Do Hobie Fishing Kayaks Give You An Advantage In Tournament Fishing?

Posted on November 11 2016

Hobie Kayak Fishing Tournament

Hi Tempo is proud to sponsor the Minnesota Kayak Fishing Association and each year we sponsor 2 elite local kayak anglers as part of our own Hobie / Hi Tempo team

This year (2016) Jay Suhsen was selected to represent us as a Hobie Fishing Ambassador. Jay is a very active outdoorsman. He freely shares his love and knowledge of kayak fishing with others and in particular he is active in bringing the youth of his community in to the sport. We love that about Jay! But when it comes to competition, Jay uses the best gear in addition to his knowledge of kayak fishing to increase his chances of finishing in a top spot.

Jay uses the features of Hobie Kayaks to his advantage in kayak fishing tournaments  

Jay qualified for the 2016 KBS (Kayak Bass Series) national championship that was held on Lake Guntersville, in Alabama, October 20-23, 2016. This tournament draws some of the best Kayak Bass Anglers from around the country. After day 1 Jay was in first place. He made the top 10 after day 2 which qualified him for the final day tournament. Jay took fifth place. Lake Gustersville is BIG WATER and the high winds during the tournament we’re certainly a factor in this Kayak Fishing Tournament. We asked Jay how his Hobie Pro Angler 12 gave him an advantage over kayak anglers in other yaks.

Wind makes kayak fishing tough!

Jay told us this story about his experience at the 2016 KBS Championship.

In the afternoon, on the final day of pre-fishing, we were working an area that we (along with other MN kayak anglers) felt would offer a break from the 20-30 mph wind that was forecast. I (Jay) found an area that had some fish and discovered that I could catch better quality fish with a drop shot rig. A finesse rig is very difficult to use in the forecast conditions. Years ago I discovered that if I could fish a finesse presentation straight into the wind, the line will bow down and toward me, just like it does on a calm day. This makes bite detection possible in very windy conditions. Also, presenting it straight upwind allows me to hover in one place using the Hobie Mirage drive. This makes it possible to leave the lure in one place long enough to tempt sluggish fish into biting. There is no other way to hover except by facing into the wind and using the pedal drive to stay in one place. I discovered this technique using the trolling motor on my bass boat. When I graduated from a paddling kayak to a Hobie with the mirage drive I was able to resurrect this technique. It’s not that it’s inconvenient to fish this technique with a paddle; it’s absolutely impossible. 

Using this technique to search for fish, I found a school of big fish late on day one. The public access that we chose was a long peddle straight into the wind. I was able to fish the spot with the school of big fish until the very last minute because I had confidence the mirage drive could get me back to the access before the close of fishing deadline. 

There were many times throughout the day that I speared waves with the bow of my Hobie Pro Angler 12. It’s so stable that I was able to fish with complete confidence in areas that others could not or would not go.

Kayak fishing tournaments are rarely canceled due to weather conditions. Hobie users can use the unique features and benefits of their boats to increase thier finish positions.

Thank you to Jay Suhsen for contributing to this article. 

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