By: Ron Hueston
Summer is the time when I make long runs to fish in Everglades National Park, even though I live on the southwest coast of Florida. Most days I’m running from Chokoloskee, on the southwestern tip of the Florida Peninsula, across Florida Bay and all the way to the backcountry of Whitewater Bay to chase largemouth bass, snook and small tarpon all on artificials.
I’m catching a lot of fish on sub surface baits, soft plastics and small topwater baits right now. It’s just very serene, away from the beaten path and devoid of fishing pressure. In fact, there are days when I’ll only see boats when making my run–we won’t see any boats while fishing. The drawback is that it’s a long run from where I’m based.
Coming from someone who rides over 100 miles a day round-trip when I’m fishing, I have to tell you I really love my Skeeter ZX22 Bay Boat and 250 h.p. Yamaha VMAX SHO four stroke. There are so many things that impress me about this boat that I don’t know where to start.
One of the first things I noticed when I got my new boat was how well it runs in rough water. This is the first Skeeter bay boat I’ve ever owned, and where I used to spend a lot of time running in the lea of islands and shorelines to stay out of the rough water, now I just run in the open water because the boat takes the chop so well.
Then there’s the fuel economy. Yesterday I ran 170 miles round trip and burned 38 gallons of gas. That’s just unheard of. Even my friends who have four stroke outboards can’t believe how good it is. On average, I burn 10 to 14 gallons less than the other guides that are making the same runs, and over the course of a year that really adds up to some huge savings.
I’ll give you an example how good it is. I ran a double trip the other day with a guide who had a regular four stroke outboard, and we fished the same area. It was a 125 mile round-trip run and I burned 27 gallons of gas, while he burned 43 gallons of fuel. That just shows you how good the fuel economy is on the Yamaha VMAX SHO four stroke.
Now I’m not a speed demon unless I fish in tournaments, but I have run the boat hard in tournaments where I’m running 5800 rpms and doing 58 mph, and still getting three miles to the gallon. That’s pretty impressive for a boat that just devours rough water yet can float in nine inches of water. You really don’t see that combination very often.
I ran a tournament where I ran full speed everywhere I went, covered almost 150 miles in the event, and I burned 48 gallons of fuel. That was at 58 mph!
The boat also has this diamond rough cut non-skid pattern in the deck, and besides offering incredible traction when wet, it’s also super easy to clean. Some people don’t think much about that stuff, but when you have to clean the boat on an almost daily basis, you really see those little things that make your life easier. Since I got the boat I haven’t had a thing break, a pump go out or a hatch rattle. It’s just a well-built fishing machine. Even more impressive is the engine.
There’s a reason SHO stands for Super High Output. I can jump that boat onto plane in 10 inches of water and have it planed off in a boat length. That’s with two people in the back and me on the leaning post, and when I hit the mid-range, you better be holding on. The motor is a lot lighter and has a lot more power, so the holeshot is just incredible. I don’t know how anyone will ever own another motor. You just don’t see this kind of performance from a four stroke outboard.
So take it from someone who spends three to four hours running every trip—a guide who runs in all water conditions. You have to see this boat and motor combination perform firsthand. The performance and fuel economy of the Skeeter ZX22 Bay Boat and 250 h.p.Yamaha VMAX SHO four stroke outboard are unmatched in the saltwater market. Once you ride in one, you absolutely have to have one.