2013 Florida Sportsman Best Boat Line-Up
Florida Sportsman Best Boat kicks off the series with 18’ Flats boats designed to fish for bonefish, permit and tarpon. Capt. Mark Krowka, a renowned Keys guide, joins FS Boating Editor/host, Dave East, to test the Spyder, Sterling and Bluewater. Along with putting the boats through their paces Dave and Mark also discuss the effects of boat noise and the need for a poling platform in two seminars.
The backwaters and bays of Marco Island is where the Best Boat crew tested the 24’ Bay Boats that included the Edgewater, Everglades and Blue Wave. Host, Dave East invited Capt./Author, Rick Ryals, to check out the key features of each boat in an area famous for its trout, redfish and snook fishing. In two seminars Dave and Rick discuss the importance of systems access and live bait wells.
The familiar home waters of Stuart, known for its hot sailfish and dolphin bite, was the perfect spot to run the 23’ center consoles: Including the Sportsman, Century and Scout. Kingfish Series Pro, Skip Chandler, joined the Best Boat crew to go through one of the most popular size offshore boats in production. In the seminar series Dave and Skip detail rigging a boat for fishing bluewater and docking.
Ocean Reef Club in the beautiful Florida Keys is a short hop to some spectacular fishing and diving. The three 35’ center consoles we tested there were the Bluewater, Regulator and Everglades. Resident Keys captain, Glenn Clyatt was Dave Easts co-host and together they showed the features you should look for in a serious offshore fishing machine. The seminar series includes how to set up the proper drift, in a current, to fish structure and the benefit of adding a tower with a second station to your boat.
Versatility is the best way to describe a 26’ Bay Boat that can fish for Dolphin Offshore, Snook in the Bay and chill at the sandbar. Shearwater, Contender and Sea Born participated to show the key features that define this class of boats. Join host, Dave East and Captain Craig Korczynski as they test these bay boats in the waters off of Jensen Beach. Two informative Seminars include how a shallow water anchor can help you catch more fish and the reason for running a jack plate to enhance performance.
Skeeter, Phoenix and Sterling manufacture highly specialized boats designed to meet the needs of the weekend angler and the tournament pro alike, to fish for the most popular freshwater game fish in North America – the bass. B.A.S.S. Pro, Tim Carini, was invited to Lake Okeechobee to meet up with host Dave East to put these three 20’ bass boats through their paces. Also includes seminars on livewells and safety gear for high speed boats.
Cobia, Everglades and Robalo build center console fishing boats in the 29’ to 30’ range that have serious offshore capabilities but are still easy to trailer. Captain Chip Sheehan joined Best Boat host Dave East in Ft. Pierce to show how this versatile class of boats can help you target blue water pelagics, dive the reefs or take the family out cruising.
On our second trip to Calusa Island Marina in Marco Island the Best Boat crew tested three 22’ Bay Boats that included the Blackjack, Sportsman and Blue Wave. Host, Dave East was joined by Captain Tony Bezello to check out the key features of each boat in an area famous for its backcountry fishing. Learn the pros and cons of installing a t-top on a bay boat.
The Florida Sportsman Best Boat crew returns to the Keys to check out three flats boats in the 16 to 17-foot ranges, designed for skinny water. Capt. Paul Tejera, tournament winning Keys guide, joins FS Boating editor/host, Dave East, to test the Shipoke, Mitzi and Release. Seminars include how to pole a skiff and jump on-plane in super shallow water.
Leaving out of Tampa Bay we headed into the Gulf where some of the best grouper fishing in the state can be found. A perfect place to test the versatility of the Belzona, Bahama and Stamas class of 32′ center consoles. West coast guide, Charlie Phillips and Dave East went through the features you should look for in a center console that can fish the bay as well as far offshore.
Stuart Boatworks, Angler and Cobia all build one of the most popular sized center consoles on the market. It was a short run out to the Ft. Pierce inlet where anglers have competed in kingfish tournaments for years. Tournament pro, Ron Mitchel, joined FS Boating Editor/host, Dave East, to put the boats through their paces in the same waters Ron has won in many times.
The non-stop action of Miami Beach was the perfect place to look at the boats on top of the center console market. Hydra-Sports, Bahama and Contender show us their boats that can win a tournament on Saturday and take the family out on Sunday. Host Dave East met up with legendary captain, Bouncer Smith, to go through the features that set these boats apart.
We take a look at the family of outboards manufactured by Suzuki, Yamaha, Mercury and Evinrude to see what new technologies they have to offer. Factory reps from each company participated in a question and answer session to help you choose the right size motor for your boat and how to take care of it.