My Flats Boats
Months of research and years of fishing are what drove me to choose my customized 22 ft. Sundance Skiff, as my every day guiding vessel. A wide beam, large casting platform and 7 inch draft are just a few of the qualities which drove me to purchase this boat. My skiff’s 94 inch beam is wide enough to allow four anglers plenty of walking room while fishing. The high sides on my skiff are just another added bonus of this boat because they keep my clients feeling safe, while also keeping them dry. Speaking of safe Sundance Skiffs are advertised as unsinkable. Now being comfortable and staying dry are great if you are going on a sight seeing tour, but for extreme shallow water fishing in the Crystal River and Homosassa area, I needed a boat that could draft and plain off in at least 6 to 8 inches of water. And my Sundance Skiff can. The bottom line is I had high demands and high expectations when I was looking for a quality fishing vessel and my Sundance Skiff has surpassed all of my expectations.
My Sundance Skiff is powered by the most dependable motor on the water a 115 hp Yamaha 4-stroke. Besides fuel economy and reliability this motor has enough power and speed to get us to the fishing spots before most other boats leave the dock. My Yamaha may be the quietest motor on the water, but it doesn’t allow me to stealthy approach a school of giant redfish, so that is where my Minn Kota 80lb thrust trolling motor comes in handy. It's quite enough to sneak up on tailing redfish and has enough power to troll 4 anglers all day around Crystal River or Homosassa. Once that big school of Redfish is found my PowerPole is priceless for quick and quite anchoring.
What makes my guides boat truly unique isthat it is the first and the only guide boat in the Crystal River area that has a tower built in it. The towers purpose is to allow me to see fish from a distance that other anglers would not have the ability to see. Travis from Quality T-tops and Towers designed my custom tower to fit my demanding specifications. I wanted to see more and I didn’t want it to be a hassle getting in and out of it, and I also wantedmy customers to be able to enjoy it with me. Travis did an excellent job as you can see. I use the tower to drive from, and even spot cast fish from it year round. The tower makes the Cobia, Tripletail and Redfishing a lot more easy and exciting.
The Crystal River and Homosassa waterways are well known for their extremely clear and shallow waters. In order to conquer these shallow waters I have added one of the shallowest running poling skiff on the market to my personal fleet. My Maverick HPX-S weighs in at a minimal 425 lbs and drafts only 6 inches of water. The extreme light weight of the hull can be attributed to the Carbon Kevlar material which it’s built from. This material is lighter, stronger, more durable, and also more appealing to the eye than fiberglass.
At 17ft this boat is smaller and more maneuverable than most of the other flats boats on the water today. Although the size may be smaller Maverick is well known for developing boats with extreme shallow water capabilities that can take a chop. The hull is designed with spray rails in the hull to deflect any water that may want to come into the cockpit area. Another added benefit to this boat is that it is also self bailing and that definitely helps when an afternoon rain storm may fall upon our trip.
The first thing you’ll notice when you step aboard my Maverick is that this boat means business. A 425 lb hull paired with a 70 hp Yamaha 4-Stroke is a match made in heaven. The light weight of both the hull and the engine and the added pocket tunnel allows this boat to basically run in wet mud. One might ask “Why do you need to get in that shallow of water?” When chasing tailing Redfish in ankle deep water you don’t want to be sitting on the sidelines waiting for the tide to come in. This boat doesn’t need a tide, she goes where ever she wants, when ever she wants!!!
An added advantage of this boat is that it is completely equipped with a custom poling platform and casting platform. I use the poling platform to push pole the boat around many of the creeks, cuts, and coves scattered throughout our area. This is the stealthiest way to sneak up on fish and it also gives me a height advantage for spotting fish from a distance. The casting platform is basically the anglers “office.” From this vantage point you’re almost a foot above the deck making sight fishing easier and the method of choice on this boat.