Chapter IV… Refined…
We approach the final stages of the construction process of my new Maverick Mirage. The hull and cap were popped from the molds, the cap was then fused to the hull, seadeck installed, and now the final details are being worked on. The hatches were installed, console wired, Yammadog hung on the rear, and little details refined. These photos depict the final stage before the installation of the poling platform. I await several other accessories such as the casting platform, prop, and GPS to bring my Mirage closer to completion.
The wait is near an end and the fun has almost just begun.
Stay tuned for the next chapter… Pre-Absolute!!!
All my life, I have always tried to seek out the best of the best and this comes especially true when choosing my next flats skiff. This will my my third skiff I own and my third product from Maverick Boat Company as well. Currently, Maverick Boats is building my next skiff… and for the first time, I was able to build one from scratch with every little nit pick detail that I desired. After a 12 year run fishing the shallows from Flamingo to Islamorada, I have finally spec’ed out everything I wanted in a skiff; both for guiding and for fun fishing days.
I learned to run a boat and fish the shallows at age 12 on a Hewes/Maverick Light Tackle 18 flats skiff (currently the Redfisher 18). It had a 2 tone commander blue and white hull with Yamaha 150HP Saltwater Series motor, lots of weight, and a fishy attitude. I tried to get into places where this big flats boat was pushed to it’s limits from big water Dolphin fishing to shallow water Redfishing. This was hardly a skiff, but a big water flats boat, which my buddies and I actually did end up still trying to pole. For many years, I first learned to fish Whitewater Bay before learning how to fish the flats out front in Florida Bay. Along the way, my buddy Capt. Frank had also taught me how to bonefish in Key Largo as well as introduce me to fly fishing. I did a lot of this in either Frank’s Hewes Bayfisher 18 or my Hewes Light Tackle 18. These bigger skiffs were adequate and got me where I needed to be dry and comfortably. I fished the hell out of my 18 Light Tackle from the day I bought it in 1998 until the day I sold it in 2004.
In the next few weeks, I will keep an updated blog on Saltyshores of the entire skiff building process that goes into a Maverick Mirage HPX from start to finish. Until next time…. stay tuned for the “Hatching”!!!
I had the chance to attend the Vero Backcountry Fly tournament hosted by the Vero Backcountry and Maverick Boat Co. this past weekend. As with similar events in the past that MBC has hosted, this event allowed for some friendly competition and a chance for fly fisherman with similar interests to get together and socialize a bit. On the more serious side of the tournament, anglers targetted 4 species; redfish, trout, snook, and sheepshead to bring home the top honors. I had never realized the great sight fishing opportunites that Vero Beach and Fort Pierce has to offer. Not were we able to target these species via sight fishing, but we had shots at 3ft long trout laid up on the flats. These big trout definitely proved to be the most challenging species I have ever tried to sightfish on a flyrod… I have earned a whole new respect for the species. Capt. Eric Davis and I teamed up and stalked the shallows in my Mirage managing to feed over a dozen redfish, hooking 8, pulling the hooks on 5, and landing 3. After a few frustrating hours of throwing at big stubborn mega trout, we ended up dredging flies in deeper water and catching a dozen or so small trout. Our fishing was pretty good actually, but not good enough to take the top honors from team Maverick Boat Co. (Charlie Johnson and owner Scott Deal), whom posted redfish, trout, and sheepshead. An incredible time was had by all with raffles and some sweet prizes. Plans for next year’s event is already in the works. If you guys are looking to sample some of Vero Beach’s best sight fishing, make sure to contact Capt. Eric Davis.
The past few weeks leading to this event have been pretty interesting. My buddy Paul and I had a chance to get out the prior weekend and sight fish redfish for an hour or so in Flamingo before the massive front chased us off. Blue bird skies followed the front and it made for some great photo opportunities on the water between my study breaks. The cold temperatures finally subsided a bit today and we were greeted with some warmer temps as the day wore on. I certainly hope this is a start of a warming trend that will last. Fishing should be absolutely stellar once we have some consitantly mild temperatures. These March ninja cold fronts need to end already. I will be spending some time in the lower Keys in a weeks so I really do hope the weather leading up to my Spring break will finally be warm enough to allow the water temperatures to climb back up. We need this warm up… bring on the tarpon, bring on the permit, and bring on the big bonefish.
Here are some of the recent photos I finally found time to process tonight:
For those of us in college, this week is either spring break or mid term week so good luck in whatever event you are facing. Catch you guys later…