Posts Tagged ‘dragonfly flats boats’

Three Old Salts!

November 16, 2010

Gary Ellis, Mark Castlow and Jimbo Meador after a cold day fishing in NC

Finally! A chance to catch the Dragon’s breath.

Dragonfly Boatworks & crew have been running hard lately (and loving it, I might add).

A series of Redbone Tournaments and local promotions kept us busy:  We started out in Key West for the SLAM Tournament in mid-September, happily enjoying wonderful weather along with the thrill of the hunt. Jimbo Meador fly fished the entire tournament (guided by Captain Jeff Johnson). They had shots but no connects. The tournament base was Hurricane Hole Marina with an ending banquet at The Double Tree. We have nothing but compliments for our accommodations along with the convenience of having our boat docked at Hurricane Hole. Both places had friendly staff and did everything to make you feel right at home.

Mark and Charlie fished the BayBone Tournament in Key Largo at the first of October while  Jimbo attended a Garden and Gun promotion in Birmingham.

White’s Inshore Tournament in Ft. Pierce followed later in the month. Both events were a blast and if you live near Ft. Pierce or just want to fish it, I highly recommend noting your calendar for next year’s tournament. White’s Tackle knows how to stage an event!

This is our second year participating at the Polo-at-the-Point in Point Clear, AL. Whether it’s polo or boating, here live some of the most enthusiastic folks. Add their innate southern charm, green grass, ponies and moss-covered oaks and who wouldn’t love to be here. Monies raised assist Point Clear Charities which, in turn, assists an assortment of charitable causes. We are so lucky to be at this event again and owe a special thanks to Dragonfly Boatworks’ Charlie McLean who did a smashing job of presenting our new line of paddleboards.

Jimbo Meador went on to St. Simon’s in Georgia to fish new waters with the 17 Grand Slam. The Red Trout Celebrity Classic is now one of Jimbo’s favorite tournaments and he returned with lots of stories and happy memories.

Then on to Charleston, SC, the following weekend where Jimbo and Mark fished with Captain Billy Glenn at the Lowcountry Red Trout Celebrity Classic. Fishing for reds in the Spartina grass flats is a hoot! We just have to say it:  Contact Capt. Billy Glenn at Speckdrum Charters for a taste of this type of fishing (speckdrumchartersllc.com).

The next Tuesday, Mary, Mark, Jimbo and Charlie had the pleasure of attending the IGFA induction of Steve Huff into the Anglers Hall of Fame. If there’s ever a man who could be called the “guru” of fishing, Steve is the one. He’s responsible for boat design, fishing technique, tackle design and conservation efforts from way back when and he’s still a down-to-earth, easy going, nice guy. Steve Huff embodies what fishing is all about and it was our pleasure to honor him.

Next morning, Jimbo and Mark were up at 5 a.m. and off to Wilmington, NC, to fish the Cape Fear Red Trout Celebrity Classic. After an eleven-hour drive we couldn’t wait to hit the water. Captain Drew Arndt was our guide and he couldn’t have done a better job in the 25-30 mph northwest winds and 40 degree temperatures. A bit cool for us and we looked like Pillsbury Dough Boys bundled up to the top of our heads and mighty grateful for that (except when casting). Capt. Ardnt showed us some really cool areas which we’d love to fish at a warmer time. Jimbo was showing our 13.6 Dragonfly Fishing Paddleboard to a group when Mark Anders (a local writer) tried it out paddling down the Intercoastal. “Thumbs up!” was the consensus.

And, just recently we fished the granddaddy of them all, the Redbone in Islamorada. We entered the tournament just in time for the first major cold snap of the year. Do you think it’s our destiny to have strong (25-30 mph) gusts of cold wind blowing when we fish? If it is then we’ll have to say it’s worth it just to meet the other anglers who don’t mind it! As always, each event is loaded with stories which we think is part of what makes fishing so fun.

AND, we just brought Captain Jarid Malone into the Dragonfly Boatworks Family! He’ll be fishing the Baton Rouge area in a 16 Emerger Center Console designed to his specifications. Check Jarid’s website at maloneflyfishing.com.

More later!  We’re at the 27th annual Fall Boat Show in Vero Beach this weekend (Nov. 20 & 21, 10-5).  More info at 772-562-7922 or verobeachboatshow.com.

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Jimmy Buffett S.W.A.T Boat To Aid Oil-Soaked Wildlife in Gulf

June 10, 2010

Contact: Mark Castlow FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel: 772-567-8835 Cell: 772-473-0479 Fax: 772-567-8836
Email: dragonflyboats@bellsouth.net

JIMMY BUFFETT S.W.A.T. BOAT TO AID OIL-SOAKED WILDLIFE IN GULF

The first of four specially designed Shallow Water Attention Terminal (S.W.A.T.) boats built and designed by Florida-based Dragonfly Boatworks,and funded by Jimmy Buffett heads to the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Southern Mississippi this week to begin a massive rescue effort.

Prompted by images of an ever-widening oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
which threatens Mississippi, Alabama and Florida’s coast, Vero Beach boat-builder, Mark Castlow, Jimbo Meador and Meador’s longtime friend, musician Jimmy Buffett, “had to do something.” All three men have long histories in, on, and around water earning their livings and loving the lifestyle. All three are concerned with short and long-term effects the spill will have on the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean, on visible marine life and the less-visible eggs and microorganisms that support the system.

“Instead of pointing fingers, we wanted to lend a hand,” Meador said. That led to the design of the S.W.A.T. boat. Using multiple resources, Buffett, Castlow and Meador designed the “life” boat for oil-injured wildlife. Unique features set the rescue boat apart: shallow draft with a bow-mounted trolling motor to avoid unnecessary noise, a tiller-steered Evinrude outboard motor, a worktable mounted mid-deck coated with a sanitary gel and a coarse surface to help animals grip without slippage, solar fans, a misting system to cool researchers and wildlife, plus a folding, collapsible canopy shading the entire boat.

Evinrude’s concern about the cleanup effort in the Gulf prompted the speedy contribution of boat power via four low-maintenance 40-HP ETECs.

Dragonfly Boatworks is located in Vero Beach on the east coast of Florida. The company’s focus is creating skiffs and kayaks. Their motto: “Building one of a kind, one at a time.”

Dragonfly Boatworks LLC – 4575 US Hwy#1 – Vero Beach, FL 32960 http://www.dragonflyboatworksllc.com

Jimbo Meador joins Dragonfly Boatworks

June 2, 2010

Contact: Mark Castlow                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel: 772-567-8835                                                          6/2/2010
Cell: 772-473-0479
Fax: 772-567-8836
Email: dragonflyboats@bellsouth.net

JIMBO MEADOR JOINS DRAGONFLY BOATWORKS
Now hear this! “Building one of a kind, one at a time,” is the Dragonfly
Boatworks motto. Continuing along that line, they’ve just added a “one of
a kind” sales manager, Jimbo Meador, to the staff of the Vero Beach, FL,
boat-building company.
“Jimbo is unique,” said Mark Castlow, Dragonfly Boatworks owner. “And I
challenge anyone to refute that,” he laughingly added. “Jimbo is multitalented:
skilled in hunting, birding, angling and boating.” Meador’s
extensive sales pedigree includes the successful marketing of products
from distinguished companies…Orvis, Beretta, Hell’s Bay, among others.
“Jimbo and I have worked on many ventures in our twenty-five year
friendship and having him join the company is like welcoming a brother
back home. A brother you really like, that is,” Castlow said. “He knows
the outdoors and the outdoors knows him. I can’t think of a better person
to represent our products.”
Dragonfly Boatworks is a young company with lots of “old” experience.
The company prides itself on skiffs and kayaks brought about from a
lifetime of boat building and designing combined with an individual
boat owner’s specifications. Result: a personalized, streamlined, shallow
water craft.
Dragonfly Boatworks LLC – 4575 US Hwy#1 – Vero Beach, 32967

Dragonfly 17 flies away!

May 5, 2010

This is so cool!  Watch how a Dragonfly gets “boomed” to higher ground.  Someone wanted to test her in the Bahamas (bonefish aplenty are waiting) so she made the trip in record time under first class conditions.  This particular model is in hot demand as a tender for the bigger boats…in fact, it’s put to use as a fun boat more than it is used to ferry to and from shore.  One owner uses  his to tow the grandkids on a tube.  Another catches live seashells from his boat while floating in very shallow water in out-of-the-way places.  Take a few minutes, if you can, and share one of your novel uses of the boat.  We’d love to hear from you.

Dreams of Balmy Breezes

February 19, 2010

Dreams of balmy breezes and tailing fish turned into just that when we arrived in Charleston, SC, last week to set up for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.  The first day of the show (Friday) opened with a west wind of 20 mph and a bracing 36 degrees.  Using the cold weather mantra (dress in layers) made us look like Michelin tire men or, as Ryan said, “we all look like Gumby, damn it”.
Thanks to Brian at Vero Marine Center in Vero Beach, we had a small Honda generator along with a propane heater from our shop.  These two pieces of equipment made our booth the “hot” place to be.  By late afternoon we had sleet.  By night time we had snow (Ryan and Matt were making snowmen in the parking lot of Best Western…you can see their cold, happy faces on the facebook page.)
On to Saturday…four inches of snow…hatches frozen shut.  A challenge but we got everything working.  Now, here’s the best part…as miserable as the weather was, nothing deterred the outdoorsmen and women who showed up by the thousands.  And, they brought their dogs!  It was like a walking camo or Barbour ad.
The sun came out Sunday and the crowds just got bigger and bigger.  We love Charleston…it’s a vibrant, happening place to be and we’re always looking for a way to come back.  Capt. Billy Glenn has a bunch of wet tests lined up post show so you know he’ll be busy.
Sooooooo…we’re already gearing up for the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival in March (minus snowmen, of course) and a chance to visit with our Charleston friends again.

Small craft should exercise caution!

November 11, 2009

Small Craft Should Exercise Caution.

Never a dull moment when fishing the keys!  All the way down, Charlie McLean and I kept seeing bands of rain showers coming off the ocean but we kept telling ourselves “maybe it’s just raining over the mainland.”  Not true.  Arrived at the Lorelei in Islamorada where our guide for the Redbone Tournament,  Capt. Jeff Johnson, was waiting for us with an older model Grand Slam skiff tied up at the dock. “Come on, Mark, wait till you see what she’ll do in this crap,” said Jeff.  Ever since I purchased the Grand Slam project I have wanted the opportunity to run the boat in real challenging conditions and here was the chance to see what she would do in this kind of slop.  The boat ride was actually dry (except for the rain) and my kidneys weren’t beaten out of me.  So even though the conditions were terrible for fishing they were great for what I needed to see and feel.

Post-ride, I was glad that I had made the decision to make the spray rail integral to the hull and brought it all the way back to the transom.  The rough seas and wind I had just experienced reinforced the “rightness” of the addition.

The boat was whisper-quiet in nasty conditions. It’s a bad sign when most of the anglers in a tournament are staring at the weather channel while watching bands of rain and wind constantly run across the screen.  However, it didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of these particular hard-core fly fishermen hence the name of the tournament,  “THE SUPERFLY”.  Well,  from my vantage point and Capt Johnson’s, it was hard sighting and hard presenting but we did get a couple of follows (no connections, though).  The boat was amazingly quiet in the worst of conditions.  Cal Collier, Jr. and his guide, Capt. Steve Thomas, put it all together and won “THE SUPERFLY”.   After experiencing those type of fishing conditions, I can only say,  “hats off to Cal”.  “This is Redbone weather,” Gary Ellis, founder of the well-known tournament, said.  Without having Jim Cantori of the Weather Channel there to confirm it, I believed him and the next day (Saturday) we again started out with rain followed by more rain with a touch of rain.  Our plan was to get the Redfish out-of-the-way, so with that we headed to Flamingo and tried our luck dredging the outflows at Snake Bight…a great idea but the fish didn’t get the memo…what did show up were small and under-sized.  One cool thing, my fishing teammate Charlie McLean was able to  film some white Pelicans feeding…an impressive sight as they used their bills to seine the water for tiny shrimp.  Then we turned the boat back towards Islamorada and headed back.  The dim light of the Lorelei was a welcome sight!

Being rested and relaxed from an early return Saturday, we thought Sunday was going to be the day to kick ass.  Not!   And again we got ours kicked instead. Hooked one bone but got broken off and the rest is history.  The winners were Jim Bokor, Jr. and Randy Frick.  All in all, it was great fun seeing old friends and making new ones.  Can’t help but be excited that the Grand Slam we’re getting ready  to launch down there will pick up where the old one left off. The improved Grand Slam is on the way!

pelican2.JPG

Black Clouds and Major Tides

October 20, 2009

Black Clouds and Major tides.

First I would like to thank Angela at the Cystic Fibrois office in
Jacksonville for running a great tournament. I wasn’t available to
attend the captain’s meeting thursday night (Ryan and I were at the CCA banquet in Orlando) but Charlie took the Redbone Emerger to the Gun Club for the Captains meeting and had a great response.
I arrived at 1am and was at the docks by 6:15 were I met my Captain, James Dumas and my fishing partner Jim Sutton.
Captain Dumas is a very knowledgeable guide and energetic in his approach to fish the tidal waters around St. Augustine and Jim Sutton is an excellent fisherman who pens the area with his fishing articles and reviews.
After finding out we were all Florida “crackers” we headed off into
Friday constantly looking to the north as the black clouds inched there way toward us. Small trout and a couple of legal ones along with oysters, grouper, sea robins, needle fish, flounders, mangrove snappers and whatever else happened by gave us a fun filled day. 3rd week in a row where I have experienced major tides, this day it was a 5’…. amazing. You think I would have figured it out by now.
3 pm Black Clouds let loose and that was it for the day.
Saturday, with a good night sleep under me, I headed over to the marina to meet my team and try to inhale enough coffee to keep us warm with the 49 degree temperature and a strong North West wind making the wind chill factor freaking cold. Legal trout by 7 am, alright we are on a roll !, next legal fish 1:45 pm alright I feel like I was rolled over, but good times and great stories made the trip great. Captain James Dumas is a guide that will be written about in the future for his local knowledge and movements of the fish in their habitats, and I look forward to fishing with him again.
Jim is an encyclopedia of information from the fishing tackle world and has traveled to some interesting places and his articles reflect it. At the wrap up party met some more real cool people and I look forward to going back there to fish.