I’ll never forget one particular ride aboard a Pathfinder boat during a press gig in Stuart, FL, on a blustery winter morning. The captain announced we’d be running eight miles through the open Atlantic to get to an area where the cobia were thick, and much as I love cobia fishing, the mere thought of running that far in open ocean on a bay boat made my back hurt. Still, I was there to do a job. So I kept my reservations to myself, hunkered down in an aft jump seat, and pulled my hood over my head to keep off the spray. About a mile into the trip I was hit with the realization that a modern, well-built bay boat is simply nothing like those of yesteryear. We weren’t getting soaked, we weren’t getting pounded, and we were skipping through the seas at speeds in the mid-30s. Net result? A hastily packed cooler of cobia steaks joined me for the flight home.

pathfinder 2200 bay boat
Take a Pathfinder bay boat like this 2200 TRS for a sea trial, and it will prove eye-opening. 

The 2200 TRS is Pathfinder’s most popular bay boat, and last year it received a series of changes and upgrades to make it even better than before. The hull is a few inches longer and the gunwales are an inch higher than previous models. Drop a 250-hp outboard on the transom and you’ll see top-end speeds in excess of 50 mph. Pull the throttles back to 3000 rpm and 25 mph and you’ll get an outrageous four mpg. Opt for a more economical 150-hp powerplant and you’ll enjoy a top-end in the mid-40s and a cruise at around 30 while hovering around that eye-opening four-mpg mark.

As a result of the slightly larger footprint, many of the 2200 TRS’s interior features get a boost. Rodboxes are a bit bigger, there’s more deck space, forward seats are larger, and the aft cockpit is roomier. The aft seating arrangement has also been modified a bit, to now have a flip-up bench seat integrated into the center of the aft casting deck.

Speaking of casting decks: light tackle casters are going to love the elevated fore and aft decks, and the forward deck is particularly spacious. Added bonus: the forward seat backrests are the swing-and-lock variety, so you can lean back on them when sitting, pivot them out of the way when fishing, or remove them altogether and gain a pair of rodholders.

pathfinder 2200 foredeck
Topnotch construction alert: note the fully finished hatch bottoms, gaskets and gutters, gas-assist struts, and dog-down latches on the Pathfinder 2200 TRS.

Stock fishing features include four flush-munt gunwale rodholders, eight vertical console rod holders, under-gunwale racks, locking rod boxes, and a 35-gallon livewell. Remember that Pathfinders are highly customizable boats, so you can order one with a slew of additional features rigged for the way you like to fish.

Have you gazed longingly at bay boats like the Pathfinder, attracted to their amazing fishability but balking because the bay boats built 20 years ago soaked you with spray and rattled your teeth out? You’re not alone. Once upon a time I was in your camp, too. Then I got a ride on a Pathfinder. Take one for yourself, and you’ll be in for an illuminating experience — whether you catch any cobia or not.

Pathfinder 2200 TRS Specifications

  • LOA – 22’5”
  • Beam – 8’6”
  • Displacement – 3,275 lbs.
  • Transom Deadrise – 15 degrees
  • Fuel Capacity – 65 gal.
  • Max. Power – 250 hp
  • Area Dealer – Rt. 113 Boat Sales, Selbyville, DE (302) 436-1737.