I am looking for a boat that i can take out into the bays and maybe a mile or so out into the gulf on calmer days but i also would like to be able to go to lakes and be able to fish with it so i was just looking for some suggestions
+1 on a carolina skiff. a very solid boat. personally i would get a dlv 17 or 19 as the j series will beat the heck out of you even on a semi calm day. j-series are very versatile and would be great as a lake boat, but you did say gulf near-shore. i have looked at the 19 or 21 and would love to have a 21. not in the cards right now. i think the dlv is the best of all worlds. skinny water, inshore, offshore, and definitely lake. be careful on the rivers though. that shallow draft will have you thinking u can get in skinny, log and stump laden water. if you want a vhull then perhaps a 17 capehorn offshore series. reasonably shallow draft with better gulf/nearshore capability than the skiff but not as much deck space.
You sound like you are in the dilemna I was in about a year ago.
Guess what...No boat does everything well. Period. End of story. That's why they make different boats.
You get a v-hull, and you will be able to handle the chop and go off shore. But you will sacrifice shallow water capability.
You get a shallow water boat, you will be able to go off shore, but how much of a beating will you be willing to take when the weather changes? You can pick your days but you WILL run into rough water and wish you had a v hull.
I ended up buying two used boats. My dilemna is now solved.