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Best Ride of My Life! Great Boat!!!

WOW! What a ride today! I've always felt my 21' Champion was a great riding boat, but today not only proved what a great ride it has, but also how seaworthy this boat is. If the hull design hasn't changed when it comes time to buy another, I know what boat I'll be buying.

I launched at Bonnabel Boat Launch today (Saturday) at 2:20, with the intent of checking out a fuel line problem I had fixed. Needed to run wide open to see if I'd fixed it, so decided to head to nearest calm water - Seabrook. It was rough, but mostly a following sea, and nothing any worse than I'd ever experienced.

I was anticipating some nasty stuff at Seabrook, and boy, was I right! I was greeted by the meanest waves I've ever seen. Still had a following sea, but man, you talk about some wicked stuff. Well, got into the channel and past the bridge to calm water, ran her wide open for a while to find my fuel line issue was fixed, and pointed her toward Lake P.

This was, by far, THE most exhilarating boat ride I've ever had, and that includes some pretty rough trips in the gulf. The combination of strong current and high winds whipped up stuff similar to the standing waves you see on the white water trips. These waves had to be every bit of 6', possibly higher, and there was more than once where I thought, "Okay, this is the one! Let me tell you, there were times when the bow may have been 4 or 5 feet higher than my head, and I could see nothing, no horizon, no lake in front of me, only boat. What was cool, was that after cresting the wave, instead of slamming down into the trough, it was almost as though we'd ride back down with the wave, not really backwards, but as in sliding back down the wave as it "died". Several times, the boat felt as though it was standing on it's tail, not straight up, of course, but it had to be pretty darn close to it! I'm telling you, this was an awesome experience.

I gotta tell you, this ride was so exhilarating that even though I was by myself, I was hooping and hollering after I got past the bad sh#*t after Seabrook. Only wish I had someone with me to experience this, and to have gotten some photos of the boat performing would have been awesome. Can't say enough about this boat, and about the ride today. It's 11:00 at night and I'm still pumped LOL!!
what model champion is it? Assuming its the older model since its a 21 not a 22. We used to have a 2000 model 21' baychamp and they are very well designed hulls. Previous owner used to fish the lump with it ..... not me!
A 2001 model
Afterthebigones, it's a 2001 BayChamp. I'm not sure if the hull design has remained the same in post-bankruptcy boats. I've been out in other boats that didn't ride half as well. Yes, the "v" is deeper than some, and you do sacrifice a tiny bit of shallow water capability, but for what I do, it's great. I make the run from Rigolets to Biloxi marsh sometimes and have been in some pretty rough stuff, and it does a great job. All you do is trim the nose down (opposite of what a lot of people do) and take it slow, let the "v" do it's thing and soften the ride rather than trimming up and having the flatter part of the hull slam the waves. It's a great hull for closely spaced waves like in Lakes P and B, but I'd not want to take it in rough stuff in the gulf where the crest of the waves is really far apart ... that's asking for disaster. Those waves yesterday were every bit of 6 and 7 feet, but the saving grace is that in the lake, they're not long, deep rollers like the gulf, so you're never really way down deep in a trough with a giant wave fixing to come over the bow. I've been to Central Rigs in it, but would not do it on a regular basis, only when I can pick my day, and while keeping a keen eye on the weather, too.
v wing
yep, champion has the best and driest rough water ride of any mono-hull. i have been in "softer riding" hulls, like ranger for instance, and have found that when it gets really nasty that super softness equals a soaking wet ride, via speared waves. in a champion, unless the wind blows the spray back into the boat, you will stay bone dry the entire ride.

wish i was fishing, i have an 18foot champion bass boat and i pass up larger boats all the time when the weather gets nasty. i put the jack plate all the way down, get her to 4000 rpm's, and hang on. Champions just make you feel safe. i know i will always be able to get back to the ramp despite mother nature. i will never own a hull other than a champion! hopefully i will be getting a 20 footer in the next couple of years.
wide open in a bay champ, the waves were not 6+ feet, sorry
you're lucky you made it back. That was very un-intelligent to take that boat out in those conditions. Just sayin'.
He states he ran it wide open in the channel (Inner Harbor navigation Canal), not in the 6+ foot waves at Seabrook.
6 footers!
no way
...'da balls have more ego than the brain ???...cheers
Yep... you did the right thing... trim her down and let the boat do its work...
lucky you didn't end up like these guys. I have a friend who guides out of Tampa Bay. He is friends with Marquis and fished with him Thursday. He advised Marquis not to go out on Sat without an EPIRB. Well, they went anyway:

Two NFL Players Among Those Missing in Fishing Boat Off Florida
Email | Print | A A A

By Larry Siddons

March 2 (Bloomberg) -- National Football League players Corey Smith and Marquis Cooper are among four people missing off the coast of Florida after their boat failed to return from a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Cooper, Smith and two of their friends were on a 21-foot fishing craft that left Seminole Boat Ramp in Clearwater Pass, Florida, on Feb. 28 at 6:30 a.m. New York time. They were reported overdue yesterday at 1:30 a.m., the Coast Guard said in a news release.

Coast Guard helicopters, airplanes and boats yesterday began searching a 750-square-mile area of the Gulf of Mexico about 50 miles west of Clearwater Pass.

Smith, 29, played defensive end for the Detroit Lions last season and is a free agent. Cooper, 26, is a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders. The two were teammates on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004.

The Lions and Raiders said in separate statements that they are “closely monitoring” the situation and are in communication with the Coast Guard and local authorities.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers, their families and those involved in the search efforts,” the Raiders said in a statement.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail that the league has been in regular contact with both teams and the Coast Guard.

Morning Trip

The Coast Guard release identified the others on the boat as Nick Skyler and William Bleakley.

Cooper owned the boat, and he and Smith had used it previously for fishing trips, Smith’s agent, Ron Del Duca, told the Associated Press.

The weather was calm when yesterday’s trip started before worsening, Coast Guard Captain Timothy Close said at a news conference in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The National Weather Service said waves increased to between 3 feet and 5 feet yesterday afternoon, with a small- craft advisory issued late in the day when waves swelled above 7 feet and winds gusted to 20 knots.

Smith had 30 tackles, a career-high three sacks and an interception last season as the Lions became the first team in NFL history to finish 0-16. He’s also played with the Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers over his six-year NFL career.

Cooper appeared in eight games for the Raiders last season, totaling five tackles. He’s also played with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay since breaking into the NFL in 2004.

To contact the reporter on this
Thanks for the Comments
It's interesting to see the opinions, and thanks to all. LSUfishin, thanks for clarifying that I ran wide open in the IHNC, NOT in the Lake LOL! To you novices, what you hear about "getting on top and running wide open" is not what to do in this case! ExpeckBigSpecks, YES, the waves were 6 and 7 footers; it wasn't just the wind, 'cause the current and water depth (40') has an effect at Seabrook, too. Here is the data from New Orleans Lakefront Airport at 3:51 PM, wind NNW 28.8 mph, gusting to 34.5 mph! Tell you what, the next strong cold front meet me out there, we'll take the boat out and measure them! (Maybe not, it was one of those experiences you'd love to re-live, but then again, maybe not!) CajunHopper, you're right that it was foolish, and my heart goes out to the families of those guys. Remember, though, the waves in Lake P. are totally different from the open Gulf. And, to quote someone from long ago "A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor".

But, this wasn't my first rodeo, either :-) In addition to many foul-weather trips to the Parish Line Canal via Williams Blvd. in a 16' Duracraft flatboat, I've been foolish for a long time, but have really enjoyed it :-)

At 16 we'd fish the Sulphur Mine ponds near Pass A Loutre' for bass, heading downriver at 4:00 in the morning from Elzey's in a 14' flat and a 25 hp. Johnson. Yeah, pretty dumb, but we were invincible, right? Once there, we would take the motor off, drag across the levee, fish the ponds and catch beautiful bass and the head back upriver. Seeing the large trees floating downstream on the way back convinced us we shouldn't be doing such things in such a small boat, and definitely not at 4:00 AM!

I remember, when we were about 16 or 17, a mean cold front came through while duck hunting at Manchac. We had launched at Frenier, gone north along the lake to a spot near Black Bayou. The morning weather was calm, warm, muggy, and foggy, and the front blew through at 9:30 in the morning. (What a great hunt!) Anyway, we were heading back from Manchac with a boatload of ducks, decoys, gear and a black Lab, and fortunately we had a following sea, but still had to pull the plug as we ran in order to drain water out of the 14'flat. You should have seen Wayne's face when I told him we needed to pull the plug ... he didn't know that as long as the boat was moving the water would drain out. Ah, yes, the days of my misspent youth :-)

And yes, Admiral, "da balls do have more ego than the brain" LOL! Cheers to all, and stay safe!
done my share of dumb stuff too, LOL.
a long story, but about 12 years ago, an acquantance of ours talked 2 of us with boats and another guy into making a night trip to Timbalier Is. I hadn't been out of Cocodrie in nearly 20 years, but I knew generally where Timbalier was and we had a map. This guy Brian had told us that he and his cousin had been going down there at night a few times and catching a lot of trout at this lit up rig. So, off we went, A 19' and 16.5' Blue Wave bay boats, mine being the 16.5. We left Coco Marina about 9:30pm on a Sat night. So, I follow Gary and Brian (the guy who "supposedly" had been fishing down there with his cousin) and head down to Timbalier about 4 beers each into it. So I'm just following them, and we ride and ride. Between the beer and the darkness, no sense of time, I finally notice Gary slowing down. As I come down off plane, the depthfinder chirps and is picking up the bottom. We're in 44 FEET OF WATER!!!! So I shine the spotlight into the water, and it's a pretty green, like Pensacola. I pull up to Gary's boat and say "WTF? Where are we?" Gary says "The GULF OF F*&&^^^& MEXICO! This idiot just informed me that he's never been here before! His cousin TOLD him about the fishing down here at night." He continued: "We've been heading to that lit up rig out there that is probably still 5 miles away."
So, there is another rig fairly close to the east and we hear noises from it. We pulled over there and asked the guys on the rig where we were. They replied; "We don't know bra, bhe boat just drops us off and picks us up, but it's about a 2 hour boat ride." Nothing left to do but head north until the water gets shallower or we pick up the channel markers. We ran for an hour at 25mph (fastest speed where the depthfinders still picked up) and got back into the channel. We finally arrived at the correct location at about 1:30am. We tied the boats up bow to stern between 2 sections of the platform, it's shaped like an "H". We must have caught 50 or more 10" white trout for the next 2 hours. Then we went to sleep on the boats.

We awoke at 5am to thunderstorms and lightning on all horizons!!! So, I said, "guys, Timbalier has or had, a cove in it, we should get out of this open water." Well, the cove that had been deep enough to park shrimp boats in was now only 1' deep. Plan B, we run over to where there are two barges tied up in a "T" formation with a crane on them. We can tie up in the lee side and at least be out of the waves.

Anyway, we lived, and by our speed and how long it took to get back inside and a depth chart, we were about 24 miles out in the gulf at night, in bay boats, drinking beer.
"Webmaster Investigation" ???
...Yeah 'ya all...he's not a dummy only acts like one...trying to pin a name on him w/ the tempo he writes...he's been around for a while... I think he's really a sharpy masking !!!...just can't pin 'da tail on 'da donkey !!!...they say never wake-up a sleep'n donkey !!!...something like 'dat ???...even the Capt. of the Titanic went down ???...('ya gott'a watch 'dat pink rabbit w/'da drum)...he gets confused ???...cheers