Category Archives: Fishing

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

 

Yamaha Pro Hamilton Comfortable Competing in Aluminum Boat

 

Yamaha Pro Hamilton Comfortable Competing in Aluminum Boat 

Young Rookie Angler Using Xpress® X-21 In Bassmaster® Elite Series

 

Skylar Hamilton has been bass fishing since he was six years old, primarily on rivers and lakes in southwestern Virginia and East Tennessee, and nearly always in an aluminum boat. He’s only 22 now, but last year when the young Yamaha Pro won the Bassmaster® Central Division Open on the Arkansas River while using an aluminum boat and went on to qualify for this season’s Elite Series, he saw no reason to change.

“I’m fishing in a 21-foot Xpress® X-21 powered by a Yamaha 250 SHO outboard, and couldn’t be happier,” exclaims Hamilton, whose Open win last year also qualified him for the 2017 Bassmaster Classic® where he finished 41st. “Today’s aluminum boats are far different that they were just a few years ago.

“The message I’m working hard to send to today’s high school and college anglers who want to start a career in professional fishing is that they can catch just as many bass, and sometimes more, fishing from an aluminum boat than from a fiberglass boat, and they can do it far more economically. There are places you can go in an aluminum boat that you can’t in a heavier fiberglass boat, which is why even some experienced pros have chosen aluminum boats for certain tournaments in recent years.”

Hamilton’s parents kept a camper parked on nearby Douglas Lake in Dandridge, TN while he was growing up, and that’s where his father and grandfather taught him the basics of bass fishing, and it’s where he lives today. In 2011, at age 16, he fished the Bassmaster® Central Division Open held there on Douglas and finished in a remarkable 22nd place.

“I wasn’t that nervous,” remembers the Yamaha Pro, “mainly because I didn’t know the caliber of anglers I was fishing against. That was probably the best thing that could have happened to me, because I just went fishing, working a plastic frog over a grass bed all three days.”

With that success, Hamilton firmly decided to become a professional angler. He had already watched several Bassmaster Classics® on television, and he began preparing himself to one day compete in the Classic himself. That happened this past March at Lake Conroe.

“What I will always remember is catching a 9-pound, one-ounce largemouth the second day, just half an hour before I had to check in at the ramp, and showing off that fish to the crowd during the weigh-in,” says Hamilton. “I could have had a 30-pound catch that day, and I wouldn’t have been more excited that I was with that big fish.

“It’s what every fisherman dreams about, and it happened to me in my first Classic. I still can’t believe it.”

The young pro readily admits the 2017 Elite Series season has been a huge learning experience for him, but he’s also gratified at the serious attention he’s attracted by fishing in the aluminum Xpress.® Virtually every venue has been new water to him, so he’s not only having to learn each lake or river but also how to manage the schools of fish he does find for a full three or four days. He finished 22nd in the season opener at Lake Cherokee and followed with a 48th at Lake Okeechobee, but he’s also struggled at other lakes.

“My message to every young angler I meet is the very same lesson I’m experiencing myself,” concludes the Yamaha Pro, “which is that you have to be willing to learn from every day on the water. I tell the high school and college kids to fish with as many different people as possible because that’s how you’ll learn and grow in this sport.

“I tell them even today’s most experienced tournament pros were beginners themselves once, and virtually everyone I have met has been more than willing to help me, and that’s what they’ll discover if they stay in the sport.” Y

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com to Learn More.

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

 

Fishing the Chesapeake

 

Fishing the Chesapeake

by Craig Lamb

 

Meet Captain Shannon Pickens, a lifelong resident of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Yamaha professional angler.

“I grew up fishing here since I was a little kid and love it, just love it,” he said.

 

Pickens should indeed. Today he makes a living operating Working Girl Charters (FishTheChesapeakeBay.com). The waters are rich in tradition for guides and commercial captains like Pickens.

“We have everything here from shallow water fishing to out in the Bay and into the ocean,” he explained.

That covers all of the saltwater game fish species sought by anglers, from flounder to tuna, striped bass to marlin.

Homeport for Pickens is Tilghman Island, Md. He often fishes from the Papa John, a 27’ Contender center console powered by twin Yamaha 4.2L V6 Offshore Outboards.

“We have a number of big charter boats around here but not many center console, light tackle boats,” continued Pickens.

“It’s a 2005 Contender®, and those Yamahas have over 4,500 hours* and going,” he said.

“One day I might be fishing in 1 or 2 feet of water in the Bay and can run 70 miles the next day and chase tuna or marlin.”

Yamaha powers those competitive advantages, he believes.

“The efficiency and quietness of the outboards allows me to get into some of the shallowest water around, the rock piles and other highly productive areas inaccessible by the bigger boats.”

Pickens’ choice is Yamaha’s next generation of V6 4.2L Offshore outboards. Class leading big-bore design means the outboards have the best time-to-plane. Also leading the class is an outboard that is the lightest weight in its class with the largest displacement. Yamaha’s V6 4.2L offshore models feature up to 17% better long range fuel economy.

“What means the most to me is the reliability of my Yamahas,” he added. “I know my Yamahas will perform to the standards that I expect and that my clients expect when they get on board.”

Confidence is another factor in why Pickens relies on Yamaha.

“I know if you’ve got confidence in your equipment that lets you focus on the rest of what you’ve got going on around you,” he said.

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com Today!

 

 

*Results are based on commercial use, and may vary for traditional retail consumer use.  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.com

 

Getting Started Saltwater Fishing

 

Getting Started Saltwater Fishing

By Craig Lamb

 

Stable, durable and fuel efficient. That sums up the DLX Series of flat-bottom skiffs. You can do it all from fish to work and play. And best of all the boats come with a 30-year legacy of quality design, construction and customer loyalty backed by Carolina Skiff.

The DLX Series can do it all because of it’s design. A patented hull design with bow splash guards keep passengers dry and protected from spray over the bow. A positive tracking keel on the running surface keeps the boat tracking true, even without sliding on tight turns like most flat-bottom skiffs.

This stylish workhorse is laid out to please. Up front is lockable storage and a non-skid deck for sure footing. In the back is an 18-gallon baitwell and 19-gallon fuel tank and more storage to keep gear organized.

The console features full instrumentation and a lockable access door for storing small items like smartphones, keys and other personal items. Six flush mounted rod holders keep outfits at the ready. The windshield is removable for mounting of electronics.

The DLX Series makes the perfect platform for a saltwater fishing adventure. If you are new to the sport take these tips into consideration for a shopping list.

Rods and reels

Get a balanced rod-and-reel. Many outfits are sold as matched combos, which takes the guess work out of making sure the rod and reel are balanced. Choose a lightweight and medium spinning rig for shallow fishing and a medium action casting combo for deeper fishing.

You will appreciate the beefed up drag system of the casting combo when winching aboard a deep-caught snapper or grouper. The open-spool design of a spinning reel makes lightweight lures cast farther. That is a benefit when fishing over clear, shallow flats for spooky species like spotted seatrout (or speckled trout).

Line

Standing in front of the line display at a tackle store can be intimidating. Monofilament, braid and fluorocarbon lines line the walls. For saltwater fishing a universally good choice is fluorocarbon. The line is nearly invisible in the water and stronger than monofilament, making it last longer before needing to respool the reel.

Knots

The Bimini Twist is the only knot that maintains 100 percent strength under all conditions. Use it to double the line for a strong leader connection. The improved clinch knot is the all-around knot for just about any application. Although there are sleeker and stronger knots, this one is the classic. The improved clinch works well with both monofilament and fluorocarbon when properly tied, seated and tightened. It does not test a strong as some other knots, but many pros favor it because they can ties it quickly and more consistently than other, more complicated knots.

Baiting up

You can’t beat the real thing but the high-definition detail of today’s lures closely resembles live bait. Choose an assortment of fake baits that mimic the food forage of the fish you want to catch.

Soft plastic shrimp, eels, and minnows (soft plastic jerk baits) are the basics. To make rigging easy match those plastic bodied lures to jig heads. Let depth, current, and wind be your guide for size. An assortment of 1/4-, 1/2-, 3/4- and 1-ounce weights cover most situations.

Pre-rigged live bait rigs make baiting up easier. A selection of popping cork rigs and spreader rigs cover the water column from top to bottom.

See the full line of Carolina Skiff and Sea Chaser boats at carolinaskiff.com. With 60 different options and models, you can use the Build A Boat feature. On the website, you can find a dealer, request a catalog and more. Check out the loyal following of Carolina Skiff fans and owners on Facebook.

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com