The big Fisher 680 is the sort of plate aluminium craft that offshore anglers drool over. It has a high level of fit outs, appointments, top-shelf fishing features are found throughout.
Up front there is plenty of room to fish. Forward access is both easy and safe thanks to a carpeted walkaround area with lots of hand holds on the way. A big anchor-well is set in a checker plate foredeck but a power winch is standard for easy use. And a pair of reef anchor holders are set up on the heavy-duty bow rail for convenience.
The entrance is sheltered by the forward cockpit super structure and the Fisher's cabin is an ideal place to rest or seek shelter.
The cabin is fully lined with wide overhead shelving. It has a marine toilet situated below the short infill between the deeply cushioned 2m long bunks. There is plenty of ambient light thanks to Bomar hatches, side windows and electric lighting.
The under bunk storage space is very generous for both head and legroom. Entry is to port with a high lip serving as an effective water barrier between cockpit and cabin.
The big Fisher 680 can certainly boast a roomy and well-appointed forward cockpit area. On top of the solidly constructed Targa are six rod holders per side, a radar arch and a handy spotlight. The forward section is devoted to paired windscreens and forward opening windows above.
The side windows are large enough to allow ample airflow. For a bit more of that wind-in-the-hair feel, zip open clears are also set up. Behind the windscreen is a carpeted dash that offers plenty of space for storage of personal items. And a full width upper shelf is set up with marine radios and fuel flow gauge.
The Fisher 680's hardtop extends out over the cockpit to offer shelter but was in no way intrusive of fishing space. The floodlight at the rear and the cockpit LED's would be handy for night fishing forays. In an outstanding and very neat touch, a set of overhead rod racks have been set up on the under side of the lined hard top.
The dash layout is straightforward. Gauges on the upright dash section are adjacent to the wheel linked to hydraulic steering. This is to monitor the big Suzuki 250 on the stern. The winch and forward controls plus switches for various functions are all to starboard.
The set up is very user friendly and complimented the flat upper area. On the test boat, the upper area sported a Lowrance 75000 Global Map unit, a Furuno FCV 585 sounder and Furuno radar. However, these navigational aids are far from standard fare.
The Fisher 680’s back-to-back style forward cockpit seats were mounted on storage boxes and has no shortage of features for the skipper and first mate.
The mate enjoys a handy grab rail, a lockable glove box, easy access to the craft's CD player and radio – and, of course, a drink holder. The skipper has a footrest for easy travel and his seat can be moved to make standing to drive more comfortable.
The seat boxes are multi-functional as the skipper's box tilted forward to reveal an insulated icebox. The passenger's seat is set up with tackle trays and can be accessed from the inside of the box.
All the seating got full marks for comfort.
The craft's fully carpeted metre deep self-draining cockpit is large enough for five anglers to work in harmony and has plenty of features for them to enjoy. Floor level side storage bins are set up just aft of the cockpit seats while cavernous side pockets almost run the full length of the cockpit.
An under floor fish bin was large enough to anticipate the most ambitious of catches. The 90L icebox with padded lid doubles as a seat for two passengers and is the perfect place to preserve the catch.
The 680’s full height transom is equipped with a live well to starboard and a boarding door to port. The salt-water deck wash and the fresh water shower are both tucked into the starboard quarter making it easy to pull out and use if required.
A rod holder equipped cutting board, which complimented the four on the cockpit, is located centrally on the transom. This unit differs from most as it can be lifted out of its mountings and re-positioned within identical mountings on the cockpit decks if required. This is a useful feature as it leaves the transom uncluttered.
Completing the picture of the transom area is a boarding ladder to port with associated handrail. Coming back aboard after a swim or dive would certainly be safer thanks to the rails and non-skid platforms.
Rated for engines from 175hp to 250hp, the big Fisher revelled in the easy power of the 250 Suzuki on the platform aft.
It started first turn of the key and idled so quietly the only sound was from the tell-tale water spray. Idling onto the plane at 3000rpm (24.1km/h) the engine was hardly any noisier.
At 4,000rpm on the tachometer the GPS recorded 43.3km/h and saw a very modest fuel flow of 27L per hour that is very good given the size of the rig. At 5,000rpm it reached 51.2 kph and 5,500 a neat 62.4kph with four aboard and a full fuel load of 300L.
The ride of the big 680 Fisher (Maxi series) is always going to impress whether the craft is in the river jumping wash from a passing craft or offshore where the rig will really be in its true element.
Given the metre-plus of freeboard, the impressive stability of the hull with it's 2.45m beam and large reversed out chines for extra grip, it is an extraordinary fishing rig by any standard. And on-board features just add icing to the cake. The roomy cabin and cockpit and the terrific level of finish add to the great package.
Stability at rest is also hard to beat. The large under-hull channels either side of the keel fill with water to provide extra ballast and even with all four of us on the one side the big Fisher just remained impassively stable.
A Maxi Series Fisher 680 on trailer will come home from around $80,000.
For more information on Fisher Boats visit www.fisherboats.com.au .
TECHNICAL INFORMATION FISHER 680
|Hull construction:||5mm bottom, 4mm sides.|
|Engine hp rating:||175-250hp extra long shaft|
|Towing:||Patrol, Landcruiser, truck.|