By Capt. Ted Lund
“Can you call me back? I just got my Tidewater back to the dock and have a cooler full of fish to clean,” said the voice on the other end of the phone in a soft, Southern drawl.
The southern drawl belonged to fishing guide Terry Caulder of Catch 22 Striper Guide Service in South Carolina. And having the problem of cleaning a cooler full of fish is EXACTLY the type of problem you want to have with a fishing guide.
Caulder, 63, was born and raised in Little Mountain, South Carolina a stone’s throw from Columbia, South Carolina (home of the Gamecocks) and some of the best freshwater striped bass fishing in the south.
An avid tournament fisherman, Caulder has claimed nearly $18,000 in tournament winnings since the beginning of the year.
The key to his success?
“Without a doubt, my Tidewater 2410 Baymax.”
In addition to tournament fishing, Caulder spends nearly 200 days a year on the water guiding clients and specializing in targeting trophy stripers on live bait like gizzard shad and blueback herring.
I usually try to keep my boats three years, then get into a new one,” says Caulder. “Since I switched to Tidewater, I hate to see them go, and am in no hurry.”
So what attracted a seasoned, professional tournament angler and professional fishing guide to Tidewater boats?
“Obviously, its the boat,” says Caulder . “But its also the people. I’ve been with Tidewater’s Jimmy Metts since he was with other boat manufacturers. He’s one of the true pros in the business, and he listens to people like me that spend more time on the water than most people spend in in office. Ultimately, that translates into a better product. But the ultimate Tidewater statement is that if Jimmy wasn’t there, I’d still be buying a new Tidewater.”
The 2410 Baymax runs and operates like a larger boat thanks to the addition of a hydraulic jack plate. This allows the engine to sit nearly 1½ feet further back on the transom and effectively changing the running and standing surface of the vessel.
“This boat looks like its going 60 when its tied up at the dock,” says Caulder. ”But the real magic happens when you throttle up.
With my 300 Mercury Verado, this boat tops out with a full charter and load at about 53mph,” says Caulder. “My usual cruise is about 40 knots. Rarely do I ever have to trim the vessel when underway. “With a party of three, very rarely do I ever need to use the trim tabs to adjust the ride. In just about any sea condition, this is one of the driest boats on the market.”
But once you are on the fishing spot is when the magic begins.
“As compared to similar bay boats, the Tidewater 2410 Baymax is the perfect height off the water, with high gunnels,” says Caulder. “It really makes my anglers, especially older ones that may be a bit off balance, more comfortable and it is the single most stable fishing platform I’ve ever had the pleasure of fishing out of. With a guide party of three and myself all on one side looking at a fish and taking photos, the boat barely moves.”
Caulder’s thoughts can be distilled into one simple sentence: “If this boat wasn’t what it is, I would have bought something else.”
Like any other serious angler, Caulder has certain tweaks and preferences that he carries over from boat to boat.
“From the dealers to the pros at Tidewater, the building process is seamless,” says Caulder. “And it is exactly that. You are BUILDING the boat that you want, that you use for fun or to make a living with, like me. And Tidewater and their dealer network get that.”
One such customization was adding a stainless steel railing that features 24-rod holders.
“People think I am crazy, but for the style of big bait, big striped bass fishing that I practice, I use every one of those rod holders at different times for different things,” Caulder says. “And not even a peep or a complaint from the folks at Tidewater. That’s how you want it, that’s how they’ll build it. It’s a philosophy that’s been lost in boat building. Most manufacturers are ‘ok. Here it is.’ Not Tidewater. They’re not happy until you are happy.”
For more information on the innovative Tidewater 2410 Baymax or the entire lineup of Tidewater boats, visit www.tidewaterboats.com.
Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com