Captain Matt’s Tampa Bay charter boat is a 24ft. custom Sheaffer with a new 225 Suzuki four stoke powering it. It is equipped with a powerful Raymarine fish finder and GPS. Make no mistake this is the best fishing boat in the mid 20 ft class in the world. Ask any naval Architect that is familiar with Sheaffer boats, and they will say the same.
Captain Matt’s Sheaffer is a full 8.6 feet wide, with a large casting platform on the bow. The boat is built like a tank. It weighs 6800 pounds and is full foam injected so it is truly completely unsinkable. It is equipped with a formula one portabracket so it can run in less than 12 inches of water.
The bait tank is 50 gallons plus with 2700 gallons per hour of raw fresh sea water running into it, as well as 1100 gallons per hour of chopped aerated water. This makes it possible for Captain Matt to keep hundreds of bait lively and fresh for a full day of Tampa Bay charter fishing.
The boat is equipped with a full 7 foot to the floor Tuna tower. That puts the Captain’s eyes at about 13 ft off the water. This makes it possible for Matt to see schools of fish under the water sometimes hundreds of yards away. The tower has a large shade to take a break from the sun and 10 rod holders to keep the rods up and out of the way when not being used.
The boat is equipped with 8 hp trolling motors, 6 large agm batteries so he can chase a school of tarpon with quiet power all day long without running out of juice. He also has two very powerful onboard chargers so his boat is fully charged and ready to go day after day. Captain Matt keeps a full spare set of trolling motors, batteries, and chargers at home so it can be changed out quickly if something goes down.
Captain Matt keeps his Tampa Bay fishing boat on a boat lift out of the water at his private dock. This makes it easy for him to keep his boat properly maintained and in tip top shape so that it’s ready to perform.
Spinning and Conventional Tackle
Captain Matt uses Okuma 8ft. light tackle spinning gear for his Tampa Bay flats fishing charters. He uses Penn 850ss with 8 to 13ft. rods for his Tarpon fishing charters. His Grouper rods are Penn 850 as well as stiff 7ft. rods. When Shark fishing and Goliath Grouper fishing, he uses Penn 200 pound Tuna tackle to wrestle the big boys.
Captain Matt ties all his own flies. He feels it’s a great advantage to get patterns that work the best. Matt uses all Orvis Rods for their great casting ability. On his flats fishing charters he prefers 8 and 9 weights. Offshore fly fishing charters he uses 9 through 12 weights depending on the size of the fish. For Tarpon fishing the Captain likes to stick to 12 weights so the tarpon is not over stressed with an over lengthy battle. He has a variety of reels lined with all kinds of different lines for floaters, from intermediate to fast sinking to match the conditions accordingly.
Captain Matt always has top of the line tackle in new or like new condition and always has fresh line.