Making Waves on the Dusky 252 Open Fisherman

When Kyle Sumnicht took more of an interest in offshore fishing, he turned to the Open Fisherman to face the rugged waters of the Gulf Stream

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Kyle Sumnicht takes his new Dusky 252 out for a day of fishing. Photos by George LaBonte
Kyle Sumnicht takes his new Dusky 252 out for a day of fishing. Photos by George LaBonte

It’s hard to argue against the fact that South Florida offers more to an avid angler than any other geographic region in the coastal United States. Spanning the remote backwaters to the mighty Gulf Stream and all points in between, our backyard provides enough variety to last a lifetime. 

Over the course of an angler’s career, one may find his or her needs taking dramatic turns regarding method of transportation. For Kyle Sumnicht of Jensen Beach, this is exactly the predicament he found himself in when his appetite for blue water big game replaced his earlier interest in fishing the backwaters around Stuart. Sumnicht was venturing farther and farther offshore on his 21-foot bay boat, and after one too many rough rides back to the inlet, he decided a trade-up was in order.

A live well at the helm station. Photo by George LaBonte
A live well at the helm station.

His criteria for a suitable replacement included a ruggedly built boat designed to handle the unpredictable weather changes all too common in our area. A good sea boat with enough freeboard to keep the water outside the boat was the first box to check. A no-frills center console without any clutter that’s easy to fish around and cleans up easily was also key. His basic equipment needs were simple: a fish box to keep his catch fresh, a live well to keep plenty of bait alive, a large shade top for sun protection, electronics capable of precise navigation, and a depth sounder for locating structure and fish.

Aerial shot of the Dusky 252. Photo by George LaBonte
Aerial shot of the Dusky 252.

When Sumnicht began his search, the Dusky brand was top of mind. It was Dusky Sport Center, after all, that had sold his father a 15-foot aluminum Sea Squirt many years ago. Sumnicht had always admired the larger Dusky models that the Brown family has been building for more than half a century, and they fit the mold for what he was now in search of to the very last detail. 

Sumnicht at the helm, which is equipped with Simrad electronics. Photo by George LaBonte
Sumnicht at the helm, which is equipped with Simrad electronics.

Sumnicht originally intended to purchase a 22-foot model, but his first visit to the factory led him into a deal he just couldn’t pass up on a brand-new 252 Open Fisherman that was ready for delivery and priced within his budget. Powered by a 300-hp Suzuki, the 252 is equipped with a large T-top, an insulated coffin box forward, a helm station live well, and Simrad electronics—with just the clean deck layout Sumnicht was looking for. 

The winter seas encountered on the great blue water of the Gulf Stream now suddenly much more accessible, the next stage of this Treasure Coast angler’s journey
is underway.

A Suzuki motor provides 300 hp. Photo by George LaBonte
A Suzuki motor provides 300 hp.

Power File

Length: 25 feet, 2 inches

Beam: 8 feet, 5 inches

Draft: 13 inches (hull only)

Weight: 3,700 pounds (hull)

Fuel: 100 gallons

Max HP: 350

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