Skeeter Hawk - Restoration project of a used bass boat by Jim Porter. Provides a detailed process of restoring this classic used Skeeter bass boat.

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SKEETER HAWK PROJECT


PART 10
'IT FLOATS AND IT CATCHES FISH!!'

Wonders never cease!!

The final things we did to the Skeeter Hawk (after those upgrades in Part 9 of this series) were adding a trolling motor, a battery and our custom-made decals (computers are great gadgets!). We have not been able to locate the ideal trolling motor, which would be an old white Motor Guide BRUTE from the late 60's and early 70's. It can be identified by the external red directional pointer on the head of the cable and pinion gear housing. The motor we are presently using has only 30-lbs. of thrust. But, it pulls that Skeeter like a champ!

Just the other day, we decided it was time to 'sink or swim'. So, we loaded a bit of fishing gear, the required safety equipment, and a few miscellaneous items into the Skeeter and off to the Stick Marsh we went. Once there, it was about an hour before we were able to launch, as everyone who saw the rig had to have a closer look and ask questions. Our buddy, Jimmy Garrett, was there, as usual. So, we took a few pictures of Jimmy with the Skeeter and he took one of the boat in the water.

Then, the big moment - we went fishing.

Our first stop was back to the north side of the ramp (5.5 HP motor don't run too fast, so we didn't go far). Picking up a soft jerk bait, we tossed into a brushtop. BAM!! First cast and we had a solid 3+ lb. bass on. Great way to start out. But, that was it for that location and we got not another strike.

So, we gave the starter rope one pull and the 'mighty' Johnson 5.5 roared (well, purred) to life. We headed back to the ramp and decided we might just venture out the opening in the trees and into the Stick Marsh a short way. Thunderstorms were on the horizon and we did not want to go too far with our mighty outboard.

As pure old luck would have it, we immediately came across a huge school of 3-4 lb. fish chasing baitfish all over the surface. It was hard not to see them, as they were running some of the hapless shad and shiners to the surface within a few feet of our boat. All I had to do was throw a Trap in most any direction and a hook-up was assured. Since I was alone this day, the pictures were difficult and about all I got was a lot of splashing. But, it was a great way to break in the Skeeter.

Everything worked as planned on the boat. I will raise the seats a bit for fishing (they must be below the gunnel for running), as they set too low for my long legs. The front seat can get a little cramped when fishing to the sides, as the gunnel tapers in right where that front seat is. The back seat was fine and had plenty of legroom all the way around. The open floor design made for plenty of space for tackle and rods, with the other gear stored neatly in the aluminum cooler (a separate small was used for drinks). One really good thing we noted was the great stability of the Skeeter Hawk. That wide base at the waterline really keeps in level when we walk around inside of it.

Now, we have to figure if we take the Skeeter or the STRATOS with us to North Carolina for the summer.

This was a fun project and very enjoyable. Plus, we now have a boat that launches in small waters with ease and performs exceptionally well.


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Pete and Tina Heinz / 9 South Mulberry St. / Fellsmere, FL 32948 / 772-571-9855




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