Posts tagged "kayak fishing"

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.



Tips on Winning Tournaments

May 11th, 2016 Posted by Fishing With Friends, Kayak Fishing, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Tips on Winning Tournaments”


First and foremost, let me say that the tips I’ll be sharing with you here are NOT a guarantee to win in kayak tournaments. These are observations I’ve made in my own tournament experience.

I have failed countless times- more than I’d like to admit. Everyone is a winner if you learn from your mistakes and simply enjoy the experience with your fellow anglers. If you’re not having fun, maybe fishing is not for you.

Let’s start by saying this. If you want to contend with tournament fisherman you’ll have to follow their successful path, but then make it your own. Do your homework.

Tournament fishing off a kayak can be challenging. One of the first questions you ask yourself is where am I going to go? Is live bait an option in this tournament? If so, what size is the bait and color? Knowing these things can really help you plan a better tournament experience.

When I said doing your homework, I meant to go out fishing that day fully prepared. Know what the tides are for the day. Is the current acting in your favor? If not, what is your experience telling you to do? Do that. Also, is it sunny or overcast? Understanding these factors gives you a greater chance of succeeding and a bigger edge against your competitors, but this is just the beginning.

I wouldn’t say the old bait and wait technique won’t work for kayak fishermen, but I also wouldn’t call it a tournament technique either. Know the species you’re targeting and understand what makes them tick. Bait selection is key; it is part of your success. This applies to artificial lures as well as live bait and learning all there is to know about all forms of bait. Fishing with artificial lures can be lucrative if you use them correctly. Assemble your tackle box based on the successful experience you had catching fish with those particular items. Don’t forget what the conditions were that day when you caught that particular species and what colors you were using.

So you caught that fish! Now what? Well, first determine if the fish is legal or not. Most tournaments set the size limit in place before you head out. If you don’t plan to kill your fish do your best to keep them alive and be humane. Some tourneys require you to practice catch and release. Others will penalize you for every dead fish you bring back subtracting from your total weight. This is not true with all tournaments.

Some of the best advice I’ve been given is to not throw back ANY LEGAL SIZE FISH. Other anglers could have had a terrible day, regardless of their winning reputation. I have personally made this mistake one too many times and I regret it. Also pay close attention to where your fellow anglers are fishing. Don’t get too close to them, they can be territorial during a tournament. But if you’re given the OK to be nearby, feel free to pick their brains on how they have been doing and how they have been catching fish. Some fisherman will give great advice. Always listen to other anglers and don’t discount your personal experiences catching fish and reciprocate in sharing your knowledge.

I wish you all great success in kayak tournament fishing! Never give up. Don’t let your friends’ smack talk ever get into your head. Always abide all state and tournament regulations.

It’s your responsibility to learn what they are.

Respect all anglers who decide to fish these tourneys as we all have one thing in common. We’re there to catch fish. We’ll weigh them in for a possible jackpot and of course, bragging rights!.

I hope this article is helpful in conveying understanding of what it takes to be successful in tournament kayak fishing. Again, this is not the be all and end all of tournament fishing. Trust the knowledge you are acquiring every time you go out.

Until next time fellow anglers, enjoy your kayak, stay fishy, and keep your lines tight!


Tommy Ponce


Why We Choose Hobie Kayaks as a Fishing Platform

April 8th, 2016 Posted by Customer Submission, Kayak Fishing, Local Events, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Why We Choose Hobie Kayaks as a Fishing Platform”

I’m asked all the time why I choose Hobie for kayak fishing. Well, it’s simple. If you have a paddle in your hands you’re not fishing. Also, I’m not kayak fishing for an extra workout. A
day of fishing alone is workout enough.  One of the most asked questions is how stable are they? The answer is they are incredibly stable. Another question I’m frequently asked is how far can you go and do they do well offshore. In my opinion you can utilize any of the Hobie fishing fleet to do almost anything you’d like. I say “almost” because this platform isn’t suited to catching a swordfish, for instance! Aside from that, it’s your preference.

As for going offshore, I’ve taken a Mirage Revolution 13 out and not only is it fast, but it’s very stable. This is because its adaptive design just rolls with the punches of the sea. But the
Mirage Outback and the Pro Anglers are a more suitable platform for fishing that requires carrying more gear such as a Live Well bait tank and it has greater stability.  The Mirage models drive and turbo fins are what separate the men from the boys in the kayak world. This is your “engine” and friend. It’s what makes kayak fishing hands-free. You can go greater distances with this mechanism. And now you can go backwards in your kayak by pulling out your drives and turning them around to either get you out of a tough spot, or to keep you where you want to stay when the current keeps moving you.

The rudder system is incredibly easy to figure out as well. Left is left, right is right. There is a slight learning curve on maneuvering your kayak, but it only takes about two minutes to
master. The only reason for this is because anglers are not used to turning left or right in avessel that is greater than ten feet. For those who love to accessorize, I have great news for you! Your Hobie fishing kayak is fully customizable. Anything from rod holders, fish finders, containers, motor mounts, etc. are available.


I refer all my friends and family to head to Dana Point Jet Ski and Kayak Center to speak with Tim about getting into a Hobie kayak. I also recommend trying before buying.
Sign up for a Hobie First Cast session. It’s your best bet in trying out the kayaks you’re interested in and learning how to fish off them. Your guide will get you some on-the-water
experience and is there to respond to any questions you may have.
So, get started by calling 949.661.4947 and ask for the First Cast experience!
Stay tuned for upcoming kayak fishing tips. Until then, keep your lines tight and stay fishy!

Tommy Ponce


San Clemente Island Mothership Recap

July 7th, 2015 Posted by Kayak Fishing, Mothership Trip, Uncategorized 0 comments on “San Clemente Island Mothership Recap”

Every June we round up the troops to head out to San Clemente Island for 2 long days of kayak fishing. The offshore island offers anglers the opportunity to seek quality bass, sheephead, halibut, whitefish, bonito and yellowtail all from their very own kayak. The journey is met with laughter, big fish tales and perhaps a few cold ones as we load up our gear, kayaks and coolers aboard the 88 ft. M/V Islander mothership a proven multi-use fishing and expedition vessel.

San Clemente Island is a popular fishing destination for the SoCal fishing fleet, but not all the boats are suited to maximize what the island has to offer. The advantage that kayakers have over ALL other boats is that we can go wherever we want. There is no cove too tight and shallow, there is no boiler too gnarly and there is no kelp forest too big for us kayakers. This advantage becomes quite evident when you see the big boats sitting well off the island’s shoreline and we are fishing within 10 ft. of the shore.clementeCalico

As we slowly make our way out of Point Loma we make a quick stop to grab some fresh live sardines and anchovies for the journey ahead. While the deckhands are processing live bait for us we sit down with Captain Jason to discuss the fishing format for the next 2 days. The boat starts to get excited about the prospects of targeting yellowtail and halibut. Our trips always have some die-hard saltwater bass’n anglers that seek the elusive double digit bass.

When you have serious bass anglers onboard you better believe there will be pounds of lead heads and plastics onboard as well. With that in mine the guys over at Fish Village partnered up with Mike Ryba of Reebs Lures and supplied our guests with Reebs Kelp Assassin swim jigs and Reebs Persuaders a beautifully molded plastic weedless swimbait. Mike’s oldest son Dawson came along for the ride to show us old guys a thing or two about how to fish Reebs Lures and land your toad. Not only was he a fine fisherman, but a fine young man as well.

Day one started out with a bang as Dawson snagged up a 2-3 lb calico bass right out of a boiler rock using what else… a Reebs lure. The VHF radios started blowing up with “I need a fish pickup” as the bite got hot. Yellowtail, bonito and bass for days. The majority of bass caught were in the 2-5 lb range making bass fishing a fun way to spend your first day kayak fishing at San Clemente Island. I hooked up to a decent halibut while sight fishing the bottom with a Pink Reebs Kelp Assassin, I actually watched it hover over my jig and inhale it. I had a great hookset and brought the flatfish up about three times before my reel seized due to an un-timely braid knot in my little baitcaster. For about an hour the halibut mocked me from the bottom with that damn pink Reebs lure still in its mouth. Redemption was around the corner though when I was lucky enough to be in the midst of a hot yellowtail bite and landed my first yellowtail off a kayak. I let out a huge roar and a few adult adjectives that expressed my happiness for landing my first yellowtail on a kayak. WOO-HOO!!! Yellows were being caught, but more rats than slugs, nevertheless they are still fun and delicious. Shelby Rothman’s yellowtail (her first on a kayak) was not only her own personal prize, but the day one jackpot as well.

With everyone worn out from the abnormally warm spring conditions and hard fishing, we all gather in the galley to enjoy a fine meal prepared by the chef Rick aka “Geezer”. The guys, Shelby and young man Dawson all shared stories, bragged, teased and bonded while stuffing their face with amazing culinary creations by our good pal Rick. This comradery makes these trips that much more fun and so does the wine, beer and booze… but you already knew that.

With rising winds and seas the captain decides to start day two tucked away near Pyramid Cove. This gave us the opportunity to target halibut, yellowtail and those grumpy ol’ bass. With my first cast of the day into a boiler rock, I snagged a 3-4 lb grass rockfish, my first one. I had to ask the deckhand what type of fish it was. Even though the weather wasn’t quite cooperating, the fish were biting. Within an hour of everyone getting on the water, Wayne Johnson hooked up to a nice halibut and landed it successfully. The yellowtail bite was slow and steady, if you put your time in trolling the waters you got a few nice yellows. The big yellow of the trip was landed right next to the mothership by Pete Wilk which just happened to be the biggest fish caught on the trip and jackpot for day 2. As the sun began to set the bass bite got really, really, really good. If you placed your kayak in the danger zone near the boilers, you were rewarded with high catch counts and BIG bass… I mean a 4-7 lb average with hookups about every 7-8 casts. You had to work to position yourself right, you had to cast into the foam… but if you did, you got a whopper on the other line. At that time you could throw any color plastic with any color head tied directly to white braid if you wanted and still get bit. My buddy Charlie and I laughed and screamed each time we hooked up another whopper, our thumbs were bloody and our voice was just about gone… what a way to end the trip.

The fishing might be over, but the fun and games continues until everyone is fed and asleep. That means Geezer has one more trick up his sleeve and knocks it out of the park with some amazing tri-tip followed up by vanilla ice cream over fresh baked brownies… what is not to love? To those that earned it… some fresh fish buttholes were served up before their main entrée. Let’s just call it a badge of honor and a little stupidity… nevertheless hilarious! To understand one would have to be a kayak angler!

This trip was a huge success because of multiple people, companies, conditions, gear, cooperating fish and a bit of luck. Fish Village ( is a company that serves the fishing industry both the angler and the trip provider. We helped anglers book and prepare for this trip so that they can get the most out of their adventure. Dana Point Jet Ski & Kayak Center ( connects kayak anglers of all ages and offers up their place as a meeting point for Hobie kayak sales, kayak fishing tournaments, outings and trips. Reebs Lures ( stepped up and supplied our guests with some of their amazing product custom to their fishing style, target species, location and let’s not forget that Dawson Ryba was there to lead the way for Team Reebs. And last but certainly not least Islander Charters ( for being the professionals you are, for your fine crew, fine boat and fine food!

2015 Mothership Trips Scheduled

May 2nd, 2015 Posted by Kayak Fishing, Local Events, Mothership Trip, Uncategorized 0 comments on “2015 Mothership Trips Scheduled”

Dana Point Jet Ski and Fish Village teamed up this year to bring SoCal kayak anglers another
opportunity at big island fish on a limited load 2.5 day kayak mothership trips aboard the
Islander. This trip targets nearshore favorites such as calico bass, sand bass, halibut, sheephead,
leopard shark and sometimes even yellowtail.
The Islander begins loading kayaks and gear at around 5:00 PM and will leave Fisherman’s
Landing in Point Loma around 7pm. From there we fuel and bait up and make a slow and steady
course for San Clemente Island. We fish for two full days and begin the journey home the last
evening returning to dock early in the morning at about 6am. The price includes live bait, food
and sodas. Not included are beers and tips. Because of space limitations, no Hobie Pro Anglers
will be allowed.
What: 2.5 day trip
How much: $625
Depart: Friday June 5th @ 5:00 PM
Arrive Back to Dock: Monday June 8th @ 6:00 AM
Where: Boat leaves Point Loma, San Diego, bound for San Clemente Island (conditions
What: 2.5 day trip
How much: $625
Depart: Thursday June 18th @ 5:00 PM
Arrive Back to Dock: Sunday June 21st @ 6:00 AM
Where: Boat leaves Point Loma, San Diego, bound for San Clemente Island (conditions
If you’ve been on these trips before, you know that there is no better way to fish from a kayak.
The maximum amount of kayakers on this trip is limited to 18 spots. Trips fill up fast. A $200
non refundable deposit (cash, debit, credit and checks) will hold your spot with the balance due 6
weeks before the departure date. Once paid, the fare is non-refundable, unless we have someone
waiting to take your spot.
Get your deposit in early to guarantee your spot.
If you’re not familiar with the Islander, check out their website. I can speak from experience, the
boat and crew are exceptional and have the reputation as the finest mothership boat on the west
Come on kayak anglers, jump on this!

Contact Mike Ponce for details (714) 658-4089 or email me at


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Check out the new Hobie Pro Angler 17

July 25th, 2014 Posted by Kayak Fishing, News, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Check out the new Hobie Pro Angler 17”
The new Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T is a fishing machine with comfort, stability and room for everything you need, including another person. Plus, it’s powered by the patented Hobie MirageDrive pedal system.

The fully adjustable Vantage XT seating can be setup in multiple configurations: in-line tandem, face-to-face social tandem, or as a single. The PA17T is the perfect platform to teach a young one how to fish, take your family member out, or simply fish hard with your best fishing buddy. Fishing rod storage, both front and rear, holds up to 12 rods and the new H-Rail System allows you to customize accessory placement.

Both users can stand and fish in comfort and each cockpit is fitted with a large rectangular hatch with pivoting tackle management system; there’s even additional under-seat storage for bringing plenty of tackle boxes. The Lowrance® Ready feature with pre-installed thru-hull cable plug outlets makes adding most fishfinders easy. Use it “guide style” where the aft passenger provides power and puts the front angler on the fish or add an optional trolling motor to use it like a bass boat. Add the optional Livewell XL for storing your catch or taking plenty of live bait.

The hull will cut through ocean swells and the drop down skeg provides solid tracking over long voyages. With three rudder control steering handles, you can position the boat from any seating location while you or your buddy battles the big one. This vessel has found its niche through human propulsion via the MirageDrive, the ability to launch in no-motor zones or areas with no boat ramp, and minimal maintenance thanks to its durable polyethylene hull and rigid components.

Anticipated availability, Fall 2014.

Check out HobieCat website for more information

You are here Landing sizable halibut fishing Cook Inlet from a 12-foot kayak

July 15th, 2014 Posted by Kayak Fishing, Mothership Trip, Uncategorized 0 comments on “You are here Landing sizable halibut fishing Cook Inlet from a 12-foot kayak”

Alaske Dispatch News just posted this article.  Amazing what kind of fish people are catching on their kayaks!

The 57-pound halibut Rudy Tsukada caught last month in the Cook Inlet was no small feat. Sure, it wasn’t a barn door by Alaska halibut standards, but then Tsukada isn’t your standard Alaska fisherman, either.

The 48-year-old from Anchorage caught the flatfish from a kayak.

Instead of strapping on chest waders or hip boots like many anglers, Tsukada’s routine involves squeezing into a dry suit before heading out on his 12-foot Hobie Outback — a pedal-powered, sit-on-top kayak that provides more stability than a typical sea kayak. It’s rigged with a rod holder, a downrigger and even a fish finder. The geometry of the kayak allows anglers to catch a big one without getting dumped.

“These kayaks aren’t like the sit-inside kayaks,” Tsukada said. “These are ultra-stable. I catch fish with my feet hanging over the side.”

On June 20, the day he caught the 57-pounder, Tsukada kept his feet planted firmly in the front of the kayak.

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Heroes on the Water, Mission Bay

June 11th, 2014 Posted by Kayak Fishing, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Heroes on the Water, Mission Bay”

More than 110 kayakers came out to support the Heroes on the Water tournament in Mission Bay on May 3 2014.  Two of the those kayakers were part of Team Dana Point Jet Ski, Ken Rosenburg and myself, Gilbert Hernandez.  I did not have much of a game plan going into the tournament and I had little time to fish the area due to our busy tournament schedule.  Going into this tournament I felt a little pressure having won the last event at Mission Bay.  I wanted to bring the title back to Dana Point Jet Ski.  Not to mention Kayak Angler magazine was there and that did not help with the stress.

My game plan was to hit docks with Berkley Jerk Shad and Bass Pro Football Heads.  I mixed this up with some drop shotting as well.  For Ken and I, dock fishing is our bread and butter, it’s what puts big fish in the boat.  As the tournament started, Ken and I went our separate ways.  I went to Quivira and he headed to the Sea World docks.  Quivira docks are really deep.  Most dock fishing is in 15 feet of water, Quivira docks are 25 to 30 feet so when you do hook a fish, chances are, you might lose that fish.  As I went dock to dock, I found my first fish two hours into the tournament on a dock post with a Berkley Jerk Shad. The rest of my day was so slow, I wanted to make a move to the Ski Beach area because there is a lot of good grass to fish, but found out that it was closed due to a rowing tournament. With very little time left I knew of a dock on the backside of Bahia.  One thing about tournament fishing you need to know is time! And tide! The tide was good, but time was running out. With one fish in the tank I knew with the struggle everybody was having that three fish would win it. I decided to make the move to Bahia and on my way I would troll an old school Berkley Frenzy.

As I was making the long move and trolling two baits I got a bend in the rod right away.  I thought I was stuck, but then I began to pull back and landed fish number two. I asked the guys in the weigh boat how much time I had left knowing all I needed was one more fish to seal the deal. The weigh boat responded “you have 40 min”.  I did the math in my head and figured that would give me 10 minutes to fish. I made the move to the docks at Bahia I began to pitch and reel, pitch and reel, and ‘Bam!’ I was hooked up.  The fish gave me a fight.  He turned me around and would not come in.  I had no net and with one last crank of the handle I flung him in the boat.  It was a solid 2lb fish. I peddled like crazy just in time to make the final weigh-in and ended my day with 5.2lbs.

It felt good to win the tournament.  Ken finished 5th with 3.5lbs. The tournament raised $6,000 for Heroes on the Water and I was able to take home a new kayak for winning the tournament.  All in all, a great day and another good win for Team Dana Point Jet Ski.

Hobie Mirage Islands:A New Way to Fish

May 3rd, 2014 Posted by Island Club, Kayak Fishing, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Hobie Mirage Islands:A New Way to Fish”

Whoever said that sailing and hardcore offshore fishing are mutually exclusive sports? Hobie certainly did not. Enter the Hobie Mirage Tandem Island and Mirage Adventure Island.

Whoever said that sailing and hardcore offshore fishing are mutually exclusive sports? Hobie certainly did not. Enter the Hobie Mirage Tandem Island and Mirage Adventure Island. Pedal, paddle or sail them…they are human powered, no motor necessary. Marlin, tuna, dorado – offshore pelagic fishing of any kind – the Island’s are a “New Way to Fish.”

The combination of the MirageDrive pedal system, rudder, roller-furling main sail, retracting akas and amas on each side and the hull design ensure a stable and fast ride and enable anglers to cover long distances at trolling speeds. Both boats are proudly made in the U.S.A.

When Hobie Alter built the first Hobie Cat 16 in 1968, little did he envision that the powerful combo of wind and sail would later merge with Hobie’s human-powered MirageDrive pedal system to create a whole new category of watercraft.

Fast forward to 2013. Both forms of power are combined in the Island boats. They provide a demonstrable way to give offshore anglers a glimpse of the propulsion that can be achieved combining the MirageDrive with the power of wind in sails. Add the amas on each side that make it virtually impossible to flip over, built-in rod holders, the ability to troll with lures and large storage capacity on the trampolines, and these boats convert into fishing machines.


Tackle Trade World Recognition of Hobie

May 1st, 2014 Posted by Business, Kayak Fishing, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Tackle Trade World Recognition of Hobie”

Still unconvinced about whether to offer kayaks in your range? Tackle Trade World examines why you definitely need to consider it and work with the leading company in the field… Hobie.

1 – Kayak fishing is on a global growth curve.

What started off as a gimmick in the eyes of many has quickly become a very reputable and desirable fishing method – once people began to see the results it delivers. From something that was limited to the small coastal regions of the USA, kayak fishing is now a global phenomenon, practised across the USA, Europe, Australia and everywhere in between.

Fishing is often a fashion-driven industry and people buy what is current. You can’t get more current than kayaks in the present marketplace.

2 – The company has been around since 1950.

Hobie has been around for more than half a century and in that time it has acquired a huge level of knowledge and experience of being on the water. Since those early days, where it specialised in making wooden surfboards, Hobie forged its brand identity as one that looked to combine lifestyle and fun.

The company now makes watercraft of all kinds in a manner of different markets and also has wholly owned subsidiary companies in Europe and Australia. Its respect as a brand is second to none in its field.

3 – The Mirage Drive System.

Unique to Hobie, this revolutionary, hands-free propulsion system opened up a whole new world to anglers looking to fish from a kayak when it was launched. It allows kayaks to be quickly and easily manoeuvred across water without the use of your hands ­– freeing them up to fully concentrate on your fishing.

The Mirage Drive has gradually been developed the longer it has been around and can now be fully adjusted to match the height and proportions of the angler using it and is available with different styles of paddle to suit different situations. It is now a standard instalment on the majority of Hobie fishing kayaks.

4 – The company is supported by a growing international tournament.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have heard of the Hobie Kayak Fishing World Championships. A tournament launched by the company in 2011, it attracts anglers from 17 different countries and is also supported by other major fishing-tackle brands such as Daiwa, Berkley, Strike Pro, Ecogear and Power-Pole.

The tournament, which was last held in Australia in November, attracts a huge amount of media interest, so is bound to help spike the interest in kayak fishing for anglers.

5 – The company’s kayaks are truly fishing specific.

Hobie is one of few kayak companies to have its own specific division aimed at the fishing market. It has an entire range of products with modifications that suit the needs of anglers – headed up by its flagship product the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14. With a larger width to support standing fishing as well as a host of accessories, including rod holders, a livewell, a special system to install a Lowrance fishfinder, a pivoting tackle-management system, a Vantage chair, which can be folded up to offer more standing deck space, and dual steering so that the kayak can be steered from both ends, this kayak has it all.

6 – The Hobie Kayak Fishing Team

In an effort to spread the joy of kayak fishing, Hobie has assembled a Kayak Fishing Team comprising some of the best kayak anglers in the world. They are ambassadors of the sport and experts in their local fishing arenas.

Members of the team do everything, from displaying their skills in kayak fishing tournaments to conducting seminars, and some of them even run their own kayak fishing guiding services.

The team currently comprises Ashley Rae, Brendan Bayard, Marty Wood, Michael Rischer and Rob Milam.

7 – Great media support

Due to the size of Hobie and the passion and emphasis it places on the fishing-tackle market, you can be sure that you’ll receive exceptional service from the company. Not only does it exhibit and take part in trade and consumer shows across the world, it also displays its brand prominently in both the trade and consumer press – giving it a strong brand profile right the way through the supply chain. This is imperative to having a successful product range and will ensure that the kayaks sell through.

8 – The IFA Kayak Fishing Tour

Another example of the popularity of kayak fishing is the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour, which Hobie is also heavily involved in. The IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing is for kayak anglers from Texas to Florida and beyond, who are seeking the opportunity to compete in any or all of the tour’s five different divisions.

Low entry fees for the one-day, regular-season tournaments allow anglers to fish close to home and minimise expenditure, while still being part of a premier inshore, catch-and-release tournament organisation.



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