Monday, November 10, 2014

Hobie Outback with Rectangular Hobie Hatch

I have added a Pro Angler-style rectangular hatch to my 2015 Hobie Outback, replacing the circular hatch that comes stock with the kayak.

Of course, I was so eager to install this thing that I didn't take any pics during the install.  But I can say it was a very easy installation - taking me around 30 minutes from start to finish.

One thing I was looking forward to, with having this hatch on the Outback, was using the "Tackle Management System" to hold two medium-sized Plano trays.

Some folks say "You'll have to put your legs in the water to open/close/access the hatch!" - but I have found this to not be the case for me.  I guess the redesigned cockpit and seat of the 2015 Outback made this modification easier, as you can see in the picture below.

Interested in this mod for your 2015 Outback?  Go see your local Hobie dealer - they can steer you in the right direction!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Rigging the 2015 Hobie Outback

My 2015 Hobie Outback was a blank canvas - waiting for some 'color' to make it come alive!

Lets start at the back of the Outback, where a lot of stuff seems to be going on.  I added a Micro Power-Pole to the Outback, using a mounting plate that I crafted out of a piece of 1/2" starboard and mounted with stainless nuts/bolts.  I ran the power cable for the Micro through the rear hatch, with a West-Marine thru-hull wire cap.  I did this to minimize the amount of holes drilled into the main hull.

This mount has the Micro off-set to the the right side of the Outback, clear of the rudder's travel path so nothing binds, and the rudder can be extended and retracted as normal.

The release-cord for the Micro is mounted on it's keeper next to the right-rear rod holder.  Note that I am using the Hobie rod holder extensions for the molded-in rear rod holders.

Up front, on the left side of the cockpit, is a Lowrance Mark-4 mounted on a Ram mount, using the Lowrance adapter for a clean install.  The thru-hull wire ports that Hobie has pre-installed on their kayaks makes running wires easy.  The transducer is mounted in the Lowrance-Ready pocket, on the bottom of the Outback (not pictured).

Both the Lowrance Mark-4 and the Micro Power-Pole are powered off a single battery, which I have mounted on the sailing mast, on a Hobie battery holder.  The Mark-4 unit is a battery-miser, so much so that I can use it on five or six trips of more than eight hours without killing a battery.  The Micro is also good with battery power.  I decided to run both off a 12V 9Ah battery.  So far, this has worked out great with no power issues at all.

For some camera action, I added a YakAttack Mighty Mount on the left side, holding a Targus monopod that has been converted with some butchered Ram and Scotty parts to make a camera boom, where I can add my HD action camera for some nice-angled fishing shots.

This pretty much sums up my rigging of the 2015 Hobie Outback!  How did you rig yours?  Hope you enjoy your new kayak...

Monday, October 13, 2014

2014 Merritt Island Boondoggle

The lowcountry of South Carolina was represented at the 2014 Merritt Island Florida Boondoggle this past weekend.  The "Boondoggle" has become a popular gathering among the kayak fishing crowd.  It is not a tournament - just a chance to get together with other kayak anglers, camp, socialize, and fish (of course).  This was my fifth Boondoggle.

I decided to make the 6-hour drive after I got off work at three on Thursday afternoon.  Some minor detours plus Jacksonville traffic saw me get up there around 10:30 that evening.  Sleep was tough that night - the mosquitoes and no-see-ums wouldn't have it any other way.

Despite the lack of sleep, we set-off that morning to fish at Port Canaveral.  I loved this launch, as there was a tackle shop right there at the launch - plus they had bathrooms.

I caught some small fish along the northern-most jetty.  Greg caught a redfish.  Darrell was able to slime his new was a fun day on the water.  The day was cut short when the Coast Guard came out, to clear the inlet for a departing submarine - so we headed to the landing.

Saturday would be Mosquito Lagoon.  I had last fished here back in February of 2013, so I was looking forward to trying it out in an October, with warmer water and hopefully more fish.

This was my first snook ever - I was happy to see him on the line!

Sunday brought us to the Thousand Islands in Cocoa.

This was the only trout I caught during the whole trip, and it was a small one.  Florida boasts big trout, but I have been unable to catch them during my trips here.

This was the big fish of the weekend.  I was working plastics along the edges of the mangroves and was able to coax this one out to play.  It had a lot of spots - a beauty!

The Boondoggle is in the books - but the memories remain!  For more information about future Boondoggles, visit