Lake depth and how shallow can you run?

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JimS123

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The motor really needs to go up to the last notch, but that's another topic.

For sure a depth finder is needed everywhere and anywhere and for 100 bucks how can anyone NOT have one. But, more importantly, a chart should be required equipment. Unfortunately, many people don't believe that, or don't know how to read one anyway.

Just yesterday we were anchored on a sandbar with a full view of the river. Ours has professional detailed charts available. There is a spot where a rock reef jets out from the shore. (OK, boulders, not rocks) "Most" locals are fully aware of it. The water goes from 15 feet to 1 foot. A depth finder does no good in this case.

A brand new boat went by at 25-30 mph pulling a tube. I said to my wife: "Watch his out drive". Then, SMASH. He went from 25 to 0 in only a few feet. I'm guessing a millennial covid era boater that saw no need to take the course.

Sorry for the soapbox. To answer the question, I don't boat in water less than 5 feet unless the motor is at half tilt and I'm preparing to anchor on a sandbar. 3 feet for a jetski so they don't suck up a lot of crap.
 

jimmbo

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Charts are good for Rock Piles/Ridges, not so much for Sandbars as they tend to shift
 

roscoe

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Gotta go where the fish are. Don't have an hour + to get up the channel, so...
I trust my chartplotters. One has LakeMaster chip, the other has Navionics chip.

I just have to remember to adjust the water height offset for current conditions.
 

Texasmark

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That's my point lol. I don't. Just knowing alot of the smaller lakes are not extremely deep. So I thought I'd ask what's people's opinions.
As others have said, if putting along you can tilt/trim up and essentially run in the depth that the hull doesn't hit bottom. The problem lies in your wanting to get some speed and attempt to get on plane.....the stern will sink before it rises to a higher level.

On some boats running saltwater shoal areas searching for things like Spotted Drum ( Redfish in Texas vernacular ) they either run a shallow running boat designed for that function or a flat transom semi-V with a higher powered outboard and SS prop....churning up sand as they get on plane....BTDT.
 

racerone

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Cheap and easy to invest in a chart plotter.----Some now have every small lake on them.-----Makes you an instant expert on the depth of the lakes.----Cheaper than props and lower units.
 
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