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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:48 am
Posts: 239
Location: Portland, OR
Just upgraded my 2011 Hobie Outback to the new 2019 Hobie Outback. I love my old kayak but the new one is really sweet. Much better seat, faster, more stable, has the ability to go in reverse and the cockpit layout is much nicer with more storage and much better hatch.

Here she is coming home with me:

https://jstonick.us.quickconnect.to/photo/share/ngDGc5rU/photo_323031382f31322d3138_6e6577206f75746261636b2e6a7067

I took it out fishing for the first time yesterday to test its fish-ability and I was really pleased. I was on the water at Swan Island by about 8:30 and spent the first 45 minutes just trying out the yak. I would say that the top speed is about 20% faster than my old kayak, but the easy cruising speed is close to 50% faster. A combination of a better pedal drive and the sleeker hull design.

Once I was done playing with and exploring my kayak I decided I needed to get some fish stink on the kayak to properly break it in. I cruised around the harbor but other than the fish stacked at the dry docks there were not many sturgeon to be found (at least by me).

I finally marked a few fish out a ways from the dry docks (I don't like fishing the dry docks since they get pretty crowded and that is not my thing). I anchored up and tossed out and waited.

The feeling of pressure was intense. I had not been sturgeon fishing since last January due to a shoulder injury. I felt out of touch with the river, unsure of myself. The feeling only grew as I sat there. Like a huge weight pressing down on my very soul. Should I re-cast, should I move, what should I do???

I had just about convinced myself to re-cast when I thought I felt a tiny tap on the line. I leaned forward, tensing up. Did I imagine that? I tried to play it back in my head but I was not sure. Then, I felt it again. This time I was sure! In that moment every bit of self-doubt evaporated and I felt like I erupted from a pit of despair. When the sturgeon finally committed a few seconds later I tightened up the line and it was fish on!

The first fish out of my new kayak - a borderline keeper/shaker sized (FYI: shaker < 38", keeper or slot sized 38-54", oversized > 54"):

https://jstonick.us.quickconnect.to/photo/share/ngDGc5rU/photo_323031382f31322d3138_4453434e313434322e4a5047

The one thing I noticed right away with the new kayak is that it has a lot less friction in the water than my 2011. That sturgeon was not large but easily pulled me around. I also appreciated the improved stability during the fight and the improved turning radius. I love the new kayak.

After that first fish, I tossed back out and after another pretty long soak I picked up a shaker and that was it for that spot. I did not mind the slow bite since I got to watch a ship leave the dry dock.

https://jstonick.us.quickconnect.to/photo/share/ngDGc5rU/photo_323031382f31322d3138_4453434e313434352e4a5047

It was cool to watch them lower the dry dock and see the stern wheeler head out. Even cooler was watching the dry dock rise up after the ship had left. Seeing the water pouring out the front as it rose up and the floor broke the surface made it seem like a football field-sized submarine.

After that excitement, I moved out to fish near the edge of the current. It took a little probing with my casts but I eventually found a good bite. I had picked up several good sized-shakers in a row so I decided to move my cast a little further downstream to see if I could change the quality of the catch.

On my first longer cast (I love having a line counter on my one Tekota to know how far I am casting) I started to get the tiny little tappy bites that often means a big fish. WhenI tightened down on the fish I knew right away that it was a good fish.

I basically reeled myself over to the fish rather than the other way around! I could not budge the fish at all, it just sort of meandered around. After about 10 minutes of that it decided it wanted to check the weather. I will never get over how amazing it is to see an oversized leap completely out of the water. When it landed it sounded like someone had thrown a body in off of the pier.

The fish dove to the bottom dragging my rod down hard:

https://jstonick.us.quickconnect.to/photo/share/ngDGc5rU/photo_323031382f31322d3138_4453434e313435302e4a5047

I went back to work and then a few minutes later it came completely out of the water again. That was my first double jump sturgeon ever. Unfortunately this time it was close to the pier when it leaped and it used the momentum of the jump to dive into the pilings and break me off. I was really bummed, that fish looked to be about 6' long and really fat. Would have liked to have retrieved my hook from that big girl.

The rest of the afternoon was a mix of shakers and slot sized fish. The biggest that I landed were a few in the mid-40s like this one.

https://jstonick.us.quickconnect.to/photo/share/ngDGc5rU/photo_323031382f31322d3138_4453434e313435322e4a5047

Perhaps my memory is failing me a bit but those sturgeon seemed to be fighting much harder than I remember them fighting in the winter. Perhaps it was the slightly warmer water temp (~45 or so).

One thing I did figure out after the big one broke me off is that if I switch the drive into reverse when I am fighting a fish I can do a much better job of keeping them away from bad things. A little late, but a good lesson nonetheless.

I ended catching a total of 16 sturgeon which is not a huge day but was plenty good for me on the first day back in the game. My shoulder ached as I pedaled back to the ramp, but it was a fair price to pay for a day on the water. I love my new kayak!

_________________
Fish tremble when they hear my name :)

A ship in harbor is safe -- but that is not what ships are built for.
--John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic, 1928


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:43 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:18 pm
Posts: 21
WOW nice bunch of fish!

Mark


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