Watercraft – kayak electronics

Watercraft – kayak electronics

Apr 2, 2012

Kayak adjustments bring back memories of the “haunted” canoe

By Mike Pehanich

If you travel a lot like I do or take advantage of every opportunity to fish whenever it pops up, you probably find yourself in strange boats pretty often.

Now every boat has its own character and peculiarities, and each usually requires a little getting used to.

Sometimes some BIG getting used to!

The year I graduated from college, I headed up to Canada for more than a month to live in a tent, help my buddy dig a foundation for his new cabin, and, of course, fish!

Like most recent college grads, we were nearly broke and jobless. Our fishing boat that summer was an old wooden canoe with a squared-off transom crudely cut and trimmed for a small outboard.

It wasn’t much of a fishing boat, and, really, wasn’t much of a canoe either. Two of us were reasonably experienced canoeists who could keep a normal canoe in line for miles with simple teamwork and paddle stroke adjustments. But nothing could keep this “haunted” canoe in a straight line!  It would bob and veer, tease you into thinking you had it under control for maybe 20 yards, then suddenly shoot off on a course of its own design!

Only when we turned around and pretended that crudely created transom was our bow could we get her under control! And I use the term “control” very loosely!

Today, whenever I get into a stranger’s boat or a leaky rental boat with rotten oars and transom so eaten by time and mounting screws that you have to shim it with board, branch and lure boxes to seat your electric, I think about that haunted canoe, and, hey, the rental boat ain’t so bad after all!

Quick kayak adjustment

At Arkansas’ Lake Ouachita last fall, I joined Hobie pro staff angler Jose Chavez for some kayak bass fishing in the reservoir’s upper reaches.


With the Hobie Revolution’s rudder and Mirage Drive foot propulsion, boat control was a breeze – even in the breeze! By fishing downwind from our target structure – fast-tapering rock banks when we were dropshot fishing and a simple two-foot dropoff from a feeding flat for our crankbait bass – we easily held our position as we cast and fish, making the necessary rudder lever nudges and pedal thrusts to hover in place, ease forward or even execute a slight kayak moon-walk to slip backward.

Easy and efficient.

But, as with any quick-trip, we had to make some adjustments to fish effectively.  What we missed were our electronics!

Not for long, however!

We grabbed two MarCum ShowDown sonar units, handheld models that ice anglers have adopted for quick hole-hopping in the hard water season. We tied and strapped them to the gunwale and set the transducer in one of the Hobie’s scuppers. Within minutes we were reading dropoffs, rock points and suspended bass and baitfish!

Adjustment? Sure.

But an easy one.

And as we easily positioned ourselves for casting positions along prime structure and hooked, fought, landed and released our bass, I could think back with fond memory and forgiveness for the old haunted canoe.


Check out the Hobie models, and check in for angling adventure!      

Also for more information on Hobie Kayak Fishing read our SWF Feature: Hobie kayaks ride the currents of the trends…and the times!


One comment

  1. this thing rock mate

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