An old Palm favourite
For the past season I have been wearing the new Palm Ion bib and brace under my tournament shirts. I used the old Sidewinder bib & brace some years ago and always loved the comfort that they gave me out on the water.
The new Ion is available in two colours, Saffron and Jet Grey, I went for the Jet Grey it doesn't show the dirt so easily and a lot of my launches involve mud!
An important factor when choosing paddle trousers for me is that they have a high back, water creeps up external clothing and you can soon end up with a damp back, the high back on the Ion keeps my back nicely warm and dry. and with a breatable mesh I don't cook when the sun comes out.
The only thing I would change is the braces, I would permanently attach to the back rather than the front, I'd find it much easier to put them on.
I will be continuing to wear the Ion for as long as I can before I have to get back into my drysuit.
The AnglersAfloat Hobie Revolution 13 - voted Best Kitted Kayak
On the last day of the Hobie Fishing Euro's all the competitors kayaks were lined up and numbered. Each competitor then cast a vote on whose kayak was thought to be the Best Kitted Kayak. I was chuffed to bits that the AnglersAfloat Hobie Revolution 13 Project won against some very tough opposition.
Huge thank you to Hobie Cat Centre, SeaDek, YakAttack, and Raymarine for helping to make it special.
I'm very proud to have become a Raymarine Ambassador, I will be using Raymarine Dragonfly Fishfinder's onboard my Hobie Kayak.
The quality of sonar image that I have been getting from the Dragonfly has already been put to good use in Holland at the Euro's. This combined with the Navionics+ Charts makes for a formidable unit. Really looking forward to working closely with Raymarine over the coming months.
Hobie Fishing Euro's 2014
The Hobie fishing Euro's have come and gone, it was run like a well oiled machine as you would expect from Hobie. First day was prefish, hunting for fish, getting them to attack the lures, then moving on to find the next working area, we had bites for much of the day, some of my lures were destroyed.
Saturday and the first day of the comp, we launched into fog using the Raymarine Dragonfly to track us to our first mark across the river. We fished hard all day and with only 1 zander between the three of us, it wasn't a great start.
Saturday night we drowned our sorrows only have the competitors had managed to find the fish on what had been a very hard days fishing, whilst sat outside the bar, Sebastian Kummerer of Germany walked past and placed a lure under my hand, just saying, tomorrow. This kayak fishing commraderie at its best, Sebastian knew how much I wanted to get a Perch from Holland and had given me one of his "special" lures.
Sunday and we headed across the start line, today we were going to concentrate on one mark and using chatterbaits, Matt Boast had managed to secure a few for us and off we went, within the first 30mins of fishing Matt was into Perch, it was some time later, much later that I got into a Pike and we were on the scoreboard.
I carried on trying for Perch, although Matt was catching a few I couldn't hook up with them, I eventually moved off to deeper water and spotted four fish on the bottom. I flicked a Spro Belly Shad out in front of the kayak and let it drop down below the kayak, it was just above the fish, it took just two little jigs of the rod tip and it was fish on. When I saw it was a Zander I started to shake, I was on 4lb fluro straight through and on my dropshot rod. The Zander went like a train, the little 1000 size reel drag screaming and me spinning as fast as I could to get line on the reel, this was a technique the Australians use and they catch monsters using light line tactics. Eventually the Zander was in the net, I was chuffed to bits. Stupidly I hadn't marked the spot and couldn't find the other fish... schoolboy error.
Well that was it for me. I was very happy with a 16th place out of 48 anglers. Sadly not enough to get me to the Hobie fishing Worlds as Ian Harris managed to pip me with a monster pike and perch giving him a 15th place.
So who won. Daniel Van Der Post was crowned the first Hobie Fishing European Champion. A well deserved win.
Hobie Pro Angler 17T
Hobie have just launched the Hobie Pro Angler 17T, T for Tandem. This is a big kayak and one that will be ideal for taking out your kids, wife or customers if your a Kayak Fishing Guide.
The Pro Angler 17T comes loaded with a few new goodies from Hobie, including the H-Rail accessory system and of course twin Mirage Drives. The front Vantage seat can be set facing either front or rear and the front crew member can also peddle facing either direction.
Availability in Europe should be around Autumn time.
More info at Hobie Fishing.
Railblaza launch StarPort HD
Railblaza have just launched a new StarPort Base, the StarPort HD.
Railblaza's StarPort HD is a stylish, low profile, four screw base mount. This StarPort has the same footprint as Scotty and Cannon so will fit the 4-hole accessory mouldings found on many of todays fishing kayaks in addition it boasts the extra versatility of being track-mountable with tool-free adjustment.
For more information, and a list of RAILBLAZA dealers go to , or see RAILBLAZA in use on .
The OK Classic Kayak Fishing Tournament - Results
At a very sunny Swanage Bay, 95 kayak anglers took to the water for the annual OK Classic 2014 kayak fishing tournament. Fishing was tougher than the previous two days out in the bay with last years champ who had recorded 10 species over the previous two days struggled to get past 1 species after 2 hours of fishing this Catch, Photo, Release tournament.
After 5.5 hours afloat the winner of this years tournament was local kayak fisherman William Chellingworth with 8 species, William won the top prize of an Ocean Kayak Big Game Kayak. Last years winner Mark Radcliffe and favourite for the event had to settle for 2nd place with 7 species he took away a Garmin Virb Action Camera. And finally in 3rd place Raymond Cole also with 7 species but was slower getting back to register his catch pushing him back a position.
The tournament marshals voted for the Best fish of the day and winner of a Spro Triffic Rod and Spro Urban 520 Reel, the winner was Brian Chapman who caught the only conger during the tournament. One other stand out fish caught during the competition but not registered till after the event (the competitor thought it was another Ballan) was a rare Baillons Wrasse, a shame as this would have had my vote.
First junior was Matthew Torrington who received a fishing rod courtesy of Swanage Angling Centre.
A total of 19 species were recorded during the event with only three of these being micro species.
Thinking about a new lure rod?
Late spring and its time to start thinking about upgrading some tackle for the summer season ahead. If your considering a new lure rod then take a look at the Spro Insync range, they are a perfect for the kayak with forearm length butts, light weight and and they cast like a dream with the Microwave line control system.
I've been fishing with the Insync Crank-Jig & Light Popper 7-28g now for a couple of months and have had Pike, Wrasse and Bass on it, the Insync is guaranteed to put a smile on your face as it bends into a good fish.
I'll be writing a full review later in the season.
Viking Kayaks have arrived...
... and should be appearing at dealers around the UK they are already in Wales at Escape Watersports. We are picking up our fully loaded Reload later this week and will be our new AnglersAfloat Project Kayak for 2014, watch this space.
I'm very happy to announce that SPRO UK distributor Stewart Angling Services have agree to a sponsorship deal. This gives me the opportunity to try out the new Spro Insync lure rods with Microwave Line Control. I'll be reviewing the rod in the near future. If you see me on the water and would like to try the rod for yourself just ask, I think you might be in for a very pleasant surprise, the distance it casts is astonishing and it is so smooth. For more details on Spro and their range of fishing tackle visit their website: Spro
SeaDek Marine Products
It's funny the things you find yourself discussing at exhibitions.
At The Big One Tackle Show in Farnborough I found myself chatting to the Custom Rod Building maestro Aaron Insley about sound proofing on the kayak, we are both very keen lure fishermen and stealth is the name of the game when were sneaking around after Bass and Wrasse.
After the show I started to do some investigating as I knew there were products out there specific for our needs.
To my surprise I found that one company, SeaDek Marine Products offered precut EVA panels for the Hobie Revolution 13, our Project Kayak. Emails were exchanged and today the kit arrived, have to admit, can't wait to see it fitted and I'll be showing you how on the Project Pages. For more information about SeaDek Marine Products and what they could do for your kayak visit: SeaDek
Kokatat Expedition Dry Suit
Whilst at the SWKA/Escape Watersports Llangorse Comp I was able to borrow the Rolls Royce of Drysuits for a review, to see what I thought of the suit, read more
Hobie Fishing World Championships 2013
I've finally written up a report on what went on in Australia at the Hobie Fishing World Championships at Bemm River and Marlo, it was a fantastic few days, read more.
Cranka Crabs - We've got our hands on one!
One of the most eagerly and sort after lures in Australia is the Cranka Crab.
The Cranka Crab was first shown to the tackle world in January 2013. But production didn't start till much later in 2013. The Pro Anglers were first to get their hands on them and the Hobie Fishing Worlds saw some of the Pro Anglers using them at Bremm River to great effect, Cranka Team Member Stephen Maas coming in 3rd place at the ABT/Hobie Kayak Fishing Series.
With an underbelly weight system the crab sits down on its legs with its foam clawed Treble hooks dancing tantilisingly in the current.
AnglersAfloat has been lucky to get their hands on one, and will be giving an outing in the salt really soon, we really can't wait.
Wilderness Systems New Off Shore Design
Wilderness Systems look like they might be launching something new for the Off Shore Angler given this product teaser on YouTube.
South West Canoe Show 2013
Really didn't know what to expect at the South West Canoe Show. What John and I didn't expect was to be so busy, we had a none stop flow of people, some were friends, but many were people interested in getting into the sport.
The Hobie Revolution was quite a draw and attracted comments mostly good, some from people amazed with what is possible when hit comes to rigging your kayak.
AnglersAfloat Hobie Revolution 13 Project
A huge thank you to YakAttack for their help with the latest AnglersAfloat project our Hobie Revolution 13.
A few days ago the package of YakAttack and Ram gear arrived, we've been keeping ourselves busy checking out the new GTSL90 rails which we first talked about on AnglersAfloat back in January. Well Luther the owner of YakAttack wasn't happy with the first ones off the production line, so he wouldn't release them until he was. So there available now and well worth the wait.
Today we started rigging, which meant repairing a few holes that we had already drilled for our finder mount. Sad thing is, once we had one rail on we couldn't stop playing with it. Late this afternoon we mounted a rail where in the past we would have had to use well nuts or rivets, that was before Luther came up with the Rigging Bullet, genius.
Be patient, all will be revealed soon.
Here's a little taster though.
Testing, Testing, Testing
Whilst fishing in Texas last year for Redfish and Speckled Trout with lures we were struggling to get a bite, our guide on the other hand was getting a take nearly every other cast and we were all using the same lures!
After our first drift he pedalled over on his Hobie and took out a little white bottle and gave our lures a squirt with a sticky looking thick brown gel, then the games began.
The lures were hit time after time, hooking up was now the problem, but a nice problem to have. We caught a couple of Redfish and loads of trout when it looked as if it was going to be a blank the Gel did the business.
So what was the miracle gel, ProCure.
It works State side, so why not here in the UK? So after a few exchanges with the European distributor I have got my hands on a range of samples. Time to start testing. I'll let you know how I get on.
Fox Rage Ultron Belly Boat
Have we found the ultimate kayak fishing lure rod... read more to find out what we thought of the short butted rod from Fox Rage.
Kayak Fishings home since 2003
This year 2013 AnglersAfloat celebrates it's 10th year of kayak fishing. We have seen an awful lot of changes both the numbers of people that are afloat fishing from a kayak and the way that both the marine and fishing industry has taken notice and embraced our sport.
2013 already has a Kayak Fishing calendar full of events, both here in the UK and abroad, I personally will be taking part in as many of them as I can, I also hope to be able to fish abroad again this year it looks likely to be in France and the Hobie Fishing World Championships.
First major event for me this year is the London Boat Show where I'll be talking in the Knowledge Box each weekend along with my team mates in the Hobie Kayak Fishing Team, we will also be hovering around the Hobie Stand which has a kayak fishing area, pop by and have a chat.
Our latest project kayak - Hobie Revolution 13
2013 and time we started working on a new project, this time its a Hobie, the sleek, very quick Hobie Revolution 13 in the very popular Dune colour. We picked her up a few days before Christmas from the Hobie Cat Centre at Rockley Park, since then we have been pretty much waiting for gear to arrive to kit her out and can't get to far with her without some of the main fittings. We hope these will be with us during this month of March.
Meanwhile we have been able to do some of the minor jobs on the list.
Hobie World Championships, Texas
Texas and the Hobie Fishing World Championships is still very fresh in my mind. What an experience, what a fantastic group of kayak fishing folk. The world of kayak fishing really does bring together some incredibly friendly and like minded people.
Well Hobie Team GB didn't win, Rob did manage to get on the stage on day 2 with a 4th place, the secret to the event was getting on the scoreboard each day, one bad day and you soon found yourself down the rankings, it wasn't just about trying to catch fish, once you found them that was sometimes easy, but getting the bigger fish then became the problem, all fish had to be over 14" to score, even some of our new American friends were finding the conditions tough. Fishing flukes on a drop shot rig was the winning method on day 3, you guessed it, I fished the method with worms on the first day and had one good fish, texas rigged worms were the method on day 2, so I stuck with it on day 3 along with my fellow team members, I just couldn't get amongst the bigger fish until it was very late in the day, and the clock ran out.
The Hobie Pro Angler 12's proved themselves as an ultimate tournament kayak even in the crazy strong winds and wind blown chop, waves coming crashing over the bow, the Hobie just got on with the job, brilliant.
For more information about the Hobie World Champships visit : hobiefishingworlds.com
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