BOAT FISHING: Stacer 529 Northern Fisher

This latest offering from Stacer is a bare bones open centre console that is huge on legroom and small on extravagance. Mark Ward reports.

AT first glace the Northern Fisher could easily be passed by on the showroom floor. Hardcore fishos though, will recognise the Northern Fisher as an extremely versatile boat that covers so many options without expensive extras.

Without getting too sidetracked, a number of years ago I had a fishing mate that was a welder of a popular brand of aluminum boats and he was telling me about a boat that he was building himself in his spare time at work. It seemed to take months and upon completion, I was expecting to see a work of art but instead I found myself looking at a vessel very similar to the Northern Fisher. It had a nice electronics package and a live bait tank but very little in the way of creature comforts. I was a little disappointed but for the next couple of years, we caught more fish and did more fishing trips in that boat then we have in any boat since. It proved to be incredibly versatile, light to tow, loaded with room and suitable for everything from bass to mackerel.

Light & versatile

The light weight of the Northern Fisher is a huge advantage. Towing a 300kg hull means that a small ute or modest sized four-cylinder vehicle can capably tow it and it’s not going to cost a fortune in fuel. The open floor plan lends itself to very sociable fishing for up to three or four anglers, all with ample room to fish in comfort.

The small extended casting platform also means that a bow-mounted electric motor is a real option, but in my opinion it would need to be easily removable because in an offshore chop or swell it will cop a beating. Having a hull that can have an electric motor clipped on for calm water conditions as well as being ready for a quick snapper or mackerel fishing session offers the ultimate in versatility.

The light hull means that the 75hp Mariner fitted, spinning a standard prop was more than adequate, popping it straight up onto the plane to skip along at a top speed of 35.6 knots (66kph) and cruised along at 4000rpm at 26 knots. The boat handles extremely well and in the hands of an experienced operator can be spun on a dime and does everything asked of it without fuss.
With the hull trimmed up and the throttle opened the Stacer was great in the wind chop and over wakes of passing boats. Having said that, it takes a different approach to work these lighter hulls over the swell in open water. Alloy hulls can be harsh in the rough stuff, but most of it comes down to the operator; working the hull over the swell and knowing when to come back in is half the battle. Even a fisho with a dodgy back should be at home at the centre console of the Northern Fisher – as long as it’s driven intelligently.

The open alloy hull has basic flotation and while the high freeboard will prevent excessive water coming over the sides, the Northern Fisher is more of an inshore boat than a serious offshore contender.


The helm in as simple as they come. The electronics sets can all be bolted to the centre console and the standard speed, revs, hours and fuel gauge are in clear view. Grab handles on the side of the console are well positioned on top and on both side and allow both skipper and a mate to balance themselves. The control box is nice and close to the wheel and was comfortable to operate. The steering was a little tight on the new test boat, but I had been spoilt by hydraulics prior to the review, so it was more a case of getting used to the cable set-up.

The Northern Fishers come with a 70-litre fuel tank, transducer bracket, high bow rails and side storage pockets. The floor is carpeted and a storage bin on the transom can be used as dry storage or converted to a small live bait tank.

There aren’t a lot of extras available but apart from dressing the plain look up a little, a 118-litre fuel tank upgrade might be useful for remote trips away – or as its name suggests more northern waters where more travel may be involved – and factory seating is an option.

The fishability of this boat is its greatest asset. The Northern Fisher can be used as is from the factory, or can be looked at as a bare canvas for your own customised masterpiece. Lure and fly fishing casters will love the open space. Mackerel and snapper fisherman can play a fish all around the hull without tripping over in the cockpit or getting tangled up. This Stacer is definitely ideal for fishing the rivers, bays and estuaries of northern Australia. Whether you’re ripping into trevally in the bays or trolling for barra in river systems, the Northern Fisher is perfect. Anglers in southern states requiring a boat for bream and snapper fishing in local waters and one that can easily be towed north for an annual boys’ trip away will find the boat ideal.  

Depending on the fishing that you plan on doing, a bait well, esky style seat, rod storage, seating and bait board are all very simple modifications that can be easily done either pre or post delivery. The possibilities are endless, but as it stands the Stacer 529 Northern Fisher is a true fishermen’s “work ute”.


Length: 5.51m
Beam: 2.32m
Weight: 305kg (hull only)
Max load: 5 adults (632kg)
Power: Max 75hp
Price: $23, 811

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