Archive for Small Fishing Boats Review

Mar
28

Inflatable fishing boats advantages

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the foldcat

The Hitmans tricked out Sea Eagle Foldcat 375

Lets talk about the advantages of inflatable fishing boats. Obviously the first advantage of  inflatable fishing boats would be their flexibility, they can be deflated and kept in the trunk of a car or a closet in your condo. No need for a trailer, a small car is all you need to transport inflatable fishing boats to your favorite fishing spots, they easily inflate with a foot pump and you are on the water in minutes.

Inflatable boats are extremely safe in the water that’s why they are the first choice for Navy Seals, Fire and Police and Coast Guard rescue boats. Inflatable boats can handle rough seas better than most boats, another reason they are used as rescue boats. I have never been in a more stable boat then my new Sea Eagle 12.6 Sport Runabout It is a perfect inflatable fishing boat, If you stand to one side of the boat it wont even dip down, I swear It’s more stable then my Ranger Bass Boat was, this is why inflatables are used as dive boats, divers can climb in loaded with heavy gear and the inflatable boat remains stable.  These are great reasons to chose  inflatable fishing boats.

They are extremely light and disperse very little water the draft (the distance from the waters surface to the lowest point on the keel)is only a few inches on most inflatable fishing boats making them able to navigate through the shallowest water, yet another reason inflatable boats are used for rescues and Navy Seal Missions and make great fishing boats.

Inflatable fishing boats handle extremely well under power, super quick turns and responsive handling are another reason to make inflatable fishing boats your next choice!

New Sea Eagle Sport Runabout

The Hitmans New Sea Eagle Sport Runabout ready to fish!

Here is a great example of what you can do with inflatable fishing boats, there is a river that branches off of the Connecticut river, every spring when the Herring make their annual run up the Connecticut River many branch off and run up smaller rivers, each season anglers in the loop, head up this river past many obstacles, prop breaking rocks, and shallow marsh areas to reach a fish ladder where very big fish of all types come to feed on the Herring, it is an amazing fishing spot.

This year we have not had enough rain and the river is low, preventing all the bass boats from making this trip, only Canoes,Kayaks or the Hitman’s Custom inflatable would be able to navigate this river. I’m actually planning this trip for today my inflatable is perfect for the mission since a GPS is needed for navigation purposes and I can carry a all the gear I may need, the low draft will allow me to use my gas and electric motor since it’s several miles to the fish ladder and dam. I’m more excited than ever because I’m most likely one of only a few anglers who will fish this prime location this year.

Inflatable fishing boats will go much faster then any other boat with the same horse power outboard, for example I have a 9.9 hp outboard and if I punch it, the boat climbs out of the hole and jumps on plane like a mini bass boat, in seconds I’m going 20 mph this is a huge gas saver! I can fish all week on a few gallons!
This saves me a ton of money. With some of my other boats It could cost over a hundred dollars for fuel just for a day!
I can get a week out of a tank of gas on my inflatable fishing boat, costing me 24 bucks. That saves a bunch of money I can by lures and tackle with.

Besides all of the advantages of inflatable fishing boats, I think they look cool, are a blast to use and easy to trick out with all kinds of fishing gadgets.

Thanks For Reading!
Hitman

Feb
09

Kayak fishing supplies

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Shawn Sims of Black Ops Fishing displays a nice bass caught while fishing from his kayak

 

Kayak fishing is growing in popularity faster then ever, the number of Kayaks being sold is astounding, just take a drive on a nice day and you are bound to see dozens of vehicles on the road  carrying  kayaks,  some people are using kayaks for exploring,  sight seeing, exercise, running rapids, riding ocean waves or just floating around reading a book but we will leave those folks to their simple pleasures, were talking hardcore kayak fishing supplies here!

Kayaks are fun, versatile, easy to transport and make perfect stealth fishing boats, they are also simple to rig with all kinds of kayak fishing supplies!

Today there are so many kayak fishing supplies to chose from you can be very creative when rigging your personal fishing machine.

I own 3 kayaks all rigged for fishing with different kayak fishing supplies and I have helped many anglers set up their boats for fishing with the proper kayak fishing supplies for the fish they seek.

Why do I own 3 Kayaks?  There are several reasons, I have a 12′ Wilderness Brand Kayak it has a large cockpit to carry the extra gear I need for underwater camera  filming , or extra kayak  fishing supplies for longer days of fishing. I have a 10′ Wilderness Pungo model and a Malibu Mini X sit on top Kayak, they are  perfect for the ponds, lakes, rivers and ocean bays were I like to fish. I can also supply 2 friends with kayaks for the different fishing missions we take.

Here is list of the most important kayak fishing supplies you should have on your kayak and where you can find them.

  • P.F.D. personal flotation device:  for comfort you should purchase a kayaking style P.F.D.  these are easy to find in the sporting department of most any store. Larger kayak fishing supplies stores often carry many styles of kayak P.F.D’s including inflatable models, find the one that suits you best.
  • Bailing Device: If your  kayak is not self bailing you will need some sort of bailing devise, I recommend the manual pump style. The Beckson Sea  Kayak Pump can befound at many stores selling kayak fishing supplies. One such store is the Defender corporation  I live local to the Defender corp but they are online at www.defender.com, they have a nice selection of kayak fishing supplies.Beckson Sea Kayak Pump
  • Paddle: You need one, why not spend the extra money on a super light paddle, you won’t believe the difference over a standard kayak paddle.
  • Whistle: You should carry a whistle in your kayak fishing supplies safety kit, a mirror, flare, lighter and first aid items are handy items to keep in your kit as well.

You will also need some rope and an anchor if  you plan on doing any stationary fishing, I carrie a bow and a stern anchor on some trips. You can get fancy and buy or fashion a pulley rig to lift and lock your anchor in place (some kayaks come with these devices) or you can purchace a folding anchor system which includes a folding anchor, rope and bouy in a carry bag.

Fishing rod holders are always available in many styles at fishing and boating stores but for some specialized kayak fishing rod holders you may have to try a kayak fishing supplies store. Also remember you need rod holders to store rods while paddleing as well as rod holders for fishing.

I rarely fish without electronics such as sonar depth finders and or flashers, some kayaks come with mounting surfaces for this equipment or you may have to get creative with your mounting in any case you can get many ideas from searching stores that sell kayak fishing supplies.

Another  great item to carry in your kayak is the Lindy Bait Tamer bag! The 15 gallon bag hangs over the side of my kayaks, we use it as a live bait holder, a live well for kayak fishing tournaments and as a fish bag for our Fluke and Blackfishing!    You may have to order the 15 gallon Lindy bait bag online, it’s harder to find than the 5 gallon model and may not be available at Kayak fishing supplies stores.

I love the Lindy Bait Tamer Bag in the 15 gallon size

Thanks for reading!

Hitman

 

Dec
01

Restoring Inflatable Fishing Boats

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I’ve really become a fan of inflatable boats since the purchase of my Sea Eagle FoldCat 375.
There are so many reasons that make Inflatable fishing boats a perfect choice for small boat anglers. One reason is compact-ability, inflatable fishing boats can be kept in a closet or the trunk of your car, thus eliminating storage problems, transportation problems and the need for a truck or trailer. Most inflatable fishing boats can be inflated and on the water in as little as 15 minutes!

Many of the better inflatable fishing boat manufacturers even include a carry bag to store and transport your inflatable fishing boat.
Another great aspect of inflatable fishing boats is they are extremely stable!
Inflatable boats are built with 2 large buoyancy tubes on the side and a flat floor in between them.

Zodiak
Repairing a Zodiac inflatable boat

These large size buoyancy tubes provide a low center of gravity for inflatable boats as well. This design makes inflatable fishing boats sit flat on the water surface, making them almost impossible to flip over. Many inflatable fishing boats have a removable solid floor for standing, thus making great stable fishing platforms.

Some inflatable boats also have an inflatable floor and are meant to be used as designed but a creative angler could easily fashion a removable hard floor for such a craft. I actually saw several custom Inflatable fishing boat designs on you tube.
Separate air chambers in well made inflatable fishing boats also provide a safety feature in the event of a puncture.

 

Small punctures and tears can easily be repaired temporarily or even permanently right at the lake side having you back fishing in minutes. Also check out a product by SeaEagle called the Clam a new devise to quickly stop a leak in your inflatable fishing boat.
If you don’t know where your boat is leaking you can easily find out by spraying it with soapy water and watch for air bubbles which will indicate your leak, start by checking the air fill fittings on your inflatable fishing boat, if they are not leaking begin to check the buoyancy tubes themselves, I do this by  systematically checking smaller manageable areas.

"Inflatable Fishing Boats"
Bottom of Zodiak to be restored

Bottom of Zodiac Inflatable to be restored

Ugly Zodiac ready to restore

Once you locate your leak you need to prepare the surface area for your patch. Deflate the tube that is leaking, I have repaired pin leaks without deflation but it is not the recommended method.

To do this you should thoroughly clean the area with soap and water until it is “squeaky” clean,  you can actually hear a squeak when you rub your hand on the clean dry surface.

Then wipe down the area with acetone,  now that its clean and dry scuff the area lightly with 100 grit sand paper then cut a patch from your  repair kit large enough to cover the puncture and a good 1/2 to 1 inch to spare.

If you are on the water you may have to clean the area as best as possible and apply the patch since you may not have the supplies on hand to do a permanent repair.

Rapiring inflatable fishing boats
Neglected Zodiac Inflatable Boat

Then apply your glue to the effected area and also to the patch, it’s best to do this with a small paint brush, after the glue application, I let the the patch and effected area on the boat air dry for a couple of minutes then apply a second thin coat to each area, at this point, the patch is applied and rubbed down with the back of a kitchen spoon. Clean up extra glue surrounding the patch and allow to dry for at least 15 minutes.

Zodiac restored to BlackOpsFishing standards

Here are some pictures of a Zodiac Inflatable Fishing Boat that I just restored! It was in terrible condition and I got it for 200. dollars.  It had a couple of leaks, the rubber attachments like handles and Zodiac logos were peeling off. It was ugly and just what I wanted!

In a weekend I restored it to BlackOpsFishing standards! I went to West Marine and picked up some supplies for my project, these consisted of 100 grit sand paper,acetone,brushes and the paint I needed to restore the Zodiac.

Below is the link to West Marines paint for inflatable fishing boats.

http://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/21700/1d/content.westmarine.com/images/catalog/large/7775380.jpg

To prepare my inflatable fishing boat project

Finished Zodiac Inflatable boat restoration

I washed it 3 times with soap and water, I wiped it down with acetone, sanded the entire boat with 100 grit then wiped it down with acetone a second time. I patched 2 small leaks, then began to paint my inflatable fishing boat.

I have taken it out fishing 3 times so far and the paint is holding up well, time will tell but so far I’m extremely happy with my project and I have many creative Ideas to trick it out for fishing, that I can’t wait to share! My next step is selecting a used outboard motor for my restored Inflatable fishing boat!

Thanks for reading

The Hitman

 

P.S.

I caught this 5lb Bass on November 26th, water temp 42*  while on the first Zodiac test mission!

5 Lb. Large mouth Bass caught from Inflatable Fishing Boat

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If you read my blog you know I have had many boats, Bass boats (One was a loaded Ranger), Ocean fishing boats to 25′, tri-hulls, flat bottoms, Kayaks, float tubes and inflatables.

No sail or pleasure boats for me, those are for “Scrods” that don’t know how to fish!!~

Shawn and I just sold our 25′ Well Craft Sport Fisherman, she will be missed but another boat will take her place next season.

Sold! Down Sizing to Cheap Fishing Boats!

My new infatuation is inflatable boats, inflatable boats make great cheap fishing boats!
I purchased a Sea Eagle Fold Cat 375 this Spring and I have had loads of fun and success with it in both fresh and salt water.

Inflatable boats make great cheap fishing boats!

Below is a link to my Sea Eagle 375 video! They make awesome, Cheap Fishing Boats!

I have made some very creative changes since this video, I have developed a much better motor mount but I can’t share that yet it’s Top Secret!

Inflatable boats have come along way over the years, many have very rugged long lasting hulls and solid floors for standing and make great cheap fishing boats.

Other reasons inflatables make great cheap fishing boats, no trailer needed, small out boards can be purchased for cheap fishing boats, costing only fractions of what large out board motors sell for, you can power your cheap fishing boat with oars or an electric trolling motor.

When using cheap fishing boats you are saving gas and you help the environment by running a (Greener) boat.

Read my Key West Adventure entry to see my plans of bringing my cheap fishing boat to the Florida Keys and fishing on a budget!~

Tight Lines
The Hitman

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I got my first Bass boat a 16 Star craft aluminum with foot control electric motor 25 horse Evinrude out board live well, the works and towed it with a 1972 Toyota Land Cruiser, the year was 1978
it was an awesome boat for the sound and lakes. I began fishing some local tournaments for bass and did pretty well but I was always drawn between fresh and salt water fishing, hitting one or the other hot and heavy.

When It was freshwater bass I bought a Ranger joined some clubs and the Bass Federation, when it was salt water I’d buy a different boat and had no time for clubs or bass tournaments. I liked tournaments
but not all the meetings and start times and rules and finish times and so on, I needed to be able to go after the fish of the moment so I became an expert on all around fishing. I traveled for trout and steel head, I fished for channel cats and carp, I fly fished fresh and salt water, you name it I did it.

I had my own business and raised enough money to open a Video store in 1984 and that same year I opened my first bait and Tackle store, It was originally called Red’s and I changed it to Hammonassett Bait and Tackle, not to be confused with the Hammonassett Bait and tackle of today.

Those were heavy saltwater fishing day’s, I would wake up at 2:30 drive 45 minutes to my shop, hop in my boat and go out in the sound for blues, weakfish and back then the occasional striper, my hands would be swollen from blue fishing and getting poked and jabbed in the crazy fishing frenzies that happened nearly every morning in Clinton Harbor but I was driven to go, the fishing was that good and stayed good for the next few years, those years taught me a lot about small boat fishing in long island sound. I have lots of information I can’t wait to share.

In the 90’s I became a partner at a Large fishing and Hunting store in Hartford and my fresh water side came back into play, I spent a lot of time fishing the Connecticut river, I had my Ranger bass boat, this is when stripers were making a big come back at the Enfield dam area. I learned so much about fishing the CT. river for stripers. I can’t wait to share that info with you.  I was at that store for 5 years and developed a following of loyal customers, I provided the weekly fishing report for the Hartford Current and New England fisherman built custom rods and designed rigs and equipment, many people came to have me set up their boats with live wells or electronics as well, by this time I had owned over a dozen small boats that I had rigged for fresh or saltwater, so a lot of folks came in for my opinion.

I’m an accomplished inventor and very creative, I invented the Snow-Sling
www.snow-sling.com and I have many Ideas for fishing product development.

I now live in Colchester Ct and I own a Flood Restoration Company, Al’s Absolute Best Cleaning and Restoration
All of my employees are very trust worthy and honest, they are also all extremely hard core fishermen. I believe there is a connection there. Between my employee’s myself and my circle of fishing experts we have a great wealth of info to share, these guy’s are the real deal Hard core fisherman that know many secrets.

We call our selves the “BlackOps Fishing Mafia”,  Some of the Mafia greats are “Corso”an all around expert angler! He specializes in River Stripers and surf or jetty fishing, Corso knows everything about Thames River Stripers! Corso is always fishing both fresh and salt water! He cant wait to share the info with you.

Ray Deluciano “Half a Day Ray”! Has expert tips for fishing long island sound, Ray got his name cause he works like a maniac for half a day, then goes fishing, Ray catches big fish and doesn’t come in empty handed!Ray is also a very accomplished fresh water fisherman.

Mark Cavanaugh “Cat Paw Cavanaugh” another long time saltwater fisherman, well known for catching giant fluke and Black fish when no one else is, Mark is happy to share his secrets to help others catch more fish! Mark is an expert all around fisherman and once caught an 18 pound pike on his 4 lb test trout rod!

Shawn Sims, has not earned a nickname but has earned the rank of expert all around fisherman, when Shawn was 8 he caught 23 trout over 3 pounds in one night and a whopping 6.8 pounder that is on his wall and earned his first state trophy pin. I was there to witness the fun, we fished all night at a lake in CT, Shawn is now 23 but we still go to this lake and catch loads of trout. Shawn loves teaching folks how to fish, he has become an expert all around fisherman he is extremely good at night fishing and has many secrets to share.

Kyle Paris ( KyKy) Kyle is a neighbor and he grew up with Shawn and we took him fishing all the time, Kyle is now operations manager at the restoration company, Kyles dad wasn’t into fishing but Kyle had a knack for it and became quite the expert angler,
he always seems to catch the first fish, Kyle’s specialty is Catfish! He knows all the spots and best times to go for big channel Cats! He has a special bait concoction that drives cats wild. Kyle is willing to spill the beans too!

Zach: Zach is another Ct River fishing Expert, he can fish the river right from his yard in Rocky Hill Ct. He has loads of experience bass fishing too! Zach competes in the Field and Stream Total Outdoors Man challenge!

Jeff Roath: Is a trout- aholic! Jeff is willing to share some great information on trout fishing and how he catches big brown trout from the rivers at night! Jeff is also an accomplished salmon and steelhead fisherman!

 

Whats a hard core fisherman? A hard core fisherman will fish alone, they wont answer their phone, they will fish in any conditions and crazy positions, they fish in the rain, they will keep fishing in pain, they will do what ever it takes to catch big fish in streams, ocean and Lakes!

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I want to talk about my new boat! I currently own 2 Wilderness Brand Kayaks and a Malibu Mini X sit on top Kayak, an Uncle Bucks Float Tube a 25 foot Well Craft Sportsman a 14 foot fiberglass fishing boat and my brand new SEA EAGLE FOLD CAT!


SeaEagle.com

I wanted something different, something fun to fish from a very quiet small stealthy craft, a boat that was easy to use but versatile enough to fish salt water bays and estuaries, tidal and fresh water rivers, lakes and ponds. I wanted a boat that had little to no stress factor! After owning way over a dozen different boats I know boating can be stressful.

I searched the web and became fascinated with the Sea Eagle Fold Cat! I watched every video read every review and spent a good month searching around before I pulled the trigger and purchased the Sea Eagle Fold Cat 375 fc, it came with a 180 trial period, how could I go wrong!

My New Sea Eagle Fold Cat!

A week in advance I made a flat bed trailer customized to fit the Fold Cat I was about to order.

My New Sea Eagle Fold Cat on Custom Flat bed Trailer

 

 

My plans were to be able to have the boat inflated and totally set up for any particular mission, so I could very quickly be out on the water.

Also to have the versatility to carry into a remote area and inflate on the spot, or pack in the trunk of a car! I was delighted when my Fold Cat arrived the day after I ordered it!

The first thing I did was inflate the boat using a 12 volt air compressor, it took only minutes to inflate and the aluminum floor slats are already in place when its inflated.

It was amazing, Cecil Hodge is a genius! I began testing the new Sea Eagle Fold Cat that very same day! I wanted to be familiar with the handling so I took It to small pond for a test, I inflated it at the pond using the bellows I purchased through Sea Eagle and again it only took minutes to inflate!

I slapped an old Minn Kota electric motor I had kicking around onto the rugged motor mount that came in my Sea Eagle Package. It was a little windy that day and the Sea Eagle performed fine, any boat has trouble in winds and the captain must develop the skills required for the handling of each boat. I can see an unskilled handler possibly having some problems with this craft in wind. It was very quiet and Black Opsie, I motored through 9″ of water, I  push poled way back into the swamps and shallower water, it was quiet and stealthy!

I portaged it to a second then third pond then motored through an extremely narrow jungle like channel into a forth pond it was like an adventure this boat was fun! I rated It a fat 10!

Next I tried a short float trip on the Salmon River using the provided oars and sometimes my electric motor. It was great! It can take a hit from rocks and sticks and handled well although I had some trouble getting used to the oars and need more practice with them, I’m looking forward to many river float trips in my Sea Eagle Fold Cat! I rate it an 8 for river float trips!

My next test was taking her out on a big tidal river and catching a Striper! This was the most important test because we are big on Striper Fishing, by this time I had made several additions to the Sea Eagle and was also testing the New Colman 2.6 outboard motor.

Everything I added to the boat had to be  quick easy to remove for deflation of the boat! Eventually I made so many creative changes to my Sea Eagle Fold Cat that is draws a crowd where ever I go! The big river Striper test was a 10 +!The Fold cat handled well in extreme currents and took waves pretty well, some of the wakes were large and I found it best to head into them. I had purchased another motor mount so I would have my new Minn Kota in front and my Colman 2.6 gas engine in the stern, I was now very confident in what my Fold Cat could do!

Nice Striper caught by the author on a Sea Eagle Fold cat test "tidal river mission"

My last test proved that the Sea Eagle Fold Cat could do everything I wanted it to do! I wanted to make sure I could go out on the ocean and catch Black Fish and Fluke. I made it to a prime spot for Black Fish and quickly landed a short Black fish! I fished for an hour with no more bites but I knew this would be a hot spot on the right tide! I switched to Fluke and found an awesome spot for small boat Fluke Fishing! I was stoked as I lifted a 18.6” keeper Fluke into my Sea Eagle Fold Cat! I caught 4 more fluke in less then 1/2 hour and my Mission was accomplished! Every Trip in my Sea Eagle Fold Cat is like an adventure!

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