Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Above and Beyond...

The new season of Hook The Future is coming up fast! Its time to get the new Salt Life boat wrapped and hit the water.  The last week or so we’ve been blessed with people going ABOVE & BEYOND to help out Hook The Future, behind the scenes. It started with the great people at Beach Marine, my home port. They always deliver every need attended to full service, but they called up the troops after hours and loaded the boat onto the trailer to make this trip possible.

Leaving her home port at Beach Marine before the makeover !

On to Stripeman Graphix. They are the best!  - I’ve known these guys for years- Their attention to detail and quality results are unmatched. This will be the fourth boat they’ve wrapped for Hook The Future.

This wrap would normally take 3 to 4 days to apply, but Stripeman Graphix went ABOVE & BEYOND as well- working non-stop and getting it done in a mere 13 hours so we could get her on the road.

They match the wrap to every curve and contour of they boat- these guys are true artists!

Applying a wrap, especially one this large, is an unforgiving, daunting task- Stripeman Graphix is always up for the challenge.

Not only did Stripeman Graphix do an amazing job with the Salt Life wrap- they did it under the gun, in only one day so we could get her down to the Palm Beach Boat Show on time!

Wow! She’s looks great! This is going to turn a few heads, on and off of the water.

The name says it all ......

Logos applied and looking great!

Thanks to Stripeman Graphix,
We can hit the road !

The Salt Life boat is a show stopper at the Palm Beach Boat Show, lots of people getting their pictures taken with her.

Time for the Kid's Fishing Clinics to begin!

Kid's are eager to learn what it takes to catch the big one, from casting, to fishing the water column and lure selection, we teach it all.

Tanks A Lot Aquariums went ABOVE & BEYOND hosting a touch tank full of great specimens for the kids to interact with.

Our number one volunteer Jay Thompson, posing for a quick shot in between kid's fishing clinics.

Now it's time to get her wet! First fish on the Salt Life boat wahoo!  

 Man this boat is fishy, and getting off to a great start !

We’re livin’ the Salt Life now- let's hit the bottom and load up on triggers before we head back in.

After a quick bath at home at Beach Marine- its time to head to the Keys! 

Our good  friends Terry and Priscilla went ABOVE & BEYOND to make our time in the Keys amazing. They opened their home, dock, bait freezer, and were gracious hosts during our whirlwind stay. Priscilla introduced us to her new friend... a bird named Denny Crane

Denny Crane looks like he lives the Salt Life every day.

We went out to shoot a Hook The Future episode with KC and Mikey with great expectations, but the fish let us down.  

 Talk about two hard core fisherman- these guys went ABOVE & BEYOND working the boat, rigging and tying baits all day. 

We were all a little bummed, we called it after a day of trolling and with only a schoolie dolphin to show for it, but that's how it goes sometimes.

 I host kids fishing clinics for families, and I always end the clinic by telling the parents, "the key to having a good day is to enjoy their kids company. Don’t put so much pressure on the day." Sometimes I need to listen to my own advice and not put too much pressure on getting a Hook The Future shoot. So we headed back in to catch our Hook The Future’s cameraman Conrad’s daughter Emma’s first fish ever.

Check her out- she’s a natural!

Success ..... Nice Yellowtail! 

 "Let's do it again Captain Don" She says.

I think somebodies hooked......

She caught yellowtail two or three at a time!  Then she started on the ballyhoo!  

I love the Keys

 You can’t come down to the keys without getting wet!

The wind picked up, like it always does in the Keys, so its time to load her on the Float-On and head home to Beach Marine!

You can see the Salt Life boat this weekend at the Southeast US Boat Show in the Beach Marine booth, April 11th-13th at Metro Park in Jacksonville, FL.
Big thanks and Slimy 5's to all who go ABOVE & BEYOND for us behind the scenes everyday!
Livin' the Salt Life, 
Capt. Don

Monday, March 3, 2014

My new Salt Life ride with Scout Boats

It's time to pick out our new Salt Life ride at Scout Boats.
Dropping by the Scout Boat plant feels like visiting family. 
I've known the Wallace family- a big part of Scout Boats, for years, especially Dylan Wallace. Dylan won the grand prize combo at our very first Hook the Future Kid's Fishing Clinic at the Charleston Boat Show over 10 years ago, and we've been friends ever since. 
He has helped me out at the Hook the Future Kids Fishing Clinics at various boat shows over the years, to the point I think he could give the clinic better than me.
Every time we run into each other he asks, "when are you gonna' run a Scout, Capt Don?"

We decided to take a tour of the Scout Plant, in Summerville, South Carolina, and check out their awesome boats. (Its only fair to mention that some of the best shrimp and grits on the planet are served about a mile from here. If you come within 5,348 miles of Oscar's in Summerville- make the stop! )

I was absolutely blown away by their facility! I've had the opportunity over the years to see quite a few boat plants and factories- I've never seen a cleaner, more organized operation than the Scout plant.
Wow! Everything in it's place. Boats all in a line at various stages of construction... very impressive!

Not one piece out of place, no trash anywhere in sight, not even a screw on the floor! 

And then there is the boats themselves! Talk about fit and finish!
Every detail is refined, so much thought goes into the different features and options, ensuring that every type of boater enjoys their time on the water in a Scout boat.

High performance doesn't just apply to the hulls on a Scout. 

The fit, finish and attention to detail is unsurpassed, as Dave Wallace points out.

Dave showed me their new line coming out, and explained some of the revolutionary changes about to debut.
Scout has always been a leader and innovator and it shows in their boats.

This looks like a great place to shoot the opener of Hook The Future shows!
I can see kids loaded up with fish smiling big!

Dave showed me the different options to customize my boat- you can choose a berth or rod storage...Hmmmm... rod storage it is! I chose the fishier option every time- Imagine that. 

This one is getting ready for the plunge and a wet test.

The name says it all!

Whoa! Here she is! My new 32!
The pieces are coming together!

What a high performance hull! Dry ride, check, speed check, style and comfort, check, check!
And she looks incredible! Lovin' the black!
   Yep! This is what I need to live the Salt Life. ...

The interior is shaping up. What a well thought out design!

My twin Mercury 300 Joy Stick Verados are mounted! 
Giddie up!
 Check out the modern design of the console and helm.  Check out the Joy Stick control just to the left of the throttles..... it works just like a video game, moving the boat whichever direction you choose, with counter-rotating engines for power.

The day is FINALLY here- I got the call the boat is ready! I picked up my Float-On Trailer from Vero Beach and headed up to Summerville for my new 32'... and a little more shrimp and grits.

One happy guy.....She's a beauty.

Check out the dive door....
We're gonna need it to drag big fish on board!

I'm lovin' the new 32'

The technology on this Scout is revolutionary- key fob push button start...
(for details check out

I'm going to need a class or two to figure out how to use everything. Loaded with the best electronics on the market a complete Garmin package including two huge flat screen displays!

No time to play... yet. We had to show her off a little...
so off to the Mercury in water display at the Miami Boat Show for her debut on the water. 
She sure looks sweet!

Can we take her out? 

Ahhhhhh... Home sweet home!

Wonder what that button does?

Everything has a place on this boat- perfect for fishing

Roomy bow, with push-button seat backs, a sink, and a place for everything!

I'm really excited to use these new Garmins with the Airmar CHIRP technology. You can count the number fish on the bottom in 2,000 feet !

All smiles getting ready for the test drive with Dave from Scout and Brent from Mercury.

This is so awesome- the power and performance are unparalleled. 

I'm so excited about a feature I didn't even know existed- Skyhook technology. With the press of a button, Skyhook pinpoints your location and heading using a GPS satellite antenna. It works with the Mercury engines and drives to maintain that position and heading regardless of wind or current. Talk about changing the game for bottom fishing offshore! No more constant readjustment to keep over a spot to say "drop down now" just touch the button and start fishing!

                        Taking advantage of an opportunity to sit up front and enjoy the ride!

                                                ...and what a ride she delivers!
                                High and dry, knocking the spray down at the water line,
                                 while everyone aboard enjoys the comfort and sunshine!
                                           Backing her in the slip is easy with Joy Stick controls!
                          Ok, let's hook her up and head for Jax, on her new Float on!

                      I can't wait to share the memories I know will be created on this boat! 
                               Back to Jax for the Salt Life wrap and she's complete. 
                       Big Slimy 5's to Scout Boats and Mercury for making it all happen! 
                           Hey Dylan when are we goin' fishin'?.... In my new Scout! 

Livin' the Salt Life,

Capt Don