Loaded To Ride

I know that we are in the heart of the winter months, however, in North Texas, with each passing day it feels more like spring. The spring weather has brought an upswing of traffic on areas lakes along with area fishing forums. New blood is outstanding for our sport, which continues to grow leaps and bounds. The growth not only comes from new anglers but from the kayak and gear manufacturers that are bringing new gear to the market in record fashion. In this week’s addition I want to spotlight the Hobie Pro Angler 14 and the gear that I use for a quality Kayak Bass Adventure!


Let’s start with the Hobie Pro Angler 14. This boat simply rocks, as a solid fishing platform. The Hobie design enables the boat to be safe and sturdy on open water, in windy conditions. The Pro Angler 14 has an overall length of 13’8” and is 38” in width. This design enables anglers to easily move around the cockpit, reach behind and 

Every Pro Angler 14 is designed to carry a capacity load of six hundred pounds. I am not a minimalist! I carry everything and the kitchen sink on my Hobie every time I go out.  The rear deck storage area has enough room for me to carry almost every after market accessory know to man. Did I mention hands free fishing? The most outstanding part of this Hobie, for me, is the Mirage Drive System. The Mirage Drive allows me to hold my position, without corrective paddling, and gives me the advantage to have my line in the water more than my paddle. This one feature alone will give you an almost 2-1 advantage of fishing time compared to other kayaks on the market.ease to stand up and make that quality presentation to a waiting fish. The boat comes loaded with features, in the standard package. These features include an outstanding tackle management system with three Plano boxes. Two of these boxes are stored in a below deck hatch which is located right at your feet. The Pro Angler 14 has the capacity to hold six rods in the horizontal position. This is an outstanding feature and allows you to know your equipment is stored safely and within a hands distance of you picking it up and using it. I need to mention the seat. This is the most comfortable kayak seat on the market today. The seat has a front and back tilt and offers a high and low position. I can’t describe the comfort of this seat; you’ll just have to try it! These features alone are worth the price of admission, but there are tons more that make the Hobie PA 14 invaluable to the kayak bass angler.

 Many people ask me about the overall rigged weight of the boat and I say it’s the lightest one hundred and thirty eight pounds you will ever lift. I fish on my own most of the time and load and unload my boat solo. I do not have a trailer, but with a bed extender on a truck and proper balancing techniques the Hobie PA 14 gets in and out of the truck with great ease.    

The aftermarket options that I felt necessary for me where all purchased from Mariner-Sails and produced by Yak Attack, Scotty and Ram. I like to have the options of quick disconnect of my fish finder and camera mounts, therefore I chose the Gear Track 175. This track is easy to install and comes with all the parts you need, from screws to a pilot drill bit. I like the 1.75” Gear Track at 12” in length so that I can stack multiple accessories on both sides of the Pro Angler 14. I also endorse the Pan Fish Portrait both large and small additions. When purchasing the large Pan Fish I used the Mighty Mount and secured it to the Kayak on the left hand side behind my seat. I use the large Pan Fish to mount my Drift HD camera so that I can capture all the action. The small Pan Fish fits snug in my Gear Track, holding my digital camera. My digital camera is easily removed from the Gear Track and allows me to take quick photos of the fish before release.  Finally, a new piece of equipment for me, the Black Pac. This tackle management system is outstanding. In short it has all you need to keep your tackle organized and at you beckon call. The Black Pac system is capable of holding digital cameras, rod holders, Hawg Troughs and any other possible thing you would need when you’re out on the water. There are plenty of reviews and guides to this product; all you need to do is simply Google “BlackPac”. 

I always carry my Yeti Cooler on the back as well as my twoday survival and first aid pack from Zippmo Survival Gear. The Yeti speaks for itself and I consider this cooler to be at the top of the cooler food chain. The Zippmo Survival pack has been reviewed in a previous blog.

There you have it; that is my boat in a nutshell. Before you by a kayak paddle as many boats as you can so that you know what you are getting. Make sure you know the type of fishing you are going to do and research the boat fully before making a final decision. Please take the time to go into local dealers, such as Mariner-Sails and visit with the staff. They will be happy to answer any questions you have, to ensure you are making the right call. I have found the Hobie Pro Angler 14, along with all the above mentioned accessories work for me and do what I need them to do. I hope everyone has an excellent spring season. I look forward to seeing you out on the water.


Keep Living The Dream!



Be Prepared!

Growing up on a ranch, in South Texas I had some great influences that shaped my work ethic, personality, love of the outdoors and preparedness. Like every good Boy Scout says, “Be Prepared”! When I prepare for a river trip, a day hike or just a casual day of fishing I like to think of myself as having what I need. There have been several posts on the Texas Fishing Forum about safety and preparedness and that made me look into my dry bag of goods to see if I had what it will take to either help in the midst of an emergency situation or have the gear I need to survive should I become stranded in the wild outdoors. After a quick ten minute review I was gravely concerned about my supplies and what I could offer in either situation. The below is not a paid endorsement or a pro staff gig; I bought it with my own funds. I searched around and feel like I found a great piece of gear for under $200.

We all have the basic first aid kit and that’s an awesome start, but I started thinking about some of the places I travel to, or some of the places that I float on a regular basis. Image

I found that my aid kit was not good enough to support me for any length of time or my first aid equipment not advanced enough to help in a critical situation. This concern leads me around the internet where I stumbled upon Zippmo Survival Gear. While looking at this site it looks to be a site where a doomsday prepper would start their search for gear. Since I’m not in the mindset of hording food, collecting water or setting up my own security perimeter, I found the 2 day survival pack in my crosshairs. This pack had it all: First aid, food, drinking water, survival gear and numerous cool gadgets that if in a bind would help me make it for at least two days. I sent in the cash and it was shipped to my door. Man was it cool!


All the stuff is compartmentalized in large zip lock bags and comes with an excellent set of first aid instruction. Check out the photos and if you can spare the change these packs are great for the kayak community. The size makes them work well for putting below deck or strapping to the back of your angling wagon.

I know that we all think that nothings ever going to happen to us, but in the event something goes wrong with you or a buddy it will be nice to know that you are prepared for the situation. Whenever I am out seeking an adventure I am not without my Zippmo Survival Gear. Keep Safe and until next time.


If you want to check out Zippmo:

On the web: http://www.zippmo.com/extreme-survival-kits.html

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZippmoSurvivalGear?fref=ts