by Dan Armitage
A quick walk-through of the 2011 SUN TRACKER Fishin’ Barge 21 is all it takes to see why the boat is one of the most popular pontoons on the market among anglers.
Any fisherman worth his weight in bass, walleye, panfish or trout will recognize that this craft was designed from the 24-inch-diameter logs up for angling convenience and cruising comfort between fishing holes.
Float the boat, and put 60 horses of Mercury Big Foot power behind it as we did, and you’ll experience how the rig performs as well as how it fishes. Rated for outboards up to 90 hp, the standard package pushed by a 40-hp Mercury will be more than adequate for most freshwater angling applications.
Match it with anything more powerful, and it will double as a platform for more active watersports. Yet, where this boat shines is when it’s used in pursuit of fish.
For example, SUN TRACKER didn’t allow its popular 21-footer to rest on its laurels. The 2011 model boasts a broader deck than last year and an additional chair on the aft platform, so there’s room for two anglers.
Within reach of the two fishing stations are more new features, including vertical rod holders to complement the horizontal racks on the deck’s starboard side, and a cushioned-top, 16-gallon livewell/baitwell combination to back up the eight-gallon iovewell found up front.
A folding, three-step ladder offers eacy access to the skid-free surface covering the aft deck. At the opposite end of the 21-footer, the Fishin’ Barge’s bow angling area features a pair of fishing chairs atop new screw-in pedestals, a storage locker and integrated drink and rod holders.
Between the SUN TRACKER’s two fishing stations is a cockpit with a considerable amount of amenities, including a side-swivel bucket seat for the person at the helm.
Seating for passengers includes an L-shape lounge with under-seat dry storage and a lockable compartment under the armrest, which is new for 2011, facing a portable, floor-mounted cockpit table.
The rig has an optional Fish Package that includes a bow-mounted Motorguide W55 Wireless Series 12-volt, 55-pound-thrust trolling motor and a Lowrance X50 DS fishfinder. And for an extra $895, adding the angling options still keeps the package in the $17,000 range for what is a great family fishing boat bargain.