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SeaHunter Boats | Center Console Fishing Machines

The Center Console Advantage

SeaHunter center console boats are an adaptable type of vessel that can be used for a variety of activities. These boats are typically single-decked with an open hull and a center oriented console. Some models have cabins located in the bow of the boat but the main feature of center consoles is the boat deck. The open concept allows for easy maneuverability and ensures that nearly every feature of the vessel is within reach.

Fishing with Center Console Boats

Once upon a time, a 25ft boat with twin motors was an exceptionally sized vessel. Now, we have center console boats equipped with quad motors that can hold 700 gallons of fuel. These boats, like the ones manufactured by SeaHunter Boats, have completely changed the game. Not only are center console boats absolutely perfect for fishing, but they allow anglers to fish for a variety of species and explore different ecosystems like never before.

In addition to superior versatility and range, center console boats possess unmatched fishability. For example, if you hook a fish at the transom, you can easily move around the boat to the bow if the fish makes a run. You can cast from virtually anywhere on the boat, utilize an outrigger setup for trolling, and run kites off of any end of the boat.

SeaHunter Boats

SeaHunter Boats was formed in 2002 with performance, control, and comfort as its driving foundational elements. Prior to founding SeaHunter, Ralph Montalvo owned and operated the largest FAA repair company in the United States. As a result, SeaHunter was established on the basis of a strong aerospace heritage. By using the most innovative technology and advanced materials, SeaHunter exceeds NMMA (National Marine Manufacturer Association) standards.

These boats are designed for professionals and weekend warriors alike. From the bow to the stern of each and every SeaHunter, every detail has been perfectly engineered for both functionality and safety.

Which Model is Right for Me?

SeaHunter offers an array of center console boats that are perfect for a multitude of conditions.

TOURNAMENT 45

The SeaHunter 45 is a quad powered behemoth equipped with three large live wells. Complete with 2800 maximum horsepower, the SeaHunter Tournament 45 is capable of reaching 60 mph speeds. If you’re looking for a boat to take you 600 miles on a single tank in any condition, the Tournament 45 is your vessel.

TOURNAMENT 39

The hull of the Tournament 39 is a true deep-V design which ensures an unbelievably smooth ride. With several power options and outboard configurations, it’s easy to see why the Tournament 39 has been SeaHunter’s most popular center console boat for years.

TOURNAMENT 35

The Tournament 35 is an excellent mid-30 foot center console boat that does not sacrifice comfort or storage. With more than 400 gallons of total fuel capacity this vessel is ideal for your next offshore adventure.

TOURNAMENT 33

If you are looking for the features of a larger center console packed in a smaller size, then you need to check out the Tournament 33. Despite its compact design, the Tournament 33 boasts fully insulated fish boxes and three standard live wells. For a smaller center console boat loaded with features, the Tournament 33 finds a sweet spot.

TOURNAMENT 31

Versatile, speedy, and comfortable, the Tournament 31 by SeaHunter is one of the best 31-foot center console boats on the market. Anglers wanting a vessel for drift, kite, and bottom fishing, look no further than the Tournament 31.

FLORIDIAN 28

Perfect for wherever your fishing takes you, the Floridian 28 was designed for anglers that want it all. Its deck layout is modeled after SeaHunter’s larger models meaning lots of storage for bait and gear.

Center console boats can be used for lots of different activities due to their versatility. However, make no mistake, these modern-day center console boats are fishing machines. Boats from companies like SeaHunter have changed the game while providing anglers with everything they need to go farther and fish longer.

Finding & Fishing Structure in Saltwater

Offshore Fishing Techniques

Few things are more import to an angler than structure. When an inshore fisherman thinks of what structure means to their fishing, they gravitate towards rock piles, sunken trees, and contour break lines. However, finding and fishing offshore saltwater structure is entirely different but every bit as vital to having a successful day fishing.

Reefs

Locating Reefs 

Off the coast of the Florida Keys, one of the most vital types of structure an angler can fish is reefs. Numerous different types of gamefish use reefs as feeding grounds. From sharks to sailfish, reefs provide an opportunity to pinpoint structure to fish offshore. 

Not only are there natural reefs an angler can fish, but too, the Florida Fish and Game has created artificial reefs to promote and support fish life. 

(Learn about fishing reefs in this segment of The SeaHunter)

To locate reefs an angler must rely on their electronics either from locating reefs themselves or by following GPS waypoints found online. Don’t be afraid to check with bait shops or locals either for help finding reefs.

As with all types of structure, some reefs are better than others and gamefish are constantly on the move following their food. Don’t be afraid to explore different reefs and even come back to reefs that did not produce much fish in the past.

Fishing Reefs 

To fish a reef, an angler can deploy a variety of tactics. Vertical jigging and casting out a live bait are go-to’s for any offshore angler, however, drifting a reef edge with the wind can be just as rewarding. 

Large sailfish are often caught on the edge of a reef at certain times of the year during their migration. To target these fish, a kite helps get lines away from the boat while running flatlines with live bait that is drifted behind the boat. The key is keeping your drift just right along the reef edge to entice a large sailfish into biting.

Another way to fish a reef edge is to find where the Gulfstream blows into a reef. Often you will find a current eddy that traps bait within it. These bait balls attract anything from bonitas, to tunas, to sharks and give an angler an excellent opportunity to catch fish. 

Casting lures on conventional tackle or streamers on a fly rod work well in this situation. Just be aware of boat position and keep far enough away so as not to spook the feeding tuna off but close enough to cast to.

Shipwrecks

Locating Wrecks 

Shipwrecks for offshore fishing, like reefs, can provide an incredible opportunity for anglers to catch fish. Baitfish use these shipwrecks as a haven and fish like cobia, amberjacks, African Pompano, and barracudas, aren’t far behind. 

Just as the case with reefs, to locate shipwrecks GPS coordinates of known wrecks are found online. For the more secretive wrecks, locating them is a matter of reading electronics and knowing what to look for. 

(Learn about fishing shipwrecks in this segment of The SeaHunter)

A wreck will read on down scan sonar as an uneven bottom with fish stacked above it. Often you are not looking for the full shape of a ship, but instead, parts that have broken and been worn over time. 

Fishing Wrecks 

To fish successfully around shipwrecks an angler must keep in mind how fish position themselves around a wreck. 

Many times, an angler won’t anchor in the right spot in relation to a shipwreck. The best thing to do is take a look at your electronics and take a minute to understand your drift. The key is to find out where the fish are hanging in relation to the shipwreck.

Larger predatory fish may hang off to the side of a wreck or roam a distance out. One of the many draws to shipwrecks is the large grouper and snapper that often congregate to on or just around shipwrecks. A prized catch, they are not only a great gamefish but too provide a phenomenal meal.  

A technique to use when wreck fishing, is to anchor above the shipwreck and start chumming heavily to draw fish off the wreck or in from surrounding areas where they may be roaming. 

The exciting part of fishing a shipwreck is you never know what is going to bite. In one day you could catch over ten different things and you have no idea what is going to hit next. 

The freedom in this is you can fish in a variety of ways.  You can freeline pilchards, you can drop bait down to the bottom, and you can Carolina rig on to the bottom. There is no wrong way to fish a wreck. 

A different presentation, however, will yield different bites. Often times too when reeling in a fish off a shipwreck other varieties that are living on the wreck will chase what you are reeling in. 

Casting out a live baitfish on a hook next to a shipwreck after throwing out chunk bait is a great technique to bring any fish up from the wreck. Vertical jigging large marabou and haired jigs around and over a wreck also tricks a variety of fish into eating.

Shallow Structure

Coral edges and banks in 20 to 35 feet of water, provide excellent shallow structure when deciding to switch it up from deeper water structures. 

Often times, it is shallow enough to sight fish to hungry predatory fish below in the clear water. So having a good precise cast is necessary.

(Learn about fishing shallow structure in this segment of The SeaHunter)

All types of groupers or barracudas use these areas to stalk baitfish that are blown up by the current. It can be especially productive, but if there is little to no current, an angler must make their own drift. Staying stationary and not making a drift usually ends with not catching anything so it is important to make your own drift to have a successful day on the water. 

Finding and fishing offshore structure is the key to catching fish. Whether it is reefs, sunken shipwrecks, or shallow water edges and banks off the coast, learning to fish these areas gives an angler the edge to offshore fishing.

How to Catch Yellowfin Tuna—Light Gear & Big Fish

Increase Your Chances of Catching Tuna

An exceptionally powerful, fast, and unreal fighting fish for an angler to catch is the yellowfin tuna. These fish not only put up a fight that rivals any fish in the ocean but they are also easily one of the best table fares to bring home. Fishing for these incredible fish, however, is not easy but with these tips, you are certain to find success for yellowfin tuna.

Conditions & Locations for Yellowfin Tuna

As with all types of fishing, timing your fishing trip is everything. Yellowfin tuna are often caught post-frontal with winds 20 to 25 knots. 

As for locating yellowfin tuna, though yellowfin can be caught worldwide in almost every ocean, there are few better places in the world than just past the Florida Keys in the Bahamas. 

Every spring, a fishery just northeast of Bimini that is sometimes called the Tongue of The Ocean produces world class tuna fishing. A deep channel cuts between islands almost three thousand feet deep. Just make sure to check into Bahamian customs before fishing the Bahamian waters. This can also give you an opportunity to check in on where the fishing is happening too! 

In the Tongue of the Ocean, a hard east wind in early spring creates a large current rip that attracts not only yellowfin tuna and other species of tuna but also big dolphin, marlin and all other Pelagic fish species.

Gear for Yellowfin Tuna

All fish species require not only good gear, but knowledge of how to use that gear. Fishing for yellowfin tuna is no different. The advances in fishing technology over the past few years has put the angler at the advantage and it is simply knowing how to leverage this gear that leads to not only successful day on the water, but too a more fun day catching fish.

Rods

The yellowfin tuna in this area off the Bahamas can range from 10 pounds to over 400 pounds. Long pectoral and dorsal fins paired with a very large tail in comparison to body size, make the yellowfin tuna extremely fast and very powerful. And consequently—very fun to catch! 

The gear that was needed traditionally, was large heavy reels and rods with huge backbone. Now spinning gear has evolved. 

An angler can chase these giant 80 to 100-pound yellowfin tuna on spinning gear that never would have been adequate enough in the past before the advances in technology. This lighter gear makes the fight on a yellowfin tuna vastly more fun than the heavy rods and reels from the past. 

Regardless of the type of tackle you are using, once a yellowfin is hooked, be ready for an incredible fight. They are just simply a powerful fish that not only taste great but make an amazing gamefish. Their strong and aggressive runs put an angler to the test. 

Radar & Bottom Readers

One of the most crucial tools when you are yellowfin fishing, is to have a good radar. A good radar can read up to 15 miles out, helping you locate fish. 

Another vital piece of equipment is your bottom reader. A bottom reader gives an angler an idea of just what is underneath. 

A yellowfin will mark very differently than other types of tuna. Where a blackfin tuna will mark as tiny dots very close together, a yellowfin tuna will mark as a zig-zag, or a small “s” shape on the bottom.

Techniques for Yellowfin Tuna

There are a vast array of techniques an angler can use for tuna, but the key to having a successful day is to have a variety of baits and a variety of techniques in which to chum with those baits.

Find the Birds

One of the best places to start fishing for yellowfin tuna is under the birds. When you see birds and they are dipping or diving down to the water and picking stuff off the surface, you know the tuna are there. 

This is because tuna push little baitfish up to the surface, thus attracting the birds to come into feed. An angler can leverage this by starting off trolling to cover water where the birds are feeding. 

Trolling for Tuna

One of the best things to do when starting your day looking for tuna is to troll. Trolling is essentially prospecting– you are not setting up a drift and chumming just yet. After locating the feeding birds, you roughly know you are in the right area. 

While you are trolling under the birds, look for busts and try to figure out what species these birds are on. Use your bottom reader and radar to help you identify what species of fish are under you. 

Set a Drift

Once you are certain there are yellowfin tuna in the area, get upwind and set a drift. Start chunking, or cutting, up your bait fish and throwing them out. You are leaving a strong scent trail that will disperse as soon as it hits the water.

This scent trail will lure a yellowfin tuna in from deep and entice them to come to the surface. By doing this, you are essentially leaving a crumb trail that spans 200 to 300 yards behind you, leading the tuna right to you. 

After throwing out chunk bait, start sticking out your live baits with hooks. After keying in on the chummed water, yellowfin will be more than willing to come up and grab one of your live baits. 

Be ready for that infamous yellowfin fight but also don’t be surprised if you catch many other types of fish too as a bonus while yellowfin tuna fishing. Reel hard and be ready for anything. 

There is no doubt that after fighting the extremely fast and powerful gamefish, and incredible table fare fish that is the yellowfin tuna, that you will be hooked for life. With these techniques on how to locate yellowfin tuna, leverage your gear, and entice yellowfin into biting, there is little doubt that success will follow suit.

Sailfishing the Florida Keys

How and When to Catch Sailfish in the Florida Keys

Few types of fishing have more allure than sailfishing in the Florida Keys. Sailfish are the fastest fish in the ocean with the ability to scream drag and get any angler’s adrenaline pumping. Although sailfish are found across the world, one of the best places to target them is right here in the US, in the Florida Keys. However, to target them successfully, there are some things you must first know.

When to Catch Sailfish

There are certain times of year when conditions align perfectly to fish for sailfish. The most experienced anglers in the Florida Keys know when they wake up and find a wind out of the east to northeast at medium speed, just before a full moon, that the bite will be insane. It is time to go sailfishing. 

Sailfish are migratory, and if an angler can catch them just right on their migration they are in for an incredible day of fishing. Though sailfish can be caught year round, the best time to specifically target them is generally from November to April. 

What Rod to Use for Sailfish

One of the most important pieces of equipment an angler uses is undoubtedly their rod. For offshore fishing traditionally there are three types of rods. 

  1. Trolling Rods 
  2. Rods with Lighter Tips for Casting Baits 
  3. Rods in Between for Jigging Heavy Structure 

Between all those rods, there is one specific rod that is multipurpose and covers all those bases. The TFO SeaHunter Series  rod was designed with the versatility needed for all types of offshore fishing and is one of the best offshore rods available. There are four different models to choose from with different power and line rating to choose from to span the various offshore applications.

The tip is light enough for castability with bait while having a powerful butt that can move big fish. 

One of the things lacking in some offshore rods is an incorrect butt length for fighting a big fish where an anglers hands are too far away from their body, resulting in lost fish and unnecessary strain. However, the TFO Seahunter Series is field tested with this kind of detail in mind. 

From the proper butt length to the Fuji guides, and heavy-duty reel seat, it remains the best choice when offshore fishing—especially for sailfish!

How to Catch Sailfish

One of the first things to do when sailfishing the Florida Keys is to locate and approach a reef slowly. Keep your eyes on the water and watch. Observe the conditions that are before you. Is the water color cloudy or blue? Which direction is the wind blowing? Paying attention to the water is a key trait in being successful for sailfish. 

These reefs are located in about 30 feet to 50 feet of water. At the edge of the reef, there is a sharp drop off into deeper water of usually right around 150 feet. This edge is key. 

The edge is typically a couple yards in length where all the sediment and dirty water from shore is swept off the reef and into the open ocean. If the color of the edge turns from cloudy to a purple-blue in a short distance, the current is pushing into the reef creating a very distinct line to fish. 

An angler can choose either side to fish first depending on where they believe the fish are. So take your pick.

Team Work Catches Sailfish

Fishing for sailfish in the Florida Keys is a team sport. Each person has a specific job to help catch and land a sailfish. You need someone running flat lines, someone watching them for a bite, another guy running the boat and possibly another guy running the kite.

Kite Fishing

Kite fishing is a unique and important technique for sailfish—and not to mention extremely effective. A drop line hangs off a kite that flies downwind to get multiple lines away from the boat. When a fish takes the bait, a clip is released and the rod is freed from the kite. The fight is now on! 

Though kite fishing is important it is also a tricky technique that requires some skill. As the kite surges with the wind, the baits are pulled in and out of the water. The zone you want these baits at is right on the surface. 

Flat Lines

At the same time, to target sailfish, run flatlines out behind the boat with live bait. Keep in mind the sailfish are swimming into a heavy current which happens to be on the side of the boat that you run flatlines. 

Somedays the conditions are perfect. Your setup is right on target with the wind blowing the boat straight down the reef and in the zone. More often than not, kite fishing is the most productive way to catch sailfish, but some days the fish are traveling just right and hit the flatlines first. 

Nonetheless, sailfishing is a team sport where the most successful anglers are the ones that work together.

Expect the Unexpected

Sailfish are tricky fish to catch and conditions must be just right to catch them. The beauty in this, however, is that on these perfect condition days, there are many other fish who are also taking advantage and feeding aggressively. 

The water teems with life on these days with baitfish and predators, so don’t be surprised if you catch more than you bargained for. From sharks to bonitas, to tuna there are not many dull moments when fishing offshore. 

When you do hook into a sailfish, hold on. These acrobatic fish clear heights out of the water on massive runs that screams drag out of your reel. Occasionally, a fish will choose to go deep and the length of fight that follows will be one not easily forgotten. 

Sailfishing in the Florida Keys is not only challenging but equally rewarding. Few other fish can pull drag out of a reel faster or come close to the acrobatic show of the sailfish.  The fastest fish in the ocean does more than just get your heart pumping, it creates bonds through teamwork and makes a memorable catch that will last a lifetime.

Tying a Leader Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Easy Knots to Tie Fishing Leaders

Learning how to tie leaders is every bit as important as choosing the right rod or choosing the right line. While tying leaders at first may appear intimidating, with a few easy knots, you can tie virtually any leader you need. 

Tying a leader basically means attaching a clear piece of either monofilament line or fluorocarbon line, to a colored braided line. The reason you want to add this clear piece of line is so that spooky fish such as snook, redfish, bonefish or tarpon do not see your braided line in clear water.

 

For most inshore saltwater applications a wind-on leader is used. A wind-on leader is called such because you are reeling the leader through the guides. 

First, tie a loop called a spider hitch in your braid, where you make a loop with your braid and go through it five times. It is a misconception that a bimini twist knot is needed. Because you are tying braid and not monofilament line, a spider hitch knot works perfectly. 

Next, choose your leader material. The line you choose is up to you, but for this application, 20lb soft monofilament is best as it will slide in and out of the guides smoothly. Length of the leader is also something you need to decide on based upon water clarity, and target species among other things. Cut your leader to your specific application, however, for this application fishing around mangrove forests, about 3 feet is sufficient.

Attach your leader material to the braided loop you created with a knot called the no-name knot. Stick the tag end of your leader through the loop, and wrap it about seven times. It helps to pinch the loop and tag end as you are doing this. Then, take the tag end that you just wrapped, and go through the initial braided loop that you came through. 

An important thing to get in the habit of doing is to wet the knot with your mouth before pulling it tight. This prevents abrasions and allows it to tighten smoothly when you cinch it tight. Cut off any excess tag. You now have the leader attached to your braided line with a knot that is small enough to slide in and out of the guides without affecting your cast. 

Depending on what you are fishing for, you may want to add a bite tippet to your leader. Fish with teeth have no problem cutting through thinner diameter line. A bite tippet ensures that you keep your lure and catch your fish. Keep in mind the action of your lure when choosing the line for your bite tippet. Fluorocarbon is denser than monofilament and can affect the action of your lure.

 

So for this application with a small jerkbait using 40lb monofilament line would be best. The length needs to be long enough to prevent break-offs but not too long to affect your cast– around ten to twelve inches. To attach the 40lb bite tipped to your 20lb leader a simple blood knot works. 

The last part of tying this leader setup is attaching your bite tippet to your lure. Since you want the most action possible on your lure, you will tie a knot with a non-slip loop. Put your line through the lure’s eyelet and bring the overhand knot right up to the eyelet. Pinch it off and make one and a half turns with the tag end and go through the overhand that you initially make. Now your lure can swing freely with the most enticing action it can make. 

With the knowledge of how to tie a leader, you can not only trick that fish of a lifetime, but you can prevent break offs and cast efficiently all day long, ensuring you have the best time of the water possible.

How To Understand A Fishing Rod’s Power

Identifying A Rod’s Power

To be a successful fisherman, it is vital that you understand what a fishing rod’s power is. Though many rods may look the same, they are actually quite different. Each rod has its own unique characteristics that apply to an application. One such characteristic is power. Understanding what power means is essential when choosing a fishing rod to buy.

Power is simply the amount of resistance the blank of a rod gives into flexing as you throw a bait. To identify what power a rod is, and other characteristics such as height, and action, look above the rod’s handle. Printed on the rod will be information about the rod’s specifications. Power can be identified in different ways, though typically it will be listed from ultra light (UL) to extra heavy (XH).  

Some rod companies, such as Temple Fork Outfitters, make it easy to identify a rod’s power by having their own simple coding system. TFO provides a scale from 1 to 7, with 1 being ultra light and 7 being extra heavy.

 

Identify What Power Rod You Need

After identifying a rod’s power and understanding the naming system, you must understand the application to figure out what power rod you need. As mentioned before, power is the amount of resistance a rod gives into flexing.  

A rod that is made with an ultralight or light power, such as the Temple Fork Outfitters Inshore 692, will flex with less weight. This rod is ideal for lighter lures such as a small 1/8 oz bonefish jig.  

The same concept is true for a heavier power rod like the TFO Inshore 795. A heavy lure, such as a large plug, is required to “load up”, or flex, a heavy rod. If you are throwing a light weight jig on a heavy power rod, the rod will not load up to launch that lure and you will find it difficult to cast at all.  

Likewise, if you throw a heavy lure on a light rod, it will feel clunky and slow. This is because the rod is over-flexing from the weight of the lure and lacks the “backbone” or power to get that heavy lure out there efficiently. Potentially doing so could also end up breaking your rod as the heavy lure overburdens the blank.

It is important when you rig your rods that you put the right bait with the right rod with the right application. Doing so means that you keep in mind what type of fish you are targeting. A heavy rod can handle the weight of a tarpon, or large snook bending the rod during a fight, just as it can handle throwing large lures. Whereas a light power rod would snap under the pressure, but allows you to feel more fight, and in turn have more fun, from catching smaller fish. 

Knowing what kind of cover you will be fishing in is equally important. If you are fishing heavy brush or around docks, a heavy rod is vital. A heavy rod’s backbone will help you pull fish out of that cover without straining or breaking the rod.  The same concept works the other way around; if you are throwing that 1/8 oz. jig for bonefish on sandy flats, a light rod would be the best application.

Now that you understand what a fishing rod’s power is and how to pick the right power rod for an application, you are certain to know which rod to buy and to find success on the water.