When Brandon Barton caught the kayak fishing bug, he caught it hard. He was instantly obsessed. “I fished 3 to 4 times a week. I was reading every article. Every magazine, every forum. About fishing, about my area, about kayak fishing. It’s made me a better angler a lot faster,” he says.
Seven years later, Brandon is one of the most skilled bull redfish hunters around. He’s a 2016 Hobie Fishing Top Gun and owner / operator of Emerald Waters Kayak Charters. He shared how he rigs his favorite ride, a Hobie® Mirage® Outback, for the skinny waters of the grass flats.
“It’s pretty simple. I religiously use a Power-Pole Micro Anchor,” he says. But nothing is more important than his Hobie H-Crate.
“I keep my H-Crate in my kayak at all times. It’s the best crate on the market, and one of the lightest ones. In kayak fishing, weight adds up quickly,” he says. He keeps two tackle boxes in it, along with a camera in a dry bag.
Brandon feels the H-Crate has other advantages. “The ability to Bungee® rods down on the corner rod holders is great. The H-Rails that line the top are the best parts in my opinion. There are so many options. You can put an H-Rail Tackle Bin or H-Rail Mounting Plate on it,” he says.
Brandon’s H-Crate H-Rails hold a custom extending monopod camera mount on a RAM Mounts system. It pulls off in less than a second at the push of a button.
Counting his two molded-in rod holders, the H-Crate gives him six – enough for his tournament quiver of four inshore setups and another two heavy outfits for bull reds.
Unlike many flats anglers, Brandon uses a fish finder, a Lowrance Elite 5 Ti. “It helps me keep an eye on the depth,” he says.
He stashes spare tackle such as jigs and leader in the Hobie Rectangular Twist N Seal hatch he’s added to the cockpit. It stays put in his Hobie Rectangular Bucket.
Last but not least, Brandon’s upgraded his MirageDrive with ST Turbo Fins, and replaced the stock rudder with the Large Rudder Blade. Together, they give his Outback the turbocharged performance needed to make it his ultimate redfish hunter.