A vision overcame me as Capt. Jon Cooper loaded the 26-gallon transom livewell aboard the new Contender 24 Sport with pilchards from a holding pen. It was one of those rare moments of supreme confidence.
Part of it was based on the prep work put in by Cooper. A couple of days earlier, he had placed the pilchards near our launching point in Florida’s Homestead Bayfront Park Marina, an hour’s drive south of Miami. His planning saved us several hours of searching and cast-netting for bait, giving us that much more fishing time. Yet, the 24 Sport’s streamlined gunwales, recessed bow rails and elevated foredeck would have been well suited to the bait-gathering task.