By Sam Rutherford
Lake Fork Reservoir is the undisputed trophy bass mecca in Texas, having produced 30 of the state’s Top 50 largemouth bass. The crappie population sits unashamedly just outside the spotlight.
Lake Fork’s aquatic ecosystem is so healthy that habitats, bait, and all levels of the food chain flourish, which is why a thriving crappie guide business exists on the east Texas fishery. Minnow sales are off the chart, and so are the number of anglers coming to Lake Fork during the spring, when crappie are most active.
The arrival of spring brings the crappie from deeper water into the shallows to spawn. Tracking their movement is the key to success, and a guide is an asset with real-time knowledge of where to find the crappie as they migrate into and out of shallow water. Once the spawn is complete, the crappie migrate back out to deeper water, into timbered areas, and around the lake’s numerous bridges. Jigs are ideal for covering more water faster when crappie are on the move, and live minnows are preferred for pressured, finicky fish that are holding tight to vertical cover.
Terri Moon has spent decades guiding on Lake Fork. As the operator of Terri Moon Crappie Guide Service, she spends at least 300 days on the lake guiding happy clients, most of them repeat customers.
If a boat is her “office,” then her choice for a guide boat is ideal in the Skeeter Solera® 205 . By design, the boat is for serious fishing and family fun. What makes it stand out is the interior layout, configured so a family can enjoy fishing and watersports from the same boat, on the same day, and with plenty of room for carrying fishing tackle, skis, and watersports toys.
For Moon, that functionality also provides abundant space for her customers, and best of all, everyone fishes and rides in comfort.
“I call it my luxury liner because it’s so comfortable to fish from,” said Moon. “My customers can spread out, and there is seating for everyone.”
Moon likes the capability of keeping everything she needs, from rods and reels, to tackle and live bait, in the boat without leaving anything behind on the shoreline.
“There still are plenty of compartments and space for my customers to store their gear,” she added. “And I can configure the seating for any situation.”
Indeed, the Solera offers plenty of seating options with its five pedestals and comfortable fold-down seats. There is one pedestal base at the bow and four in the cockpit, with two of those for a driver and passenger and two more behind at the rear. Two rear jump seats at the port and starboard add to the seating options.
Another element making the interior layout perfect for a day of fishing and watersports is the design of the bow and cockpit storage. Upfront is a serious fishing layout with center storage braced by another compartment and a built-in cooler on each side. You’ll also find an in-floor baitwell with a capacity of 8 gallons and a built-in cooler.
The family fun area fills the cockpit with plenty of space and room to move around. Spacious floor storage accommodates 7′ rods and sidewall rod storage handles crappie rods up to 10′, an ideal setup for having them rigged and at the ready. At the stern is a 24-gallon livewell with an insert for a bait bucket, along with a ski-tow pylon. The walk-thru windshield buffers the wind inside the cockpit, and a non-skid floor makes it easy to hose down the floor, while snap-in carpet adds comfort and good looks to the interior. Humminbird® electronics and a Minn Kota® Terrova® 112-pound thrust trolling motor are standard, as is the Skeeter Built® custom trailer. The Solera 205 is powered by a Yamaha 250 horsepower V MAX SHO® Outboard. The boat is available in eight color options. The Solera 205 spans 20′ 5″ with a beam of 100″ and a fuel capacity of 41 gallons.
Moon guides out of Lake Fork Marina in Alba. You can reach her at (903) 335-0941.
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