I have never fished in a Hobie before so we had a quick 5 minute run down at Chris’ house on how to put the pedals in, operate the rudder, when to lift your pedals and rudder and lastly on how you can use one pedal of the tandem forward and one backward when fishing snags – a very handy hint if you need to reverse quickly.
So loaded up on the Toyota Hilux, Scott and I were excited to hit the water. We haven’t fished Tallowa Dam for approx 8 years and our anticipation was high. In the past we had fished in kayaks that are powered by hand paddles which definitely limits your ability to fish and control your movements at the same time. The Hobie offered hands free travel except for the occasional rudder movement to correct your direction. What a dream it was to fish out of.
It was time to launch, so we took everything down to the water and started assembling the pedals, clipping the oar on, securing the seats and lastly loading the fishing gear. Wow that was pretty easy going. Off we pedalled.
The wind was lightly blowing and we found that we kept getting blown into the bank, so we arranged the rear pedal to go backwards and the front pedal forwards. We found this to be really tough work and a lot of changing the pedals back and forth when you needed to travel. So we gave up on this idea and found it easier to drift a little more side on to the wind and use the rudder to control your drift. We soon caught onto the knack of this and now could concentrate on catching fish.
On our next adventure Josh Carpenter joined us. I still remember his excitement of wanting to tangle with a big bass. Josh brought the Pro Anglers down for us to use and give him our feedback. Both kayaks are similar but the Pro Angler offers different seats, the rudder system is the same design just different pull cords and of course plenty more storage and stability.
All three of us had a great day being able to spread out through the system. We would then pedal over to each other when one would hook a fish to share and take photos. Having 3 of us in separate Pro Anglers we were able to cover a lot more ground and with the bite still hot we caught and released over 70 fish for the day up to 46cm.
So which Hobie did I enjoy more, the Tandem Mirage Outfitter Vs Pro Angler?
They are both fantastic kayaks and for different circumstances they both have their advantages and disadvantages. A personal choice for me would be the Tandem Mirage Outfitter Hobie.
When I am fishing it is usually with my husband Scott. He is just as mad keen on fishing as me. In the tandem we could share the experience of the hook up and fight of the fish there and then where in the Pro Angler we had to catch up with each other when we heard someone get a fish, congratulate their capture and take a photo, you missed out on the whole experience of the capture. If travelling fair distances you could share the pedalling, having rest stops every so often whilst the other kept pedalling. It would also be brilliant if you had kids that you wanted to take on the adventure with you, with adjustable pedals they too can have a go. The tandem can also be used on your own if locating a fishing partner is hard to find. Lastly we were able to help each other lift it on and off the car with ease, this made much lighter work.
Don’t get me wrong either, the Pro Angler was brilliant for it’s ability to stand up whilst fishing, as the tandem was a little shaky for this. It would also be great if you haven’t got a constant fishing partner and fish on your own often. It has plenty of storage and is also ideal for any sort of tournament fishing. I did find the Hobie Pro Angler rather heavy (something that I personally couldn’t lift on my own) but the wheels help transport it to and from the car. I believe there is a roller system designed for roof racks to make loading easier.
All in all it really comes down to a personal choice and what’s right for you. I have the Hobie fever and can’t wait for my next adventure.
Vicki Lear is a self confessed fish-a-holic and works as a real estate agent to support her habit. Far from being a “one trick pony” she excels at many diverse styles of fishing from land based game fishing to offshore gamefishing. As well, she kicks most guys butts at Bream and Bass fishing.
Read more of Vicki’s stories here