What is a Flats Boat and what is it used for in the Keys?
A Flats Boat, also known as a skiff, is a saltwater fishing boat that is perfect to use in protected, shallow coastal waters.
Features of a Flats Boat
The Flats Boat is the best and most durable fishing boat to use when fishing in protected, shallow waters that is 12 inches deep. There are also models though that can safely glide through the water as thin as 5 inches. This boat normally spans a length of 15 to 25 feet and is equipped with outboard engine propulsion. It can comfortably accommodate two to three people and can be maneuvered with the use of a pole. Most Flats Boats are designed to have enough casting deck space for fishing and ample storage area for fishing equipment and gears.
Florida is one of the best places to fish including the flats or the shallow areas of the sea which are abundant with grass. These shallow, grassy areas are home to crustaceans that serve as food to predatory fishes. Those who want to catch these fishes may head to the Florida Keys as the area is rich in marine life that thrives in shallow waters. The best fishing vessel to use when fishing in these parts of the Keys is the Flats Boat.
A Flats Boat would perfectly run over the shallow waters of Florida Keys, providing you the convenience that will increase your chances of finding a trophy-worthy catch. Possible catches in the Keys through flats fishing include species like the bonefish, redfish, snook, and tarpon.
Choosing a Flats Boat
There are several charter companies in the Florida Keys, from which you can rent out a Flats Boat. You could also choose to purchase one should flats fishing is your regular hobby.
When finding a Flats Boat to rent or purchase, use one that will provide you a stable in shallow waters. You should also choose one that is quite otherwise it would be futile to catch a fish with all noise the engine makes. So as not to get wet, also choose a Flats Boat that provides a smooth ride since you will be standing most of the time. In most cases, the larger the size of the boat, the more stable it is. You could also choose a Flats Boat that has extra accessories like a custom flats helm tower.
The quality of the Flats Boat can also be influenced by its brand. So also take note of the following reputable manufacturers of Flats Boats:
- Action Craft
- Hells Bay
- Century Coastline
- Flats Cat
- Sea Hunter