Posts in News

Dana Point Alert: Hobie Tandem Island Trimarans: Sailing the Valleys of Hawaii

May 22nd, 2018 Posted by News 0 comments on “Dana Point Alert: Hobie Tandem Island Trimarans: Sailing the Valleys of Hawaii”


Hobie Mirage Tandem Island sailing and exploring a cliff area in Hawaii. This 18′ long tri-maran is a combination of everything great about a mutli-hull sailboat and also everything amazing about a pedal kayak. When the wind is up the Tandem Island is a fast and fun sailboat that is also very stable and easy to sail. When the wind dies down of when you’re coming into the beach the sail furls out of the way and each user can pedal the boat along easily and maneuver around any obstacle with ease. Once on the beach or at the boat ramp the amas/outriggers fold back and the mast can be easily removed and this whole boat can be transported with a simple beach cart or trailered with nearly any car.

Learn more:
https://www.hobie.com/kayaks/mirage-tandem-island/

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Hobie® Introduces Camo Series

July 21st, 2016 Posted by Fishing With Friends, Kayak Fishing, News, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Hobie® Introduces Camo Series”

Hobie® Introduces Camo Series

Sometimes one just has to blend in to stand out…to sneak up on bass, to get a jump on birds or simply to make a statement. Introducing Hobie’s new Camo Series.

Hobie’s first-ever color blend will be available for the time-tested Mirage Pro Angler 14, Mirage Pro Angler 12 and the Mirage Outback, the three models in Hobie’s line-up most popular with anglers and bird enthusiasts worldwide.

The new camo will replace the olive green color on these three models, all equipped with the MirageDrive® 180. Each hull boasts a uniquely different camouflage pattern along with special camo graphics and pads to appeal to those Hobie fans that prefer a more subtle approach than the popular colors found throughout the company’s recreational line of kayaks.

The Camo version of the Mirage Outback also includes ST Turbo Fins as standard equipment.

“We wanted to create an earthy camo pattern specific to Hobie,” says Fishing Product Manager Morgan Promnitz. “We’ve done it using trademark Hobie colors Olive and Dune mixed with a new color, Midnight. The result will be enjoyed by the many Hobie fans that have requested camo boats.”

MSRP’s are coming soon. The Camo Series will be shipped to retailers starting in October, 2016.

The Camo Series Hobie Mirage Outback.

Hobie Introduces MirageDrive 180 Forward-Reverse System

July 21st, 2016 Posted by Kayak Fishing, News, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Hobie Introduces MirageDrive 180 Forward-Reverse System”

Hobie’s bioengineered MirageDrive propulsion system for kayaks was revolutionary in its inception in 1997 and has been evolving ever since. Now comes the biggest evolution – so far. Introducing the patent-pending Hobie MirageDrive 180 forward-reverse propulsion system that will be integrated into all 2017 model year Mirage kayaks.

 

Weighing in at under eight pounds, the MirageDrive 180 produces full power in both directions and offers unprecedented maneuverability. The user can pull one of two shift cables to direct propulsion 180 degrees almost instantly from forward to reverse and back again.

Imagine the possibilities: backing fish out of cover; safely fishing closer to obstructions; or fishing downstream while holding in current. Hands-free propulsion in any direction means better control: to cast, to present baits, and to concentrate on landing bigger fish. And then pictures can be snapped or cold beverage enjoyed on the way back in without ever stopping.

There are two shifters, one marked in green for forward and a longer one in red for reverse, making them easy to identify. Pulling the appropriate cable pivots both MirageDrive fins 180 degrees, reversing the direction of the power output.

Although the forward-reverse capability is the most noticeable improvement to this new generation of the time-tested MirageDrive, it’s not the only significant advancement. The new fins are even more durable, with high strength nylon on the leading and trailing edges. Adjusting fin resistance has also been improved via an easy-access knob. The fin shape, altered to allow the fins to rotate from forward to reverse, provides the same efficient power as past models of ST Fins and ST Turbo fins respectively.

Can the MirageDrive 180 go shallow? Absolutely. Use partial pedal strokes to “flutter” the fins or push one crank arm forward so that both fins automatically fold up flat against the bottom of the hull. This same wing-like action excels for dodging obstacles, shedding weeds and gliding through the water with minimal resistance. It also facilitates landing on the beach or at the boat ramp. The MirageDrive 180 installs in seconds thanks to the Click and Go Mounting System, which also makes removing a snap.

The MirageDrive 180’s cranks adjust to comfortably fit the user’s height, from tall to child-size. Cleaning and maintenance is simple. A quick rinse at the end of the day and an occasional spray with Hobie Multi-Lube is all it takes.

Fishing Product Manager Morgan Promnitz took the MirageDrive 180 to remote and demanding Cedros Island in Baja, Mexico for intensive testing. “The shifters really shine. I found myself using them constantly,” Promnitz says.

Promnitz fished nose-in to a breakwall for powerful grouper. Every time he hooked up, he’d throw the MirageDrive 180 into reverse and back the fish out of the rocks. He also used the shifters while taking photos of friends connected with big fish, to get just close enough, backing away if the fish ran. But the most surprising use was trolling in reverse with live bait in front of him, where he could watch its every move.

 

Hobie Mirage Drive 180

“A bonito school came up chasing the live mackerel I had on for bait. I subtly guided it towards them to entice a bite. It was cool watching the action go down,” he says.

The uses of the shifters are endless. They are helpful, for instance, when you suddenly realize your Mirage Tandem Island mast isn’t going to clear a bridge. “I quickly pulled the reverse cable and backed my Island to safety,” Hobie engineer Jim Czarnowski recalls of his close call in the grueling Everglades Challenge endurance race.

When pinpoint navigation is necessary, Czarnowski shifts from forward to reverse and back again. When coming into or leaving a dock, he backs the Tandem Island in and out of its parking bay, just like a car in a parking lot.

The two shift cables are composed of braided Spectra line connected to high strength, snag-free nylon handles. They tuck into a Bungee® retainer when not needed.

The MirageDrive 180 will be standard with all 2017 model year Mirage kayaks, including the legendary Outback and award-winning Pro Anglers. 2017 model year kayaks are slated to begin shipping in October 2016. The MirageDrive 180 is retrofitable to existing MirageDrive kayaks and is expected to be available as a stand-alone accessory by mid-year 2017.

 

 

Catch Your First Calico Bass!

February 2nd, 2016 Posted by Kayak Fishing, Local Events, News, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Catch Your First Calico Bass!”

Today we will cover the basics of catching Calico Bass on your Hobie kayak.

 

First, Calico Bass can be finicky. This characteristic in itself makes catching them tricky. Understanding where Calico Bass live, feed and hide are only part of being successful in catching them. Catching this fish is not an exact science, but we’ll give you a better understanding of how Calico Bass live and to lead you in the direction to catch them. After you purchase your first Hobie kayak, there is no greater reward than to self-guide into open water and landing your first fish!

 

Bass love to hide in structure. By structure, I mean floating kelp, anchored kelp, boiler rocks, sea grass, etc. My advice to you is to look for obstruction in the water; whether it’s kelp or rocks and hopefully a little current in the mix as well. In this article we will only be focusing on the little guys. It gets more technical hunting for the bigger boys. We will cover this topic in a future installment.

 

In whatever structure pile you decide to fish, give yourself about a 20+ foot buffer. This is for a variety of reasons. Here are a few.

 

You want to give yourself plenty of room to cast toward your structure. Try fly-lining a live bait. A Google search or YouTube video will demonstrate this. Also, a simple dropper loop rig with bait will work as well if you’re into the whole bait-and-wait technique. I personally prefer to use plastic swimbaits and spinnerbaits. Also, if you’re not anchored, the current will eventually push you too close to the structure and it may scare away the fish. And, even worse, you might get stuck. Always keep that in mind.

 

If open water scares you or it’s just too rough, stay within your own personal boundaries. You’ll get increasingly comfortable as you get to know your Hobie kayak and how it reacts to rough and calm water. It won’t take long to figure out.

 

Calico Bass is an incredibly tough species. Given their size, they are heavily sought for the fight. They are ambush predators. When they are in the 1-3 pound range they will be attacking the lower tail region of your choice of bait, such as live bait, (i.e. sardines, anchovies and squid.) Even with artificial lures, they will bite the tails to stun its prey and then bite the head or hook.

 

So you’ve found the structure I’ve described, now what? It’s simple. I love to cast my bait just because I feel more productive vs. the bait-and-wait technique. One technique is not better than the other. It’s a matter of personal choice. Now, pick a spot you feel is optimal in your structure and cast toward it. Now it’s time to retrieve it.

 

Retrieve it at medium speed. Keep it steady while retrieving it back to you. Pause to allow the bait to sink or swim. Just let the bait do its job. With lures, you have to provide the action by mimicking a bait fish. Alright, did you catch anything? Chances are you haven’t.

 

So send that bait out again. But this time I want you to do what we call fan casting. Position your kayak so you’re facing the structure, or, to the best of your ability, given what the area allows. Now, fan cast in between the 9 & 2 o’clock positions, starting at 9 o’clock, retrieve it, then at 10 o’clock, and so forth. This gives you more water coverage in your structure and will increase your odds of landing a fish.

 

If this doesn’t work, adjust the position of your HOBIE. Go to a different side of your structure which may be either straight ahead, opposite of where you just were, or, to the left or right. Then continue fan casting in the same fan pattern as previously described. Try this method first before making the decision to find new grounds. Chances are with this semi-top water method you will NOT catch a monster, but, it will get you fishing like a kayak fisherman! You will slowly begin to understand how Calico Bass react to your lure or bait and it will be up to you as to how you can perfect your method and increase your success rate!

 

In my next installment, we’ll cover the more technical aspects of fishing for these crafty fish.

 

Until next time, keep your lines tight and stay fishy my friends!

 

Tommy Ponce, contributor

Hobie First Cast

April 7th, 2015 Posted by Kayak Fishing, Local Events, News, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Hobie First Cast”

First cast, first fish, first kayak, the first fishing experience. Three Belles Outfitters wants to create new fishing moments for anglers of all ages and skill levels in the new Hobie® First Cast program. Don’t have a kayak? No problem! Dana Point Jet Ski will provide each participant with a Hobie Mirage® kayak and an experienced kayak fishing guide to get you jumpstarted into kayak fishing.

The best part of fishing on a Hobie Mirage? Your hands are free to tend to your line. Hobie’s patented MirageDrive® system allows you to pedal your kayak instead of paddling it. To quote Bass Fishing Hall of Famer, Hank Parker: “If you’ve got a paddle in your hand, you aren’t fishing!”

Give us a Call today to find out how you can get involved!

949-661-4947

2015 Saltwater Bass Series Kayak Tournament

March 18th, 2015 Posted by Fishing With Friends, Kayak Fishing, Local Events, News, Uncategorized 0 comments on “2015 Saltwater Bass Series Kayak Tournament”

We’re excited. This is going to be the SBS’s first kayak only tournament and we’re hosting!

• When > May 2nd
• Where > Dana Point Harbor
• Time > 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. (scales open at 1 p.m.)
• Check in > 3:30-5:30 no later!
• Cost per person / kayak > $50 basic entry
• Big Fish Option > $10
• Big Odd Fish Option (any fish besides bass) > $10
• Pay Out is 1 in 4 with 1st and 2nd Big Fish paid
• Artificials ONLY!!….scents and or attractants are ok to use (no squid strips or other bait as a trailer)
• Trolling is allowed
• There will be a shotgun start for each flight at the Harbor entrance. We will randomly draw a chip to determine starting kayak #. You must be back within the 5mph buoys before your flight time deadline to be considered “on time”, or be penalized 2 pounds, returning 15 minutes or later after your flight deadline will result in a DQ
• 3 fish 15 inch size limit > all species of bass count, if you weigh a short fish, it will not count toward your 3 fish limit
• There will be no dead fish penalty
• There are no boundaries (MLPA areas are off limits, anglers are responsible for knowing these areas)
• PFD’s must be readily available at all times
• BBQ is included in your entry
• We encourage carpooling as parking may be limited!

New FWF Tournament Schedule 2015

February 9th, 2015 Posted by Fishing With Friends, Kayak Fishing, Local Events, News, Uncategorized 0 comments on “New FWF Tournament Schedule 2015”

We’re ready to start off the 2015 Fishing with Friends Tournaments.  We had some amazing fish take the jackpots last year, and this year will be no different.

  • March 21st
  • April 18th
  • May 16th
  • June 13th
  • July 18th
  • August 15th
  • September 12th
  • October 10th
  • November 14th
  • December 12th

The format is very simple: Entry fee is $10 with the largest legal fish taking all.No sharks, rays, skate’s, etc.  Very simple format: no sponsors, no raffles, no prizes, no points, NO HASSLE.  Starttime @ 7a.m. with weigh in @ 2p.m.  Weigh in and post tournament potluck at Dana Point Jet Ski.  Parking will be available for those early launchers.  Gate to launch will open at 6:30 a.m., and will close at 7:30 a.m., but will re-open at 9:00 a.m.  You can launch any other place you choose, just make sure you check-in and kicked in your ante.  Sign-up for what you will be bringing to the potluck.

This is a great fishing opportunity for beginning and seasoned kayak fishermen who are not looking for the high stress competitive fishing scenes, but just want to fish and learn from other kayak fisherman.

 

Download the Schedule

 

Off Shore Jet Ski Fishing for Opah

September 29th, 2014 Posted by Jet Ski, Jet Ski Fishing, News, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Off Shore Jet Ski Fishing for Opah”

Our Friend, Alan Ogata over at Bloody Jet Skis shared a report with us where they caught a 147 lb Opah!  Check it out:

So, Ben Hyun of Corona, CA and I planned to make another run at the Point for tuna before the dwindling bite shut down all together. We baited up at the carrier with smallish sized sardis and “Big Macs” of up to the 10″ variety! The wave conditions were a little choppy and settled into some 2′ rollers with the occasional 3′ stacked wave with chop.

The water temp was upwards of 75 degrees when we reached the 267 FB and not a single paddy in site, none, nada, zippo! Ben wanted to head further South in search of paddies and we started off in that direction. Still nothing! We decided to hit some paddy’s that I had marked in prior trips. I resumed my route, no paddies in site, when my FF that hadn’t worked for the majority of the trip went off and I chunked in a big mac, Ben soon joined me and was able to mark fish 60 – 80′ down. Before I knew it Ben was hooked up on a “big un” that took 45 minutes to 1 hour to surface, it was a huge Opah, OMG! I raced over, gaff in hand and nailed em just behind the head. It was like trying to hold on to a freight train! It tried to tail dance away 3 times and I was as spent as Ben, trying to hold on to this monster!

We had no idea how to subdue this monster. The first thing that came to my mind was to hand off the gaff as it continued to thrash, “here Ben take the gaff”. My arms were like rubber by then. I had my wahoo killer knife which I used to perf it’s head and seemed to subdue him a bit. It was enough to where Ben was able to slip in a sport clip with the end barely visible outside its mouth. But no way was it going to hold the over a hundred pound beast. The next great idea was to tail wrap him, not an easy task for sure, but managed to do so after several attempts. Ben managed to hoist and tie him off to the tow bar and “that’s all she wrote”. Ben being the considerate feller that he is, asked, “want to fish some more?” I said, “I don’t think so.” I thought we got enough fish right here and we headed back to the launch “over the rail and in the pail”.

To read more, go check out http://www.bloodyjetskis.com

Dana Point Gray Whale Watching from a Kayak

September 23rd, 2014 Posted by Local Events, News, Uncategorized, whale watching 0 comments on “Dana Point Gray Whale Watching from a Kayak”

California Gray Whales are amazing creatures. They spend their summers chowing down in Alaskan seas then travel to Baja California to party and have kids in the winter, then travel back to Alaska in the spring. Subsequently, a large number of them pass within kayaking distance of Dana Point Harbor in the late fall through late spring.

The Gray Whale migration has three periods: southbound (late November to late January), early northbound (late January to early April), late northbound (mid April to late May).

During the southbound and early northbound periods, the Gray Whales are looking to get to their destination. The Grays pass outside the kelp beds northwest of the Dana Point headlands. They pass close to the San Juan Rock whistle buoy, then they head offshore, passing close to A Mark on their way south. They follow roughly the same path (just in opposite directions) on the way north.

Look for the Gray Whale’s spout and or their back and tail. They are kind of stealthy as they swim underwater for a couple minutes, then surface for three or four breaths. On the last breath, they often raise there tail out of the water (fluke). After the fluke, they will stay underwater for a couple more minutes. I can usually keep up with two or three of these cycles (3.5 to 4 knots). Gray Whales will also breach, come out of the water and fall sideways, or “spy hop”, come straight out of the water. This is thought to allow the whale to look around for landmarks. They do this a lot around the Dana Point Headland.

The following track has gotten me close to the most Grays during the southbound and early northbound periods. Start at the Dana Point Harbor entrance. Head 210 degrees magnetic to A Mark, approximately one mile offshore. At A Mark, turn right to 330 degrees magnetic. This will take you a couple hundred yards outside the San Juan Rock buoy (about one and a half miles). At the buoy take a slight right turn to 310 degrees magnetic and follow a line a couple hundred yards outside the kelp beds. Continue as far as you feel comfortable (the Ritz Carlton Hotel is about one mile from the buoy, Three Arch Bay is about two miles from the buoy) then turn around and follow the path back to the San Juan Rock buoy. When you get to the buoy, turn toward the mouth of the harbor and head in. This will give you the maximum benefit of going with the swells and wind for the final leg. About eighty percent of the Gray Whales I’ve seen have been within a couple hundred yards of this track.

During the late northbound period, the mother whales (cows) are taking their time with the newborn babies (calves). They swim in pairs and, often, in groups with other cow/calf pairs. They swim much closer to shore and occasionally stop to nurse and, it’s thought, show the calves landmarks that they will use to navigate on their future migrations. It is believed that the Dana Point headland is one of these navigation landmarks. That is why they often breach and or “spy hop” at the point.

The following track has provided lots of good viewing of northbound cows and calves. (Remember don’t get so close that you are harassing the whales.) Start at the mouth of Dana Point Harbor. Head to the green harbor entry buoy, about 1/4 mile to the west of the entry. Follow a line parallel to the harbor jetty, heading toward San Juan Rock. When you start to come across kelp attached to the bottom, you have a choice: 1. Go right and pass by San Juan Rock on it’s left or right, then continue past the Dana Point headland and stay inside the kelp beds as you go up the coast; 2. Go left around the kelp bed and pass close to the San Juan Rock whistle buoy, stay close to the outside of the kelp beds as you continue up the coast.

Often, I will be fishing just outside the kelp beds at the San Juan Rock buoy and the cow/calf groups will pass right by. So the alternative to searching for the northbound Grays is to just go to the buoy and sit. Eventually the whales will come to you. Watch for the whale watching boats and you should be able to tell when the whales are coming your way. If you find yourself directly in the path of a nearby whale, do nothing. The whales know you are there and will either avoid you themselves, or even come by to check you out. If you move you could disturb them more than if you just sit still. Remember, don’t harass the whales.

Note: Back in the commercial whaling days, Gray Whales were known as “Devil Fish” because the cows would so fiercely defend their calves. Now a days it actually seems like the cows want the calves to interact with humans. I’ve had two encounters when, I didn’t see them coming, and the calves swam right under me with the cow near by. Wow!

MapGraywhale

Dana Point Blue Whale Watching from a Kayak

August 27th, 2014 Posted by Local Events, News, Uncategorized, whale watching 0 comments on “Dana Point Blue Whale Watching from a Kayak”

Up to about the year 2000, a Blue Whale sighting at Dana Point was unprecedented or even unknown. these whales are thought to be the largest creatures that have ever lived on the planet. It’s to our benefit, the Blue Whales have now decided to make the Dana Point area one of their favorite summer destinations. During the 2012, 13, and 14 seasons, Blues have started passing by Dana Point in June, then settled in to feed in early July. They stay with us until about October. These whales are here to feed on krill (small shrimp) that live in underwater canyons, about two to five miles off shore and about a five mile stretch up and down the coast. I wait until mid July to go out to see them when they are feeding. They are too fast to keep up with in a kayak when they are passing through.

It may seem intimidating to look for whales in a kayak five miles out to sea, however, in a way, the Blues are easy to watch because once you find them feeding, they pretty much, stay put, so you don’t have to chase them all over the place. Just be aware of changing weather conditions and plan your trip to take advantage of wind and wave direction on the way back in. I spot a Blue whale from a distance by looking for the fifteen to thirty foot tall spout. Blue Whales rarely breach or spy hop. They are so big, though, that a good part of their back will come out of the water when they breathe.

Here is the track I use to look for Blue Whales out of Dana Point Harbor; it’s easy. Start at the harbor entrance, note the time. Head for A Mark, (210 degrees magnetic, about one mile out). When you get to A Mark, note the time again. Now continue on the 210 degree heading for an equal amount of time that it took you to get to A Mark. This will put you about two miles off shore. At this point, decide to go up the coast (preferable) or down the coast, whichever direction looks the most promising. Look for other boats milling about, this usually means there are whales in the area. Always try to begin your return to the harbor going with the wind and waves.

Of course, on the way out, if you see a whale, head straight for it. Blues are here to feed, they usually stay in the same area for long periods of time. Once you spot one, you have a real good chance it will still be there when you get to the area.

Watching a Blue Whale is easy. When they are feeding, they dive deep for about five to ten minutes. When their dive is done they surface with a prominent spout and make a lot of noise blowing the air out. They stay on the surface, blowing about every 20 to 30 seconds while, usually, swimming in a large circle for about five minutes. When they are ready to dive back down, they arch their back and flip their tails (fluke) out of the water to get vertical. When the tail comes up out of the water for the dive, this is called “fluking”. It’s fantastic to see and is usually considered the “money shot” of whale watching. Nothing is more amazing than being close to a fifteen foot wide, two ton whale tail as it silently slips below the surface to begin a deep dive. Now, wait five to ten minutes, and the whale will do it again.

Some tips: 1. If you are following a whale and there are a lot of boats slowly going in one direction, hang back a couple hundred yards, the whales often double back on their path and will come up much closer to you; 2. Blue Whales often travel in pairs, look for the second one too; 3. If you find yourself very close to a Blue, you don’t want to be under the spout water when it comes down; for such a magnificent creature, they’ve got really bad breath.

Remember don’t harass the whales; Blue whales are so big it is hard to imagine a kayak can harass them, but if you cause them to change their feeding pattern, that’s harassment. I was once hanging back from the crowd, as mentioned above, when a Blue surfaced right next to me (20 feet). He just sat there and looked at me for about a minute, about the time it took the other boats to realize I was getting the interaction of a lifetime, then he slowly moved away as the other boats came rushing up. I just sat there as the whale seemed to be saying, “make them go away”. I felt a little sad when he swam off, but I did get some great surface and underwater shots with my GoPro camera.

Note: Fin Back Whales will often be in the same area and behave the same as Blue Whales.

 

bluewhalemap

 

Alan Harkness – Dana Point Kayaker

Disclosure – I am not an employee of Dana Point Jet Ski or any other business that stands to profit from this article. I am a volunteer Docent at the Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center. All information in this article is from my own experiences and opinion. I am not getting paid to write this article.