I’m buying a new kayak!

I’m currently using a 2015 Hobie Outback for my main fishing duties as well as a 2015 Hobie Adventure Island for both sailing and fishing. The AI is mine, though the Outback has been on loan from the Hobiecat Centre in Poole, Dorset. As much as this has been a great arrangement, I’ve decided to go back to private ownership for a few reasons, nothing sinister I hasten to add.
The choice was simple, another Outback (Red of course)!. I did briefly consider the other Hobie options, no other brands interested me as I’m now a pedal convert. The Outback is still the obvious choice of Hobie kayak for fishing duties due to its stability, roominess, rigging options and ease of sailing.

Are there any difference from my current 2015 model?. There’s only one thing really, though it’s a big thing!… the Mirage 180 drive. It’s offers full power in both directions, yup, I will be able to select reverse!!. For open sea fishing that may be somewhat limited in its use, though for freshwater in rivers and lakes it’s going to be extremely useful.

As for rigging, well it’s going to be more of the same, though I’m going to rig it up with YakAttack’s LeverLoc anchor trolley and their 2nd generation GearTrac. I’ll be swapping over my Lowrance Carbon 9 combo fish finder/GPS, outriggers (Hobie Sidekicks), etc. I’m not going to rush into rigging for a couple of weeks, this kayak will be with me now for many years so I want to get it right first time.

Rigging articles to follow shortly.

Underwater video

Underwater video is not really something that I've tried as such, though I do enjoying watching some of the video clips that have been produced over the past year or so. Daniel van der Post has produced some excellent freshwater lure fishing video clips and Graham Smith has produced some really interesting saltwater footage covering several methods.

Here's his latest clip of a Thornback Ray taking a bait. Just superb!

Savage Gear Pro Landing net - modifying for kayak use

I purchased a Savage Gear Pro XL landing net the other week. I've been using a rubberised landing net (50cm) that I bought from Bass Pro a few year ago, though it's too far small for large Pike, etc. When it arrived (Ebay purchase) is seemed horrendously large. Even with the extendable handle collapsed, the handle was excessively long and too unwieldy for kayak use. I was actually that put off that I left it at home for my last trip, the trip where I hooked a PB Pike and lost it due to the lack of a large landing net!!. 

I did take it along for the next trip, though the one time that I tried to use it it was a complete pain in the butt, taking way too long to unfold the net and extend the handle. What I needed was the net already unfolded , though without a one metre handle (minimum) attached to the net.
I finally got around to having a look this weekend. Below is a photo of the net unfolded with the handle extended. Obviously I'd not have the net configured this way for kayak use, but it gives you an idea of it's size. Handle length varies from 1.0m to 1.8m.

 The handle needed to go!. It is locked into position using two push pins, disengaging them both at once is a tad fiddly in itself. The extendable handle is locked to the desired length using a screw fitting, this same fitting can me unscrewed fully in order to remove the inner extendable section.

 With the handle split, the larger diameter section is all that's required. It is removed by depressing both locking pins and orientating it such that the handle can be slid out from the net itself. This can then be cut down to whatever length suits the user best. My rod holders are about 12" deep on average, so I chose to have a usable handle length of approximately 13". It was a simple case of hack sawing the handle to length and fitting a rubber end cap (I had one handy).

 With the cap fitted it was simple a case of re-fitting the handle. I also took the opportunity to fit a '4lb' float to  that I purchased a few years ago in Florida to the base of the net, close to the handle. I may also fit a simple leash in due course, though for the moment the aim had been achieved.

 The overall weight of the net has been lightened considerably and its usability can been dramatically increased. The long handle has now gone, with a short lightweight item in its place. The net can remain fully deployed, either in a rear rod holder or draped over the front hatch. It's just far better. As I had the float and handle grip lying in my box of spares, the modification cost me nothing whatsoever. It may seem a little odd taking a hacksaw to a brand new £50 landing net, but it's changed it from a somewhat impractical item to something that is very usable.