Skiffs in the Hewes Light Tackle Boats lineup have long been considered by shallow-water anglers to be classic designs. With its 2014 Redfisher model, the company has maintained the integrity of its highly regarded hulls but has made several tweaks to the decks of the 16- and 18-foot models that demonstrate its commitment to building boats based on experience and innovation.
The main goals in revamping the decks of the Redfisher were to allow for more storage and to achieve an overall simpler and cleaner layout. The storage space under the seats has been expanded, providing the obvious — more space — but in addition, anglers now have much easier access to critical gear and equipment. There is also a new centerline livewell system that runs with a dual-inflow, bottom-to-top drain and a hidden standpipe and that gives anglers optimal live-bait carrying capabilities.
On both the 16- and 18-foot versions, an updated console includes a ton of space for flush-mount electronics and an advanced fiber-optic switch panel with backlighting and lighted switch tips that show when accessories are turned on. Low-light operation is further enhanced with standard blue LED interior cockpit lighting.
In the bow, the forward deck has a single large lid, giving way to increased dry storage inside the bow. A powder-coated fuel tank (21 gallons on the 16-footer and 31 gallons on the 18-footer) can now be accessed from the bow storage lid, and its new forward position gives the boats much better balance by offsetting the weight of modern four-stroke outboards.
When it comes to power, Hewes’ new Redfisher 16 can be pushed with up to 115 horsepower, and when the motor is matched with its sizable fuel tank, anglers truly have the ability to explore skinny waters near and far. Once on the flat, whoever climbs atop the platform will be able to pole quietly and with minimal effort.
For decades, the Redfisher 18 has been a popular vessel for many backcountry anglers and guides. Known for its speed, range and smooth ride, this midsize skiff features a computer-aided-design (CAD) hull, which anglers will be pleased to learn is stronger, weighs less and allows for even more speed and range, especially when matched with midsize engines up to a 150.