It has completely spoiled both me and my anglers by eliminating all the limitations previous boats had that resulted in so many fishless days
While many skiff builders have hung their hats (and hopes) on boats coined after hallowed fishing grounds, no flats skiff has ever lived up to the name Islamorada — one of the most celebrated and certainly daunting sight fishing destinations in the world. Leave it to legendary guide, boat builder and entrepreneur Hal Chittum to go where no skiff builder has gone before, designing a flats skiff that eclipses everything that has come before it.
Tommy continues to be impressed with the performance and capabilities of his 2019 Chittum Snake Bight.
“I’ve fished the top poling skiffs in the industry and this boat has surpassed my expectations. I’m still learning what it can do. Thanks, Hal. It takes a seasoned poler to design such an efficient technical skiff.”
He is an active and respected member of the Florida Guides Association and the Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association. He has special accommodations to offer a continued launch after originating in Islamorada to go on into the far backcountry of The Everglades National Park for protected and greater secluded fishing and a true experience with nature even offering weekend and two-day or longer overnight camping trips. He is sponsored by the Mercury Marine Saltwater Pro Staff Team and is an avid fly angler/guide and is often called upon to give fly demonstrations and ties most of his own flies. You may have seen Capt. Larry on local Florida Keys television, or many cable fishing shows such as REEL ADVENTURES or even a national segment on NBC Worldwide News Tonight.
On the Water
I have about 10 days on the water with my new Snake Bight so its time for a review. To start, it looks great! Colors came out just right. Performance is better than I had hoped for even though I new it would be good since I have been using an Islamorada 18 for the past year (Thanks Gregg!!). Just about zero hull rise when accelerating or stopping. Planes almost immediately. Poling is as easy as it gets and a true 7″ draft. I have access to truck scales and weighed both my old 2004 Marquesa and my new SB – the difference is 600 lbs! – a 40% reduction in overall weight. What surprises me the most, with the huge weight difference, is how stable this boat is and how well it rides in rough waters – even more so than the Marquesa.
You have, once again, revolutionized the skiff industry!
I’ve known Hal Chittum for 34 years. He has always been on the quest to build the best thing around weather that be a fly reel or a boat. It has been a pleasure to have been part of that quest in past skiffs. These new designs of his have raised the bar for everyone out there looking to have something that is very unique that really works. Well done to Hal Chittum and his crew.
I am coming up on my 1 year anniversary with the Islamorada-18 and the 60hp honda – I could not be happier. There are no stress cracks, no wiring issues, and the painted surfaces clean up much easier than gel-coat. I admit that I am not the fastest skiff in the fleet in calm water- I can hit 42 mph by myself and 38 to 40 with a passenger. I usually cruise between 30 and 35 mph and get 10 miles per gal. while I’m at it. When it gets windy I go by the HB 17.8s, Biscaynes, and Super Skiffs with their 90’s and stay completely dry I don’t even have to clean my sunglasses.