Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hobies on the Niagara

Morgan Promnitz of Hobie Cat
I've wanted to try out Hobie Cat's line of fisherman friendly kayaks for ages.  My devastating knee injury prevented me from getting into one last September at the AGLOW Fall conference but when the opportunity arose again this spring, I made sure that I got my chance to try one out. 
Niagara USA along with Hobie Cat's own Morgan Promnitz and Ingrid Niehaus gave the membership of AGLOW the opportunity to try out this unique equipment on the Niagara River.  

I spent the morning fishing Ontario for salmon.  We were chased from the lake by an incoming storm so I had my doubts as to whether or not I would get my opportunity to try out the Hobie equipment.
The afternoon was breezy and there was a healthy chop on the waters of the Niagara River.  It would be a bit of a challenge to maneuver the small craft along the shore line and be able to cast.  It started rocky for me.  The wind wanted to push us into the shoreline and I was not comfortable with the small craft.  

Maneuvering out of the dock and away from larger craft had me flustered.  What was I thinking?  Ingrid encouraged me to pedal faster into the calmer waters along the shore line away from the bustle of the dock.  I over corrected the steering and managed to run into the dock but no worries I was easily back into the path along the shore line.  
My maiden voyage in a Hobie
Getting into the rhythm of steering with one hand and pedaling was the key to becoming comfortable, I'm a Mom so I'm a natural multitasker. It's seat and peddles are adjustable, which meant that my 5'4" frame was comfortable and Mark's 6'5" frame was comfortable in the same boat.

As our small group put the docks behind us we all tested out maneuvering the boats.  The small size of the boats did not compromise the stability, which surprised me.  Never once on the river did I feel like I was going to tip over, which I thought would be the case, I liked being wrong.  I even felt stable in the wake of much larger craft.  I have spent many hours river fishing and the constant current can pose issues even in a motor powered boat, however, the Hobie allowed me to hug the shoreline and soon I became comfortable enough to cast into the fertile waters under structure. 

No motor also provided the advantage of stealth.  I wasn't disturbing the fish that were congregating in the shallows, bonus!  I could see the applications unfolding in my fertile fishing fantasies.  I thought about running into the reeds after big large mouth Bass back home or chasing after those big pike as they feed in the shallows.  Yes, this was definitely something that I would be adventuring out in the future.

While compact and lightweight it was big on storage.  Rod compartments and additional storage within easy reach meant that I could stay out fishing all day. Peddling back wasn't as much fun as peddling out, I was tired. Getting the Hobie out of the water was easy though.  The peddles lift out and the rudder retracts with just one lever.  It was lightweight so even I could take care of my own gear.  In the near future I see a ladies fishing weekend with Hobies, take note ladies!  Then I plan to head to the northern lakes of Minnesota to test out the stealth of the Hobie on those northern Pike, oh yes Hobie I have big plans for you!

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