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If this were Florida and we didn't have so much wind and you had Julio poling it while you fished, I'd say you MIGHT need a 16' technical poling skiff that cost $40,000.
But it isn't, he isn't and you don't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
from what i hear they float real shallow but, you have to have a tunnel hull to run shallow. if you dont they take 15 to 20 inches to run. Aaaaaaand, they are a wet ride in the chop
 

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I think one of the mitzi's has a tunnal and will run in around 6" or so. I would personaly stick with your shallow sport. Remember that if you get one of those poling skiffs you will be seated while driving which means you feel every bump in the water. New waters curlew seems to be a pretty good compromise. and is suppose to run in almost nothing
 

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Catn' Around said:
I think one of the mitzi's has a tunnal and will run in around 6" or so. I would personaly stick with your shallow sport. Remember that if you get one of those poling skiffs you will be seated while driving which means you feel every bump in the water. New waters curlew seems to be a pretty good compromise. and is suppose to run in almost nothing
That Curlew cost some major bucks. Your right, the only drawback I can see in the Mitzi is the seated while driving setup. The one thing I hate probably more than anything about our Flats Cat is the hull slap. You ain't gonna sneak up on anything in a Flats Cat.
 

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Stuart said:
That Curlew cost some major bucks. Your right, the only drawback I can see in the Mitzi is the seated while driving setup. The one thing I hate probably more than anything about our Flats Cat is the hull slap. You ain't gonna sneak up on anything in a Flats Cat.
I agree I have to laff every time I see one with a poling platform. Although it would be nice while drifting shallow flats.
 

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kenny said:
If this were Florida and we didn't have so much wind and you had Julio poling it while you fished, I'd say you MIGHT need a 16' technical poling skiff that cost $40,000.
But it isn't, he isn't and you don't.
Nonsense! Those Keys-style poling skiffs are great. Wind has much less of an effect on one than on any center consloe style boat that we run here in Texas. The poling skiffs have such a low profile and little weight that poling in heavy wind is not difficult. Try pushing around a Texas boat with a huge center console acting as a sail all day! You'll be worn out in 30 minutes. Also there are a lot of Keys-style boats that are high quality and cost about half of your $40,000 estimate. Mitzis are good as well as the Hewes Tailchasers and Ranger Phantoms. Don't knock it 'till you've tried it!

Bottomed-out................Hell's Bay boats are nice but the price hurts. Mitzis seem to be good entry-level poling skiffs but they don't have an inner liner. I'd avoid the Maverick HPX. There have been many complaints about quality control and customer service at Maverick the last few years. The fit and finish isn't inline with what you pay for an HPX IMO. I really like the new Ranger Phantoms. They are finished out great, have an excellent warranty, and will draft 6 inches. The Hewes Tailchaser will come out this fall and is expected to retail for $19k which includes boat, 70hp Yamaha, jackplate, aluminum trailer, etc. It is supposed to come fully rigged..........the only decisions are what color you want and if you want to add trim tabs. Pretty good deal.
 

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the only draw backs I can think of is... wet, mono hull, non-tunnle on most huuls, rough, floats shallow but will not run shallow enough for Texas on most hulls, drive while sittin (I personally like to stand), and you really cain't load 'em down with a bunch of people. more a shallow water bay boat than a Texas Flats Boat.... they need to stay in florida...LOL..................JJ
 

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I have been thinking of getting one myself. The Mitzi's are suppossed to be dry and quiet. The only thing I don't like about them is they don't have a liner. Check out Action Craft. They have a dry ride, float in around 6-7" of water, have a "pocket" that shoots water to the motor so that it can be mounted higher, and should do very well with trim tabs and a hyd. jack plate. Action Craft's Coastline series are reasonably priced and are the same hull as their higher priced line without all the bells and whistles. Let's face it, any kind of a V has got to be smoother than a flatbottom. Just my .02. Jack
 

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MOst of the florida skiffs will run under a foot which is more than shallow enough for almost all of the texas bays. Last time I was fishing upper laguna I saw a ranger skiff flying pass me and it looked to be riding pretty smoth considering it was 20+ mph winds although It looked to be 20'+ long which kind of defeats the purpose of having a boat like that. You may want to ask sightcast about them, I think he's running a ranger phantom in the laguna area and if I remember correctly said it would run in about 6" and would pop up in around a foot.
 

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Florida skiffs

After living in Florida for 5 years I got to know the ins and outs of fishing from skiffs pretty well. I had my El Pescador there along with a Hewes I owned for 3 of those years.

Skiffs are great boats to fly fish from but I would NEVER run any of those style boats in Texas as the runs are long, winds are stong and the bays are rough. Skiffs are made for small quarters fishing in the protected back country or calm flats. The larger "skiffs" of 18ft more or less have identical hulls to bass boats and the ride is also very similar. Try taking a bass boat across Galveston on a 15 mph wind day. Ouch!

I ran the Hewes across Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor when storms made me cross the open/choppy bays and nearly broke my back in the process. Most skiffs have trim tabs so they're not really wet.

There's not much storage nor room to move around in a skiff. Forget about putting more than 2 guys in one boat. They'll run for short distances in 6-8" if equiped with a jackplate and it takes that much to float most of them as well. If you fish the back lakes or areas where you have to avoid oyster beds you'll hate not being able to drive while standing up as you're field of vision is almost nil when seated.

They're much easier to pole than any of our Texas boats but who wants to pole in the first place? Contrary to what you see on TV most Florida fishermen use trolling motors not push poles.

My advice is to leave those skiffs to the Florida boys and get something made for Texas.
 

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Check with Capt. Scott about the Mitzi.

http://www.letsgofishing.net/

Capt. Sally Moffett in Rockport is running the Maverick and she really loves it.

As far as my own experience, they are all a compromise. If they are good in shallow water (12" Texas Flats, not 3' Fl. flats) they will beat you to death in a chop. If they have a comfortable ride, they usually draw too much water to get too far on a flat. As for me, I'm happy with the compromise of my Kenner matched with the stealth of my WS Ride (kayak). One get's me close, the other brings me home. Tight Lines, AC
 

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FLats Boats

Animal Chris - you mentioned compromise. There's a guy on the Pathfinder owners forum that summarizes it well:

"Remember.... Life, Marriage and Flats Boats Are All Compromises... "

I think you're right on target. When I'm in a boat that runs shallower than mine my mind wanders to the purchase of a shallower boat, and then we cross open water chop and I'm glad my fillings are still in place and I'm glad I purchased a "bay" boat that is adequate to good in a lot of different environments.
 

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Perfect boat design???

Well in my opinion there will never the the perfect boat designed for every fishing situation. Personally I think the Skiff's have their advantages, whether they are made in Florida or Texas. As do the Scooters, Deep V's, or Tunnel V's. That's why we all need 2 or 3 boats...haha If you consantly fish shallow back water or like to pole or troll around those boats are perfect. And as for a wet ride or having to run a protected shoreline. That's going to be typical to every boat smaller than 17'.
 

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Guys, lets get this into perspective. The florida flats style of boat is designed for a certain kind of fishing, and pretty much only that. That is sight fishing. They are not good for loading with people, wading, partying, riding across a big bay, etc. They are wonderful for getting kayak shallow, poling right up to the nose of fish, getting to areas most do not go, and the glory of it all if you run aground, you get out and LIFT it off. The most enjoyable thing to me is being above the water and seeing all of the reds, trout, flounder, rays, crabs, mullet, birds, etc. in their natural environment. There have been many times I'll pole for hours and never cast a lure. It is a totally different style and mind set than traditional wading or boat fishing. I have a Back Country Phantom 163 (Ranger Boats now has the hull). It never ceases to amaze me every time I take it out. It is difficult to understand the performance of these boats until you have ridden or poled one. Hells Bay is the Neiman Marcus, Maverick is Foley's, Ranger is Foley's, Mitzi is Stein Mart, to give you some perspective. My dream boat is a Hells Bay. I just cannot seem to find a big enough difference in my paid off Phantom and the $33,000 HB in performance. Bottomed I hope that helps. Anytime you want to talk skiffs or sight fishing PM me. Thats about all I do. Also, Kenny, why does it have to be Julio poling the boat? Why not George, Jethro, or Kim Song?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I had a Back Country Pro Guide 15 and it weighed a ton, it was like poling a barge, and it drafted about a foot and a half. Dont Know if it was that certain model or what but i didnt like it. O yah werent those boats made by Champion
 
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