This is the first in a series of quick interviews with fishing guides, and why they fish the boats they do. Eric Wallace is a fly fishing guide from Maine who specializes in sight fishing to striped bass in clear, shallow water.
Eric Wallace has been guiding for striped bass in Maine for 11 years, and essentially pioneered sight casting to big stripers on the local sand flats. He needs a boat that is easy to pole, tracks straight, balances well, and doesn’t spook fish with hull slap. This year he got a new technical poling skiff, an Inshore Powerboats 16.
“I was looking around for a small light skiff that is comfortable to pole,” said Wallace. “The original reason I picked it was for the price, under ten grand with a two stroke and a poling platform, a pushpole, and a trailer. By the time I got it where I wanted it, it was well above that.”
Eric’s boat is simple, with few amenities. It weighs about 500-pounds with his tiller-steered 40-hp Suzuki. One change he’d advocate with the four-stroke is to put the gas tank forward towards the bow to even out the extra weight. Another is to make sure the poling platform mounts have backing plates.
His opinion so far? “It’s not designed for big water, but as a poling skiff it’s a wonderful little boat,” said Wallace. “I wanted something able to float in six inches of water and that I could pole through current from a nine-foot tide change.”
Contact Eric Wallace at Coastal Fly Anger dot com.