I have had numerous boats throughout the years and in 2008 in researching what boat would meet my needs for Grassy Flats Charters I ran across a relatively new boat manufacture out of Orlando Florida, East Cape Skiffs. I purchased a Lostmen and at the time it worked perfectly for the type of fishing I was doing. Even though I ran the Lostman in all kinds of conditions and it performed great, I felt that I needed a little more boat and comfort for my clients. In 2012, I took delivery of a new skiff, a hybrid, the Vantage! Of course my buddies at East Cape designed and built this skiff from scratch and it is truly a boat that is as much at home in the shallow waters chasing Reds and Trout as it is running off the beach in search of Cobia, Tarpon, and Kings. The Vantage combines state of the art construction, storage, and stability. Fishing the flats, the Vantage has a shallow draft, poles easily, and is extremely stealthy! Running the beach and nearshore, the Vantage has an incredibly dry ride, and performs like a much larger boat.
The Vantage is just over 19 feet and is completely up to date with all required US Coast Guard requirements. It provides fishing room for up to three anglers and has a range of well over 100 miles and a top end speed of around 40 mph loaded, thanks to the quiet 4-stroke fuel efficient Honda 90hp EFI motor. There is storage for over 12 rods (including fly rods), plenty of dry storage for gear, and a built in cooler jump seat that will keep ice all day long!
If fly fishing is your passion, the Minn Kota trolling motor can be quickly removed providing for a huge forward deck for unobstructed casting. In addition, I have opted for two slightly different elevated casting platforms that were custom made to increase the thrill of sight fishing by allowing the angler to see down into the water to spot the fish and actually watch as the bait is inhaled!
Here are just a few of the many other options that contribute in making your charter on a Vantage a safe and rewarding experience.
- Power pole – used to anchor the boat quickly and quietly on the flats
- Insulated live well – 34 gallons to keep bait alive and ready for action
- Non-skid deck – keeps you on your feet and not on your butt!
- Deep, built in spray rails - Provides for the driest ride in the industry!
- Quiet and dry hatches – No noise to spook fish and provides for dry gear at the end of the day
On a Grassy Flats charter you may be using a combination of tackle depending upon the species and type of trip you choose. Before the action begins I will demo each piece of equipment, do’s and don’t for safety, and lure or bait presentation regardless of each anglers experience level. These quick tips and recommendations will help to maximize your chances of catching fish!
Shimano spinning reels combined with the light and responsive St. Croix Legend Series rods provide outstanding performance. Small diameter braided line allows each angler smooth long casts, followed by great hook sets, and confident fights.
Again, depending upon the type of charter you choose, bait and lure choice will vary. However, you can expect to use a variety of soft plastics, spoons, top water, spinnerbaits, and jigs as well as live or cut bait.
If Fly fishing is your passion, great! Bring your gear or use mine. Currently I have 8 and 12 wt Sage Xi3 rods matched with Sage Saltwater 6000 series reels, Rio lines, and local hand tied flies for whatever is biting.
Even though all of your tackle needs will be accommodated, you may bring your own. However please talk with me to make sure the tackle is properly matched for your targeted species.