Friday, January 30, 2015

Tournament Success Tips

Shane and I have both had a great amount of success in many of the fishing tournaments we have participated in over the last couple of years on our kayaks. We both feel that "Luck" can win a tournament, but consistency equals true "Success". Also, Shane and I were both collegiate athletes, we definitely take a lot of the competitive nature and lessons we learned from playing lacrosse and baseball, respectively, and apply them to fishing.

Left to Right: My Dad, Shane, and I 
After we won the Fish for a Cure tournament as the only kayak team in a 75+ boat tournament.

Consistency noun
  1. 1.
    conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness.

Success noun
  1. 1.  the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

Preparation is the word that comes to mind when we think about what helps achieve the two words above. Preparation can equate to spending as much time on the water as possible, reading reports and books, watching videos, practicing new techniques, and listening to just about anyone willing to talk fishing. 

When we go into a tournament we like to feel ultimately prepared and confident in our specific game plan for that event. We fish a lot of tidal water here in the Mid-Atlantic for both freshwater and saltwater tournaments. So the tide plays a big factor in determining our game plan and schedule for the events. A lot more goes into each event than just going out and fishing as many spots as you can. We create timelines for where we want to be at certain times of the day, based on where we have found fish feeding previously during certain tides. This type of scheduling also involves knowing how long it will take to paddle from place to place. As you can see a lot goes in to preparation.

Here are our Top 10 tips to improve your results in your next tournament or tournament series.

10. Pre-Fish as much as possible. Be willing to go out of your comfort zone during these practice days as you mind find something that will add more success for tournament day. This includes fishing some new styles and new locations.

9. Be comfortable in your kayak. Know your limitations of what you can and can't do in it. Be organized, take the rods, lures, etc that you know you need! Have a system for landing your fish, this may be the difference in 1 fish or no fish.

8. Be attentive to your surroundings. Watch for bait, birds, currents, eddies, etc. Also, you can watch other anglers. Some tournaments don't allow talking between anglers, but for those that do ask around. Most guys won't tell exactly what they're doing but they'll give you clues.

7. Have a tight group of friends that you trust to share information with before the event. Don't always be the guy asking for information, be willing to put in some time so you can be an integral part of the group as well.

6. Keep a fishing log and then use it to compare reports, time of year, temperature and all that good stuff. Once you build a solid source of information, you will will know if the wind blows from a certain direction then certain locations and launches will be more productive than other.

5. What's your goal? Do you plan to try to catch the limit first then upgrade or do you plan to target big fish all day.

4. Because most kayak tournaments are CPR you have to consider being very efficient at this process. Too many times I've heard guys say how they lost a big one while trying to get a picture and it would have put them in the top 5 have it not flopped off. Don't let this be your excuse, every fish is important on tournament day.

3. Create your game plan and write it down. I keep notes on important information on my phone: tide times, where I want to be at certain times and what has worked for me at the location previously. 

2. Google Earth is a fisherman's best friend, even when you can't make it out on the water before an event you can do a lot of your homework from the comfort of your own home. You can scout the locations, measure distances from point to point, and in some cases even look for grass beds and other structure in the water.

1. Be confident, fish confident... and generally fish in the style you have the most confidence in. For me that means fishing crankbaits or other action baits for bass. I believe in the motto More Casts = More Chances at catching fish.

We feel these ideas will not only improve your "Success" in tournaments, but also every time your out on the water. Like most kayak anglers, we all have regular jobs, so what we all really want is to just be more productive each time we are able to get out on the water.... Isn't that what its really all about.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Hope everyone is having a stellar start to their new year!! Shane and I are stoked for what is to come this year. I just purchased a new to me Canon DSLR, so look forward to some way better pictures this year!!

Also, our big goal for The Hobie Life in 2015 is to produce a documentary on our local Speckled Trout fishery here in Maryland. We hope to enter it into one of the fishing film festivals if it turns out to our liking.

We also hope to have some more time for fishing, since I'm finished with school and should have a little more free time.

Here are a few shots from the first photo shoot with today's snow here in Annapolis, MD.

Friday, December 19, 2014

2015 Baltimore Boat Show Info **Free Tickets**

Best in Boating Returns to the Baltimore Convention Center for Summer Fun January 29-February 1, 2015

Progressive Insurance Baltimore Boat Show grows 20 percent, features boat loads of fun and education including new Progressive Boat School, chance to try stand up paddle boarding indoors, and “Wicked Tuna” appearances

 The 2015 Progressive Insurance Baltimore Boat Show drops anchor at the Baltimore Convention Center Thursday-Sunday, January 29-February 1 with an additional 32,000 sq. ft. of floor space, featuring more fun for all ages and more boats to shop for every budget and lifestyle.

The annual boat show hosts hundreds of new boats, from luxury cruisers and fishing boats to family runabouts and pontoons, plus dozens of booths boasting the latest in marine accessories and electronics.

Additional highlights of the 2015 boat show include the new Progressive Boat School led by the Annapolis School of Seamanship, featuring free interactive boating education; a new area providing visitors the chance to try the latest fitness craze, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP); and dozens of DIY seminars from Fred’s Shed Interactive Learning Center. The Kids’ Zone features daily activities for the smallest of sailors and boaters.

When:                  Thursday, January 29 through Sunday, February 1, 2015

Where:                Baltimore Convention Center
                                One West Pratt Street
                                Baltimore, MD 21201

Hours:                  Thursday, January 29      11:00am–9:00pm
                                Friday, January 30           11:00am–9:00pm
                                Saturday, January 31      10:00am–9:00pm
                                Sunday, February 1         10:00am–5:00pm

Tickets:                $12 for adults; FREE for children 15 and under (when accompanied by an adult)
Advance tickets can be purchased at

Phone:                                 410-224-7633

For tickets, show news, discounts and giveaways, visitBaltimoreBoatShow.comFacebook and Twitter - #BaltBoatShow.

Media Info:        Contact Tony Fazio at Himmelrich PR at or 410-528-5400.

The first 10 people to comment below with their name, city and state and their favorite fish to catch will get a free ticket to the show that you will be able to pick up at will call.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hoo-rag : The Better Bandana

Sun protection is of utmost importance in our sport and Matt and I have found a product that really helps us out every time we fish. Hoo-rag is the next generation of sun protection bandanas and they are always coming out with cool new designs to set you apart from the crowd on the water. I was able to test out a few of these over the past year from spring and summertime fishing for Stripers and Specks, to cool weather Pickerel fishing recently. Any time of year, a must have piece of gear is my Hoo-rag.

Today 12/1/2014 is Cyber Monday and all their products are on sale here:

I have the Spot Spectrum, Inshore and Offshore Slamo Rags pictured below:

Some of the Product features include:

-UPF rating of 20-30 depending on specific style
-Free Shipping on Every Order!
-Many different ways to rock the rag
-Over 100 Different styles to choose from
-A great price point, which makes getting a few of these affordable while not sacrificing quality (usually $5-$10 lower than most of the competition)
-Custom Hoo-rags available for your specific company or design

Oh yea and I've caught plenty of fish rocking them:

Do yourself a favor and get a few!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kanan Lures Black Friday Sale!!

Stock up, these prices are can't beat. I definitely suggest picking up some of or all of the crankbaits. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top 10 Holiday Ideas for the Kayak Angler in your Family

All these products are made by great companies! We use and stand by these products. We feel they will truly help you put more fish in the kayak or boat.

1. Hoo Rag 

Everyone wears some sort of coverage for their face. Whether it's to block the sun in the summer or the cold and wind in the winter, Hoo Rag has a rag for everything. And from what we've found they have to best designs to fit your fishing style.
Price Range:$10-$20

2. Hard Head Custom Baits

Plain and simple, we fish these jigs and hooks and they flat out put fish in the boat. They are affordable, innovative and not your regular boring jig head. Also, they are made by a fellow local Kayak angler. They are a great stocking stuffer and can be found online at the link above or locally at All Tackle in Annapolis, MD.
Price Range: $5-$10 per pack

Our favorite design, the Weighted hook w/ Spinner.

3. Bust Em Baits

Once again another company owned by local kayak anglers. They make the absolute best soft plastic jerk bait out there for Stripers on the Chesapeake Bay in every standard color and they can make custom orders as well. Another great stocking stuffer available online at the link above or at a number of local tackle shops.
Price Range: $5 per pack

The new 10" Jerk Shad

4. Smallie Stix Fishing Rods

A company I just found out about this year based out of PA. Don't let the name Smallie Stix deter you from thinking these rods can catch just about everything. They are extremely well crafted rods, look awesome and put the hammer on the fish.
Price Range: $130-$400

5. Astral Footwear

I'm a big fan of the Brewers, but Astral makes a full line up of kayaking shoes for both him and her.These shoes are an everyday wear for me. They are lightweight and well designed water shoes.
Price Range: $99

6. Light Tackle Kayak Trolling the Chesapeake Bay   By: Alan Battista

This book as most of you know was written by a member of the Snaggedline Forum Community. Alan is an accomplished Striper fisherman and he writes a great book. The book is an easy read and is very informative. A lot of these information and tactics can be used throughout the country for other striper fisheries.
Price Range: $17

7. Chesapeake Rigs

This rigs are custom designed by the aforementioned Alan Battista. His proven tactics lead him to create the Chesapeake Rig, his twist on the umbrella rig.
Price Range: $30

8. Kanan Lures

Still the most affordable quality swimbait on the market. I'm a big fan of the Alosa Minion Crank Baits. There is always at least one tied on my rods during bass tournaments. These lures have truly helped me succeed in the MAKBF series and other freshwater tournaments.
Price Range: $6-$15
The newest additions to the minion family for 2014.

9. Rep Your Water Hats

Rep your Water makes some really cool designs for hats, sticker, and t-shirts. They are a husband and wife owned company out of Colorado. It started on the river fly fishing and it has progressed to making designs for almost every state!! Check them out for a design so you can Rep Your Water.
Price Range: $25

The perfect solution for some extra storage space on the kayak. Tackle Webs makes many kits for specific kayaks or if you have your own idea you can buy each piece separately. 
Price Range: $20-$50

The tackle webs set up on Shane's Hobie Outback.

Okay everyone get shopping!!