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2019 Kayak competitions – Dates for your diary!

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Bristol Channel New Years Cod – 20 Jan
Llangorse European Championship – 23 March
KFT – Stad aan ‘t Haringvliet,Holland – 30-31 March
Poole Plaice Chase – 13 April
Lake Windermere Predator Open – 5 May
East Coast Kayak Challenge – Sweden – 3-5 May
Swanage Classic – 18-19 May
Northumberland Kayak Comp – 25 May
Lake District Kayak Rover– 7-9 June
London International – tbc
OK Classic Plymouth – 15 June
Mull of Gulloway Kayak Tournament – 29-30 June
Runswick Bay – 6 July
Oxwich Bay Kayak Fishing Event – 20 July
Pitsford Grand Slam – 3-4 August
WPC England Qualifier – Grafham – 17-18 August
Penzance Kayak Fishing Meet – tbc
Christchurch Grand Slam – tbc
Hobie Fishing Euro’s – tbc
Lyme Regis Species Hunt – tbc
Ladram Bay Family Meet – 27-30 September
Lock Ken Grand Slam – 5th October
Liska Open – tbc
Poole Flounder Meet – tbc

The Hobie European Championships.

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The competition was held at Lacanau in Bordeaux, a beautiful lake very close to the Atlantic coast. There were 51 Boats competing from all over Europe; Holland, Germany, Slovakia Sweden, Spain, Portugal and France the host country. There were good anglers from all over Europe who were all keen to win the prize of entry and flights to the Hobie Worlds next year. It has not yet been announced where the worlds will be located but it is expected that it will be somewhere exotic. There was also a fanatastic prize table for the runners up with prizes donated by; Rapala, Powerpole from suffix, Hobie Polarised and Rebel cell, (full details of all the sponsors can be found on the Hobie fishing europeans website.
 
The weather was a mixed bag, nice and sunny on the pre-fish day, sunny again on day one and then it went rainy and stormy on day 2. There were good fish caught amongst the competitors, with Perch seeming to be the easiest to catch. there were plenty of small fish that came alongside the occasional larger specimen. However,in the end the whole competition came down to who could catch Pike. Not many Pike that came out during the competition but in the end the pike made all the difference because they were the larger fish.
 
In the past the event has been won by the anglers from Holland, Sweden and France but never by an entrant from the UK. This year we are pleased to announce that the winner was Mike McGuire from England. Mike was part of a 4 strong UK team that travelled to the event including Dave Morris, and Lee Garner from the Hobie centre sponsored UK Hobie Fishing Team and one of Lee’s fishing buddies Adam Brooks.
 
Mike McGuire started well in the competition catching perch and pike on day 1 and on day 2 he managed to get plenty of perch in the morning and then he worked his way quite close to the launching point where everyone started and just as the competition was drawing to a close he managed to hook a large pike of about 83 cms and that in the end was enough to win him the competition. It was extremely close, the angler from France who was in second in the competition missed out by a very small margin. Over the 2 days and across the 6 best fish first and second place were separated by only 1cm. All in all it was a really good event preparing us nicely for the Hobie Worlds next year. It’s great to see a UK angler qualify through the event and we hope that Mike goes on to have a very successful competition at the worlds.

Question and Answer Session with Terry Wright

 

 

 

This is the final installment of ‘Meet the Team’. Today we caught up with Terry Wright.

HCP= The Hobie Centre Poole

HCP – Good Morning Terry. Tell us, where did It all start with you?

Terry – Like most guys I started fishing as a kid with my Dad over 50 years ago.
I have worked my way through most disciplines, pleasure fishing, match and specimen fishing.

HCP – When did you get on a kayak?

Terry – 2006. I did a team building day at Rutland Water, part of which included messing about on some sit-on-top kayaks. That’s when I saw their potential as a fishing platform.
A quick search of the internet and I found Anglers Afloat and as the saying goes: “I was hooked!” I then made the mistake of buying the wrong kayak and ended up buying my second one within six months. Hence my advice to all newbies: “Try before you buy!”

HCP – Over the years you have had a varied appetite for kayaks. Where are you with it now?

Terry – I spent 10 years working my way through several brands.

HCP – ‘Several brands’? …You’ve had a few then?

Terry – I have just counted up and including my two Hobie’s…. I have had twelve different kayaks through my garage! Most of which were excellent kayaks but I think as a freshwater lure angler I was not getting what I really wanted. That was until I saw the Hobie boys at competitions.

HCP – What was it that interested you about the Hobie Kayaks?

Terry – It was kayak where you can move and have your hands free to cast and strike, a kayak where you don’t have to flap about putting your paddle down to strike when trolling a lure, Hobie was to be my next kayak.

HCP – There is an extensive range to choose from, which did you settle on?

Terry – With the range that Hobie offer it was obvious which would suit me best…..The Pro Angler 14 and so, ‘Lady Vixen’ was put on the water and almost 3 years it is the longest I have stuck with one model and I don’t plan to change anytime soon!

HCP – What did you like most about the Pro-Angler 14?

Terry – The comfort of the Vantage seat is a major plus for an old man like me, but that’s just the start.

HCP – The seat is amazing! I have sat in many seats over the years and the Vantage seat is far superior to anything! What else?

Terry – SPACE! Now anyone that knows me will tell you how I like to take a little too much gear with me….

HCP – Haha, with the PA14 there is no such thing as too much kit! Why not take everything?!

Terry – Well the PA14 allows me to indulge my ‘just in case’ syndrome, there is as much space as anyone could wish to have. Add to that the ability to stand up for perfect jerk bait retrieval or casting a big fly for pike and you have my perfect kayak.

HCP – How about your fish finder?

Terry – I am fortunate enough to be an Ambassador for Garmin and as such have a Garmin Echmap1022XSV head unit and a pair of Panoptix transducers.

HCP – How are you mounting the screen?

Terry – The H Rail! A great bit of kit. I mount the 10” screen securely along with Hobie’s H-rail accessory plates. Also for the drop down poles for the transducers.

HCP – Now, loading the Pro-Angler…

Terry– I have heard people say the Hobie PA’s are too heavy for car topping. Well I am 63 years old and not the fittest kayaker around, BUT I have no trouble getting the PA14 on top of my car. I regularly do it solo at meets and often decline generous offers of help from the lads just to prove a point.

HCP – I don’t know how else to word it, but how do you get it up?

Terry – Haha! It is all about technique. Don’t try lifting it above your head unless your surname is Schwarzenegger. For me it is a piece of carpet on the boot, lift the bows up onto it then lift the stern, remembering to bend at the knees, and put the PA14 up the boot and onto the roof bars. Dead easy and if I can do it any one can!

HCP – We have had to put up with what seems to be a never ending winter. Have you still been getting out?

Terry – The great thing about being a freshwater lure angler is that winter is a welcome season….Rutland and Graham have their Predator Season open. I have a season ticket for Anglian Waters fisheries and Winter is the time for Zander fishing.

HCP – What is the downside to winter for you?

Terry – It has to be the high winds. There has to be a back-up plan and this is where the Rivers Trent and Soar come in, flood levels permitting. So it’s a bit of lure fishing for perch and pike.

HCP – Thank you for your time today Terry. We wish you the best for 2018.

 

Question and Answer Session with Ian Harris

Ian Dizzyfish Harris

 

This week, we caught up with Ian Harris. He tells about his new role, London International and his kayaks.

HCP = Hobie Centre Poole

HCP – Congratulations on your new role! What is going to be your involvement with European Team?

Ian – Thanks! I have just been named as the Captain of the Hobie Europe team for this year’s Hobie Fishing Worlds event in Sweden.

HCP – Was this planned or a surprise?

Ian – It was a big surprise! And I am very excited and also very honoured. The Hobie Fishing Worlds competitions have been a big part of my life ever since I took part in my first HFW event in Texas back in 2012. Since then I have been lucky enough to fish 4 consecutive Hobie Fishing world championships, winning the 1st Hobie Angler’s choice award in Holland in 2014, and finishing 5th in China in 2015. I have made a lot of great friends through this unique event over the years.

HCP – So what are you hoping for from the worlds?

Ian – It would be great if the European team could bring back a win from Sweden. Regardless of the result, I know that Europe will be great hosts, and we have some top kayak fishermen. It will be a bit strange not to be fishing, but I will do my best to offer advice, and of course I will take lots of photos. Whatever happens, I hope that everyone will get behind us. I am sure the UK kayak fishermen will be cheering on Ian Pickering, our UK representative. I am looking forward to meeting up with some of my buddies from previous competitions, especially Richard Somerton and Steve Lessard. As well as being fantastic fishermen, they are also top guys, and are always willing to offer advice to others. Over the years, I have learned so much from guys like this, and so many others.

HCP – It is great to hear the consensus from everyone is not only the fishing but the social!

Ian – It’s probably the best thing about fishing big international competitions, and the small ones too! I’m lucky to have kayak fishing friends all over the World thanks to Hobie, and in particular, the support of the The Hobie Centre, Poole to help me along the way.

HCP – You are very welcome Ian! Let’s hit on your own event, London International 2018. How long does it take you to prepare for a big event like that?

Ian – I start planning for The London International kayak fishing festival almost a year in advance. You would not believe how much preparation and work is involved in an event of this size!

HCP – Where did you come up with the idea for a big UK event?

Ian – It was inspired by my experiences in the Hobie Kayak World kayak fishing tournaments. I wanted the UK and European kayak fishermen to be able to experience the same international event atmosphere and meet other kayak fishermen from around the world.

HCP – Last year’s event was a huge success.

Ian – It was the biggest freshwater kayak fishing event in Europe. We had over 75 kayak fishermen from 12 different countries, including China and USA.

HCP – Tell us about the venue… Thanks to you I have fished there a couple of times and it is beautiful and holds some big fish!

Ian – There are some huge fish in there! The Wraysbury lake complex provides a stunning backdrop to the competition. Our hosts RK Leisure, pulled out all of the stops for last year’s competition. Some great fish were caught, and we only really scratched the surface in terms of the lake’s potential.

HCP – How are you going to make this year’s London International better?

Ian – This year, we will have access to 4 incredible predator lakes, and an amazing prize table. Those who were lucky enough to attend last year’s number limited competition will tell you what a special event it was.

HCP – It was the first European kayak fishing event to feature in a dedicated TV show.

Ian – Thanks must go to Andy Ford and the BT Sport “On The Bank” crew, who did us proud. Many of us had our 15 minutes of fame that day. The competitors of The London International also raised over £2000 for charity.

HCP – Amazing stuff! There must have been others who helped you along the way?

Ian – I have to say a big thankyou to our generous sponsors Westin, Hobie, Lowrance, Navionics UK, Funky Fly Tying, Reuben Heaton, The Lure Box, Flambeau Outdoors – Europe and Costa del Mar. I also have to say a huge thanks to Steve Beard, Gero Priebe, and Barry Lynch from The Lure Box. Their help and organisation was invaluable.

HCP – So when do I need to book my days off to fish it?

Ian – This year’s event is being held from 8-10th June, and is going to be even better than last year’s kayak fishing extravaganza!

HCP – What about your personal kayaks?

Ian – I have two Hobie fishing kayaks which I use for my trips. The first is my Hobie Revolution 11, which is superb for lure fishing on rivers. I have fitted an extra large rudder to the kayak which, combined with its short length, allows me to turn on a sixpence in the narrow confines of the river. The Revo 11 is also very light, which makes portage easy. I can work my way along the river to reach the parts that other fishermen cannot reach. It’s deadly when hunting down wiley chub with lures!

HCP – Your second boat, I have seen it many times and it still amazes me how you have fitted so much equipment on to one Hobie Outback!

Ian – This is the ideal platform for my saltwater kayak fishing. In particular, the electronic devices and configuration are very cool. I am an ambassador for Lowrance, and have fitted a Lowrance HDS Carbon 9 inch finder to the Outback. It was probably the easiest fish finder installation I have ever experienced since I started kayak fishing. Hobie provide an adaptor, which houses the transducer and makes fitting a doddle.

HCP – What gives you the edge with your Lowrance?

Ian – The fishfinder has many functions, including side imaging, GPS charts. The latest update called “FishReveal” combines 2D and down imaging to highlight fish and structure in a single view – fish are not safe! The kayak’s electrical wiring system is housed in the hull, and uses waterproof connectors.

HCP – Now, I’ve seen you with an iPad too!

Ian – That is to display the Navionics+ charts. The Navionics Sonar Chart live system allows me to map new areas of water.

HCP – Is that complicated set up and install?

Ian – The Lowrance HDS Carbon wirelessly communicates to the Navionics app on the iPad, and displays the cartography in real time. It’s a simple and very effective system, which works – it’s clever stuff.

HCP – Those screen must take a few batteries power them?

Ian – On the contrary. A Tracer 22Ah Lithium polymer battery is all that powers the gadgets. This high tech battery is housed in a waterproof container, and is less than ¼ of the weight of standard lead acid batteries.

HCP – Speaking of waterproofing… I dropped my iPad in the sink. How are keeping yours safe?

Ian – The iPad mini is protected by a ruggedized waterproof housing which also utilises a waterproof charge lead. This connects to a waterproof USB socket which enables the unit to be charged whilst I’m on the water. I’ve been using this setup for a long time, and its works. Kayak fishing is a pretty unforgiving hobby, and electronics equipment has to be tough to survive.

HCP – Thank you for your time Ian. The next instalment we will be speaking with Terry Wright about his set up and keeping warm in the colder conditions.

Hobie Centre at The Big One

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We are giving away 10 free tickets to the UK’s biggest fishing tackle show The Big One.  The Hobie centre will be at the show displaying a range of the latest Hobie Fishing Kayaks.

The show takes place on March 24th and 25th at the new exhibition centre in Farnborough, Hants.

We are also celebrating the launch of The London International Kayak fishing festival.

To be in with a chance of winning a ticket to the show, all you have to do is share this blog entry on Facebook (by clicking on the Facebook button below) or like and share the London International Facebook page.

We will announce the winners at the end of February… Good Luck!!

The joy of fishing from a pedal kayak by Pat Haughton

In my early kayaking days I used a traditional sit on kayak, the Tarpon 14. I was already a mad keen rock hopping bass lure angler and I found this new fishing platform opened up hugely exciting fishing potential that I couldn’t previously reach.

New Horizons However, I soon learnt that the traditional sit on kayaks have a number of drawbacks for the lure fishing angler. Many of the most productive marks were associated with strong currents, tidal races and rocks. This created a problem. How do you cast and keep yourself in position at the same time? The hot spots were very localised and often by the time you landed a fish the tide/race would have carried you 2-400 meters away from the ‘mark’. Often playing the fish would also ‘drag’ you over the mark and spoil the fishing. Another problem was your ability to troll a lure effectively. The key to fishing is to find your fish. I will always study the charts to see where the fish are likely to be holding. Often they will move to very localised patches were the food is. To find them you can just drift and cast, but a faster method of location is to cover great areas by trolling a lure. Once you have found the fish often there are many more in that area that you can now cast to. The problem with trolling from a traditional sit on kayak is that your rod is in a holder whilst you paddle and so your lure isn’t fishing very effectively. To induce a fish to strike it is much better to work your lure as you are going along. Additionally when you are holding your rod you can feel the lure working and whether you have any weed attached. I will write more about this in another blog. So when the peddle powered, hands free, Hobie fishing kayaks were first introduced from America to the UK around 2005 I was very excited about their lure fishing potential and snapped one up. Over the next 10 years I fished hard for the bass. Very hard. I enjoyed brilliant sport and explored many hundred maybe thousands of miles of coastline often on my own or with an increasing ‘fleet’ of friends. (The success on the Hobie compared to other kayaks meant that all of my fishing buddies moved across to their use. The combined fleet now numbers 17 Hobies!) Soft baits were deadly when worked behind the boat but my favourite method was to use the popper. The popper gives you that wonderful gut wrenching thrill as the bass attacks it on the surface. It is a particularly effective method of fishing when you have the advantage of access to the best and most remote marks and the silent stealth of the Hobie. Up until a couple of years ago, I just lure fished. However, for the last couple of years I decided to branch out a bit and try other methods of fishing. My favourite Hobie hull was the Hobie Sport kayak. It is so versatile, stable and manoeuvrable. I can reach everything in the boat front and back.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring fishing for Smooth hounds in the Solent using hard crab is now a particular favourite of mine.

However, as you can see from the pictures, I was a tad big and heavy for the Sport and if I stayed at anchor for any length of time in rough conditions I would start to sink! At the start of 2017 I decided that I wanted to concentrate more on bottom fishing with baits. I convinced myself (and more importantly my wife) that I needed an upgrade if I was to sit safely at anchor for extended periods loaded down with tackle, bait etc. So I have upgraded to an all singing, bells and whistles Hobie Outback with the Vantage seat, a Hook fishfinder, turbofins and even a reverse gear! Was it worth it? Yes, yes, yes. I have enjoyed a fantastic fishing season learning how to bottom fish and experimenting with using the sonar to accurately lure fish at wide range of depths. The results have been brilliant and I will write about what I learnt in my next post.

My personal best black bream just shy of 4lbs……….

 

The complete list of Kayak Fishing Competitions 2018

Here is the complete list now the kayak fishing competitions for 2018. You can find further details and links to the events in the calendar below:

KAYAK FISHING TOURNAMENTS 2018
Blue Anchor Cod Classic – 27 January
Hobie Predator Open – Holland – March tbc
Llangorse European Championship – 17 March
Poole Plaice Chase – 7 April
East Coast Kayak Challenge – Sweden – 4-6 May
Swanage Classic – 19 May
Northumberland Puffin Kayak Comp – 26 May
Esthwaite Grand Slam – 2-3 June
London International – 8-10 June
WPC Holland – 11-16 June
OK Classic Plymouth – 23 June
Pembrokeshire Lure Festival – 15-17 June
Runswick Bay – 30th June
Lake District Rover – 7-8 July
Oxwich Bay Kayak Fishing Event – 21 July
Pitsford Grand Slam – 4-5 August
WPC England Qualifier – Grafham – 18-19 August
Penzance Kayak Fishing Meet – 28-29 August
Christchurch Grand Slam – 8-9 September tbc
Hobie Fishing Euro’s – September tbc
Lyme Regis Species Hunt – September tbc
Ladram Bay Family Meet – 28 Sept
Lock Ken Grand Slam – October tbc
Liska Open – Sweden– 19-21 October
Poole Flounder Meet – December tbc