By Capt. Dave Lear
There are several requirements for successfully finding and catching saltwater game fish. Quality polarized sunglasses are crucial. Bright, overhead sunlight helps with illumination while calm seas reveal wakes or movement even below the surface. Being elevated above the water, which changes the visual angle and reduces reflected glare, is equally important.
The height advantage really comes into play with several inshore and nearshore species. Tarpon, tripletail, and cobia can all be spotted from greater distances from boats equipped with half towers like the Tidewater 2700 Carolina Bay. Tarpon are easy to spot with their distinct black backs in clear water. They will also often roll on the surface, which tips off the direction of travel. That helps with casting accuracy or allows anglers to soak live baits in the expected path.
Cobia also travel solo or small packs, and being elevated makes detection easier. They’ll swim behind larger rays and sea turtles as well, hoping to pick up disturbed morsels, so being able to spot the tag-along fish increases the odds of success. Cobia frequently hang around structure, too. It’s easier to make on-target casts to buoys, pilings, and channels markers if the fish can be spotted first to see how they are oriented.
Tripletail are another popular sight-fishing target. Like cobia, they will hang around shallow-water structure and are easier to detect from an elevated position. Tripletail love to hang around weed lines, sargassum patches, and flotsam offshore. From the advantage of a half tower, the catch rate goes up considerably.
Birds, showering bait, and rips and/or color changes are easier to spot when you are several feet above the surface of the water. Dolphin, tuna, sailfish and white marlin key in bait and hovering birds or disturbances spotted from a distance often mean the difference between an epic bite or a boat ride.
Tidewater’s 2700 Carolina Bay comes standard with multiple performance features, including a wide 9-foot 4-inch beam for stability, an overall length of 27 feet for a comfortable ride, and 141-gallon fuel capacity for considerable range. With a choice of single or twin-engine power, it has impressive pep to quickly reach prime water. This model is also well-equipped with the features necessary for a fishing adventure, including extra live wells, to complement the aquarium style version in the leaning post. That increases the overall capacity or allows for mixed baits. There are plenty of spots to stow the tackle, plus insulated fish box/coolers to stash the day’s catch. Adding the optional factory half tower with second station controls (digital only) will greatly improve the sight-fishing potential of this model and enhance overall fishability.