Posts Tagged ‘Tampa Bay’

FLORIDA: Tampa Bay – Kid Friendly

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

May is one of Captain Steven’s favorite time of the year. The weather is mild and the bite is red hot! Tarpon are here and the upcoming hill tides should provide plenty of great action at area bridges.

I have been fishing many family’s with young children lately. While Tarpon are the glamour species mackerel, trout and redfish are geared more for young family’s. Keeping rods bent is key.

Gathering bait continues to be easy on local bridges, its critical to have enough live scaled sardines for both fishing and chumming. I have been starting each trip with trout or mackerel to ensure keeping kids from being bored. Many flats I fish hold both macks and trout typically along edges that drop from 2-4′ to 5-6′. Make sure to deploy a chum bag to keep the mackerel and occasional bluefish interested.

Sharks another kid favorite is also attracted by chum bags and live chum baits. Bonnethead and Spinner sharks 2-4′ making for fun and exciting action. Last week screams were the largest when a shark was boated! Mom’s and Dad both love this action.

The snook action continues to show signs of improvement. I now have 2 areas that have consistently been producing for over 30 days now. Don’t fight the fish till exhaustion and make quick safe releases. The high outgoing tides have proved to be the best time.

Capt. Steven Markovich
On The Mark Charters
P: 727-252-9824


Mount & Pole
Transom Mounts
5 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
10 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Motor Mount & 10ft Pole
Bow Mounts
3 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
6 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Trolling Mount & 10ft Pole
FISH HUNTER PACKAGES
5" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
10" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Poles
5" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
10" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
Bolt On
Motor Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
Motor Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole

FLORIDA: Jude’s first fish Tampa Bay

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Captain Steven will never forget this day as my 19 month grandson Jude caught his first fish. With the winds howling at 20 mph we only ventured a few hundred yards from the Marina fully protected from the winds.

The day started at sunrise with my son n law and I chasing redfish in canals which afforded protection from the winds. With the water to rough to chase bait we used shrimp with good success with redfish, trout, mackerel, sheepshead, flounder, snapper and several other species. The reds were under the docks with trout in the center of the canals.

We braved the wind and ran to another area loaded with docks and mangroves and quickly scored again and again on redfish to 20″. The ride back in 20 mph winds was fun to say the least.

In the comfort and protection from O’Neill’s Marina we picked up my wife Jackie, daughter Jessica and grandson Jude.

Motoring less than 100 yards to keep it comfortable with the high winds we set up in 3′ and tossed shrimp under a cork. It took no time for Jude to wrangle in his first fish with help from his Dad.

I could be more proud or excited to have shared this moment.

Capt Steven Markovich
On The Mark Charters
P: 727-252-9824

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Mount & Pole
Transom Mounts
5 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
10 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Motor Mount & 10ft Pole
Bow Mounts
3 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
6 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Trolling Mount & 10ft Pole
FISH HUNTER PACKAGES
5" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
10" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Poles
5" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
10" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
Bolt On
Motor Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
Motor Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole

FLORIDA: Tampa Bay – Monster Sheepshead, Redfish, Trout Fishing

Saturday, February 5th, 2011


Captain Steven welcomed his anglers at O’Neill’s Marina and immediately knew it would be a fun day. We then made the 15 mile run across a very smooth Tampa Bay to the Little Manatee river.

We were greeted with Dolphins and Manatees upon arrival. Armed with 25 dozen live shrimp we began casting up current and bounced them along the bottom. It didn’t take long before the first redfish was landed. The action was not the non stop action of the last few weeks but steady with spunky 15-18″ reds.

Terry’s rod bent deeply looking like a nice red but it turned out to be a 7 pound sheepshead. At 7 pounds a true trophy, Terry then nailed another that was pushing 7 pounds. Within 15 minutes Terry once again was fast to another solid fish. I was positive it was a redfish then my jaw dropped to see a monster sheepshead that had to be 10 pounds! I had my Boca ready only to have the giant come unbuttoned boat side.

We then ran to a local canal with the first cast all hooking small sea trout. The bow of the boat was red hot with trout after trout landed while the guys on the stern saw much slower action. Of course the guys up front got very vocal teasing the guys in the back. Nice day great guys it doesn’t get any better.

Capt. Steven Markovich
On The Mark Charters
p: 727-252-9824


Mount & Pole
Transom Mounts
5 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
10 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Motor Mount & 10ft Pole
Bow Mounts
3 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
6 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Trolling Mount & 10ft Pole
FISH HUNTER PACKAGES
5" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
10" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Poles
5" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
10" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
Bolt On
Motor Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
Motor Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole

FLORIDA: Solid Snook Day On Tampa Bay

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Friday’s NW winds were brutal and kept most anglers at home. Captain Steven targeted an area protected from the winds and was amazed by what I found. First let me give Maui Jim sunglasses Kudos’. Friday was my first day wearing my new Maui Jim prescription sunglasses. I picked the new Maui Jim Evolution digital lens on the Volcano frame. The lens are nothing short of amazing, these lens pop with clarity and have awesome water penetration capabilities. Regardless of brand quality eyewear is a must to protect your eyes.

One stop and it was game on. I found the snook, redfish and sheepshead mother load. I was shocked at the sight as bait after bait was inhaled. The large school never moved more than 100′ and continued to feed heavily.

This all started with me spotting one snook and honestly I may not have stopped had I missed that snook. Its was clear these fish were chasing baits pushed by the winds into a mangrove island corner, there also is a small channel that runs through this area.

There are snook from low 20″s to upper 30″s

The sheepshead were all nice ranging from 3-5 pounds. It was great finding so many snook in one location after last years freeze. This was by far the best I have seen all year. Leave the snook in the water and unhook it there or be sure to support the snook from underneath while taking a quick photo.

Capt. Steven Markovich
On The Mark Charters
p: 727-252-9824

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Mount & Pole
Transom Mounts
5 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
10 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Motor Mount & 10ft Pole
Bow Mounts
3 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
6 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Trolling Mount & 10ft Pole
FISH HUNTER PACKAGES
5" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
10" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Poles
5" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
10" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
Bolt On
Motor Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
Motor Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole

FLORIDA: Different fish bring new action to Tampa Bay!

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Fall? Summer? Fall? Summer?

It is indeed fall, but the weather sure makes it feel like it is still summertime; it is downright hot! Despite the fact that the fish are on the move lately, fishing has been really good. Because the fish are moving around a lot, it has been taking a bit more time to find the bite.

It’s great to be catching snook. Lately, we’ve caught some great sized fish and great numbers of them. Even though snook are out of season, it is still fun to catch them and release them. The snook bite should keep getting better as the water temperature drops. We managed to catch the biggest snook of two tournaments last week, which is great because 30 inch snook are hard to come by these days.

The redfish bite is pretty awesome! Occasionally, we’ve had to do a little more boat riding than I like to do to locate a big school of fish. Once we found the fish, we quickly realized the ride was well worth it. We have been catching many fish that are over the slot limit. On certain days, we’ve had to work really hard to catch keeper-sized fish, and others all we catch are slot-sized fish. Either way, we’ve managed to catch a few fish to take home every trip.

We have been changing it up a bit by starting our mornings off by fishing off the beach for mackerel, cobia, and king fish, and it has produced some great action. Mixed in with the mackerel, cobia, and king fish, there have been some big sharks. Get a 5 foot to 7 foot black tip shark on the other end of your rod and you are in for a great fight.

Tarpon are still in Tampa Bay. We’ve caught many great sized fish lately. Last week, we jumped not only some 100 pound fish, but also some 150 pound fish.

Capt. TJ Stewart
Castaway Charters, Inc.
P: 941-737-5985

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Mount & Pole
Transom Mounts
5 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
10 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Motor Mount & 10ft Pole
Bow Mounts
3 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
6 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Trolling Mount & 10ft Pole
FISH HUNTER PACKAGES
5" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
10" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Poles
5" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
10" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
Bolt On
Motor Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
Motor Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole

FLORIDA: Bonita Action on Tampa Bay

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Bait on the flats was really tuff this morning. A bucket of chum along with 10 tosses of the cast net resulted in maybe 20 decent white baits. Captain Steven got wise and quickly ran to the Skyway Bridge and was greeted by tons of white bait. No chumming was needed and 2 tosses of the net filled the live well. Good size bait perfect for a 3/8″ net.

With a dead low tide I was confident I knew exactly where we would find several schools of large over the slot redfish. Winds forecasted under 10 mph were closer to 15 mph combined with little sun made sighting redfish a struggle. We searched for over an hour and only spotted several pairs which we never got a shot at.

Fishing near the pass we changed gears and chased Bonita which did not take long at all. With silver Clark spoons on 3′ of 25 pound fluorocarbon leader it was game on. Rods bent deeply and drags screamed as we hooked these speedsters.

Bonita from 5 to over 10 pounds pounced on our spoons.

Just follow the birds, position yourself up tide and drift into the battle zone. We could have done this all day!

Back to looking for redfish on a local mangrove, oyster lading island. We saw 3 large 40″ bruisers with no takers. Back on of my favorite flats action was awesome. Trout, Mackerel, Ladyfish and Black Tip sharks made for lots of light tackle fun. I deployed the Power Pole in 7′ and worked baits under a float from in 5 to 8′ of water loaded with glass minnows. The Black Tip sharks exploded upon hookup maybe several exciting jumps. One shark had been bitten by another shark!

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Mount & Pole
Transom Mounts
5 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
10 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Motor Mount & 10ft Pole
Bow Mounts
3 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
6 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Trolling Mount & 10ft Pole
FISH HUNTER PACKAGES
5" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
10" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Poles
5" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
10" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
Bolt On
Motor Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
Motor Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole

FLORIDA: Tampa Bay Redfish Action Remains Hot

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Captain Steven eased out of the marina under the cover of darkness Sunday morning. Low humidity combined with the NE breeze made the run to gather bait a true joy.

It took some patience to find the redfish candy aka white bait. Choppy water conditions from the brisk winds made visibility a challenge.

Its no secret lower Tampa Bay in the fall is the place to catch large redfish. Catching redfish is a blast, catching big redfish is special but catching large redfish one after another is amazing.

With limited visibility having a tower boat is priceless. Sunday it gave me the edge to locate the redfish schools. Casting a live white bait under a float into the school was as close to a sure thing as there is in fishing.

Like Jacks several reds would attack the bait. Strong fights lasting 10 minutes was the norm for 3 hours. Occasionally a trout would beat a red to the bait and while not 35″‘s of Bronze Bomber the trout were thick and 18-20″.

After a prolonged battle be sure to take the proper amount of time reviving and release your fish safely. Target grass flats, oyster bars and mangrove islands in the Ft Desoto or Terra Ciea areas.

Keep the rigging simple, 10-15 pound braid mainline connected to 3’ of 20-25 pound fluorocarbon leader finished with a 2/0 circle hook. You can add a float to keep baits out of the grass.

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Mount & Pole
Transom Mounts
5 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
10 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Motor Mount & 10ft Pole
Bow Mounts
3 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
6 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Trolling Mount & 10ft Pole
FISH HUNTER PACKAGES
5" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
10" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Poles
5" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
10" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
Bolt On
Motor Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
Motor Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole

FLORIDA: Tampa Bay With Some Different Fishing Action!

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

The water temperature has been down a bit compared to what it normally is this time of year, but it is steadily on its way back up. It’s back in the mid 80’s and the fish love it. The water temperature dropped so quickly that it somewhat slowed the bite down. It will continue to fluctuate through the summer as summer rain storms hit the area.

Many tarpon are still around, and we’ve been able to jump many of them and even get a few to the boat each trip. Late summer is always a great time to catch tarpon. Last year, we caught more tarpon in July through October than in the early summer months. The tarpon we’ve been catching range from 25 lbs to 175 lbs.

Sharks are in abundance in the Bay. Although, I haven’t been specifically fishing for them, we’ve caught many while trout fishing. It is great fun when you’re expecting a trout to take your bait on light tackle, but a 3ft shark does instead. As long as the water temperature remains pretty warm, shark fishing will remain great.

The snook, redfish, and trout bite has been good lately. We have managed to get at least one of these species to bite every day, if not all of them. More snook are showing up in a few of the areas that they should have been in months ago, which is great considering how many snook we lost last winter. We’ve had to work a bit for a good redfish bite. It seems like there are lots of redfish around one week, and not the next. Redfish are still doing a lot of moving around, but don’t worry, the last late summer/fall redfish bite the last few years has been phenomenal. We are expecting it to be great this year as well. Trout fishing is still great. We’ve been able to catch our limit every trip.

If you want to catch a fish that is very good eating, snapper is your fish. The snapper bite has been awesome. We have had a few really nice catches of snapper and great size fish.

Capt. TJ Stewart
Castaway Charters, Inc.
P: 941-737-5985

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Mount & Pole
Transom Mounts
5 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
10 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Motor Mount & 10ft Pole
Bow Mounts
3 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
6 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Trolling Mount & 10ft Pole
FISH HUNTER PACKAGES
5" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
10" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Poles
5" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
10" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
Bolt On
Motor Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
Motor Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole

FLORIDA: Tampa Bay, For The Best Tarpon Fishing

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Hello from Anna Maria Island, the Tarpon capital of the world, or quickly becoming so. Where else in the world can you hook 25 Tarpon in a day over 100 pounds, with some over 200.

There are probably a few spots in the world that have Tarpon fishing as good, but none better. Anna Maria is the perfect Tarpon destination. Our beaches are some of the deepest on the west coast; we sit on the southern tip of Tampa Bay, largest estuary which floods with Tarpon each summer. With Quick access to 5 passes loaded with Tarpon and deeper beaches we are located right smack in the middle of Tarpon central and that’s why my business is located here. Tarpon is by far my favorite target and is primarily what I choose to target during the summer months.

It has been a great season thus far, one of our best in several years. Tarpon are everywhere and we have had some of the best days I can remember in quite some time. Double hooks have become the norm and we have plenty of triple as well. As for size I can’t even remember how many 150 plus pounders we have landed as well as numerous 200 pounders.

We had a few tough days last week because of the ground swell pushing the Tarpon offshore, created by hurricane Alex on the other side of the gulf. With the ground swell diminishing and a perfect light east wind taking over, the Tarpon are moving back and the battle has begun again. Today we had a rain-out so I’m getting a chance to write this report today. The extended forecast looks great from here, I can’t wait to get out there and hook up some Tarpon tomorrow, and it should be a good week.

As for other fish, because of the ground swell, I did get a chance to fish inshore and offshore a few days. We caught Redfish, Snook, Mackerel, and Trout inside. Offshore there are tons of Grouper, Mackerel, Tunny and even Kingfish within 10 miles. I can’t believe we have so many Kingfish still this year. We caught a 30 pounder one day on a Grouper rig on the bottom, go figure.

This low that has sat on us for the past week has cooled the water temp quite a bit. I already figured the Tarpon season would run late this year, but with the number of Kingfish still around and cooler water temps I’m pretty certain Tarpon should be strong till the end of July. They showed up late with the cool temps and should run late.

Anyway I hope you have enjoyed my report. I have a few dates available in July if you want to get out to do battle with Tarpon let me know. Until next time, enjoy yourself out there on the water.

Capt. Matt Ercoli
Fly the Flats Fishing Charters
P: 800-521-2872


Mount & Pole
Transom Mounts
5 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
10 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Motor Mount & 10ft Pole
Bow Mounts
3 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
6 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Trolling Mount & 10ft Pole
FISH HUNTER PACKAGES
5" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
10" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Poles
5" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
10" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
Bolt On
Motor Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
Motor Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole

FLORIDA: Tampa Bay – June Tarpon Has Been The Best Ever

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Wow is all I can say, Tarpon fishing has been great.

The weather remains perfect everyday and there is tons of Tarpon. These past couple of weeks has been really good for large fish. I bet we haven’t caught a fish this week under 100 pounds, most of them are 125 plus. This one school of fish I have been on has particularly large fish in it. We have landed several 200 pound fish out of the school and I don’t know how many we have lost. You can really tell when you’re into big fish your landing rate goes down. When you are catching those fish under a hundred pounds landing half of them is no big deal, but when most of the fish are over 130, and those are the small ones, it’s more like one in four. It’s more typical to catch Tarpon of all sizes from 70 to 200 pounds and larger, lately though they are all big. We have been having some incredible days, hooking 10 to 15 per day has been the norm, two at one time is no big deal and I have had more than one triple this week.

A few times I had the Tarpon biting so fast if I had more fishermen in the boat I could have 4 or 5 hooked up during some of the fastest moments. It has been that good. I know each year I get a little more efficient at producing Tarpon, but the learning curve is very small at this point. I really think the Tarpon fishing is getting a little better each year. It just seems like some of the really large schools are bigger than they use to be. Last year was a little tough, we still had a large amount of fish but the wind blew all season. We caught tarpon everyday but It was really hard work some days. This year it has been perfect. I can sit on the fish time after time with ease and hook fish after fish. I love it when the Tarpon fishing is like this. I guess the fact that I had to fight the wind from high above the water in my tower in past years is what makes it a lot more enjoyable for me now. There are some slick calm water days and the only thing disturbing its glassy shimmer is the fins of Tarpon, schools of bait and the occasional Porpoise. Then all of a sudden the peace is broken by the explosion of a 200 pound Tarpon leaping out of the water with your hook in his mouth. I love it, without a question it’s my favorite thing in the world to spend my time doing. Its hard and very tiring work, but I love every day of it when I am out there Tarpon fishing.

As for other species that are biting. I did catch a few Snook the week before last along with a lot of nice Reds and smaller size keeper Trout. Offshore there is a lot of Tunny, Mackerel, Dorado, Grouper and nice Snapper. Guys are still catching a lot of nice Kingfish out there, even close in, which is really late for this time of year. Makes me think that Tarpon will run late too, that would be great. Honestly almost all I do this time of year is Tarpon fish because it’s all I have time for, but I still spend a few days offshore and on the flats.

Well I Hope you have enjoyed the report. I still have a few dates left in July for tarpon. I also have a half day in the afternoon for Tarpon on June 27th. If I don’t have a day available on the day that you would like to get out I can send you to one of my associate charter captains. This is a Tarpon season not to be missed.

Until the next fishing report, as always, good luck fishing.

Capt. Matt Ercoli
Fly the Flats Fishing Charters
p: 800-521-2872

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Mount & Pole
Transom Mounts
5 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
10 Inch Offset & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Motor Mount & 10ft Pole
Bow Mounts
3 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
6 Inch Rise & 10Ft Pole
Bolt On
Trolling Mount & 10ft Pole
FISH HUNTER PACKAGES
5" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
10" Transom Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Poles
5" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
10" Transom Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt (2) 10Ft Poles
Bolt On
Motor Mt & 3" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole
Motor Mt & 6" Rise Bow Mt & (2) 10Ft Pole