Something for Everyone at Home Run Fishing Charters and Lodge

 

Something for Everyone at Home Run Fishing Charters and Lodge

By Craig Lamb

Hooking up to freight train runs with a bull-sized redfish. Airborne largemouth on topwaters. Getting sore-armed from catching fat speckled trout. And all of those species caught from the same spot.

Sounds impossible. In the inshore waters of Louisiana, and around the saltwater fishing capital of Venice, that is a reality.

 

The most fertile fishing grounds in the U.S. are located here. The magic happens in the marshes and inshore waters where the mighty Mississippi River infuses the saltwater environment with nutrients. The sum of the whole is some of the best fishing for inshore species, and even freshwater largemouth, in the world.

Travel to Venice, and you will find a town filled with fish camps. One of those doesn’t fit the bill and for a good reason. The place is Home Run Fishing Charters and Lodge, where world-class fishing is served with world-class service, first class lodging, Cajun hospitality and gourmet dining.

If going offshore is thinking too far and wide for your fishing tastes, then taking an inshore adventure with the expert captains is the next best thing.

The fishing is laid back while exciting. The scenery is spectacular and like none other in the world. The Louisiana marshes are a haven for wildlife, from shore birds and avian species to reptiles and every kind of fish imaginable.

Speckled trout, or spotted seatrout, are plentiful here. From April through November the fishing is prime. Best of all, you can catch speckled trout using a variety of lures and tactics. Topwater lures, Carolina-rigged soft plastics, lead head jigs and popping cork rigs all produce strikes.

On a Home Run Charters speckled trout trip, you can expect to get lots of strikes, and even multiple hookups for all aboard.

Want to know more about Home Run Charters? Check out the website at homeruncharters.com. Find out more about the inshore fishing, including rates, by clicking here. To get updated fishing reports, conditions and just chat with someone at Home Run Charters, call (504) 982-8862.

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Back Bay Flounder North and South

 

Back Bay Flounder North and South

Fishing inside waters for aggressive flounder can benefit from the right boat and the right techniques no matter where you chase them

 In the world of gamefish, flounders probably don’t come to mind. Then again, maybe you’re not that familiar with two of the more popular recreationally caught species that make up the clan. In fact, they are two of the most sought-after gamefish on the East and Gulf Coast. Why? Because they are readily available for a good portion of the year, they are fun to catch, and they are good to eat. Now that’s a fishing trifecta!

The summer flounder’s range extends from North Carolina to Massachusetts, and for a good portion of the year, they frequent bays and tidal rivers. The southern flounder has a more extensive range. In the Atlantic, the range stretches from North Carolina to northern Florida. In the Gulf, the range stretches from Northern Florida to Texas. They are most frequently caught in bays, tidal rivers, bayous, and inlets. The two species look surprisingly similar in shape, coloration, and dentation. Both species are aggressive predators, capable of putting up a good fight on the appropriately sized tackle.

Both species of flounder share the characteristic flat or laterally compressed form. Both eyes are on the topside of the body, along with a large mouth filled with needle-like teeth for gripping their prey. They lie on the bottom using a chameleon-like ability to alter their top skin color to blend in with their surroundings like a warrior in camouflage. These adaptations make the perfect ambush predator. Regardless of which species are found in your area, they are actively pursued by recreational fishermen and most fun to catch when inhabiting estuaries and near shore structure. The ideal boat to pursue this species is a bay boat equipped with the right accessories to get you into position and help you maintain it. 

A few years back we spent a couple of days fishing with the captains Vickers, Mike Junior and Senior, both northeast Florida fishing guides, ostensibly for sea trout and redfish. We were working backwater channels and creeks off the Intracoastal Waterway near St. Augustine, Fla., using a powerful electric trolling motor on the bow of their 23-foot Yamaha-powered Pathfinder® bay boat to cruise silently through the narrow passes. We were casting a variety of soft plastic lures on jig heads when a fish smashed one in just a few inches of water, close to a school of finger mullet. It was the most aggressive strike of the day, and the fish immediately ran for the deep water through the middle of the channel taking line off the light-spinning reel with ease. We all thought it was a nice redfish, but as it came to the net, it turned out to be a 7-pound southern flounder. What a surprise! It wasn’t the last one we caught during our outings.

On a more recent day of fishing, we joined Ken Pontari of Valhalla Yacht Sales, a Contender®® bay boat at a public ramp in Brigantine, a shore town on a barrier island just north of Atlantic City. The bays, channels, and creeks sheltered from the ocean by the barrier islands extend along a good portion of the State’s coastline. There was a striking resemblance to the places we fished with the Vickers and other Yamaha backwater pros in the Gulf States. The scenery is beautiful, tranquil and teeming with bird life. It’s home to a vibrant population of summer flounder from spring through mid-summer. Ken promised to show us his techniques he uses to target the flounder, as well as how his bay boat and its specialized equipment play into his success. 

The 25-foot Contender® is a hybrid bay boat with a step-hull, modified Vee-bottom that makes it ideal for fishing skinny water as well as open ocean. Powered by a Yamaha F300 outboard, it’s capable of incredibly quick holeshots in mere inches of water and top speeds in the 50-60 MPH range. The shallow water capability is aided by the hydraulic jack plate, which is located between the engine and transom. It can lift the big outboard high, reducing the depth of water needed to get the boat on plane. During the day, we ran through passes and over shallow bars (that would have left most boats hard aground) to get to some of Ken’s secret flounder holes. When the bigger flounder finally exit the bay in the late summer and fall, Ken runs the Contender® offshore to an artificial reef to fish for flounder. He uses some of his shallow water tricks there, too. 

Ken’s boat is equipped with a 36-volt electric trolling motor on the bow and a Power Pole®shallow water anchor system on the transom. Both units are controlled via wireless remotes that Ken wears on a lanyard around his neck while fishing. He can put the boat into position to present lures from the bow-casting platform using the trolling motor, then press a button on the remote to deploy the Power Pole® to remain stationary. He can be jigging from the aft casting platform and use the other remote to control the speed and direction of the trolling motor without having to run back to the bow or stop fishing. These tools make any back-bay fishing experience more productive whether it’s for flounder, redfish, sea trout, weakfish or striped bass.

We left the dock cruising down a well-marked channel at a brisk 45 MPH, and Ken turned the boat hard into a narrow reed-lined channel passing over a shallow bar without slowing down. We were able to fly over grass beds, sand and mud flats to reach a spot where two creek channels met away from boat traffic. There, the current has scoured out a deep trench about 200 feet long and 12 feet deep. This is an ideal ambush point for flounder waiting for baitfish pouring out of the channels on the outgoing tide. The current was running pretty hard, and there was a strong breeze that would have made it nearly impossible to drift the length of the hole effectively. Ken dropped the trolling motor and used it to keep the boat in the exact position he desired.

The fishing technique we used in this condition was jigging beneath the drifting boat; Ken broke out two light action graphite spinning rods filled with 10-test braid tipped with long fluorocarbon leaders. They were rigged with two jigs, one above the other in a high/low fashion, each fitted with a Berkley® Gulp!®tournaments. It didn’t take long to produce a nice fat fluke. A few fish later, Ken picked up the trolling motor, he hit the throttle on the big Yamaha and whisked us away to another spot. He took us to the back of Abescon Inlet where the tide was about an hour away from incoming high. He set up a drift, again using the trolling motor to be sure we floated over some very subtle structure spots where he often finds bigger fluke. The water was deeper, so we had switched to a heavier bottom jig, but he used the same jigs and technique. 

“Flounder move into the estuaries from offshore in early spring, well before the season opens,” Ken said. “Some of the first places I fish are way back in the bay and very shallow where the water warm earliest. I like places where a creek enters a channel or pond-like area and flounder wait in ambush for baitfish coming out of the grass beds, with the falling tide. I fish with a single light jig with Gulp!®, and I use the Power Pole® to hold the boat in position to cast to likely ambush points. A little later in the season, the flounder will spread out around the bay, gathering in spots where there are deeper holes, channel bends or structure in and around inlets. The larger flounder will begin moving out of the estuaries in midsummer, and fishing along the beaches and further offshore around structure like artificial reefs will produce a lot of nice fish.

“The Contender® is the ideal boat to catch them on the reefs, too,” he continued. “The trolling motor has a GPS guided system called IPilot that can hold the boat in a spot regardless of the current or wind effecting the boat. It can also be set to follow a specific track or just maintain a heading with a touch of the remote, so the boat will move over the exact bottom at the exact speed I want it to. This makes jigging flounder with the high-low rigs I like to use incredibly productive.” 

A little later in the tide, Ken ran the Contender® to an expansive area of marsh grasses swaying in the morning breeze until he came to a back channel that emerged through an opening in the tall reeds. It was emptying into a large shallow bay and protected by a wide sandbar that made access to the spot impossible for more traditional fishing boats. He used the jack plate to raise the big Yamaha high enough to idle into position. He cut the motor and deployed the Power Pole,® putting us in the perfect location to cast to spots where fluke will often gather to feed. 

“This is a pretty good flounder spot, but we catch a lot of striped bass here in the spring and fall,” said Ken. “And the fishing for big bluefish in the early spring has been fantastic in the bays the past few years. This boat lets me get wherever the fish are and has all the whistles and bells to make catching them easier.”

Our thanks to Ken Pontari for a beautiful day on the water in an awesome fishing boat, and for sharing some of his tricks for catching flounder. These are techniques that will work for summer and southern flounder regardless of where you fish. Y

To learn more visit Yamaha Outboards.com 

 

Original Source:  Yamaha Outboards.com

 

Reds on the Fly

 

Reds on the Fly

By Craig Lamb

In Venice, Louisiana, a bucket list trip awaits any fly fisherman up for the challenge of a lifetime. Even better, you get to cast amid the backdrop of some of the most scenic fishing waters in the country. 

The challenge is catching a redfish, or red drum, on fly tackle. The trip is to south Louisiana, where the Mississippi River infuses coastal marshes with nutrients that supercharge the food chain. Think a food chain, from tiny crustaceans to top level predators, that live on steroids. The fish grow big, fight hard and are plentiful.

Your destination is the southernmost town on the Mississippi River Delta. Appropriately, the outpost is a base camp for world-class saltwater fishing, from inshore to offshore.

Home Run Fishing Charters and Lodge is the premier outfitter in Venice and for a lot of reasons. Luxury accommodations, gourmet dining, Cajun hospitality and experienced, licensed captains using the latest and best boats and equipment are why.

Captain Brian Sherman has been called the “Pied Piper of Redfish” and for many reasons. The irony of this Michigan native moving here following Hurricane Katrina speaks to the bucket list clients he now takes fly fishing for redfish. 

“A lot of my clients are from the Northeast, Upper Midwest, and they come here during winter to get away from the cold, use their fly fishing tackle.” 

“They don’t get the chance to fish during our best months,” he continued. “Instead of storing tackle for winter they can come down here, in the warmer weather, and catch a fish of a lifetime.”

The NCAA’s equivalent of March Madness is called Marsh Madness in these parts. That time is from October and into January when the Mississippi River is lower than any other time of the year. As a result, the water is clearer and conditions more predictable. Fly fishing is ideal and even better, you can sight cast for the prize.

“You can see the fish tailing, feeding and those months, by far, are the best time to come here,” said Sherman. “You can put the fly two, three feet ahead of the fish.”

The resulting adrenaline rush of a 27-plus inch redfish peeling off line as you grip a doubled-over rod can’t be beaten. Expect to do that more than once, if the conditions are right.

“It’s kind of a ‘mano o mano,’ hand to hand combat kind of experience,” said Sherman. “Most guys who come here don’t expect the kind of fight those reds put up in the shallow marsh.”

Sherman has a lot of clients who are skilled, seasonal fly fishermen accustomed to landing trout in swift streams and rivers. He advises gearing up for a trip to south Louisiana.

Suggested gear is an 8- or 9-weight fly rod and reel spooled with 15- 30-pound tippet. In order of productivity, he recommends bringing Clouser Minnows, followed by blue crab and shrimp imitators. Choose flies with chartreuse as a base color.

What sets Home Run Charters apart is the Home Run Lodges. The lodges are located within the very same marina where you will meet your captain and board their boat. You can have a tasty breakfast and be out the door and into the boat within minutes.

You can dine, rest and sleep and luxury at the lodge. Rates begin at $159 per person. Accommodations are three separate lodges with kitchen, living room, dining room, and bedrooms. Also included in the package is breakfast, a boxed lunch, and dinner. Or, you can stay in the lodge for $99 per person without meals.

Ready to book a trip? Click here for more information on rates. Got questions? Click here for the FAQs. Need more information? Call (504) 909-TUNA.

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

 

Mollie Brings 2017 Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship to Florida

  Mollie Brings 2017 Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship to Florida   The Wharf, Orange Beach, Alabama: For the first time in its seven-year history, a charter boat has won the prestigious Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship. Mollie, a 66 G&S operated by Capt. Jeff Shoults of Destin, Florida, captured the title after competing in the Blue Marlin Grand Championship that just concluded. Eric Hayles and Chance Young are the two mates working the cockpit of the custom sportfisher. Unlike previous years where private yachts earned top billing, Mollie had different sets of anglers for each event. “It is a little more difficult dealing with different teams each tournament,” Shoults said at the awards presentation. “But my crew makes it easy by explaining what’s going on and keeping everything together. We worked hard this season and I’m confident we’re going to win some more money in future tournaments. But at this point in our careers, it’s very gratifying to win this trophy and to be recognized among our peers.” The Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship consists of five events in the central Gulf of Mexico and is sponsored by American Marine Brokerage. The affiliated tournaments include the Orange Beach Billfish Classic, Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic, Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic and the Blue Marlin Grand Championship. The Triple Crown is scored on a hybrid system that includes both weight and release points for the top three finishes in the blue marlin divisions only. Bonus points are also accrued for series participation, weighed marlin lengths and tournament marlin records.  The winning team receives The Championship Trophy, a seven-foot tall, one of a kind masterpiece handcrafted by metal artist Frank Ledbetter that is valued at $18,000. In addition, the Triple Crown Champion earns bragging rights amongst the region’s top big-game contestants.

Photo by: LightwavePhotographs.com

In winning the exquisite marlin sculpture and honors this season, Mollie placed second in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic with a blue weighing 654.2 pounds and was also named the top release boat with four more blue marlin credited. The team also earned bonus points for fishing the circuit and length allowances, for a total of 410 points. Lyon’s Pride, a 62 Viking owned by Bob Lyons, with Capt. Daniel Menard and mates Robert Eliason and Kendall Sauls finished second in the standings with 350 points. Team Supreme was third with 285 points. The 76 Viking is owned by Allen Krake, with Capt. Chase Lake and mate Rodney Johnson as the crew. The Triple Crown Championship has now made its way across the Gulf. Patron took it home to Texas in 2011 and Done Deal captured it twice in 2012 and 2013 to represent Louisiana. Sea Mixer put Alabama on the map in 2014, while Relentless Pursuit gave Louisiana another showcase in 2015. Breathe Easy (Alabama) was last year’s winner.

Photo by: Chris Miller

“The Triple Crown Championship trophy will be right at home in Destin with its long sport-fishing heritage,” says GCTC Director Scott Burt. “Congratulations to Capt. Jeff, Eric, Chance and all of Mollie’s anglers for an outstanding year. This boat is always a contender in the Gulf tournaments, and now they have the hardware to match that skill and dedication.”  

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

Sea Chaser 24 HFC sets Standard for Serious Fish, Play Boat

 

 
Sea Chaser 24 HFC sets Standard for Serious Fish, Play Boat

By Craig Lamb

Are you a hardcore saltwater tournament angler? Will your family spend just as much time aboard the boat as you do fishing?

Finding a center console saltwater boat rigged and ready for fish and play isn’t that hard to find. What is though is finding a boat designed for comfort, safety and all the features you need for winning a tournament and keeping smiles on faces of family.

 

The boat that fills all those needs, and in luxury, comfort, and style, is the Sea Chaser 24 HFC by Carolina Skiff. Hybrid Fish & Cruise (HFC) truly means what it stands for in a boat. The revolutionary design of the HFC 24 is built from the bottom up with devoted fishermen and active families in mind.

Whatever the activity the 24 HFC is already rigged out with the features everyone needs to enjoy a long day on the water. Head out early for a long offshore run to catch pelagic species and then cruise a secluded island for an afternoon of beachcombing. You can do it all on the same trip with this features-loaded rig.

The 24 HFC delivers safety, comfort, style, and performance like no other boat in the class. The 24 HFC has a wide 101-inch beam, length overall of 23 feet, 9 inches, and a respectable gunwale height. You get that for safety, along with a fuel tank holding up to 100 gallons for long offshore runs and overnight trips to faraway destinations. The 24 HFC is rated for a maximum of 300 horsepower, providing plenty of transom space for dual outboards.

Comfort. That word sums up the interior family-friendly features of the 24 HFC. Up front is plush U-shaped bow lounge seating with forward facing backrest. Another bench seat can be folded down flush to the console for more cockpit roaming space.

Need storage space? There is more than you can ever need for watersports and other gear. Below the bow seating is a 208-quart/52-gallon compartment. Never loose sight of your cold beverage on this boat. There are eight stainless steel LED-illuminated cup holders throughout the boat. Additional bench seating is available, and a bi-fold console door leads to a marine head with standard Porta-Potti.

Tournament pros or weekend warriors will appreciate the blue-water setup for offshore fishing. Rocket launcher-style rod holders aft of the optional T-top and gunwale storage for six rods provide plenty of space to keep outfits at the ready. Eight top-gunwale mounted holders are positioned for trolling and drifting. Twin aerated live wells, a 25-gallon live well and 25-gallon baitwell built into the leaner seat, provide plenty of capacity for a long day of fishing.

Flip the cushioned helm seat and find the built-in live well, a prep sink with fold-down faucet and cutting board lid. Up front is a triangular-shaped deck hatch that can be used as a 32-gallong fish box. There’s even a molded recess to secure a bait bucket. Land your catch and store it in the in-floor fish box with bucket storage. Capacity is 128 quarts/32 gallons.

 

The 24 HFC has a large, open cockpit for setting tolling lines, a drift, or plenty of room when you double up with a partner on a trophy catch. There is a 15-gallon storage box extending across the transom bulkhead. Stern bench seating runs from beam to beam. Remove the plush cushions, and you have a built-in casting deck. Below the bench seating is a starboard hatch that opens to the insulated box for storing drinks or fish. The center hatch provides access to batteries and other operating systems of the boat.

For easy access, there’s a built-in side entry door and telescoping swim ladder. How’s that for upping your game for scuba diving, landing fish, or just boarding the boat with safety and ease.

The 24 HFC is built on Carolina Skiff’s legendary and trustworthy 30 years of boat design. Built with 100 percent composite construction, the 24 HFC is build solid and dependable for years of rugged use in saltwater environments. A quick-lift, high-performance step-hull provides quick hole shots to get the boat on plane for a smooth, dry ride.

You have a lot of options about finding out more about the HFC 24, Sea Chaser and Carolina Skiff models. There are 60 in all from which to choose and you can get started at carolinaskiff.com. You can find a dealer, learn more about the brand legacy, and build a boat on the website.  Join the community of Carolina Skiff followers at the Carolina Skiff Facebook Page.

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Conservation Tournament Win-Win for Anglers, Yamaha Outboards

 

 

Conservation Tournament Win-Win for Anglers, Yamaha Outboards

By Craig Lamb

The CCA Florida STAR presented by Yamaha is a win-win for saltwater anglers. For 101 days this summer they have the chance to win $500,000 in prizes, including three Carolina Skiff® boats powered by Yamaha Outboards. On the flip side, marine scientists will use catch data to preserve fishing for the future.

The prizes will be awarded for catching tagged redfish. There are other prizes and categories too, making this a great excuse for going fishing in the coastal and offshore waters of Florida.

How you win the prizes is by entering STAR, which stands for State-wide Tournament Anglers Rodeo. It is a catch and photograph format tournament that began on Memorial Day and ends on Sept. 4. The tournament is open to members in good standing of the Coastal Conservation Association, or non-members can enter for $65. Entry fee for CCA members is $35. Click here to join CCA™.

STAR was a huge success last year. The 157 tagged redfish released throughout Florida coastal waters, and the 13 additional divisions, caught the attention of 5,000 registered anglers. The motivation was catching one of the first seven tagged redfish for the chance to win a new GMC Sierra®, a boat, motor, and trailer package valued at over $40,000.

Beyond that, the family-friendly tournament awarded a college scholarship and the chance to win other prizes. Those prizes can be won by entering catches in the additional divisions. Those are Open, Ladies, Fly, Kayak, Lionfish, and Professional Guides division. Eligible species are Spotted Seatrout, Snook, Sheepshead, Non-tagged Redfish, Cobia, Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) & Kingfish.

The Tagged Redfish Division is by far one of the most popular for a huge reason. Click this link to find out the reasons why.

Another fun division for STAR anglers, unique to Florida, is the Conservation Division. This division is designed to reward anglers that provide the most catch data on all fish caught and released while fishing the tournament, no matter what species or size.

STAR entries provide a significant amount of catch data. The conservation community uses the information to make science-based decisions that benefit habitat management, stock assessment and more, to make fishing better all around for Florida anglers.

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com

 

This document contains many of Yamaha’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only, and are not intended to be an endorsement.

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

 

 

Big Bass Bucket List Trip

 

Big Bass Bucket List Trip

By Craig Lamb

Is a double-digit weight largemouth bass on your bucket list? Check it off with a trip to Lake Fork, the East Texas bass fishery with more 13-pound-plus ShareLunkers caught than anywhere else in the Lone Star State.

Increase your odds of catching the trophy of a lifetime by booking a guide trip with Mark Pack Professional Lake Fork Guide Service. The longtime guide and pro angler will you more than your money’s worth on a trip. Think education, know how, and learning to be a better bass fisherman.

Pack is dually qualified for all of the above. He’s won over $500,000 on the FLW Tour. Pack also has a hand in designing lures. He’s been doing just that for over 25 years. M-Pack Lures, his company, turns out some of the most innovative baits available, including the line of Structure Guard lures.

What about those ShareLunkers? The official name of the one-of-a-kind trophy largemouth program is Toyota ShareLunker, which is managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Anglers catching a largemouth weighing 13 pounds or more can donate the healthy catch for research purposes and breeding. ShareLunker began in 1986 on Lake Fork. Since then, the lake has produced more entries, 276 and counting, than any other lake in Texas.

Lake Fork is where it all began for Pack. His guide business and lure company are located there.

“I offer full-time guide services on Lake Fork,” he said. “I have several well-qualified guides who help me out.

We fish from Skeeter Boats with all the top of the line equipment,” he continued.

Pack wouldn’t run anything but a Skeeter for a reason. Coincidentally, Skeeter Boats are made not far from Lake Fork, in nearby Kilgore, Texas. Not far from Kilgore, back in 1948, Texan Holmes Thurmond built the first Skeeter in 1948. Since then, Skeeter has been setting the standard, raising the bar, and leaving the rest of the boating industry in the wake of its innovative design, quality construction, and satisfied customers.

The reason is performance. Take a demo ride and experience the 90-degree maneuverability test. Quick hole shots, superb turning, extreme stability, and a smooth dry ride are what set Skeeter apart from the competition. Learn more about the performance features by clicking here.

 

So does Skeeter’s revolutionary transom and stringer. The Torque Transfer System and the REACT KEEL. Both are more design and performance innovations. Watch this video to learn more about the features, advantages, and benefits of the REACT KEEL. See the Torque Transfer System video here.

Combine all of the features and legendary design and construction of Skeeter, and you have the industry’s top line bass boat, the FX Series. Click here to find out more about the FX20, FX21, FX20LE and FX21LE.

Guide rates are $500 per day. Half-day rates are $350. A full day is 8 hours. Add $125 for a third person in the guided party.

The pack provides lures at no additional cost. What else you get, at no additional cost, is a wealth of knowledge from one of bass fishing’s top lure designers, pros and guides on the top trophy lake in Texas.

Ready to book a trip? Click here for more information.  Visit Skeeter Boats.com Today!

 

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Go shallower, further with Carolina Skiff DLX Tunnel Series

 
Go shallower, further with Carolina Skiff DLX Tunnel Series

By Craig Lamb

A pillar of the Carolina Skiff brand is the DLX Series, tracing its roots back to the first model built in 1983. Since then the DLX has built a loyal following as one of the most durable, versatile and stable boats on the water. Plain and simple, you just can’t beat it as a runabout, commercial workboat or for just about any activity on the water.

Could the DLX get even more versatile? Yep, and the proof is in the DLX Tunnel Series. The DLX is known for shallow draft, and that gets even more of a lift with the Tunnel Series.

What gives tunnel hulls an advantage is the higher outboard motor mount. Water is dispersed from the hull into the tunnel. Undisturbed water is then funneled to the prop for better bite and less cavitation. Throttle the outboard and the boat quickly gets on plan and stays there without porpoising. What else happens with a tunnel is better performance and even fuel economy. Less hull in the water means less drag, which also means less fuel consumed.

What else is different about the Tunnel Series than the standard DLX is fuel storage. The boat has a 30-gallon belly tank instead of a traditional fuel cell mounted in the stern or beneath the console. That gives the boat a lower center of gravity and more storage throughout.

The DLX Tunnel Series has a length overall of 19’ and a beam of just 93.” Weight is just 1,590 pounds and the draft is only 4.” Maximum power is 115 horsepower.

All of the above adds up to an impressive boat for ultra-shallow water fishing. Speckled trout, spotted seatrout. No matter what you call them, there is one technique that is synonymous with the catching species. A popping cork rig and live shrimp. There are times when that staple of trout fishing is unproductive. 

A sporting, fun alternative is catching this eagerly biting saltwater fishing mainstay with a fly rod. Trout are plentiful and eager to strike flies, making the fish and tactic a great entry point for fly fishing in saltwater.

A 5- to 7-weight rod, the size you might use for freshwater trout, will work for the saltwater species. If you are casting heavier flies, an 8-weight can handle the job. Carry separate fly outfits rigged with floating and intermediate sinking lines to cover enough of the water column.

Small trout prefer shrimp but will feed on minnows as they grow. Rig up with flies mimicking both foods with hook sizes ranging from No. 6 or No. 4, or 2/0 and 3/0 for mullet imitators. A Clouser Minnow is the all-inclusive standby. A 10-pound fluorocarbon tipped at the end of a 7-foot leader will get you read for action.

Fish over grass flats and pay special attention to light, sandy bottoms or darker areas that indicate deep drops.

Armed with a basic assortment of flies and a lightweight outfit you can pursue a plentiful, easily caught saltwater gamefish on a fly outfit. Of course, you’ll need the right boat to get into the shallow water. There is no better choice than the Carolina Skiff DLX Tunnel Series.

 

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Yamaha powers up at ICAST

 

Yamaha powers up at ICAST

By Craig Lamb

You normally don’t associate an outboard motor manufacturer with the world’s largest trade show devoted to fishing tackle. The show is the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST. This year’s show is coming up soon, July 11-14.

ICAST is held in Orlando at the massive Orange County Convention Center. Inside, the aisles are lined with the latest in tackle, from rods and reels to line and lures.

ICAST is also an ideal setting for companies supporting recreational fishing to cross-promote their brands. Yamaha Outboards is a key player in such an effort. Promoting brand awareness is the reason why the company will be well represented at the show.

Outside the convention center, the 15,000 attendees will see boats on display powered by Yamaha. Elsewhere, you will find evidence of the strong ties that Yamaha Outboards has a saltwater conservation program.

That is the CCA Florida STAR presented by Yamaha, a summer-long tournament giving anglers the chance to win $500,000 in prizes, including three Yamaha-powered boats by Carolina Skiff. Marine biologists use catch information submitted by anglers to improve habitat, fish populations and make fishing better.

Yamaha’s presence inside the show is driven by the presence of Yamaha pros like Randal Tharp, the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup champion.

Tharp and his peers wear the blue and white Yamaha brand logo on tournament jerseys during competition and at promotional events like ICAST. They make non-stop appearances in booths, attend sales and marketing meetings, new product debuts at press events, and otherwise promote their sponsors.

“The fishing industry trade comes together once each year, and that happens at ICAST,” said Tharp,” said Tharp, whose FLW career winnings exceed $1 million.

“Brands like Yamaha and my other sponsors, such as Rapala, create great marketing and branding programs when they work together in a sales-driven environment like ICAST.”

Yamaha partners with Yeti and Costa in co-branding campaigns. Those leverage brand presence with key markets and demographics segments important to sales and marketing.

Another natural fit is the ICAST Cup, a bass tournament held during the show on nearby Lake Kissimmee. The event pairs professional anglers, including Yamaha pros, with media representatives and other industry professionals. The tournament supports the Keep America Fishing campaign.

ICAST, along with the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show and the new Marine Accessories Pavilion, encompasses 650,000 gross square feet in the West Building of the convention center.  Each year, 14,000 industry representatives attend the show.

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com to Learn More!

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

 

The family friendly, fishing serious Carolina Skiff 24 Ultra

 

The family friendly, fishing serious Carolina Skiff 24 Ultra

by Craig Lamb

All it takes is stepping aboard the Carolina Skiff 24 Ultra to erase any doubts the center console boat is anything but a family friendly. It’s set up nicely for saltwater angling too, making this Carolina Skiff the perfect coastal fishing boat for family adventures.

 

All of the evidence is at the bow. Plush cushions create a full U-shaped sun lounge; complete with forward-facing back rests at port and starboard. Remove the cushions and anglers have a large casting deck.

You need not go far to find more family friendly/fishing comforts. Long days on the water are given for both adventures. Forward of the console is a padded bench seat that lifts to reveal a head with a portable potty and privacy shade and clothes changing station.

Much of what you find at the bow is located aft. Three cushioned jump seats, each with flip-up backrests, provide safe, comfortable seating. Like the bow, the seating can be closed to create an aft casting deck.

Stow the bow cushions, close the aft seats and get serious about fishing. The standard twin-seat leaning post has four-rod holders. A removable cooler makes loading safe and convenient. Also, aft is a LED illuminated, aerated, insulated 20-gallon baitwell for keeping bait fresh and lively all day long.

The 24 Ultra has a length overall of 23’ 9” with a beam of 96.” Draft is 9” with a transom measuring 25.” Fuel capacity is 78 gallons with a maximum rating of 250 horsepower.

The 24 Ultra is the apex of quality, versatility, and performance in an all-in-one package. Like all Carolina Skiff boats, it features 100 percent composite construction and is built on a 30-years and growing legacy of the finest boats in class.

 

Find out more about the 24 Ultra and all Carolina Skiff models at carolinaskiff.com. You can find a dealer, learn more about the brand legacy, and build a boat on the website.  Join the community of Carolina Skiff followers at the Carolina Skiff Facebook Page.

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com