By Dave Ferrell
Although he’s spent his entire life on the water as either a mate, charter boat captain, private boat captain or even commercial fisherman, John Bayliss has only been a boat builder since 2002. On April 15th of that year, Bayliss and a small crew of boat builders started work on what would become the first Bayliss, a 60-footer to be aptly-named Endeavor.
Bayliss jumped into the boat-building business in a time of upheaval just after September 11th, 2001.
“Nobody knew what was going to happen. I’d been working on a private boat for a longtime friend and after the attacks with all the uncertainty, I came to the conclusion that I needed to get out and do my own thing. I’d already done the charter fishing, working for a boat factory, working for another factory…so I decided to put a couple of feelers out to see if anybody wanted to build a boat,” says Bayliss.
Mike Atkinson met up with Bayliss at Pirate’s Cove Marina and after a beer or two and some specifications scribbled out on a napkin, they came to an agreement and Bayliss Boatworks was born.
“When we first started talking about the boat it was going to be a 60-footer with a pair of six-cylinder engines. It was a simple, straightforward fishing boat…really nice but nothing crazy,” says Bayliss.
“Then along comes Charlie Barker (he owns a 92-foot Viking now) and he becomes a partner in the boat with Mike. Barker asks me if I think we can put V12s in the boat, so I ask Robert Ullberg if it would take them and he says sure. Soon the boat became a three-stateroom, three-head boat with a washer and dryer and a mezzanine, which were just coming out at the time.
It went from a boat that was being built to fish on the East Coast, to one that was meant to travel and fish in places like Costa Rica. In fact, that boat is now named the Uno Mas and is still doing an incredible job catching fish down in Los Sueños for Brooks Smith. We are still very proud that she’s the first one.
“That boat became a classic example of how the owner and crew can kind of drive, or push the boat builder in a different direction. I was just going to build a really durable fish catching boat, but it became a yacht on the very first one. And that really helped us a lot, since before we started on that first one we had three other guys under contract as well, and they wanted a nicer boat, too.
Those first two guys somehow saw something and they wanted to push us a little further. Luckily, for us, our next guy was better, and the next guy after that was better still. They all pushed us to bigger and better things. We’ve built 25 boats now and we’ve never built the same one twice.”
Although Endeavor grew beyond all of Bayliss’ expectations, its unique look was intentional from the beginning.
“When I started the company, I wanted this boat to pull into a marina and have people say, is that boat a Carolina build or a Florida build? We wanted to combine the best aspects of those looks,” says Bayliss. “That was a very different boat for around here at the time. That boat has very little flare and we designed it that way on purpose. That look caused me a lot of sleepless nights. When we had the boat on the jig upside in the shop I had prominent boat builders telling me that I couldn’t build the boat the way it was…that is was a mistake and I was messing up. I went back to Ullberg again and told him what the guys were saying and he pointed out that the boat was exactly what we had on the computer in 3-D and that I should just shut the door and build it. And that’s what we did. I’m glad I had friends like him to keep me pressing on. Too much self-doubt can lead to a not-so-good boat…and then you become a one and done. Our first one turned out to be a really good one.”
For more information on Bayliss Boatworks, please e-mail email@example.com or fill out the form below and our InTheBite concierge service will be happy to assist you.
63 Scarborough Boatworks
Game Time Homeport: Key Largo, Florida
The 63-foot Game Time was splashed in the early summer 2018. “The owner bought a Scarborough boat because he has been enamored with North Carolina boat builders and the boats they make. The ride, the fishability, the looks and the speed match their story,” says Captain Ben Brownlee who runs the Game Time. “I’m pretty impressed with it, too. She maneuvers well, is a great head sea boat and has beautiful lines. It turns on a dime and really handles well on fish. The boat also has a Seakeeper, a Spot Zero and a watermaker.”
“This is probably one of the nicest boats we’ve ever built,” says builder Ricky Scarborough. “It is the first large boat for the owner. He wanted something fast. It is designed for tournament fishing and travel.” To be prepared for a variety of fishing applications, the boat is equipped with a significant live well capacity.
“These owners were some of the nicest people we have ever worked with. The owner has two boys and this boat was a way to introduce them to the sport. It is not heavy on entertainment systems, but was designed for family time,” Scarborough says. “The biggest hit so far has been the grill in the cockpit. The 10-year old is the grill master.”
The family theme extends to the interior layout as well. The VIP stateroom turned into a split, with two beds. “These days we seem to attract a lot of families,” Scarborough says. “And we like it that way.”
With the build complete and the boat in the water, where will the Game Time head from here? “We’re in Pirate’s Cove (North Carolina) until November. We’ll be in Jupiter from November through April, with some Bahamas trips mixed in. In May, we’ll head to the Bahamas for the Custom Shootout and fish there until August,” says Captain Ben. “We might head to the DR after that. In 2020, we’ll head to Costa Rica.”
Game Time indeed.
SPECIFICATIONS: Completion date May 2018 / LOA 63’6” / Beam 17’6” / Draft 5’ / Engines 2-C32A 1925HP / Generators 2-21KW Northern Lights / Loaded Weight 87,000 lbs / Fuel Capacity 1600 gallons / Water Capacity 250 gallons / Interior 3 stateroom/3 head / WOT 43.5 kts / Gyro Seakeeper 16
BAYLISS GAMEBOAT #3, 62′, TARHEEL
This build began in March of 2018. Tarheel features the V.2 GameBoat layout — a healthy synergy of the first two GameBoats built by Bayliss. She combines the practicality of Mama C with the custom lower level layout of GameChanger.
Exterior features include a variety of faux teak components – toe rail, transom and drip molding. She will have a sleek profile, hard top, and white windshield. It’s all about symmetry on Tarheel: the flybridge will have the classic center console arrangement. A center door will orient the salon, and two peninsula cabinets will be featured in the galley for refrigeration and storage. The lower level IS comprised of a simple three stateroom/two-head layout, along with an easily accessible dayhead and tackle room, each situated just off the main companionway.
Systems include two 20 kw Northern Lights generators, an FCI 1,800 gallon per day watermaker, and a Dometic Chilled Water A/C system (now standard on all Bayliss builds).
SPECIFICATIONS: Length 62’/ Beam 18’ 2” Draft 4’ 8” / Fuel 1,850 gallons / Water 300 gallons / Power Twin MTU M96L 10V at 1600 hp each / Stabilization Seakeeper 9. Tarheel delivered in July of 2019
Pulling Tricks: Five Pros Share Dredge Fishing Tactics
By Ric Burnley
The first time I saw a marlin dredge I had two thoughts. First: that looks ridiculous. Second: that looks awesome! At first, 40 rigged mullet dangling from a web-work of bars and leader looks like a cluster FUBAR waiting to happen. Put the dredge in the water, and dozens of swirling and flashing baits look like a school of bait on the run. Fish cannot resist.
Many anglers had the same experience when they first saw a dredge. We caught up with five pros to find out how they use dredges now, and how they plan to use them in the future.
Captain John Bayliss, Tarheel
When Captain John Bayliss first saw a dredge he knew he had to have one. “I was fishing in Mexico and getting sacked up,” he laughs. Then he spotted the mate on the other boat pull in a four bar single dredge rigged with jumbo mullet. “It was super simple,” he recalls, “that was before building dredges became a nuclear arms race.”
In 20 years fishing with dredges all over the world and at home on the Outer Banks, Captain Bayliss has gone full circle. “We had a dredge we called the Space Shuttle,” he chuckles. The four-level dredge was followed by spreader bars and two chains. “The chains looked like booster rockets,” he jokes.
Now he has settled on a dredge system that is simple and effective. “A good dredge is double or triple bars,” he says. He adds a skirt to every other bait for more body and flash. Bayliss has found that adding artificial rubber fish or Marlin Mudflaps gives the dredge more density. Mudflaps are rubber fish silhouettes that mimic a fleeing tuna. Color of artificials and skirts depends on location and conditions. On the East Coast, Bayliss likes blues and blacks, in the Pacific he uses bright pink and red. He especially likes artificials on blue marlin dredges. “Blue marlin move so fast, they are just looking for something with mass.”
Bayliss fishes small ballyhoo on circle hooks from the long riggers and flat lines and pulls two squid chains and two dredges. He positions the flat line in front of the dredge. “That way the fish gets on the dredge and moves to the flat line,” he explains. If that’s not working, he’ll experiment by moving the flat line back or dropping the squid chains farther back. “I want the fish to leave the dredge and move onto the teaser or flat line,” he explains. He stresses the importance of choosing the correct lead weight to control the depth of the dredge.
When he raises a white or sail on the teaser or dredge, Bayliss instructs the crew to get the teaser out of the water. Then, with the fish hooked, he makes a turn towards the escaping marlin and eases the teasers back in the water. He leaves the teasers in the water until the fish is close enough to back down. After he lands the fish, he puts the dredge back, first. “Whites and sails rarely travel alone,” he says, “I want to hook his buddy, too.”
Blue marlin, on the other hand, move fast. “We clear the dredge as soon as the fish is hooked,” he says, “so we can get him before he dives deep.” He is constantly changing the arrangement and make-up of the dredge until he hits on what the fish seem to prefer. “When I put the dredge in the water I want my confidence high.”
Captain Joe Birbeck, You Never Know
Dredge fishing started in Mexico almost 20 years ago. That’s when Captain Joe Birbeck first saw one of these contraptions. “I saw a guy on the dock with a dredge and I went right out and got the stuff to make one,” he says.
Since then, Birbeck has fished dredges from the Atlantic to the Pacific and at home on the Gulf Coast. In that time, he’s seen dredge technology change. “It’s hard to believe old-school guys still use floss to rig their dredge baits,” he shakes his head. The invention of reusable pin rigs has made it easier to rig natural baits.
Birbeck has also seen more artificial baits in his dredge. “I know old-school guys might not agree,” he admits, “but adding Marlin Mudflaps and Fire Tailz saves time and money.” Fire Tailz are jointed fish silhouettes made out of fabric. Supplementing some of the natural baits with artificial baits gives the dredge more lift. Adding artificials to the dredge also helps level the dredge so it swims parallel to the surface.
In Mexico, Birbeck uses a double mullet or double ballyhoo dredge. “We’ve fished artificial dredges side-by-side with the natural dredges and raised just as many fish,” he admits. In the Gulf, when he finds the fish, he bumps up to a three-tier dredge. “We do a lot of high-speed trolling to find the marlin,” he explains, “but once we have them cornered we’ll use the dredge.” When he’s live bait fishing, Birbeck deploys a six-arm dredge armed with Mudflaps. “It looks like a school of blackfin tuna,” he explains.
Birbeck likes to dredge behind the flatlines and the squid chain behind the dredge. He starts the day with his go-to colors. “If we’re not raising fish by lunch, we’ll switch up colors and start experimenting.”
Looking into the future, Birbeck expects artificial dredge baits to become more life-like. “It’s amazing how far dredges have come,” he marvels, “from spoons and hook-less Rapalas to rubber shads and fish.” Recently, he’s noticed hard-plastic dredge baits showing up on the dock. “In 25 years, I’ve never stopped experimenting,” he says, “I’m always learning.”
Captain Scott Fawcett, www.offthechainfishing.com
Captain Scott Fawcett started dredge fishing in the mid-nineties while working with Captain BJ Bell on Boneshaker. “My favorite was a four-arm with 11 mullet,” he reminisces. From there, dredges and dredge fishing got bigger. “We ended up using three tier dredges with dozens of baits,” he says, “it got to the point where it was too much money and effort.”
Now he settles on a simpler dredge set-up that he can manage. “When fishing is slow, we add a trailer that the fish can suck on,” he jokes. When the action picks up, he removes the dropper. “I don’t want the fish to pick out a single bait,” he explains, “instead I want it to move off to the flat line or long rigger.” He has also started removing his squid-chain teasers from the water when the fish are skittish. “I’ve found that the teaser can turn them off,” he says.
Dredge fishing is so effective that Fawcett also employs them on his center console. When he’s drifting live baits off South Florida, he likes to sink a Stripteaser. This artificial teaser uses holographic fish on a strip of clear plastic film that undulates in the water. “It’s light and easily affected by the movement of the boat and current.” When the current and wind are too light for drift fishing, he slow trolls at 1.5 to 2.5 knots using two dredges armed with artificial fish. “The sailfish really lock onto the paddletails,” he says.
If he is trolling faster than four knots, Fawcett switches to natural mullet or ballyhoo dredges. However, he still uses artificial shads or rubber fish to control the depth of his dredge. “If the tail is dropping down, I’ll add rubber fish to bring it up.”
Fawcett likes to offset his dredges, running one deeper and one shallow. “I run one dredge six to 20 feet below the surface and the other so shallow I can see the swirls on the surface.” If he marks bait or fish deep, he’ll drop one dredge deeper. “I can prospect with the dredge to pull the fish up.”
On his center console, Fawcett runs the dredges off downriggers. “We installed the downriggers foreword of the flat line rod holders so they don’t get tangled or interfere with the motors.” He even rigs the dredge with the weights inside the arms for a more compact package. “I can troll two dredges and two squid chains without batting an eye.”
To test the effectiveness of his dredges, he watches the fish it attracts. “If the fish is stuck on the dredge, I know it is working,” he explains. He’ll leave a fish on the teasers as long as possible. “Nothing attracts fish better than another fish.” Fawcett loves to watch marlin attack the teasers. “If marlin fishing wasn’t waiting for the pin to snap and yelling, ‘There he is!’ I wouldn’t do it for a living.” He geeks out on the visuals. “The only thing that would be better is if marlin could roar like a lion,” he laughs.
Bill Pino, www.squidnation.com
As owner of Squidnation, Bill Pino has made a study of dredge history and trends. His squid dredges revolutionized teaser technology by adding artificial baits to natural teasers.
“The first time I used a dredge was on Pelican with Captain Arch Bracher,” he remembers. They were fishing a weed line off Hatteras and Bracher deployed a single dredge with large mullet. “We raised a blue marlin, then caught a white and a blue pretty quickly.”
Pino was sold on dredges, but it wasn’t until another captain suggested using his artificial squids on the dredge that Pino saw the full potential. “We fished artificial squid dredges all summer and ended up with the most releases out of Ocean City,” he beams, “when I told people they laughed at me.”
Since then, Pino has continued to experiment and refine his dredges. He went from single droppers to chain style dredges and adjusted leader distance to keep the squids from tangling. “We noticed the fish were on small baits in Costa Rica so we came up with a dredge that uses 108 small squid,” he says, “it looks like a big ass bait ball.”
One advantage he’s noticed is that fish tend to move off of an artificial dredge faster than from natural baits. “The fish hits a natural bait and he’ll keep at it until he gets it off the dredge,” he says. With an artificial dredge, the fish tend to hit the rubber bait once then move off to the squid chain or one of the hook baits.
To learn more about dredge technology and techniques, Pino takes input from anglers and captains. “I see guys dropping dredges back farther and farther,” he says. Improved lead weights that can be adjusted for the perfect presentation make it possible to place the dredge anywhere in the spread. He has seen some crews go to the extreme of adding heat shrink to the dredge arms to deaden the sound.
Pino is always looking for ways to improve his squid dredges. He was hesitant to give details, but he’s working on a new dredge that better imitates a school of bait. “Dredge baits swim in a straight line,” he says, “but a bait ball is a mass of shit all bunched up,” His next invention will feature multiple baits moving in different directions. “That’s all I can say,” he stops.
Ever wonder what it takes to keep a 61′ Garlington and a 77′ Bayliss running, looking, and fishing at peak performance? Few can offer more insight into the topic than Capt. Garrett Van Orman, the ship’s engineer on the Wave Paver Program. Enjoy the video walk through of one of the prettiest sportfishers you’ll ever see. Van Orman shares his perspective on being the man behind the scenes who keeps everything running smoothly.
The first GameBoat built by Bayliss Boatworks was delivered to her owners in October 2017.
The Bayliss GameBoat concept was created, simply and directly, to chase fish; it is everything you need, and nothing you don’t. The GameBoat is not a charter boat, nor a production boat. As far as construction, fit, and finish, the GameBoat is no different than Bayliss Boatworks other builds. This is a high-quality, custom-built concept with a confined group of layouts for the owner whose main priority is fishing. By design, these boats have a simple interior layout, and include a concentration on rod and tackle storage, fishing efficiency, low maintenance, and speed.
The 60’ Mama C is the product of over 30,000 man-hours and nearly 16 months of labor; she will be spending much of her time at southern latitudes, chasing sailfish.
Mama C’s profile is unique with no front mask or tower; fishing efficiency and low maintenance are her main priorities. Her Matterhorn White hull pairs effortlessly with her custom blue bottom paint and boot stripe. A faux teak toe rail and half round adds pristine detail to the topside.
The flybridge layout draws from the classic center console style, complete with a faux teak helm pod, full electronics and plenty of storage. Bench seating is built-in on both port and starboard sides, in addition to seating forward of the console. Built-in teaser reels nest above the helm in the bridge hardtop.
The cockpit is adequately stocked with custom refrigeration boxes, plenty of tackle storage, and a large ice bin. The teak deck, cover boards, coaming and built-in transom fish box complete the functionality of Mama C’s cockpit.
Mama C’s interior lacks no detail or functionality. Synthetic flooring keeps with the minimalistic maintenance program, and is installed throughout the galley and salon. Every cabinet is faced with horizontally laid ¼-sawn grain teak veneer. The galley is clad with quartzite countertops, and fully equipped with a Viking microwave, two-burner Wolf induction cooktop, and two Subzero double-drawer refrigerators. Copious amounts of storage throughout the galley and in the dash make for a travel-ready boat.
Down below, her two stateroom/two head (with tackle room) layout ensures plentiful accommodations; each stateroom features two extra-large bunks and a central companionway. Above each bunk is a custom cubby for electronics storage and charging, while vast tackle storage is built-in under each bunk. In the forward stateroom, the carpet lifts to reveal covert indeck storage in the machine tunnel, intended for additional provisioning on longer fishing trips.
Both heads, one forward of the galley, and one forward of the forward stateroom, boast quartzite countertops and sturdy, attractive fixtures. The second day head, located just aft of the galley, ensures easy and quick access during a busy fishing day.
A custom-designed tackle room, complete with a reel locker, perfectly fits the fishing storage needs of Mama C’s owners. The neighboring full-size chest freezer ensures a well-stocked fishing program that is equipped to travel.
Mama C is a swift mover. Her top speed is 44 knots, and her cruise can range from an easy 32 knots at 1800 rpm (90 gallons per hour) up to 38.5 knots at 2100 rpm (132 gallons per hour). Of course, she is equipped with a Seakeeper 9.
Mama C Specifications
Start Date: June 2016
Draft: 4′ 6″
Engines: (2) MTU 10V2000 M96L @ 1600 hp each
Genset: (1) 21 kW Phasor Generator
Fuel Capacity: 1,350 gal.
Water Capacity: 200 gal.
Water Maker: 1,800 GPD Dometic
Holding Tank: 75 gal.
Bayliss Boatworks has been building custom sportfishing yachts since 2002. Three additional builds are in progress at the company’s facility in Wanchese, including the 64’ Lor-A-Di, a 75- footer and one GameBoat, sized at 62 feet.
Feb 28, 2015 we installed Parranda’s engines, gensets and salon deck. She should literally [Read more…]