If you want to play with the big dogs, the Nitro 929 CDX SC is the one.
Tested By Bruce W. Smith
Working professionals settle for nothing less than the best tools to ply their trade. Doesn’t matter whether they are doctors, mechanics, carpenters, farmers, cattle ranchers, construction workers, or any one of a hundred professions. The right tools and equipment make the job at hand easier and smoother.
Professional bass fishermen are no different. When it comes to the boat of choice, it’s all about performance.
That might explain a lot why four-time Bass Master Classic Champion Rick Clunn, and the 2000 Bass Master Classic Champion, Woo Daves, are fishing out of the newest, biggest and baddest Nitro bass boat—the 929 CDX SC. A lot of guides and serious tournament anglers are also finding the new Nitro—which has a base price of $31,305—very appealing.
When I first stepped foot aboard the 929 CDX, I was immediately impressed by its size. The hull is 20’9” with a full eight-foot beam. It’s akin to an aircraft carrier in the bass boat world.
Fishing two from the big front office would never be a problem--and the open space on the rear casting platform is larger than that on the bow of many 18-footers.
Space for all Your Gear
Then there’s the 49 cubic-feet of storage space. This boat’s lockable compartments, nooks, crannies, and under-seat storage areas can swallow most bass angler’s entire collection of fishing rods, tackle boxes, life vests, spare props, tools, clothes, and a weekend buffet of sandwiches and drinks.
Not only that, but the most important items—rods and tackle boxes—will be organized for easy, quick use. The port rod locker comes equipped with a rod organizer with a dozen tubes, and one of the trio of bow storage compartments is equipped with a tackle tray management system.
Another great feature is how Nitro incorporates lights and power assist struts for the front lockers. Innovative, recessed hand holds for the rod lockers and the front deck’s rear storage compartments make it ultra easy to get into the box without having to fumble with a finger-pinching, uncooperative latch.
Your fishing partner or customer isn’t left out of the mix, either. They have their own glove box and storage trays built in to the passenger-side rod ramp, as well as the pair of big dry storage lockers (with the lift-out liners) under the rear deck. In the floor, amidships, is a built-in ice chest/cooler.
Of course, a 24-volt, 67-pound MotorGuide trolling motor and power pedestal seat are standard fair for any tournament bass boat. So, too, are dual livewells with individual, state-of-the-art Guardian freshwater pump, aeration, fill, recirculation and pump-out systems.
At the Controls
The helm and bow consoles are trimmed with faux burlwood for a touch of elegance. Instrumentation covers all the main functions with big, easy-to-read white-faced gauges wrapping around the viewing perimeter of a custom steering wheel.
Big, silent operating rocker switches for the 929 CDX’s main power functions and livewell electronic controls curve around just beneath the upper cap, giving the sense of being in an airplane cockpit. And down by your right hip are the valve control levers for the livewells. All are placed in a location that is both intuitive and convenient for those who are serious anglers.
Legroom is massive, just like the boat itself. There is even a built-in mount so you can add a foot-throttle if and when needed.
And when it comes to managing batteries, this baby comes with a built-in battery charger and a very cool trolling motor battery management system.
A special circuit-breaker box mounted on the transom wall of the battery compartment on the new Nitro allows you to change the two deep-cycle trolling motors and the cranking battery without the need of confusing jumper wires and the like. Just unhook the single hot and ground lead that leads to each battery and be on your way. Simple. Fast. Convenient.
Performance and Ride
But the best attributes of a bass boat that is nearly 21-feet long, other than having an enormous amount of deck from which to fish, is soft ride and easy handling in water conditions that smaller boats would find unbearably rough.
The 929 CDX loves big water. The 1900-pound hull and hydraulic steering makes long runs across wind-blown chop a breeze. Long, 100-mile-plus runs, are even more pleasurable with an engine such as the Mercury 225 OptiMax like the one rigged on our test boat.
The 225 OptiMax is velvet smooth and miserly on fuel use. We showed better than 5mpg cruising at 42mph (3,500rpm) and 3.3mpg at wide-open-throttle (WOT) with the tach showing 5,250rpm. Such fuel economy will let you run as little as 150 miles on the 57-gallon fuel tank or as much as 260. Such range is more than enough to fish long and hard without seeking those marina pumps.
One performance point of note about the test boat: It comes standard with a 25 Tempest Plus three-blade. A great prop, that helped push the boat to a top speed of 68mph.
But we found it needed to have two of the three exhaust hub vent plugs removed (one removed is how it came from the factory) to give the big 9292 CDX its best hole shot performance. Without the second plug removed, holeshot and time-to-plane were painlessly sluggish.
That minor adjustment was the only items needed to be tweaked on the new Nitro. Everything else about the biggest and baddest Nitro bass boat was more than up to the scrutiny of being “professional grade.”