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just starting to begin a new skiff search.

I live in Tampa, Fish the bay, beachside for tarpon in summer, out of Chokoloskee a handful of days and flamingo a weekend or two a year.

I'm coming from an 18 foot flats boat but thinking about dropping down into more of a true poling skiff. I do fly fish.

I have two small kids, so there would be some pleasure trips and drown some shrimp/pins with the kids. We also like scalloping a few times a year (we are all used to puling ourselves back into flats boat. No ladder)

I would want a console, but other than that pretty bare bones. Maybe a small baitwell. I have a 12v Minn kota that would be removeable but would want it wired. Also have a new lowrance unit and push pole that would be part of this new rig.

I don't need value speed over draft, so not sure what best power option would be. Would want dry launch trailer set up .

I'd say fishing 80% priority pleasure cruise 20% (basically no tiller and able to ride around a family of four)

Am I on the right track or do I need to stick with an 18 foot boat?
 

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7E8F4BA8-6F5A-4C4F-BA85-E029C8BB8301.jpeg 42F9B411-B5AD-4287-99CA-1F17684A5244.jpeg I’ve fished with 3 adults and run to the sand bar with 4 adults no problem at all on my 16. I have the Zuke 50 and it gets on plane no problem.

The 16 is definitely doable for your purposes. Maybe not ideal, but doable for the situations you describe.

Go offset console and it’ll work even better.
 

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@Tarpon Nole
The Heron 16 will definitely fit the bill. Depending on your budget, we do have the Heron 18 which still can be set up as a simple fishing machine but still accommodate the family pleasure cruising that you are looking for. Shoot me a text and I can get you some pricing information and put a package together for you. I am located in Apollo Beach and am near you. If you have the opportunity to come by Apollo Beach on Saturday afternoon, there is a really good chance that there will be a Heron 16 at the RedFly weigh in at the Salty Shamrock on 41. We start around 3:30. Feel free to shoot me a text anytime. 863-860-7250
 
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@Tarpon Nole
The Heron 16 will definitely fit the bill. Depending on your budget, we do have the Heron 18 which still can be set up as a simple fishing machine but still accommodate the family pleasure cruising that you are looking for. Shoot me a text and I can get you some pricing information and put a package together for you. I am located in Apollo Beach and am near you. If you have the opportunity to come by Apollo Beach on Saturday afternoon, there is a really good chance that there will be a Heron 16 at the RedFly weigh in at the Salty Shamrock on 41. We start around 3:30. Feel free to shoot me a text anytime. 863-860-7250
Sent you a message on here
 

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I stepped down from an 18' flats boat to a tech skiff myself. I made the move because my wife and daughters very rarely went out with me. (My 80/20 split was more of a 95/5 in reality...)

My advice would be to stick with something in the 18' range and consider the beam needed to carry passengers on those 20% days without them getting sketched out. You'll also want to consider the amount of space a console will eat up on a 16' skiff...another reason to go 18' IMHO...
 
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I stepped down from an 18' flats boat to a tech skiff myself. I made the move because my wife and daughters very rarely went out with me. (My 80/20 split was more of a 95/5 in reality...)

My advice would be to stick with something in the 18' range and consider the beam needed to carry passengers on those 20% days without them getting sketched out. You'll also want to consider the amount of space a console will eat up on a 16' skiff...another reason to go 18' IMHO...
My 80/20 split isn't really days, but rather priority on fishing ability and comfort for booze cruising

I believe you are also from Tampa, I want to be able to pole the honeymoon and UTB areas better than my old hewes 18 but still be able to sit on the beach when conditions allow for tarpon a handful of days a year (seems like between the wind and jetskis that handful gets smaller and smaller )
 

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Yup. I had a Mako 181 Flats and was in exactly the same position as you just a few years ago.

Stick with something in the 18' range IMHO, especially if you are gonna be out around Honeymoon / Anclote / Caledesi with passengers. Smaller is better in the UTB but not out there. We do beach tarpon on a HB Guide and it still gets sporty at times with boat traffic and when the tide and wind are running against each other.
 
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How about Heron 18?
That's the question I'm kicking around.

I really am looking to go with draft as a priority this go around. I have gotten more into fly fishing and not being able to get on redfish that I can see but not pole to has been bothering me
 

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The old adage , get a boat for what you will do 90% of the time. I vote the 16 foot. I like the looks of the Heron and the price is right.
 
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I have not actually measured but with two people in the boat it will float in about 6”, maybe a tad less?, without bumping the bottom.
 

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Have you looked at the Tavernier 17'? It may not pole quite as well as a Heron, but it gets plenty skinny and probably poles much better than a flats boat.
 

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You could split the length of the heron 16 and 18 and look at the new Ankona Advent as well! Plenty of space, polls great and gets shallow. 2 people and fuel will be about 7in draft give or take, and it will handle a chop as good as any other skiff in the price range (not that there is one lol)
 
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You could split the length of the heron 16 and 18 and look at the new Ankona Advent as well! Plenty of space, polls great and gets shallow. 2 people and fuel will be about 7in draft give or take, and it will handle a chop as good as any other skiff in the price range (not that there is one lol)
Would you say Advent over cayenne ?
 

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Would you say Advent over cayenne ?
Well the cayenne is wider and more stable, it would be a tossup between the two IMO. I like the Advent over the cayenne because of how I fish but I would take either if given the opportunity. Just happened to be the first person in line for the advent so I jumped at it
 
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