What can you tell us about your first Lowe?
My first boat was a Lowe 1236 Jon. I started out with just the boat and trolling motor. That was it. I stuck it in the back of my truck, going around duck hunting and fishing the river close to the house. I worked and saved money, and finally got a little 7.5 horsepower engine. I had to assemble it all when I got to the water. The boat was in the back of the truck, and the engine, trolling motor and batteries were all laying in the floor of the boat. I’d have to put everything together at the water, and it took 30 or 45 minutes. I rocked with that for 3-4 months. I cleaned up around my neighbor’s yard one spring, and she paid me with a white, pink, and purple jet ski trailer. I spray-painted it all black, and that was my rig until I was 19.
"I started out in a Lowe, and now 20 years later, I’m back in a Lowe. It’s cool to come back to the original and be able to run this new Stinger series."
What’s your favorite design aspect of the new Lowe Stinger series?
The first thing I noticed is how the width of the boat is carried all the way up to the bow. You spend most of your time up on the front deck fishing, so having a lot of leg room plus space for tackle and gear—whatever you’re using on the lake that day—is important. I have room to fish myself and my three kids on the front deck.
How does the new Stinger 8 Series perform?
This boat’s fast. It gets on pad really quickly and it rides smoothly, which is something you usually don’t see in an aluminum boat. And most important of all, it fishes really well. It’s also very stable, so you feel a lot more comfortable on the water. When I fish an aluminum boat, I’m more able to fish shallow water. I may have to ride over a shallow sandbar, and this boat can do that.
This boat with the Mercury Marine Pro XS almost doesn’t have a hole-shot—it just gets up and goes immediately. The way it stops is important, too. A lot of times when you come to a stop in a bigger boat, you’ll feel the stern sit down with the bow up in the air. With the Stinger, the bow stays almost level and it just stops. It helps you in shallow water because it doesn’t have that plowing motion when you take off or settle down.
How roomy does the boat feel compared to some other boats you’ve run?
The boat feels big because of the width—the 188 feels like a 20-foot boat. I really enjoy that aspect, and I look forward to being able to do whatever I want to out of it, from fishing, hunting, anything I want to do. I can take the kids down to the coast and do some crabbing, or even just beaching and relaxing.
Another thing I like about the Stinger series is that it’s extremely stable. That was always one of the downsides to aluminum boats before—they were really narrow and tippy, but this boat’s really stable.
How would you contrast the Stinger 8 Series with fiberglass boats?
I like aluminum boats because of what I do with them most of the time. You would not trailer a glass boat down a dirt road, over potholes, in rough areas, but I can do anything in my aluminum boat. I can go duck hunting, crabbing, planting brush piles, and any kind of fishing. Because it’s so durable, you can be aggressive with it, and the boat lasts forever. You can run it across the bay, in bigger water, but you can run it in the river too. It’s lighter, more durable than most glass boats.
What do you think of the console setup?
You know, it’s pretty unusual to have a stock aluminum boat with tilt steering and a fiberglass console. This makes it feel like an expensive piece of equipment, and quite honestly, it has a luxurious feel. The tilt steering wheel makes it easier to get up and out of the driver’s seat to get to fishing faster. That’s pretty high-level for an aluminum boat.
What about outboards? What do you use to power your Stinger?
I love the boat paired with a Mercury Marine Pro XS. The boat really wants to get up on pad and run. I’ve used the bigger engines for years, but now they’ve got them in the smaller versions, the 90 and 115. I like the Mercury Pro XS because it’s super-quiet at idle, but when you put the hammer down, it’s throaty—it’s got a real manly growl to it—and it’s got the power to be able to get up and go. That’s what you want—a boat that’s quiet at idle, but with the beefiness to get up and get the job done.
The new Lowe Stinger 8 Series was conceived and built to elevate your fishing capabilities beyond what’s been possible before. Professional anglers like Brian Latimer know that having the right boat can make the difference between an uneventful day on the water and an excursion you’ll remember forever. The Stinger 8 Series is that boat.