Jon Boats Part 6---Serendipity

Jon Boats Part 6---Serendipity

Andy Dear | Monday, 27 September 2021

Once the Alumacraft was sold, I fished strictly out of Capt. Freddy Lynch's skiff for the next several years. By 2012, I had pretty much taken a full time break from angling to pursue other activities. I knew however....or at least I hoped, that at some point Jackson would probably become involved in the sport I loved so much, so the thought of my next boat was always in the back of my mind.

  When Jack started to show an interest in fishing around 2017, the first thing we did was buy a small 10 foot 2 man plastic bass boat....known around these parts as a "pond hopper". We still have and use this boat regularly on the private lakes that we have access to through our bass club. It's fantastic for that purpose,  as it's easily carried in the bed of a truck and powered by an electric trolling motor. However, at only 10' it's certainly not anything to be fishing out of on anything other than calm, protected waters.

 Once I knew for sure that Jack had taken to angling as I had, I casually started to look for a new boat. It had been several years since I had priced anything out, and needless to say, I was a bit shell-shocked when I saw how much prices had escalated in less than a decade! We ultimately settled on a couple of dedicated fishing kayaks that would at least get us out from under being land-locked, but both agreed that at some point we needed a proper fishing boat.

  I had some serious looks at several dedicated fly fishing skiffs but decided not to go that route for a number of reasons. The biggest of which is that I really wanted something a little more versatile and utilitarian. Something that we could fish out of by day, but also set out crab traps, gig flounder and run trotlines for catfish under cover of darkness. Additionally, I wanted something we could also duck hunt out of if the opportunity arose. And most importantly, something I wasnt afraid to drag across oyster reefs for fear of damaging a fancy gel coat job. Once again the need for the humble, flat bottomed Jon Boat entered my life.

 For the better part of three years, I scoured Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, BoatTrader online, and any other outlet I could find for used Jon boats. Inevitably they were all either overpriced, heavily abused, or lacked the proper legal paperwork for a proper transfer of ownership, or in many cases, ALL THREE. Granted, I could have avoided all of these issues by purchasing a new boat off the showroom floor, but it just seemed like a really poor financial decision to dump tens of thousands of dollars into something that wouldn't be used every day as a car would.

Fast forward to last month, I was perusing through the ads on Facebook marketplace, and a beacon shining in the night was the answer to all my problems; a 1986 MonArk 1648 EXACLTY like the one in the original Walkers Cay Chronicles episodes I had first seen almost exactly 25 years ago. Amazingly it was in REALLY good condition for a 35 year old boat. And, most importantly the owner had titles to the boat, motor, and trailer.

  I IMMEDIATELY sent the owner a PM through Facebook, and later that day, he and I made contact to work out the details, and although he was 200 miles away in East Texas, Jackson and I made the trip the following weekend to purchase this classic old boat. Unfortunately, the motor the owner had on it is a 9.9, which lacks the power and speed for what I plan to do with it. However, tomorrow morning as this hits the Sexyloops front page, I will be making a road trip to the town of Beaumont TX to procure a Yamaha 25hp outboard to power this little beauty.

  As excited as I am about FINALLY finding a classic MonArk after a quarter of a century of looking, I am even more excited that Jack and I can keep this classic old hull catching fish for another 25 years.

Hope you're all having a great week!