This month was a special one for me and my business. As most of you may already know, I have been waiting patiently for my new custom skiff to be be built by the masterminds at Maverick Boat Company. Well the time had come earlier this month and I got to take home my brand new 2015 Maverick 17 HPX-V! Here’s what I have to say about it:
I’ve ridden in a few 17HPX-V’s so I kinda knew what I was getting into. I fish and guide in waters anywhere from Mosquito Lagoon down to Fort Pierce and occasionally the Florida Keys and Tampa Bay. So I needed a skiff that can handle crossing some bigger waters and fishing oceanside as well as getting skinny in the Lagoons and backcountry.
This 2015 Maverick Mirage 17 HPX-V is the skiff of choice for me. It rides incredibly soft and dry in big waters, can handle fishing off the beaches and Oceanside and will get skinny enough to chase those tailing fish on the shallow flats. The thing I love most about the 17- HPX-V is its performance on the pushpole. The skiff is dead quiet poling in the wind, tracks very well, and spins quick and effortlessly which are all the traits you need to stalk those spooky fish and position your anglers for that “perfect shot”.
I rigged my skiff as simple as can be. No trolling motor or power poles. I like to keep them as light as possible, which is the reason I opted for the Yamaha F70 instead of the F90. The hull and console is a custom color (Castle Tan) with and all Wheat colored deck and non skid. I got the removable cooler/seat option and added a removable casting platform that I can interchange with a platform with a cage for rough Oceanside waters.
Performance wise, this skiff how it is rigged will run 40mph and drafts shallow enough for me and the waters I fish in the Mosquito Lagoon. I’d say around 8″ give or take with me on the platform and an angler on the bow.
The trailer is set up for dry launch by Ameratrail trailers. That means i do not have to submerge the trailer to launch or load the skiff, that will keep from saltwater corrosion and rust to form on the trailer and should make it last a lot longer.
For more info on Maverick Boats, visit their site at: www.maverickboats.com
Winter is now in effect with the first couple “real” cold fronts to hit Florida mid this month. With the dropping air and water temperatures, different species of fish will react a certain way in the Central East region. The Redfish and Black Drum will start to school up on the flats, Sea Trout and Snook will be up in the shallows sunbathing, while Tarpon become more elusive. The water will start to clear up making it ideal for sight fishing opportunities, but with cleaner water means spookier fish. That’s when we switch up tactics and go to stealth mode with our approach and equipment.
After I took delivery of my new skiff and got it rigged and ready to take out on the water, I was able to run my first couple trips with friends, return clients, and new clients. Here are their stories.
Brad from Colorado who is a regular customer wanted to be the first customer to slime up the new boat ever since I told him about it. Well he was and he did it good! Despite the super windy conditions, we hid in a protected area all day where Brad went 3-3 on Tarpon, 1 Snook, and 1 giant “gator” Trout all on fly. He also made a delicious Key Lime pie which was a great way to celebrate his victory!
Dr. Fritz from Germany is on a 2 week vacation with his wife and son touring around every coast of Florida. He managed to sneak a 1/2 day trip in while visiting Cocoa Beach. Conditions were windy out of the north with air temperatures in mid 60’s for the high. Dr. Fritz hoped to catch his forst tarpon and redfish on fly, but his hopes dropped after seeing the weather forecast that morning so we decided to go later in the morning and let the sun heat things up a bit. The new skiff was amazing crossing the white capping open waters to get to some protected little areas where we might find a Tarpon or two. We found them. Dr. Fritz went 3-3 on Tarpon and got 2 Redfish on fly, he was a very happy camper and so was I.
While I was in between boats, I am lucky to have friends that welcome me aboard theirs. Here’s a redfish that I needed to catch or I would have gone nuts from being off the water too long(2 weeks). I was fishing with my buddy Billy Rotne on his skiff.
Capt. Willy Le