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Fall is a prime season for outdoor adventures. Camping, fishing, hunting, or getting out on the trails for a hike brings much needed balance to our lives after surviving the doldrums of the summer heat. There’s nothing like the anticipation of packing up my camping gear, getting some tasty camp grub lined up, prepping fishing tackle, and making sure my trailer and Hobie Pro Angler 14 are ready for a camping trip.

Why not make that camping adventure the type of trip where lifelong memories are made? We all have what I refer to as destination fishing locations, which can be lakes, rivers, bays, or deep sea locales. These are the places we dream of putting a line in the water. I have knocked several off my list including Sam Rayburn, Lake Fork, and Kentucky Lake, but I always maintain a current top five list of destination lakes.

My current top five is Toledo Bend, Falcon, Guntersville, the St. Lawrence/Thousands Island region of New York, and Okeechobee. Hernando County’s fresh and saltwater region of Florida would be on that list if it was a lake, but it may be my most desired fishing destination at this time. The locations on my list range from easily reachable within my state to I’m going to need to take a two-week vacation to both reach and get the full experience while I am there. What’s your top five?

Article image - Fall destinations

The concept of this article was conceived while preparing for an early fall trip to Sam Rayburn Resevoir for the KATS Classic Championship, a two-day tournament featuring the top 25 anglers from the regular season. Without the ability to pre-fish, I relied upon map studies, internet research, and replicating the types of cover I thought I would find on Sam Rayburn on my local lakes.

An angler can maximize a trip to their destination lake through research and practice, and generate confidence throughout the process. It all starts with map studies for me. I try to find areas that have a variety of features including timber, vegetation, rocks, and key structural elements. This increases your chances of locating active fish without sacrificing too much time in transit.

Scouring the internet for fishing reports, and tournament results can also provide an idea of what to expect during any given time of year. Fall fishing can be unpredictable, as temperatures change, fronts roll through, and the possibility of the lake turning over during the beginning of the season. Being flexible, and allowing current conditions to dictate your strategy is key during the fall season. Keep this in mind while researching.

Practicing techniques you plan to utilize during your fall destination fishing adventure on your local bodies of water can drastically increase your catch rate. For instance, I knew that I would be throwing the frog quite a bit at Big Sam, so I spent time throwing the frog in addition to other top water baits in the weeks leading up to the tournament. I also knew that the grass was very healthy at Big Sam, so I spent time on my favorite local grass lake working on my grass fishing techniques.

Article image - Fall destinations

I can’t wait to plan my next destination fishing/camping trip, which will undoubtedly be during the fall or early spring season. There is truly nothing comparable to getting your campsite ready with friends and family, and enjoying the healing qualities of nature. Sharing your on-the-water stories of fish caught, or the big ones that got away, while eating a tasty dinner by the campfire under the stars is simply hard to beat. Don’t wait, make your reservations, get your group together, and start making lifelong memories.

The Hobie Pro Angler makes these trips all the more fun to plan for. When I prepare for a multiday camping/fishing adventure, I find comfort knowing that I can cover lots of water with the Hobie MirageDrive 180, and do it in the comfort of the Hobie Vantage ST seat. The Hobie Pro Angler also provides the perfect platform for fall and winter fishing, because of the ability to stay nice and dry in cold weather conditions.

I would like to thank Hobie, the Hobie Fishing Team, and Austin Canoe and Kayak for the opportunity to fish out of the best darn kayak fishing platform in the world. Sharing my bass fishing perspective as a member of the 2017 Hobie Top Gun team has been an honor. Tight lines, and continued fishing achievements and joy to all!

Check back weekly for new videos and stories by the Hobie Fishing Top Guns.