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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like ill be headed back to East Tennessee after spending the past several years in the low country chasing reds out of my trusty 15' Mitzi.

As with any move, there are some mixed emotions, but the thing that I will miss the most is the fishing. Largemouth and rainbows just don't stack up against redfish. That being said, I will still be fishing my tail off on the Tennessee River system, tail-waters, and blue-linin' in the mountains, and I will need to make some tough decisions about what to do with my beloved Mitzi.

Part of me knows that the Mitzi belongs in the salt doing what she was designed to do, but she runs like a top and has an I-Pilot so she could easily handle bass fishing the lakes. I have started looking at different boats for my new environment and the Hog Island SW-16 or a Towee seem like popular choices if i don't go the "glitter-boat" route. why are these boats better than a skiff for fresh water? I assume this is just because the hull can handle more abuse for river fishing, but the Hog Island looks like a heavy under-powered sled with a tiller and the Towee looks a bit small even compared to my 15'-Mitzi.

Financially speaking, if I flip my Mitzi id be looking at less than 10K and that wont get me much in terms of a SW-16 or a bass-boat if I go that route. In fact id like to keep some funds reserved for a drift boat as we all know that everyone needs more boats:)

(side bar, is there a website that i can look for used drift boats like Microskiff.com?)

Anyone have any sage wisdom on the subject or experience running skiffs in bass-boat country?
 

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I know how ya feel. I moved to Atlanta in 96 after spending my whole life on the coast. Lived in Fort Myers for three years before that and really got in to the west coast fishing. I never really cared much for freshwater fishing but that’s how I really taught myself pond fishing with a Zebco and plastic worms starting probably around 4-5 years old. Although I grew up in the salt I became quite adept in my landlocked state. I’ve had many great times freshwater fishing. Trout and Smallmouth have become big favorites for me. I’ve fished for trout in Colorado, Wyoming, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Missouri and Arkansas. And caught my first smallmouth ever just two years ago with my beautiful bride to be on the Buffalo River in Arkansas, which is probably the most beautiful stretch of water I’ve ever seen in my life. Come to think of it, I’ve had some really good times and seen some of the most beautiful places ever in pursuit of freshwater fish. So all is not lost. Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina offer some of the finest fishing to be had anywhere in my opinion and the scenery is truly breathtaking. Didn’t mean to hijack your thread here. Sometimes I can get carried away. Anyhow, I just moved back to the coast so if ya need someone to keep the Mitzi in shape for ya just drop her off on your way up. But seriously I think it will do just fine and serve you just as well as any glitter boat up there.
 

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I spend the previous 5 years in South and SW Florida, when the Army moved me to Columbus, GA I kept my Mitzi 17 and use it frequently bass fishing. I only get to the coast 2-3 times per year but still glad i kept it.
 

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Don't know where in East TN you are heading, but Stripers and Muskies on Melton Hill; Stripers below most of the dams; Smallmouths on Dale Hollow and many other lakes...and the 6th ranked LM bass fishing at Chickamauga ought to keep your Mitzi happy. No need to sell and you can the fish a lot of shallower areas that others cannot. Every river up there can accommodate a light, shallow boat, though your bottom will get nicked up a lot. I am near Crossville for Summers. Lots of places to fish in East TN and, depending on exactly where you are, the NC coast isn't all that far.

https://tnmusky.com/
 

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Personally, I wouldn’t want to bang up the Mitzi in those rock-strewn rivers. Sell it and buy a 17’ semi-v aluminum boat and put a 40hp tiller jet-drive and a troller on the bow for the lakes. If you go used you can likely come out ahead on the deal.
 

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If you are considering selling that Mitzi - do it down here where there's a market for them... I've noted more than one very nice flats skiff being sold in an area that was far from the salt - and they always sell well below what you'd pay here....

Otherwise - as most have said here - take it with you, fish it there, then bring it back down here when your saltwater jones starts itching....
 

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Keep the Mitzi. Freshwater boats in that part of the country are more about maximizing value, maintenance, space and sometimes speed since they don't have to deal with real chop and typically aren't running very shallow. The Mitzi is overkill for the area but will work fantastically well. Your bottom won't get beat up as bad as banging through oyster bars but it will likely get a scratch here and there.

When I visit family in Cookeville, we fish in a small jon boat with a VERY old Johnson. We mainly troll for walleye. A Mitzi would be a nice upgrade. I have fished those waters for nearly 40 years.

Just make sure you have some REALLY good vehicle and trailer security. They like to steal at put-in locations.
 

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Keep the Mitzi for all the reasons that others have shared. My home waters are in Florida but I fish freshwater rivers and lakes throughout the eastern US with my skiffs and have no regrets about being limited by my boat. If money is no object there is nothing wrong with a specialized bass boat but I don't like cleaning carpet. Good luck with the move.
 

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Have a metal 1648 jet and a drift boat metal/uhmw, my 3rd drift boat in 25 yrs, left the inflatables behind. I fish these waters. In east TN there is no reason the Mitzi won't work in the deeper tailwater releases of many lakes, plenty of public put-ins too. And then there is the spawn of white bass in the lakes. BIG stripers and cats below the dams.

There is a lot of river water ill suited for fiberglass drift boats with no generation imo, but I can't even get the jet there either. A 15ft skiff isn't ill suited for much of these waters as long as the wind isn't frothing the lakes. I do agree, to sell it, you are in the right place before the move.

I hate towing at my advanced age, would get antsy with anything longer than 18ft! Btw, if you're talking Knoxville, they drive like a pack of drunk yankees anyway. Don't worry about turn signals or following distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
JTF,

Those are probably my parents your talking about :)

Thanks for all the ideas everyone. I grew up in Knoxvegas and am headed to Chattanooga (spent 4 years here before headed to south GA). I have a good idea of the fishing in the area, guess I just need to decide what I want to do.

If anyone has any leads on a drift boat slide into my DMs;)
 

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Here's 30 years of info: If you want a drift boat, I suggest going to either Koffler RMTB or a pram, or Hyde metal Lowpro. Don't get either without UHMW! Shipping is $1200 from out west to here. Hyde has a bunch of used boats. There are guides and shops galore that cycle their boats. You will put scabs on a fiber boat if you row many of these waters. Check their websites for used boats.

You should consider, you must have a shuttle to move your vehicle, that's $25 a trip, driftboat or raft. I use a local cab service. Put the boat and tackle in on the top end, leave someone tending, and meet the cab at the takeout with my truck/trailer. You cannot motor back up-river in a raft or drift boat.

Much of the tail water is ok for fiberglass but can be hard to miss the rocks on no-generation. The RMTB handles 6-10hp tiller well, better than a drift boat. Get the best set of oars and blades available. Carbon shafts and Dynalight blades are my current ones.

I have owned and rowed these inflatables: Avon, NRS and this one below. These guys sell demos every year and are close enough to TN to make the trip over to WV, take the high road through Morrisville and miss the I-40 mountain pass. The trick for a raft is comfortable frame/seating and a wheels-under frame trailer.
https://www.profishwv.com/rafts/

These stripers are 8/15/2018 and they pull as hard as a red. But I wouldn't put anything smaller than a 20 ft modvee boat under the release gates!
100_3161.JPG
 
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