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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