Last week Terry and I dunked the Outcast PAC-13 in the river for her maiden voyage down the Brandywine. Obviously we took along fishing gear, but this was to be more of a "dry run" for the float trips we will be running this summer. We put it in at our uppermost put-in (at this time) the Lenape picnic park and floated to one of our take-outs on a private section of the Brandywine.
We started off drifting down the river with Terry on the oars and me on the bow. One thing became apparent right off the bat. Casting and fishing out of a drift boat is NOTHING like walk and wade fishing! After a few impromptu lessons from the boss and a learning curve that I made much harder than it needed it to be we started to get in sync. Pick up, cast, strip, strip, strip, repeat. There is no time for false casting and the strip is an aggressive, long , fast strip. One thing I had to wrap my brain around is that the boat is always moving down river. Shortly into the trip the first ever fish to be landed on the boat came to hand...
As we continued to float down the river Terry remarked at how easy the boat was to maneuver. I was surprised at the complexity of the oarsman's job. There is much more to rowing a drift boat than just floating down the middle of the river. Positioning for a river left or a river right cast, back rowing, looking for casting obstructions etc. are all part of the job. With two fishermen in the boat this will be quite the intense job. Terry had me in the game the whole afternoon, a true professional!
About an hour into the float we really started to get things down and started to land a few fish including a few nice Smallmouth. Unfortunately, the nicest fish had other plans when it came to picture time and back in the river she went. A solid 15 to 16" Bronze-back was the days best. One thing for sure, once you float in this boat you won't ever want to float in a canoe again. The stability of this boat is amazing. Weather sitting or standing casting is no problem. With the two of us and enough gear to stay on the river for two or three days the boat floated in less than 6" of water! The bow casting platform is very roomy and easy to work from. At no point did I feel like it was too small. If my back started to hurt I would just sit down and cast from the seat, the line of sight was not as good, but it was a nice break from standing.
Here is a short video of Terry bringing the boat through a narrow section of the river. Believe me, he makes this look easy. This was a tough slot to navigate.
If you have been thinking about floating the Brandywine, or looking to cross a few fish off of your "Challenge" list let me say there is no more comfortable way to do it than in our PAC-13 drift boat. If you have been floating in a canoe you really should try the PAC-13, the stability in this boat is unbelievable. Give us a call at the shop (302)654-6515 or contact us through email here if you are interested in more details about out summer float trips down the Brandywine. July is already starting to fill, but August is wide open. We look forward to hearing from you.
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