Chris Buys a Hobie: A Cautionary Tale

Rich Ellison

There is something special about taking out a plastic vessel and catching a mess of fish. After several years now of chasing fish inshore, I still haven’t quite figured out all the things that attract us to the sport. For some it’s the accessorizing; certain folks can ponder for weeks how to trick out a boat. For others it may be a cheaper way to get on the water (although not exactly the case with a propelled vessel!), but what attracted me was the simplicity of it all. Throw it in the back of your truck and hit the water. Starting out I mostly tossed a jig with a soft plastic & that’s still exactly what I do today. But this story isn’t about me, it’s about my buddy: Chris.

I took Chris fishing about a year ago, because I have 2 boats and he expressed interest. The first trip was slow, but it produced a decent red or two; enough to make a meal. We didn’t wait too long before we did it again, and naturally the fishing was better. I don’t recall how many trips he made in my boat, but it wasn’t many. Next thing I knew, Chris showed up in a brand new Hobie Compass from Fairhope Boat Company! It has proven to be an outstanding vessel that’s spent some time on the water, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I feel I should warn those of you who are reading this and new to the sport; or possibly considering taking it up. If you decide to chase the great white whale from a kayak, just know this will infect your soul. You will find yourself at work, when you should be focused on completing a certain task, you may just realize 25 minutes have passed while you thought about what anchoring system best suites you and if you really need a carbon fiber light pole….

Chris has taken to the waters of Mobile Bay like a pirate. Watching him on the water, I’ve often wondered, (and I bet he has too), how he got by so long without having a boat to get out there. In less than a year this dude has half a dozen honey holes, can read the water consistently, has upgraded tackle, and feeds his family fresh seafood monthly. It’s been really fun watching my friend obsessively fish more than I do these days. What is the cause of all his success? It’s simple really, he’s out there fishing! You have to get out there.

I will give one last word of warning. Choose your fishing buddies wisely. There are some folks out there who are not pleasant to fish with. The type of folks who may just go to your spot all the time, even when y’all aren’t fishing together. This is a sad reality, so make sure before you show someone your favorite spot that you can trust them with it. You can still take them fishing if they aren’t trustworthy; that’s a great time to go scout new water!

As I write this it is early December & relatively warm. If the weather holds out and stays above 50 often, the fishing can remain decent for a while longer. The winter slowdown is coming. Chris and I have started scaling back our trips. Last we spoke he had his eye on a new Hobie Outback. Consider yourself warned; this is a great sport, but it may become an unshakeable obsession!

Rich Ellison
Outback Fishing Adventures