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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey y’all! I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay cobia and drum fishing from tower boats and speck fishing the “flats”. Recently moved to Nashville and being in a central location so close to Louisiana and the gulf coast of Florida has me jonesin’ to get into a poling skiff. I’m a fly fishin fool and would love to get into the tarpon, permit, bonefish game (easier said than done).

Looking for something 15-17 feet, preferably with remote steer, under gunnel rod storage and sealed hatches. Boat needs to be able to get across some chop too. I refuse to have a rig that is afraid of a bit of wind but i still want ease of poling considering how green I am to all this.

That being said, I’m unsure of how skinny of a skiff I need to be looking for for the area I’ll be fishing most. Boat will occasionally come along to the Everglades and maybe to fish some water in the Carolinas but for the most part it would be used along the gulf coast.

If anyone has anyone has any suggestions for a newcomer or is local to Nashville, get in touch with me! I appreciate it
 

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This may not be the advice you want but with that much travel it may be money better spent on just booking a guide when you can go.
With that long of a drive(especially if you are looking for bonefish) you may not end up going as often as you think and then have to battle the learning curve in different locations.
 

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This may not be the advice you want but with that much travel it may be money better spent on just booking a guide when you can go.
With that long of a drive(especially if you are looking for bonefish) you may not end up going as often as you think and then have to battle the learning curve in different locations.
Yep, unless you plan on getting on the water at least once a month a guide is a better choice. Boat ownership is expensive no matter how much they cost up front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
BrownDog: I’ve considered this as well. The learning curve will be steep and for that reason I’ll fish with either a guide or a friend who’s got the fishery somewhat pinned the first few times. I’ve had a boat my whole life and not having one is getting to me in the worst way. We have lakes here that I would use the boat on for striper and carp fishing as well as leisure. The drive to destin is only 7 hours which isnt bad. I used to drive from Virginia Beach to Elizabethton, TN every weekend to fish the south holston and that’s a similar trip.

Surprisingly, I’m not the only lunatic that is willing to do that. There is a large community of guys who run down there on the weekends to fish and are back at work Monday morning.
 

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As I've suggested to a couple others in similar situations, a quality used flats boat may be a better choice. A Hewes Redfisher, Maverick, 1720 ActionCraft or similar could fish both fresh and salt, plus allow open water comfort and not be too bad for poling in limited spurts.

But the guide recommendations are spot on, too. As my wife likes to remind me, the correct spelling is B-O-A-T-$
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As I've suggested to a couple others in similar situations, a quality used flats boat may be a better choice. A Hewes Redfisher, Maverick, 1720 ActionCraft or similar could fish both fresh and salt, plus allow open water comfort and not be too bad for poling in limited spurts.

But the guide recommendations are spot on, too. As my wife likes to remind me, the correct spelling is B-O-A-T-$
Looking at used boats only. I’ve seen several that have sold on this site that would fit my needs and my budget. Used cayennes, Mavericks and some others. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the hewes due to its weight, it can be cumbersome on the pole
 

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Maverick V may be the best overall solution, or HB Marquesa. Just depends on where you really want to fish. I also vote for Guide route, at least initially to get a feel for what they are running and where.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Any tips on things to look for when buying a skiff? I know boats but there are little nuances with skiffs that are foreign to me. Gas tank location, jp or no jp, push pole length and deadrise all seem to be major keys to a good poling boat. Deadrise is obviously important in terms of ride quality but what role does it play in terms of draft and hull slap on these light boats?
 

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In general a larger deadrise will draft more and run better in a chop. Lower deadrise or flat transom will ride rougher through chop (Not fully utilizing trim tabs). JP are useful with Tunnel hull boats primarily. Just about all boats are quiet (Maverick, HB, Conchfish, East Cape, Chittum, ect) You want to look out for bow/features like the bow of a Carolina Skiff, They are really loud and wet.
 

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Any tips on things to look for when buying a skiff? I know boats but there are little nuances with skiffs that are foreign to me. Gas tank location, jp or no jp, push pole length and deadrise all seem to be major keys to a good poling boat. Deadrise is obviously important in terms of ride quality but what role does it play in terms of draft and hull slap on these light boats?
Find one with a setup you like and do a sea trial. If you like how it rides/poles, buy it. Just because so and so says they suck on a forum, they may have a completely different experience than you. Gas tank in the bow to counteract motor weight, jack plate is useful for tunnels, youll definitely see more hull slap in the lightest and more flat bottom boats.
 

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If you really want a boat to suit your needs research, read, go look at boats in person, go on rides with people in theirs, fish then determine what you want in a boat for your needs. If you go pick a boat based on a single thread on here you’ll likely be one of the guys that buys a boat on a whim then realizes it’s not what they wanted and has it up for sale shortly after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you really want a boat to suit your needs research, read, go look at boats in person, go on rides with people in theirs, fish then determine what you want in a boat for your needs. If you go pick a boat based on a single thread on here you’ll likely be one of the guys that buys a boat on a whim then realizes it’s not what they wanted and has it up for sale shortly after.
Yes sir that’s the plan. I have already ruled out several hulls that others have bragged about after digging a little deeper. Just needed to know what to look doe exactly so I can make the choice for myself. Thanks everyone for the help!
 
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