I know ya love redfish, I know this. And I’m gonna get you a redfish on fly cause it’s Friday, you got the day off and you ain’t got shit to do…

Sometimes it just all comes together. 2018 is nearing the end, you have a few vacation days to blow, although the weather men are calling for some wind, there are very little clouds in the forecast.  Anyone one who has fished the flats, or guided on the flats knows they would rather have wind and no clouds rather than clouds and no wind, generally speaking. Y’all know my thoughts on clouds, I have the stickers to prove it…

I had my boy Guffee on the bow for the trip as he too snuck out of the office. The weathermen were right on both accounts, there was wind and there were no clouds! Thankfully plenty of redfish to be found but there was also one of the first cold snaps of the year, so it had the redfish in a slight funk. We hopped around to some of the typical haunts as the sun got up but I had a feeling they would be in Mosquito Lagoon that has softer, slightly darker bottom looking to warm up with the bring sun.

On our second mud flat we started seeing fish. I pushed one shoreline that wrapped an island and dead ended into one of the famous mosquito ditches and found 3 redfish sunning. Two casts at these uninterested fish and we decided to push into the ditch as we could see activity down what was a long hallway of mangroves. Casting was tight and difficult and the fish still seemed lethargic so I spun the boat and out we went.

We didn’t make it 50 feet before I spotted a lower slot fish actively working the shoreline with his eyes down searching. It only took Guffee one shot to put it in the zone and two bumps of the black/purple and the redfish was on. Beautiful smaller fish and love the energy they have during the winter. Great fight, shot a couple quick photos and off he went.  That wasn’t the only fish we came tight on but the only one we got our hands on, shit happens and you loose fish, but it is always good knowing you fooled them.

As with most fly fisherman we love accessories, some are worth it and some are worthless. One of the good ones comes from Carbon Marine with their LineLair II, mine is in Ice Blue but they have a number of other colors to match your skiff. Plus, they work as good as they look at keeping your fly line on the deck and help keep it from turning into a cluster.

First Trip in the New Skiff

December 8th was the delivery day and after just six weeks the Chittum Skiffs, Mangrove 18, was on her way home. The wife rode down with me to their Palm City, FL facility to do a final walk through and see the place. Her last visit down was during the initial test ride and looking at colors and layouts. She was a big help during the process as she spends quite a bit of time on the skiff and has to constantly listen to my ideas or thoughts on making improvements to the setup on all my past skiffs.

This one was different. I had notes, sketches, and ideas on how I wanted the side console, casting platform, fuel capacity, rod holders…etc. George and Hal and even a few of the team members there walked me through all options and ideas I had to make sure this was the skiff to end all skiffs.

Options were as follows, Carbon package, Side console, quick release trolling motor mount, Simrad NSS9 EVO3, Florida Marine Tracks, Setup on Poling platform, Aft facing stair stepped rod holders, 13.5gal tank(which could be replaced without cutting the deck), 12in heigh casting platform with deck fittings, Tohatsu 50Hp as the power and a Ram-Lin Aluminum trailer.

As you can imagine, our first trip was the following morning and it did not take long for Melissa to claim her spot on the bow and land a beautiful over slot fish to claim the, “Queen of the Boat” title.