Bream and bass tournament boats have come along way in a few short years of competition fishing in this country.
When the bream competition scene first began smallish Quintrex Hornets dominated the field as well as cheaper vee-nosed punts. But even back then one boat builder was already exploring the idea of larger fibreglass boats matched to greater horsepower.
It was during the inaugural Clyde River bream event that I first laid eyes on a Lamotte Craft.
I was fishing as a non-boater with Scott Towner and this glass boat shot by at blinding speed and was gone just as quickly. Scott informed me that the ‘pilot’ in question was Ross Lamotte, brother of Bruce, who builds these boats at Taree.
‘Captain’ Kevin Gleed's 5.2 Lamotte Pro is a new model to the range and is perfectly suited to Kev's South Coast guided fishing business, Wilderness Fishing Tours.
The first thing that struck me was the size of the foredeck. It was huge for a 5.2-metre rig and while under way it felt like we were riding a full-sized snooker table with a 90hp Mariner Optimax on the back!
It’s the perfect platform for Kev's work, allowing three anglers to fish up front in comfort while he operates the 65lb thrust Minn Kota via a wrist-mounted remote control.
The ride is super-smooth at speed and we had to negotiate some large wakes at one stage from the sightseeing boat Marinda and the 5.2 Pro did it easily. On the return journey we were confronted by a 25-knot southerly which threw a bit of spray over the nose but no more than any other estuary boat of its kind.
At rest the boat is incredibly stable even with both anglers to one side and I wouldn't expect this to change with four people on board.
We spent the day fishing plastics for bream interspersed with a few casts for jewfish here and there but could manage to put only two nice bream in the large built-in livewell. The well is fully plumbed and has a fold-down divider – perfect for comps and large enough to keep a 6kg school jew or two in with the divider down.
The boat has a 7’ rod locker built into the port side to accommodate all of the fishing rods as well as several other compartments to store other necessary items for a day’s fishing. One nifty inclusion to these compartments is the use of channels that drain rainwater to the livewell, ensuring that all compartments remain dry – something I wish my boat had!
At the rear is a fully insulated icebox that kept the days snacks and drinks super-cool, making hot days easier to cope with.
The 100-litre fuel tank is built in under the bench seat. The step up to the casting deck is upholstered to seat the third angler and has storage space beneath it. The bench seat accommodates a maximum of three including driver.
One fear that Kevin had when deciding on this boat was that he would no longer be able to access some of his sneaky spots over shallow sand bars. This has proved to a groundless fear as the 5.2 Pro negotiates every shallow sand bar that his old aluminium boat did. And if you have seen Kev zip across these bars you'll know how shallow I'm talking about. One wrong move and the result would be like hitting an eject button!
Overall, the 5.2 Pro Lamotte Craft was a pleasure to fish out of, catering perfectly to any estuary fishing scenario.
Fuel capacity100 litres
Weight (hull only)550kg
Max power 115
Max capacity 5 adults 1 child
Inclusions as tested: 90hp Mariner Optimax; 100-litre built-in fuel tank; 2x90 amp hour deep-cycle batteries; fully plumbed livewells; Dunbier trailer; 7' rod locker; insulated icebox; Humminbird Matrix sounder; 65lb Minn Kota Riptide; hull built to survey plus all survey equipment.
Turnkey total price: $37,000
Same layout not to survey: $32,000
For inquiries contact Bruce Lamotte on 0428 501 142
Options: ‘Wherever anyone wants to take it in custom fibreglass moulding – within reason,” says Bruce Lamotte.Reads: 1984