, Sport Performance System Plus (.100), in-floor storage, twin batteries with master power switch, Yamaha saltwater anode package, stainless housing dock lights, ski tow bar, and seagrass slate full flooring. It came with a Striker 4 fish graph, but that is being upgraded to the Simrad GO5 like you have. It has decks both fore and aft outside the fencing. Hull weight is 3,298. I had the dealer upgrade the 200 hp with a 250 since the boat is rated for it. I need to devise an easier way to raise the ladder...kind of a pain to reach way down and grab a lower rung. Otherwise, I like everything about it. All of these pics were taken at the dealer. It may never be that clean again. LOL! This boat will see duty as a cruiser, tuber and crappie troller. Still in the break-in period, but the guy at Paul Seaton says it will do 50 mph. Curious to find out. Well, have a great weekend.

I just bought a preowned 2550 RCL with only 95 hours and we have only had it wet once; last Sunday on Pickwick. We live in Collierville so not sure where we will keep it during the boating season.

What prop does your 250 have? I am trying a new prop next week. It came with a Yamaha 14.4x15 three blade but the prop slip and efficiency is horrible although it does get up and gone well. On advice from a prop shop, I am trying a 4 blade with the same diameter and pitch because with 800 lbs of pax and full fuel it would reach 6200 rpm.

online computation figured prop slip was 30%!!

I sold my Ranger 521z and bought this Bennington so the family can enjoy it. We had lunch Sunday at Aqua Grill and it was very good. Can you tell me where other restaurants are on the lake and anything else worth checking out?

I too plan to tube, cruise and CRAPPIE fish off mine! :0) Glad to see you add that.

Alan
 

Economy Mike

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Tennessee River at Bear Creek
A fellow Collier-villain! Every Ranger bassman I ever encountered was tuned into his prop, hole shot, etc. But I never heard a pontoon owner mention it. My prop is a SS 3 blade. I don't know the pitch, but I will check it on my next trip up. I think I spotted a tech forum on this site. You might reach out there on the subject. We have been to Aqua Grill twice and enjoyed it both times. It's a long ride from Bear Creek, so we went by road. That's where the old Café St. Clair was located, which has since moved off the water. At the mouth of Bear Creek in Eastport Marina, Gilligan's Grill is open during the summer months. Very informal, but good chicken tenders the last time we ate there. More of a breakfast and lunchtime place. Nowadays, we find a beach and grill our own lunch, then later we usually put the boat in slip and go into Iuka for dinner at Country Squire, Farmhouse, or El Pecante, or across the dam to the Outpost. On the water, you can dock at the Pickwick State Park. They have a catfish and shrimp buffet which is sometimes pretty good. Also on the water, I have heard good things about the River Bottom Grille in Florence. It's on the water in O'Neal Harbor at the bridge. I am told that you do not have to go through the locks to get to it. We are planning to give it a try. You have probably been to the waterfall cove just south of Yellow Creek. It can get wild. And watch the alcohol in Alabama waters...that's a dry county. But for crappie fishing up that way, you might troll the area northwest of Goat Island, just south of Lee Spry Marine. We have used a guide there several times with good success. It has a flat bottom and we didn't lose a jig. Also, south of Aqua Yacht Harbor down to Yellow Creek State Inland Port, troll south to north in the early spring when the water is not chocolate milk. In Bear Creek, we pull jigs in the spring and Bandit Crappie series in the summer when the grandkids and sea-dooers allow. We add minnows to the jigs sometimes. Still learning.
Mike
 

Vikingstaff

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A fellow Collier-villain! Every Ranger bassman I ever encountered was tuned into his prop, hole shot, etc. But I never heard a pontoon owner mention it.
Mike
Then you just haven’t hung out with the right pontoon owners! There are a lot of us “performance” oriented pontoon owners on this forum. :D;):cool:
 
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Economy Mike

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Tennessee River at Bear Creek
I can see that I will have to up my game if I am going to run with y'all (that's Southern for "you guys", Jeff). :) BTW my dealer said it would be OK to run with the Bimini top deployed at WOT. I have the extended 11' topper, but no cables like I have read about on some models. Any thoughts from the Performance Oriented Division? Thanks!
 

Vikingstaff

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I can see that I will have to up my game if I am going to run with y'all (that's Southern for "you guys", Jeff). :) BTW my dealer said it would be OK to run with the Bimini top deployed at WOT. I have the extended 11' topper, but no cables like I have read about on some models. Any thoughts from the Performance Oriented Division? Thanks!
Welcome aboard the forums!
As pontooners, we accept all people. You are in great company no mater what game you got around here. I have no game at all, and they still let me post. Ha,ha. Only requirement: enjoying a pontoon. ;)

Fast, slow, fishing, water sports, 9.9 hp or 400 hp. We love them all. :)

The bimini deployed at WOT gets kicked around occasionally on here. My dealer said the same. We have the electric bimini. Boat with a light load pre-Sea Legs was 44 mph, and with Sea Legs is still 41-42 mph lightly loaded. Frankly, I just don’t trust it at those speeds. Seems too wobbly. The normal bimini’s do seem more sturdy, or better supported, in my mind, but I don’t know if that is actually true from an engineering perspective.

Others might chime in. I vaguely remember some people posting speed limit warnings or stickers, or something to that effect this past year. This might be a new thing, or just a recommendation, or just coming from people that have followed up specifically with Bennington.
 

Dgj

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I run with both of mine fully deployed. 49mph. The front frame broke but that was setting still during a pop up thunderstorm and a side wind got
 

Remediation

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Lake Cumberland KY - White Oak Community Dock
off topic a little:) We went out yesterday and I was looking at all the warning stickers. The front recliners and rear fishing seats are labeled "not to use while under way" That leaves a helm chair and a L couch to handle a 12 person capacity boat. CYA on full display.
 

Fltcrew

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Messages
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Location
West TN
A fellow Collier-villain! Every Ranger bassman I ever encountered was tuned into his prop, hole shot, etc. But I never heard a pontoon owner mention it. My prop is a SS 3 blade. I don't know the pitch, but I will check it on my next trip up. I think I spotted a tech forum on this site. You might reach out there on the subject. We have been to Aqua Grill twice and enjoyed it both times. It's a long ride from Bear Creek, so we went by road. That's where the old Café St. Clair was located, which has since moved off the water. At the mouth of Bear Creek in Eastport Marina, Gilligan's Grill is open during the summer months. Very informal, but good chicken tenders the last time we ate there. More of a breakfast and lunchtime place. Nowadays, we find a beach and grill our own lunch, then later we usually put the boat in slip and go into Iuka for dinner at Country Squire, Farmhouse, or El Pecante, or across the dam to the Outpost. On the water, you can dock at the Pickwick State Park. They have a catfish and shrimp buffet which is sometimes pretty good. Also on the water, I have heard good things about the River Bottom Grille in Florence. It's on the water in O'Neal Harbor at the bridge. I am told that you do not have to go through the locks to get to it. We are planning to give it a try. You have probably been to the waterfall cove just south of Yellow Creek. It can get wild. And watch the alcohol in Alabama waters...that's a dry county. But for crappie fishing up that way, you might troll the area northwest of Goat Island, just south of Lee Spry Marine. We have used a guide there several times with good success. It has a flat bottom and we didn't lose a jig. Also, south of Aqua Yacht Harbor down to Yellow Creek State Inland Port, troll south to north in the early spring when the water is not chocolate milk. In Bear Creek, we pull jigs in the spring and Bandit Crappie series in the summer when the grandkids and sea-dooers allow. We add minnows to the jigs sometimes. Still learning.
Mike
I meant to thank you for the lengthy reply and great info. Bass fishing Pickwick and boating are 2 completely different things and I am very interested in hearing about all there is to see and do around the lake that doesn't involve staring at 12" Lowrance units. :0)

My wife likes boating but she works hard and cherishes her weekends off. I need to keep it fun and interesting so I'm not out on the Bennington alone like I was the Ranger.

If anyone can suggest any hangout spots or good places to swim or anchor or EAT, please post it.


I
 
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