As I sat cozily in my Southwest Airlines seat during my flight to New Orleans last week with a stop in Houston, I knew I was in good hands heading to my first Tickfaw 200 Poker Run in Springfield, La. Not just because I had reported about the event for several years or because I knew organizers Joey Fontenot and Casey Harrison would point me in the right directions at Blood River Landing or because photographer Pete Boden also was going to be there with me, it primarily had to do with that fact that Louisiana performance boaters Craig and Patti Mears—two people I’d never met in person before showing up to find my room at their house on Wednesday night—have treated me so nicely since I “met” them doing a speedonthewater.com story a few years back.
From the wrap to the re-rigging, Craig Mears was pleased with the upgrades that were done recently to his Skater 308 catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
The husband and wife, who live on the Tickfaw River in Springfield and grew up in and around the Bayou, own a 32-foot Sunsation Boats sportboat with twin MerCruiser 496 Mag engines and a 30-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran with a pair of Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines, both of which sit on covered lifts next to the couple’s aluminum Xpress Boats fishing boat. Two of their friends’ boats—Sam Jirik’s 30-foot Skater and Shane McFall’s 36-foot Baja—were tied up to their docks. Both of them were staying at the Mears’ welcoming abode, which played host to a bona fide crawfish boil on Thursday afternoon that was quite a treat for this California boy and the other 50-plus people who joined the fun.
Not only did I eat the tails and suck the heads of the crawfish—and devour some of the accompanying tasty corn, mushrooms, potatoes and sausages—that Craig cooked up for all of us, the next day I got an incredible tour of the local rivers and lakes while sitting shotgun with him in the sporty Skater 308 that he recently improved with help from Nick Compton and the team at Island Audio in Maurepas.