Palm City, FL November 9, 2023 — Chittum Skiffs, the leader in innovation of high-performance skiffs, is pleased to announce the formation of an Advisory Board of Captains to guide Chittum’s efforts in the world of conservation. Board members include Capt. Steve Huff, Capt. Bob Branham, Capt. Frank Praznik, Capt. Wright Taylor, Capt. Brandon Cyr, Capt. Will Benson, Capt. JT Van Zandt, and Andy Mill. With 200+ combined years of fishing and guiding experience, we have enormous confidence that the board will be able to guide Chittum’s conservation efforts and practices in a very positive direction.
“There are an array of great organizations in the market, leading various conservation and environmental initiatives, and we are committed to supporting them,” said Stephen Cunningham, CEO at Chittum Skiffs. “We are, however, uniquely positioned to make a substantial contribution to the process because of our access to these extraordinary industry leaders. Our greatest accomplishment will be to execute on their ideas to conserve coastal waterways.”
Chittum’s conservation board of Advisors will be managed by Stephen Ford, Chittum’s Director of Conservation and Guide Relations. Stephen will extract insights from our captains and implement them into Chittum’s conservation strategy. “We are honored”, he said, “that people of such experience and depth are sharing their insights with us, and look forward to effecting positive change.”
Chittum Skiffs is a premier manufacturer of high-performance skiffs and shallow water fishing boats. Founded on a passion for angling and a commitment to quality craftsmanship, the company has established a reputation for delivering top-tier products that excel in design, durability, and on-water performance. Chittum Skiffs continues to push the boundaries of innovation and design to provide anglers with the ultimate shallow water fishing experience.
Stephen Ford is the Chittum Director of Conservation and Guide Relations. His passion for marine wildlife made him the perfect leader of our conservation initiatives. He is widely recognized within the company for his critical product feedback during the early design and modeling phase of Chittum Skiffs – leading us to a better-performing boat and improved manufacturing techniques. This experience with the products also led to his appointment as the leader of our direct communication efforts with the guide community. Stephen lives in Rockport Texas and is happy to provide demos and to help with the purchase of your Chittum.
Steve Huff is among the most experienced fishing guides in the history of the sport. His knowledge and understanding of the coastal waterways is the result of more than 50 years spent guiding anglers all over the world. A native Floridian, we are honored to share his wisdom and guidance with everyone eager to preserve and protect our coasts.
Bob Branham a pioneering guide on Biscayne Bay, with more than 4 decades of experience working with anglers, Captain Bob has led the way in engaging guides for BTT’s conservation and research efforts. As a member of BTT’s board, Bob has extensively donated his time to guide scientists on Tarpon tagging expeditions, and to collect bonefish for brood stock in the organization’s bonefish spawning research.
Wright Taylor is a native Texan who moved to Florida more than 22 years ago. His involvement with CCA – a national organization committed to conserving marine resources – began in Texas and continued in Florida, where he served as Naples Chapter President and most recently as state Chairman in 2022. His dedication to advancing the interests of conservation is deeply held and firmly established. For the past 17 years, he’s been a Fly and Light Tackle Guide in the 10,000 Islands and the Upper Florida Everglades.
Frank Praznik Jr’s. passion for angling led to a degree in Environmental Conservation at the university of Colorado, owning and operating the highly successful St. Peter’s Fly Shop in Ft. Collins, and 2+ decades of guiding clients on trout streams throughout the West. Lured by the beauty of the Louisiana coast and the thrill of fly fishing for Redfish, almost 20 years ago Frank evolved into becoming a full-time Louisiana saltwater fly fishing guide, where he has long been active in promoting conservation practices to insure healthy Louisiana waters and fisheries for future generations.
Brandon Cyr is a true Conch – a second generation Key West flats guide with a burning passion to protect his home waters, and to preserve and protect the fish that inhabit those waters. Brandon is an active member of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, and the greater lower Keys fishing community. His passion for science and preserving our fisheries will be a valuable asset to Chittum.
Will Benson Growing up in the Keys, Will has developed a deep respect for the fragility of the ecosystem, witnessing the fishery change in his short time there. Will has spent the bulk of his adult life guiding and making films about fishing. He’s an active member of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, and a strong voice in the fight for clean water in Florida.
JT Van Zandt is one of the most knowledgeable shallow water guides on the Texas coast. He’s spent the majority of his adult life as a student of Texas’s wild coastline and is passionate about preserving these fragile and fleeting ecosystems. He will help guide Chittum’s conservation efforts, even while he serves as a charter member of Chittum’s Board of Advisors, guiding our efforts to develop and provide best-in-class skiffs for our customers.
Andy Mill is one of the most recognizable names in tarpon fishing and has more tarpon tournament wins than anyone, including 5 Gold Cup victories. His passion for fishing extends well beyond the tournament world. Andy is a published author, a successful podcast host, he serves on the board of IGFA, and is an honorary Trustee of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.