Within the next couple of months, The Captain is planning a trip to Seventeen Seventy, a fishing mecca six hours north of Brisbane. He put out the call for a ride and surface slayer Mathew Scholz answered. Armed with a sparkling new Haines Signature 543SF, Matt’s rig looks like the ultimate topwater tourer. The Captain recently teed up a test drive with Matt and was left seriously impressed.

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Side consoles have always been a bit of an enigma for The Captain – he has quite the penchant for the symmetrical lines of a centre console. After riding with Matt though, his opinions may have been swayed slightly. There’s always a compromise when it comes to boats, but Matt’s set-up suits his style of fishing perfectly. The 543SF has incredible fishing space forward of the helm and is a little pocket rocket on the water. With the steering position set so far back, it also takes the term “soft riding” to another dimension – definitely better than any centre console in its class.

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With a big 180L fuel tank Matt can do massive runs out from Seventeen Seventy and stay overnight on the reef. He rolls out the swags on the huge open deck and sleeps under the stars – now that’s The Captain’s flavour. Stay tuned for the full story on the Haines Signature 543SF and The Captain’s upcoming adventure to Seventeen Seventy.