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MIKE CONNOLLY

 

 

Skeeter Boat: Special order ZX190 dual console fitted with 200 HO Evinrude E-Tec. Dressed up with the Evinrude HO wrap

 

I have fished competitively in Africa, USA and Australia – the primary target species in the USA and Africa was the largemouth and smallmouth Bass. On the Australian tournament circuit I have targeted Australian Bass and Barramundi with great results.

 

For fun I target saltwater species in Moreton Bay and have great results with snapper.


The ABT Bass Pro circuit has seen me with a win at Somerset, second at Monduran and numerous top 10 finishes. To my credit my PB Bass, which came at Somerset, was 3.23Kg and 53cm fork length.


The ABT Barra tour has seen me with a PB Barra of 1020mm and a current ranking of 8th. “The annual Barra tour has been a great learning curve for me. The camaraderie and information sharing among the competitors is second to none, I really enjoy the teams format and the challenge Barra fishing presents”

 

Fishing the USA I have fished through California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Oregon. “Fishing the US Open at Lake Mead as a co-angler was a mind-blowing experience. My best finish came from a One Bass tournament at Clear Lake finishing in 19th place and weighing my PB Largemouth of 8lb 13oz.”

 

Fishing the African bass circuit in Zimbabwe and South Africa has seen me with wins in B.A.S.S.chapter and classic tournaments. The freshwater fishing scene in Sothern Africa also included Tiger Fish and Robustus, two top of the chain sportfish. Imagine a freshwater Jack to 5kg – that is a “Robbie”

 

I am also renowned for my success with soft plastics in Moreton bay on the local Snapper, Jew, Tailor, Bream, Flathead, Squid and the occasional long tail Tuna. “Saltwater fishing around shallow reefs with light tackle and lures is brilliant fun - you never know what you will hook next and the bay is full of surprises”

 

I have been a pro staff member with E J Todds for many years and I run seminars on soft plastics fishing, lure and tackle choice for salt and fresh water applications.

 

"In my view this package is the best overall compromise for saltwater, estuary, river and lake fishing on the market."

 

“My ZX190 dual console rig is a fishing platform with an excellent layout and options for the serious fisherman. Up front I run a Minnkota Fortrex  cable steer 24volt electric with 80 lbs of thrust which is ample to move the boat around the fishing zone. The built in transducer is coupled to a Humminbird 788ci mounted in the bow panel. Adjacent to the sounder are a remote engine trim and courtesy light rocker switches. The front sounder is linked to the 788ci unit in the dashboard sharing tracks and waypoints. Front rod locker holds 8 fully rigged rods and the other side holds paddles safety equipment and the landing net. The two centre lockers hold my tournament tackle, camera and wet weather gear.


The drivers console is fitted with tilt hydraulic steering, touch panel control switches for power on/off, the navigation and courtesy lights, dual live well fill, circulate and pump out controls and the dual bilge pumps.


One bilge pump is fully automatic 1500gph with float switch operation and the other is a manual control back up unit. The auto bilge is brilliant in wet and rough weather for purging excess water and keeping the bilge sump under control - also serves as a reminder when you launch without putting the drain plug in!!


The passenger console glove box is the perfect dry storage area for spare sunglasses sunscreen and personal items.


The drivers and passenger seats are extremely comfortable especially in rough water where the “bottomless” design is kind on the back and absorbs a tremendous amount of buffeting. The centre seat is not as comfortable and is designed for occasional use - it does hide the drinks and food cooler which is under the seat.


The back deck area has ample storage hatches on either side of the live wells and I leave one empty and store the lifejackets in the other.
The equipment hatch in front of the outboard houses twin 70 litre fuel tanks the 8 litre oil tank, on board Minnkota charger 2 x 100ah deep cycle batteries for the 80lb Fortrex electric the cranking battery for the outboard motor and the live well and bilge pumps. All this fits in very neatly and has easy access for servicing.


My hull is fitted with a non standard option of an 8 inch jack plate and an Evinrude Etec 200HO outboard. This combination gives a rock steady ride up to 60 knots with no hint of chine walking or instability and the boat handles beautifully in all conditions.


The rig rides on a single axle Easytow trailer which has been bulletproof.

 

Buying a boat can be a really difficult decision due to the fact that one boat will never cover all situations and conditions.  The whole exercise will always become a compromise that best suits the buyer for the majority of fishing trips.

 

In my case I am truly blessed to live in Queensland where we have Bass & Barramundi impoundments & rivers and the best saltwater bay & estuary waters for sports fishing.  My Skeeter suits my use in rivers, lakes, estuaries and saltwater fishing in Queensland.

 

The hull is an excellent fishing platform is very manoeuvrable and handles like a dream, also takes bay and lake chop and waves with ease and is a very dry ride.

 

To top it all it tows exceptionally well - launching and retrieving is simple and quick with a drive off – drive on skid trailer.

 

The Skeeter is my hull of choice for a number of reasons and buyers should consider their options carefully and make an informed decision.

 

First consideration is warranty and service :–

-            All Skeeter hulls and fittings are warranted here by Skeeter Australia Pty Ltd
-            Trailers are warranted by Easytow trailers Australia
-            Outboard motors are sourced and warranted in Australia
-            Minnkota electric motors warranted in Australia
-            Hummingbird sounders sourced and warranted in Australia
-            Quality of build and fittings supplied as standard is very important
-            Skeeters are excellent in this department - standard fittings are what many other boat suppliers offer only as an “option up” feature – these suppliers rely on the “option up” to make their money
-            Skeeter Australia gives you a drive away ready to fish price!