Hazelwood Pondage in Gippsland Victoria is an artificial lake created to provide water to cool the Hazelwood Power Station. In recent times it has become better known as the home of barramundi in Victoria. The barramundi fishing is only a recent addition and the pondage has always had many recreational uses. On this occasion, it was the perfect venue to test out the Savage 525 Scorpion Pro, as the weather on the coast was less than ideal.
The 525 size is the latest edition to the Scorpion range. It’s also available in three other sizes – 435, 455, 485. It comes in three configurations in all the larger sizes, tiller, side console and centre console with side console and tiller options in the 435. It was the 525 Pro Side Console we took for a spin at Hazelwood.
My first impression of the Savage 525 Scorpion Pro was, ‘Here is a boat that has lots of space and could provide the owner with numerous fishing options.’ By space I mean it has a large forward casting deck, a larger than normal rear casting platform (you could comfortably fish lures with three anglers) and enough space around the console to ensure that you would not feel uncomfortable moving from either casting area with others on board.
The area around and behind the console for the skippers is spacious and well thought-out. The console itself had plenty of space for electronics and gauges. Warragul Marine Centre had the test boat fully kitted out and the console had a Humminbird Onix10, several Suzuki gauges, a Fusion stereo system and some switches and there was still space for more if you wanted.
The space isn’t limited to above the decks either. Under deck storage in the Scorpion included a 7ft rod locker, plenty of space under the forward casting deck, battery and other storage in the rear casting deck, with live wells in both decks as well. All of this means that all your fishing tackle can be secured safely and out of the way while you’re fishing or travelling.
The versatility component is that this boat would be as at home fishing a lake, estuary or inshore reefs with lures and plastics as it would be with a spread of baits targeting snapper and the like. There is plenty of freeboard for an angler to lock into if chasing kingfish and tuna, if that is your cup of tea.
Add to that the 115hp Suzuki four-stroke which provided a great balance of power and economy. You could do a lot of fishing in a lot of places with the 77L underfloor fuel tank.
In my interview with David Garcia from Warragul Marine Centre, I said that we had a lot of fun when out in the 525. This was absolutely the case. The classic hull design of the Scorpion provides a great ride and fantastic handling. Although we didn’t have a huge amount of chop to deal with at Hazelwood, it did handle the boat and jet ski wakes with ease. For what is a reasonably large boat, it was easy and enjoyable to drive.
The maximum horsepower rating for the 525 Scorpion is 115hp and although a 75hp would likely do a great job powering it, the 115hp Suzuki definitely had its advantages. During testing we managed a very healthy top speed of 74kp/h and with a very quick hole shot of 4.27 seconds. The beauty of Suzuki four-strokes and the Lean Burn technology incorporated in them is that over a period of running the motor establishes a maximum efficiency and automatically adjusts during use. This translates into maximum economy and output. On the day 4000 revs was the sweet spot, giving a speed of 48kp/h and getting 3km/L of fuel burned.
We didn’t fish Hazelwood on the day as it was not yet open for Victorian anglers to have a crack at the barramundi stocked in it (the boat certainly wouldn’t be out of place in any of our northern estuary systems chasing barra), however we did spend a few hours at Blue Rock Dam nearby targeting its bass population later in the day. We were casting three up, manoeuvring around in the timber using the Minn Kota on the bow and it was excellent to fish from. It had a little bit of fishing mojo as well. As mentioned, this is only one option of the types of fishing you could do out of the 525 Scorpion Pro.
The Savage 525 Scorpion Pro is a big boat without the big boat feel. You can tow it with a medium to large car and you can launch and retrieve it with one person if required. It offers multiple fishing options and even fully optioned as the test boat was, it would only set you back just under $50,000. If you want to fit one out to your requirements, pricing starts from $37,500.
If you want to know more about the Savage 525 Scorpion Pro or the rest of the Savage range of boats you can contact Warragul Marine Centre on 0356 236 250 or visit their website www.warragulmarine.com.au.
• Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.
|Bottom and sides||3mm|
|Weight (boat only)||506kg|
|Hole Shot||4.27 seconds|
|Number of people||6|
|RPM||Speed (km/h)||Economy (km/L)|