The Larson FX 2020TL is a versatile, multi-species fishing boat that came about with input from professional anglers.
Anglers who like to pursue a wide range of species using a variety of different techniques often find it difficult to get everything they want in a fishing boat. Boats that are good trollers don’t necessarily make effective casting platforms, and the shallow draft of a river boat doesn’t provide the best ride on big water. Finding one rig that can do it all has always been a matter of making trade-offs.
But with the rise of professional walleye tournaments all that began to change. Walleye tournament pros took these challenges to the extreme, fishing shallow weed beds on winding rivers one weekend and plying the open waters of the Great Lakes the next – all while hauling around huge amounts of gear. Their feedback to boat manufacturers led to the development of large, multi-species boats that really can do it all. That includes the Larson FX 2020TL, a versatile and smooth-running rig that offers casters and trollers the best of both worlds.
Stretching 20 feet, 8 inches in length and riding on a wide 8 foot, 4 inch beam, the Larson FX 2020TL weighs a hefty 2,180 pounds empty yet draws only 14 inches of water. Read between those lines and it’s clear this boat can navigate shallow waters with ease, while having enough mass to handle rough water when required to do so. That’s further evident by its wide, flaring bow designed to keep spray out of the boat and its beefy capacity to handle outboards of up to 250 horsepower. What’s even more impressive is that this is a tiller boat.
When it comes to fishing deep structure with pinpoint precision, nothing tops a tiller design, which is why these big open boats remain the choice of so many top walleye tournament pros. Being able to control the throttle and steering with one hand in a single control, leaving the other have free to hold the rod, makes tillers the unequaled champions when big money is on the line. Back-trolling with traditional console steering is very difficult at best, and requires two hands since the steering wheel and throttle are separate controls – forcing the rod into a holder, where subtle bites could be easily missed. Not so with a tiller, which allows an angler to cover water with laser-like precision and detect even the softest bites immediately.
Removing the traditional steering console also opens up floor space in the boat, making the 2020TL feel a lot bigger that it actually is. There is so much room for tackle and gear that you can’t help but feel you’re fishing from a much larger craft.
That’s especially true when you cast from the elevated front deck. All fishing boats today come with a raised casting deck up front, but with no room eaten up by a console this one is simply huge. There’s more than enough room for a couple of anglers to fish side-by-side without knocking elbows. The bow panel includes a 24-volt outlet for an electric motor, while six separate compartments under the deck provide convenient storage for all sorts of gear. There’s also an 18-gallon aerated live well, which can double as a bait well when fishing with minnows, crayfish or leeches. It’s built-in light makes grabbing a new bait in the dark as easy as it gets.
Larson has also equipped the bow with a pair of cargo nets, one along each side, which keep small items like pliers, sun screen, insect repellent and such. The large compartment in the center of the deck is a substantial rod locker, which holds four nine-foot rods and four eight-footers with room to spare. Running rod straps on top of the deck keep frequently-used rods safely secured when moving between spots.
The front deck further offers three in-floor bases to accommodate removable pedestal-mount seats. They’re three of seven bases in the boat, which allow seats to be positioned as needed in an instant. The Larson 2020TL comes with two passenger seats, plus a deluxe helm seat for the driver with an Air Ride pedestal and a sliding base, making it easy to adjust the seat position for drivers of all heights.
The spacious main cockpit features several stainless steel beverage holders, ensuring that morning coffee is never out of reach. There’s additional rod storage on the port side for four nine-foot rods, plus gear storage to starboard. A tilt-out tackle storage bin to starboard holds three Plano 3700-style boxes, while a lockable glove box provides secure storage for the truck keys, cell phones and other valuables.
At the stern of the Larson FX 2020TL, the driver faces a neatly designed port-side Command Center with space to mount aftermarket electronics up top, and provides tackle storage in its base. The integrated instrument panel includes a speedometer, tach, trim and fuel gauges, the pump timer for the live wells, controls for the navigation and anchor lights, plus a master power shut-off switch. There’s a second 24-volt plug for a stern-mounted electric motor, and a 29-gallon aerated live well with light. The cockpit floor is of a self-draining design, and supported by an automatic bilge pump.
Recognizing that serious anglers like things their own way, Larson offers an extensive option list for the 2020TL, offering everything from electric motor upgrades to a variety of onboard battery chargers, transom splash guards, a keel protector and a Bimini top. Power options include a range of engines from Mercury, Evinrude, Yamaha or Suzuki.
Serious multi-species anglers will find much to like about the Larson FX 2020TL. Although designed for walleye pros, it is such a versatile design that anglers anywhere will find it able to deliver more than they would have ever expected.
Larson FX 2020TL Specs
- Length: 20’ 8”
- Beam: 8’ 4”
- Dry weight: 2,180 lbs
- Fuel capacity: 53 gal.
- Passenger capacity: 2,000 lbs
- Maximum power: 250 hp