Saturday Shoutout / Unsalted

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This week Tom Hazelton, via Midcurrent, tells a tale of flats boats and fly rods on Lake Superior.

Tom’s on to something. I don’t know why more folk aren’t fishing lakes with flats boats. I done it a few times and it just makes sense. This trip sounds amazing. Tough small mouth and beautiful water. I need to try it.


Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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3 thoughts on “Saturday Shoutout / Unsalted

  1. Loved my Hughes Redfisher flats boat when I lived in Fla. If I had it now in the mountains, it would be perfect for Lake Blue Ridge. Nothing beats a flats boat as a fly fishing platform.

  2. I use a flats boat for smallmouth in the Great Lakes region. I got it because the water is so damn clear that sight fishing seems like an obvious evolution for these waters. My boat came with a platform and I got a pole and started doing it. One day, my pole fell overboard and it sank despite the manufacture’s claim they float. But, this happened to be a blessing in disguise. When I started poling for bass I started to get the feeling that this was not practical. It wasn’t. I got a bow mounted trolling motor with a hand remote and I took the platform off. I basically have a 15 foot bass boat now and my catch rate has gone up beyond 1000% of what is was when poling for bass. For most scenarios it is way more effective to use your rod to search for fish and not your eyes. Why? Because if you can see the fish, the fish can see you and your odds of getting a bite have just plummeted. Furthermore, in bass fishing you need to cover water, you can’t do that effectively when poling, particularly against the wind. And it’s not possible to always “go with the wind.” Eventually you would have to turn and go into the wind. Thirdly, you need to be able to change depths fast and you can’t pole in 10 feet of water or deeper with the longest poles…especially in the wind. Another disadvantage of a flats boat is fiberglass. A disadvantage in the sense you can’t drag it over rocks on to shore if you want to wade, I think that’s why some Great Lakes guides use aluminum. It’s tougher. Fundamentally, a flats boat and bass boat are similar. They draft low amounts of water and have large carting platforms. My boat operates like a small, easy to handle, inexpensive bass boat now and it’s awesome. I just can’t go in waves bigger than maybe 3 feet. That was my evolution of getting a flats boat in this region.

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