The New Year is now in full swing, meaning so is the Bream tournament series, be it the Hobie series, Vic Bream, SBS, ABT, BETS and any others I have forgot to mention. For me, it’s the Hobie Series that I now have a new found love for. Round 2 of the bream calendar has been and gone and round 3 is quickly approaching.
It is the first World qualifier for the year, at the majestic Mallacoota and one that I’m sure many want to win. Why the Hobie Series for me? I’m 23 years of age and just recently bought my first house. That means a huge tightening of the belt. The kayaks are a cost friendly way of tournament fishing. I’m not saying cheap! But it’s a lot friendlier on the hip pocket compared to the boat series. I also really enjoy the challenges that kayak fishing throws at you.
The physical demand that kayak fishing brings is awesome! You know you can get to a spot first because your fitter, or you know you can peddle to a spot further than any one because your fitter. So work on your fitness and your kayak fishing will improve. The weight is all on your shoulders. What I mean by that is you don’t have a teammate or partner to crack a pattern or quickly boat your last legal for you. You’re the one who has to really work hard and think about your every move.
Kayaks are not fast! You really have to think about what your plan is, and also have a plan B, C, and D close by! Unlike a boat you cant move quickly and fish a “milk run” of spots. Most of the time you pick your area and you have to believe in it! Take the next comp at Mallacoota for example. You’re not going to be able to fish snags up at Gypsie point and then come back to your honey hole back over at Fairhaven! In fact you’re probably going to have to choose top or bottom lake! This really gets your mind thinking, and questioning if you have made the right decision or not!
Storage! Kayaks don’t have rod lockers to store 7 rods, or tackle storage to store your 10 boxes of both hard and soft plastics, all your leaders, hooks, jig heads, scents the list goes on! You have to think long and hard on what to take, what rods to rig, how many braid outfits, how many fluoro outfits. I guarantee you, you’re always thinking about that one lure you decided not to take on this trip, or how handy it would have been to take that extra 3lb straight through outfit!
Weather also has a huge impact to where you will fish in your yak. In a recent tournament at Bemm River I was fishing the entrance to the ocean. On day two I was the only person there. There was a weather warning for it to blow 25knots SW at about 12 o’clock. Meaning I would be pushing straight into it on the way home. So considering you can pedal at about 6 to 8 knots in good conditions, your in a bit of trouble trying to pedal into 25 knots!. At the time I was sitting 2nd, I was fishing the blue water as it came in and was smashing Yellowfin as they sat in the blue. I never got the chance to fish be tide change as the wind came though earlier than expected. I didn’t finish 2nd that comp!
No prefish! The Hobie events don’t have a pre fish the day before. Even more challenging! So you’re in a kayak, limited by the speed and distance you can travel, and you have to work out where they are, what they want, how they want it. It’s awesome!
The best thing about the kayaks is the social aspect. I know it’s a comp and we are fishing for prizes and cash, but you wouldn’t think that at the pub on Saturday night. I recall Chris Burbidge and Clarke Wilson recently helping a few people out after they struggled on day one of a comp. With their helpful tips, they ended up getting their bag on day 2! That’s what its about. There is some cracking blokes fishing the series and it’s making for some serious laughs after a days fishing! I can still remember all of the Bemm River pubs in fits of laughter, listening to Mr Baker tell stories. Just this side of the series makes it for a good weekend. I love having to put all these factors together to decide on where to fish. Combined with the chance of fishing in the Hobie World Series somewhere around the world, against the best Hobie anglers around the world is awesome!
So that’s my 2cents on why I’m really enjoying the Hobie series. We all love fishing, that’s why you are probably reading this. If you are not enjoying the competition fishing as much as you should be maybe its time for a change!