Hobie introduced the pedal-powered Pro Angler at a bass tournament, which might be an indication as to where they think the market lies for this boat. It should give anglers an advantage in sneaking up on bedding bass. Considering its outstanding stability for standup casting, it should be equally effective in sight-fishing flats redfish or pothole snook. We snuck in a quick test trip to Indian River Lagoon flats in search of snook and trout between thunderstorms.
Length Overall: 13’ 8”
Dry Weight: 138 lbs
Weight Capacity: 600 pounds
Fuel capacity: Eat your Wheaties!
Max horsepower: Lance Armstrong
At 13 feet, 8 inches long, the silhouette of the Hobie Hippo—oops, Pro Angler—resembles, appropriately, that of a small aircraft carrier.
Thirty-five inches wide, it almost crowds the conventional-size Revolution and Quest kayaks off the trailer. There’s a reason Hobie refers to the Pro Angler as a boat rather than kayak. Black covering boards on gunnel sides make it a snap to mount electronics within easy reach of angler.
The Pro Angler, weighing in at 138 pounds, provides an incredible incentive to buy a kayak trailer—or at least make some new big friends to help with moving and storing it. Carrying bars at each end facilitate the loading process.
Turbo pedal power with larger flippers, front, is standard in the Pro.
Standard Mirage drive flipper, left, compared to Turbo.
Entire bucket, or individual tackle boxes, easily lifts out of watertight hatch for lure changes or freshwater rinse at end of day.
Four tackle boxes not enough? A sealed, circular box fits under the rear 8-inch Twist and Seal hatch.
Wide hull is designed for standup stability. No need for outriggers on this beast. Drain plug at upper left. Rudder, which raises and lowers remotely from cockpit, raised into travel position.
Rudder in operating position; lots of surface area provides excellent responsiveness.
Spring-loaded rudder knob raises and lowers rudder from right side of cockpit.
Internal view of standard horizontal rod tubes extending under front hatch.
This setup allows up to three rods on each side of angler, without interfering with casting or fighting fish. Two vertical holders are placed behind seat. High-back, raised chair is ventilated for dry comfort. Mesh storage pockets keep essential items handy.
Steering is accomplished with hand-operated knob at left front of seat, leaving hands free for casting or photography.
It was a dark and stormy day. We went fishing anyway. Elementary teacher Sarah Gast, right, is escorted out by fellow educator Jenny Nichols in a much smaller Hobie Revolution.
Schoolmarm Gast reels in first fish of the day.
More accustomed to larger offshore boats, the first snook gives Sarah a chance to test the Pro’s stability.
Knowing the Pro isn’t going to tip, Sarah smoothly stands up with her catch for a quick picture before she gently lowers the fish back to the water for release.
Sarah gets a little concerned as this snook makes it momentarily to the mangroves.
The concern is only temporary, as she shows off another dark-colored snook.
Another snook headed back into the Indian River Lagoon.
First trout of the day; leaning over the side to land fish is no longer a concern, as it barely tips the Pro Angler.
No shortage of freckles here.
With a 600-pound weight capacity, we could have put five elementary teachers on board and still had room for the infamous fish-sniffing Maurice.
Anglers get ready to head in before an approaching storm rumbles up from the south. Sarah gets stuck doing the hard work for back-seat drivers Maurice and Jenny.
The Hobie Pro Angler features an immense rear deck and a giant front hatch, with removable tub for easy cleaning. Maurice makes himself at home.
June 2009 WebXtra Coverage
Photos and text by Jerry McBride