Fishing is fun. There aren’t too many people that will argue that, at least none that we pay much attention to. A warm day, a bunch of friends, a few adult sodas and some fishing rods is the perfect recipe for a day to remember. Of course … there are are always the naysayers that will contest that fishing is boring, and to that we say … yeah, sometimes. But with the right kind of boat, you can liven up any dry spell of a day with a little blip to the throttle. Boat manufacturer Contender knows this, and they have brought us the 25 Bay.
This, you-guessed-it, bay boat does a wonderful job of walkingg the line between Contender’s usual 24.5-degree transom deadrise, which is more akin to serious wave-breaking offshore excursions, that sort of lift does not translate very well into a bay-style fishing boat. So Contender very appropriately, split, the difference. A good bay boat will allow anglers to slowly sneak into quiet water where fish may be basking in the sunlight, which the 25 Bay does do. But in order to get to those waters, you occasionally need to jump some serious waves, so the 25 Bay also sports a 15.5 degree dead rise. The result is a boat that feels surefooted in calm water, but sturdy enough when the waves turn choppy and speeds rise.
Speaking of speed, while you may be fishing for tuna, the twin-stepped hull on the 25 Bay will do its best Mako Shark impersonation, because this thing can move. 60 mph is not out of the question for the Contender, and will more than likely be visited regularly unless some serious self-restraint is at play. Of course, when you are trying to keep things under control, you will find out the Contender is actually very fuel efficient, to the tune of four miles per gallon while cruising at 35 mph.
Once the speed dies down and you finally get to where you’re going, don’t worry because the Contender 25 Bay doesn’t forget its true purpose: fishing. The aft deck is home to two live wells, two flip up jump seats, stowage compartments and batteries. Take a perch on the fore or aft deck and you’ll be rewarded with one of two large casting platforms. There is also another large stowage compartment up front along with an anchor storage.
The 25 Bay can hold six passengers comfortably, and because it’s larger than expected size, there’s room for two people to send out there fishing lines from the cockpit, bow and aft deck all at the same time. In terms of specific measurements, the 25 Bay has a length overall of 25’ 4”, a beam of 8’6”, and displaces 32,000 pounds while also having a 90 gallon fuel capacity. Like we said, the 25 Bay is quite a bit better than expected, which may dissuade some potential buyers from going for it because it can’t quite fit through some of the tighter squeezes than a few others, but overall, we think that the extra room will do more to help than hurt this Contender’s chances.
The Contender 25 Bay is something of a hybrid, and that is a good thing. Fishing is it’s pride and joy, and that shows in spades when it comes to the details, and the design. But, when the day doesn’t quite go as anticipated and that secret sure-thing spot your buddy told you about ends up being nothing but a dirty pond, it’s nice to know that some fun can be salvaged from your day. Crank up the motor, and open it up on the water, let the wind blow through your hair and be happy you chose a boat that can make fishing fun, even on days when it isn’t.