CATCHING FLORIDA LOBSTERS with a “Tickle Stick” and my Sea Eagle Inflatable Boat

Steve's brother-in-law, Eric, is pretty pleased with his twin catch. They bag Florida Lobsters from Steve's 12.6sr Sea Eagle boat.
Steve’s brother-in-law, Eric, is pretty pleased with his twin catch. They bag Florida Lobsters from Steve’s 12.6sr Sea Eagle boat.

Steve Borisch and his family seem to have no trouble bagging their limit of Florida Lobsters when they vacation in Florida. Steve’s secret? A “tickle stick,” a net, and his Sea Eagle 12.6sr.

“We spend three weeks in the Florida Keys each  year,” Steve Borisch, a Michigan-based Sea Eagle owner told us recently. “We have a Sea Eagle 12.6sr .  We use it to go snorkeling in the shallow waters off Florida Bay in Islamorada.”

The waters there are shallow for miles, says Steve. “It’s seven to nine feet deep there, and we go snorkeling for lobsters. If it’s clear, you can see them through the water. You tickle them with a ‘tickle stick’ to get them out of their hiding places and into your net.” There’s a trick to it. Steve explains you “tickle” them in the front and they quickly zoom backwards to get away…and end up in your strategically-placed net. “It’s easier said than done,” Steve confides.

Are spiny tails a problem?

Mighty good eatin'! This pod of lobsters is all in a good day's catch for Steve and friends. Steve tosses them aboard where they roam around the Sea Eagle's hard molded floorboards.
Mighty good eatin’! This pod of lobsters is all in a good day’s catch for Steve and friends. Steve tosses them aboard where they roam around the Sea Eagle’s hard molded floorboards.

The Florida Lobster is also known as the Spiny Tail Lobster, Steve tells us. Are spiny tails in an inflatable boat a problem? “Oh, I’m not worried about the Sea Eagle’s durability,” says Steve. “They can’t hurt the boat. The coral here is sharper and that’s never created a problem with the Sea Eagle.”

Steve’s boat is a Sea Eagle 12.6sr — a 12’ 6” inflatable “sport runabout.” While some who own this “sports car of the sea” are in it for its speed and performance, Steve and family chose it for its size and simplicity. “I wanted something simple, roomy and easy to use. We usually cruise around sightseeing, exploring the mangroves, lobstering, and occasionally fish,” says Steve. “It can fit four passengers easily along with our snorkel gear, a cooler, nets, and more.” The hard molded floorboards make it easy to stand with confidence.

Most inflatables aren’t truly collapsible

“My brother-in-law has a boat but we thought it would be nice to have one of our own so we could go out whenever we wanted,” says Steve. “I chose a Sea Eagle because it’s inflatable.  You can simply collapse it, roll it up and take it where ever you go! Most of the boats that say they’re inflatable really aren’t — they have a frame of some kind.”

Steve’s full size, 6-passenger, 12’ 6” boat rolls up into two compact bundles. “We could break it down and carry it easily when we drive from Michigan to Florida each year. It doesn’t take long to put it together.”

Today, they trailer

The Borischs added gear over time and things got a little tight inside the car. “We got a great deal on a big 15HP electric start outboard motor. It’s very heavy and, with all the rest of our gear, we decided to get a trailer. Now we leave our Sea Eagle inflated full time and trailer it down to Florida.”

We asked Steve what he’d tell others who’re thinking about getting a boat. “Our Sea Eagle 12.6sr is a good choice. It’s easy to handle,” he said. “We’ve gone out with two or three people and as many as six. We love it!”

So get out your tickle sticks and we’ll see you down in the Keys!

— Do YOU have a Sea Eagle story and photos to share? Please email us!

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