Dana Point Jet Ski and Kayak Center Blog

Local Knowledge


Jul, 2016

Using Live Bait on Your Hobie kayak

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Hello, my fishing friends! I hope all is well and the fishing has been good to you.


We’re going to address live bait and how to utilize the right bait for the particular species you’re seeking. We’ll also cover how to utilize your Hobie Livewell.


I have been asked many times by people who don’t fish regularly or who have never fished off a kayak, on how to keep bait alive. My answer is simple. We use our Livewell that is specially built for Hobie fishing kayaks.


Now if you’re lucky enough to launch out of a harbor that offers bait, getting bait is simple. You’ll pull up, ask for a kayak scoop, pay the man, and you’re ready to go. Otherwise, you’ll have to make your own bait in open water using a sabiki rig, which is very helpful by the way. Just Google it and your bait making process will be a lot easier. I also recommend getting a bait net. These are very helpful. We’ll get back to that later in this article.


Alright, you’ve got your bait and hopefully it’s what the fish are craving. Certain size baits require certain size hooks in order for them to swim properly and also stay properly hooked. If you get a batch of small bait, utilize it more inshore. That’s not to say it won’t draw fish offshore, it’s just been my experience that it pays off inshore. Now this is not rocket science or fact, but usually the bigger the bait the bigger the fish. The problem with that is, it takes more time and usually it’s a gamble on how productive the day will be. But fishing is about patience. Its rewards are greater.


Now let’s say you catch a keeper fish but you want to keep alive till you come in. Well, lucky for you, you have your Hobie Livewell on board. Place your catch in there. But now you have a fish in your bait tank. How are you going to get your bait? Well, it’s simple. Remember that bait net we talked about earlier? Grab it and scoop out a piece of bait with your net and place it on your hook. All bait is gross, stinky, sometimes slimy and always wiggly. Grab hold of your bait firmly enough to gain access to its head, but don’t squeeze too hard that the bait starts scaling all over your hand. They will die shortly after you start soaking your bait. Also, if your bait is too big and easily filling up your bait net, what I discovered is that it’s a little easier getting your hook ready while your bait rests in the net. Place your net in between your mirage drives and let the bait just sit there while your prepping your gear. When you’re ready, it’s one quick swoop to getting your bait on your hook.


I have run into a battery life situation on my Livewell a few times. Sometimes I had a low battery or I was out on the water longer than the battery life. My solution is simple. In that case if your battery is low every 10 to 15 mins shut off your bait tank. Turn it back on 5-10 mins later. This will give you a little more battery life to survive the rest of the day. Do this throughout the day and it will be a true help– especially in tournaments.


I hope this article is helpful for you. Until next time, keep your lines tight and stay fishy my friends!


Tommy Ponce, contributor