Updated: Oct 5
I recently bought a Hobie PA12 360. One of the main reasons I bought the Hobie was to broaden my fishing opportunities to include trolling, so I was super excited to try it out this morning on Yale lake, trolling for Kokanee.
I put in to Yale lake at 6:30 am and started figuring out how to troll in my new kayak. Once I was on the water, I let out my first rod - a dodger and Dick Nite spoon tipped with Pautzke Fire Corn. I was “flat lining” this rod, meaning that I was not using any extra weight. The first thing I realized is that a line counter reel is critical and the one I have dies not work very well. I wanted to put my lure 100 feet behind me, but It is very difficult to go by “pulls” while steering a kayak. Eventually I just let the reel free spool and did my best to guess as to how far back my presentation was.
Once I had my lure out, I put the rod into the rod holder, and quickly learned my second issue of the day. I did not use the extension on my rod holder, so my knee was touching the rod every time I made a revolution on the pedals. I re-arranged the position on the rod holder enough to make it work, but I will definitely add the extension for my next trip.
Now that I had my rod out and my rod holder situated, I started trolling across the lake to the area I wanted to fish. Although I was not getting any bites, I was getting the hang of trolling and decided to put a second rod out. For this rod I used a one ounce trolling sinker, and let it out 50 feet, (at least my best guess at 50 feet) I held this rod while I was trolling because I did not bring a second rod holder. I will correct this problem on my next trip.
With both rods in the water and trolling at a good speed the rod in the holder went off and I landed my first ever kayak Kokanee!!! It was a glorious moment of victory for me!
After unhooking the fish, I realized that I forgot to bring my fish bag so I was not sure where to put it. I remembered that I had replaced the under hatch tackle storage with a tray and thought it might work as fish storage. To my amazement this worked perfectly! Next time I will add some ice to the tray and use that for my Kokanee storage.
After I put the fish into the storage tray I reeled up my other rod, re-baited with Pautzke Fire Corn and let the rods out again. This time I put the weighted rod in the rod holder and held onto the “flat-line” rod. Within a minute of getting both rods out the ”flat Line” rod got hammered but I missed it. I was able to get the rod out again without reeling up the weighted rod and was fishing again.
The action was fast and furious for the next hour, and although I landed just two more I lost at least 5 others because I was either fumbling around for the net, was not organized or they just came unhooked. It was a really fun morning and I learned a lot, but at 8:30 I had to head for the launch so I could get back to work. I had success, learned a lot and am excited about going back.
Here is a list of things I learned today.
1. The Hobie PA 360 is absolutely great for trolling. I was super comfortable trolling around all the boats, and felt that I was fishing every bit as effectively as they were.
2. You can easily fish two rods out out of the PA12 360.
3. Rod holders definitely need extensions to prevent your knees from hitting the rod while you are peddling.
4. The box insert for the tackle hatch makes a great storage area for 12" Kokanee.
5. A good line counter reel is absolutely essential.
6. Put tackle into one box and have it at accessible, Having a tackle bag is too much mess and gets in the way.
7. The cup holder is a great place to store your Pautzke fire corn and have it accessible
I hope to go again later this week so I will update my progress.
Thanks for reading,