Well it was another great spring here in the Lowcountry of Beaufort, SC!! My favorite part of April, May, and June, is that we get the opportunity to fish for Cobia inshore! Absolutley cannot beat the feeling of sight casting to a 50lb fish cruising on top of the surface!! The Redfish bite was hot especially during the early morning low tides sight casting with fly clients. Light tackle fishing was also very good during the falling and dropping tides with artificial and live bait. Already looking forward to the next spring, here are a few photos from the action!
The type of boat you own has a huge role in the type of fishing you want to pursue. As many of you know when it comes to salt water fly fishing, a flats boat is the number one necessity for shallow water situations. There are many great flats boat companies out there that build incredible skiffs but there has always been that one company for me; Maverick Boat Company. Fish the legend is there moto and stands true with over 30 years of innovation to create some of the most technical skiffs ever built. As a full time guide and life time fisherman, Maverick Boat Company has always been on the top of my list because of there push to take the evolution of flats fishing to greater heights.
The new HPX-S is a perfect example of how Maverick has changed the game yet again, and revolutionizing the shallow water flats boat market for the better. This boat was designed by the most experienced team in the industry using the latest in CAD designed naval architecture, and advanced aeronautic technologies. A full Kevlar 17′ 8″ skiff that drafts less than 6″ of water, has limitless ability while poling, turns like a porsche, keeps you dry on the run, and many more attributes that proves the HPX-S to be one of the most technical shallow water skiffs on the market today. It was the perfect match for my waters here in the Lowcountry and a skiff that will take my fishery here to another level.
The main reason I decided to go from the 18 HPX to the HPX-S was the simple factor of having a better poling skiff, getting even shallower, and focusing my business towards the strong point; Fly Fishing. After coming home from a 5 month season guiding in Russia I found myself running almost all Fly charters, and spending tons of time on the tower poling. I loved my 18HPX for the extreme versatility to do everything but when the Fly side of my business started to take over the light tackle side, it was time to get a skiff that could meet my new needs. I needed a boat that could draft less than 6 inches, pole extremely well, ride good in chop, and most of all keep my anglers dry, and comfortable.
You might be wondering why this boat is a perfect fit for the lowcountry? Well let me tell you, there are a lot of reasons! Sight casting here is something that makes our fishery so unique because there are many different situations when targeting Redfish in skinny water based on our huge tides, which is why fly fishing is so popular in this area. Schools of fish on the shallow water mud flats, tailing fish on the flood tides, laid up fish in the grass, fish cruising tiny technical creeks with there backs out, and so many more situations that are in less than 8 inches of water. So of course the sub 6 inch draft of the HPX-S was a key factor in my decision. The way this boat poles is almost unreal being completely silent, very nimble, tracks extremely well, and holds position in the wind. Not to mention spinning on a dime, gliding with ease, having NO sponsons, and not giving off wake when poling in calm/rough conditions. It has made an incredible difference on multiple occasions in the last few months when it comes to clients getting close enough to present the fly to fish, and helping them catch more fish!
Poling and draft was a key part in my decision but as a guide, the ride, deck layout, and comfort of the boat was just as important. What I liked so much about the HPX-S was that I wasn’t making a GIANT compromise in comfort compared to my 18 HPX. My new S isn’t quite as stable as my 18hpx was but still stable enough to be comfortable while moving around, and feels just as roomy as my 18 did. The S has the same hatch setup and tons of storage room in the skiff, and of course plenty of room to walk around in the boat. The stern of the boat offers a big area for light tackle fishing and with the gas tanked pushed back into the bulk head of the bow, it offers a huge front storage area big enough to fit my strip and feed research line bucket, and also more deck space for fly anglers. The S has plenty of rod storage with 7 9ft rod tubes forward, and 4 9ft rod tubes aft. Also really like the 3 bank rod holder on the console for those light tackle days and being able to leave the rods out.
The HPX-S is a very dry boat in chop and will really surprise you how well it cuts through chop with the tabs down. This is not a V-Hull boat but does have a V-entry on the bow which comes into play when things get rough and keeps you from getting beat up on the ride home. The S does take some getting used to when running the skiff because of how sensitive the hull can react when using the tabs but after a few hours you get a really good feel for the skiff, just like a car. This boat seems to want to lean side to side sometimes because of the rails, so make sure you get a feel for that before buying the skiff. After running it through the Port Royal Sound multiple times in a foot of chop, all I could do is smile about how awesome this boat handles it. I did lose some speed going from the 18hpx but after 50 hours on the HPX-S, I’am already seeing 42mph, which is simply amazing for a 70hp engine!
The way this boat handles on turns will absolutely blow your mind. It has a pattern on both sides of the stern that Maverick calls the Vortex Generator. They release pressure in turns so it will get on the rail, and turn sharp with absolutely no rear end slide. This was also a key factor in my decision because I run a lot of technical creeks at full speed and have to have a boat that sticks hard on turns, which is rare for 6 inch draft skiff. I could talk for days about things I like about my new HPX-S and after the first 2 months on the water, all I can do is think about all the happy clients during this upcoming busy spring! Keep an eye out for the 6 month review and video on the skiff; you’ll see for yourself just how bright the new HPX-S shines here in the lowcountry.
Below are some photos and description of the Maverick HPX-S
- Yamaha F70LA
-Jack Plate Upgrade
- Custom color upgrade “Pastel Green”
- Two tone deck and matching color counsel (Pastel Green)
-Powder Coat Package (Black)
-Console rod rack (3 bank Black powder coat, left side of counsel)
-Nautical Wrapped wheel upgrade
-Powder Coat White wheel
-Fiberglass removable console seat (Pastel Green color matched)
-Bow casting Platform (powder coat Black)
-Power Pole Signature Series (6ft, Black) Mounted LEFT side of engine
-Live Well bubbler (no Livewell Plumbing/ Small Drain Plug)
-Maverick Ameritail Trailer
-Trailer aluminum wheels upgrade
-TM wiring system complete with battery trays (12V)
-Battery Charger (2 bank)
-1 Oddeyssy Starter Battery (starter), 1 Optima Blue Top (trolling motor)
-Factory Push Pole Holders
-Push pole caddy weld mount (rear-right side of the tower, like photo attached)
-2 Welded Rod Holders, each on the lower back end of the poling platform facing outwards (best angle you think to put rods in and out)
-Minn Kota Riptide ST 55 Bow-Mount Motor with i-pilot Wireless GPS trolling system
-Quick release mount
It was another great Fall full of fish here in the Lowcountry of Beaufort, SC! Cannot even start to explain how great it was to be back home from Russia and right back in the groove with my Redfish! This fall produced tons of high number days with redfish and trout, along with some very visual sight casting with Fly clients. Great to be back in the Low Country! Enjoy a few of these photos from recent trips