I recently made the switch from a Maverick Mirage 17 HPX-V to an 18 HPX-V and spent the last couple of weeks breaking in the motor on the 18 HPX-V. The 17 HPX-V definitely had a fun feel to it and just had this personality that can’t ever be duplicated by any other skiff on this planet. It definitely stands on its own. The 18 HPX-V is different in it’s own world and displays much more confidence and an ability to stand firm when conditions are at their toughest. These are two very different machines, both with the same mission in mind.
This is the time of year when fishing can be spotty with the fast warming water temperatures and limited light. I call it the season of uncertainty. The only thing certain about late summer is the tropical activity manifesting in our waters. Tropical systems brewing in the Atlantic and Gulf can turn even the calmest bay into a slaughter house of big chop within a single day… sometimes even within minutes. The last few weeks have brought forth some stormy weather and the 18 HPX has faced some of the nastiest conditions head on crossing some of the biggest chop that I have seen in Biscayne Bay and the Keys. The boat felt solid while running a big windy chop and leaping large swells birthed from large yachts. We’ve covered some great distances in the last few days on the water but when time came for a serious day of fishing, there was no dissapointment. The solid ride got us through the choppy water and the shallow draft got us to the bonefish as we can now pole accross the shallow bar rather then having to go around it. The fishing had been very spotty with short windows of shots. We made due with what we had and took advantage of the new abilities we were given to finally break in this new skiff in many aspects.
Versatility defined… Chucking flies at tailing bonefish in Islamorada, slinging muddlers at Tarpon in Flamingo, and dropping crabs in the path of Permit in Marathon in a single day burning less then 1/2 a tank of gas!