Getting Started: Buying a Redfish Boat
Part 3 of 4
By: J. Dwayne Smith
Team Padrick and Smith
“The Redfish Guys”
When Team Padrick and Smith, “The Redfish Guys”, had the idea of beginning “The Getting Started” series of articles, our goal was to help the upstart inshore angler save some time and money by giving advice on tackle, gear, fishing techniques, etc. However, I’m going to do something a little different in this series of articles, because I recently sold my 189 Back Country flats boat and need a replacement. Consequently, I had the idea of what if I asked a group of accomplished anglers who fish the same area a simple question, “why did you purchase your boat?” By picking a group from the same general area, I eliminated environmental variables such as geography, climate, and tidal fluctuations. Subsequently, I picked some of the best Captains Morehead City, North Carolina, has to offer: Gordon Churchill, Noah Lynk, and Team B&G’s Daniel Griffee and Matt Lamb. Like “The Super Friends” of the 1970’s animated TV series, they all have their own special powers but share a commonality; they’re catching a lot of reds! Our heroes know the flats, marshes, and creeks of Morehead City like their own proverbial backyards. However, they choose to fish out of different boat designs. Why? Hopefully, their explanations can shed some light for all of us on the benefits of fishing out of a bay boat, flats boat, traditional skiff, or a technical poling skiff.
Why a Skiff? By Captain Noah Lynk of Noah’s Ark Charters.
You are ready to buy an inshore fishing boat but not quite sure what you want. First, you have to take a few things into consideration by answering a few questions. What is this boat going to be used for? If your answer is family outings and the weekend fishing trip with the guys, a multi- use/function boat should be considered. Next, ask yourself if you are going to be shallow water fishing (3’ or less) or boating in fairly deep water (greater than 3’). If you’re looking for a boat that will run really fast in choppy conditions, you’re going to be looking for a bay boat with a little V in the hull. I run around the areas of Harkers Island/Cape Lookout and the surrounding shallows and need a flat bottom boat to do what I need. Currently, I run a Ken Craft Bay Rider skiff because it provides shallow water capabilities. This boat, as well as many other flat bottoms, is extremely wide and has wide gunwales and a really large flounder deck from which three people can fish easily. Another great aspect of the flat bottom is that when I have passengers who need to get to shore, I just pull up to the sand, and they can jump off the bow. With a (V) hull, most of the time you need to anchor off and walk to shore. If you do get aground with a flat bottom, you usually can push off with very little effort and be on your way. In the end, they are really good vessels for our area since they were developed for shallow water and are very family-friendly fishing boats. In my opinion, they are the most popular and best all-around boat for shallow water applications. For those looking to fish inshore fishing tournaments, take it from me that these boats will work in competition but are not the best for that as they are rated for a smaller horsepower than tournament bay boats and flats boats and cannot keep up. I love my Bay Rider and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Capt. Noah Lynk
Noah’s Ark Charters
Thank you, Captain Noah Lynk, for shedding some light on why you decided on a traditional flat bottom skiff to run your successful and popular guide services business. Capt. Noah points out that a skiff is not the most popular boat to fish tournaments because of lower horsepower motors. However, one of my best friends, Jeff Smith, runs a 19’ Carolina Skiff that runs in extremely shallow water, has lots of storage, and runs in the 40’s. Jeff is a tournament angler who beats people to their spots regularly, because he can cut corners that others can’t. The quickest route between two points is a straight line. So, don’t discount the skiff when captained by Pros like Jeff Smith and Capt. Noah Lynk. Let me insert the turtle and rabbit analogy here. The ability to simply step out of your boat and push it off a sandbar is invaluable to corner cutters around Harkers Island/Cape Lookout. Another valuable point he delivered was how family- friendly a skiff is and that it has a huge load capacity. Consequently, the whole family, coolers, dogs, chairs, etc. can be shuttled safely to a sandbar without multiple trips. With a quick search of Noah’s Arks Fishing Charters website, you will see a variety of species targeted by his functional Bay Rider skiff. It is an excellent cobia, old drum, chopper blue, shark, and flounder boat. His large deck, tower, and huge storage capabilities allows him flexibility.A special thank you goes out to “The Super Friends” that took the time out of their busy schedules to share their true special powers: knowledge, experience, humility, and a willingness to share. As always, thanks to the people who keep us on the water: Strike Pro, Powell Rods, Deep Creek Lure, Capt. Gary’s Marine Products, Yeti Coolers, No Slack Tackle, PointClickFish.com, and Numa Optics. Please take a moment to visit Team Patrick and Smith’s website, www.TheRedfishGuys.com or on Facebook keyword: The Redfish Guys