We Say: This big skiff can work the breakers for blues, drums and stripers and still run to offshore wrecks and let you wrestle with jacks, cobias and kings. The Cape Fisherman 23 LTE’s shallow draft combines with plenty of flare and a slinky length-to-beam ratio that makes this eclectic mix of handling qualities possible. Just as nice, the 2,350-pound CF 23 LTE ran great during my test with Yamaha’s F150 outboard. I see little need for a V-6, though the boat is rated for 250 hp. With the F150, count on a range up to 350 miles.
Jones Brothers did not build this 22-foot-8-inch by 8-foot hull to the maximum trailerable beam of 8 feet 6 inches. Instead of space, it designed the boat for ride, with a bottom that runs shallow, planes easily and softly crests waves. The 12-degree transom deadrise transitions to a sharp, wave-cleaving 50-degree entry. This, plus the boat’s gracefully rising sheer, characteristic flare and judicious application of the Lenco trim tabs allowed me to dial it in for comfort.
Four rod holders, rod racks and a big “Super Console” are standard. But the Cape Fisherman 23 LTE can be specialized with a wide range of options, including poling platforms, leaning posts and T-tops.
Who’d Want One: A hard-core light-tackle angler who wants a boat that can fish shallow and still run offshore.
Another Choice: The Parker 23 SE ($41,147 with a Yamaha F150) is another well-built light-tackle center console that can work offshore as well as inshore. It’s 6 inches wider but also 500 pounds heavier.
Bottom Line: $45,792 with an F150 Yamaha; jonesbrothersmarine.com