Poling Tampa Bay in the Wingmaster Sandpiper micro skiff with Geoff

I got the Sandpiper 150 back in my possession to get more images so decided to get it out fishing with my neighbor Geoff.  Today,  the winds were 10 to 15 mph but we had plenty of sun so decided to do some sight fishing. This will give me the opportunity  to test the poling and quietness of the skiff as well.

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Since Geoff owns  a bayboat,  he did not make it a practice to pole much.  Today it was all up to me to do all the poling.

We brought along a push pole I used in the Hobbie Kayak at only about 14′.  I would rather use something a little longer at 18 or 20′ but we used what we had on had.

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We ran the Sandpiper and idle until the motor started to bump bottom which was  about 12″ of water.

I noticed the skiff runs well on plane in about a foot and floats in about 5″ to 6″ of water depending on load.   Like most non tunnel hull boats I did not expect it to run very shallow anyways. It  did float plenty shallow enough however.

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As we idle in the light chop hull slap was undeniable.   When Geoff got on the bow and I started to pole however it went silent.

The chine of the boat which was above water when the motor was running but once we fished and poled it noise totally went away.  I had noticed it was very quiet with with the trolling motor before but now it was confirm.

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It was stealthy enough that we would be poling in less than 12″ of clear water and would not spook a Tampa bay redfish until we were 10 feet away from one.

Every once in a while if the weight shifted, like when we were fighting a fish and the chine would leave the water I did hear an occasional hull noise.

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With the position of the sun I had to pole into the wind 90% of the time and it was still quiet in the slight chop.   With the beam at 52″ it was narrow enough that I could pole with just one hand, tracked very well and turned nicely.

With the motor down while poling turning was impossible.  After I lifted the motor up it turned great and most impressive of all still tracked excellent.

I even put the pole between my legs, poled with one hand and had the spinning rod on the other. This allow me to fish from the poling platform as well.

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As you can see the from the photos we caught a few fish. I caught 3 from the poling platform and Geoff caught 5 reds on the bow and one flounder.

 

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Now that I got the poling characteristics down I did some speed test run using the phone’s GPS.  I compared it to the vehicle speedometer and found it to be very accurate.

With the boat loaded and two anglers I was able to get 26.65 mph on the 20 horse.  I will add the screen shot when I write the complete  review of the boat after I get a few more photos.

In the meantime check out the crazy looking gills on this red fish we caught.

 

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