How To:

Choosing The Right Boat For SKA Tournaments

Author: Mike Milewski

Picking A Boat To Fish SKA Tournaments

First and foremost I would like to thank Bullbuster for making the best line in the industry. Our SKA team relies on having the best quality line, leader, and terminal tackle to ensure our potential tournament winning king lands in the box.

Now back to the topic at hand choosing the correct boat. It does not matter if you are a tournament angler or just looking for a family boat to hit the sand bar, a decision between brands is inevitable.

Our team just went through this process and would like to share our story on how and why we choose our new rig to fit our tournament fishing needs.

After a very successful rookie year on the SKA tour we decided to upgrade our boat. This would help us achieve our short term and long term goals. First we assessed the pros and cons with our current boat. Our major concern was not being able to keep up with the fleet when the weather was not ideal. Secondly was live well capacity. 

Our current boat only had a 20 degree dead rise and one live well with a capacity of 20 gallons. If a tournament did not have a visual check out we would plan accordingly and leave a few hours early to reach our destination, which is a minimum of 38 miles from our dock. We are very lucky that we live in south FL and our fishing grounds are extremely close compared to other locations in the country. Taking into consideration our must haves we only looked at builders that had deep V hulls, with 24 degrees of dead rise and large live wells keep our bait frisky.

We finalized our short list and began visiting our local dealers and boat builders. We quickly realized this was not going to be an easy process. It was already January and we had to have a boat ready to fish by mid may. Multiple boat builders have been flooded with orders and delivery dates are 8-18 months out once an order has been confirmed. Even though we fish hard during the summer, the fall, winter and spring months can be difficult to get off shore. Weather becomes a major issue with constant fronts and north winds. With a mid-20 foot center console leaving the inlet is not an option. With that in mind we wanted to ensure we had comfortable seating to cruise the ICW, head to the sand bar, and relax.

We ended up building a Regulator that will accommodate our needs and must haves. Our Regulator was delivered two weeks and we loving it! 

It does not matter if you are building a boat or buying a used boat know what your needs are and take your time. I would highly recommend not settling and making sure you are completely satisfied. Otherwise you run the risk of going through this entire process within a year or two.  

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