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  • Fishing Log: 7th & 8th Fishing Trip, May 12 & 13, 2016

May 13, 2016

Fishing Log: 7th & 8th Fishing Trip, May 12 & 13, 2016

Saw My First Hobie Mirage Drive Up Close!

Where: Highland Lake, Andover, NH

Chad in his Hobie Kayak

Chad in his Hobie Kayak

Let’s get right to the most exciting event of today’s fishing: meeting Chad in his Hobie Kayak!

I was on my way back to the boat landing area, when I noticed a young man cruising along in a kayak, pedaling to propel his craft forward.

He slowed down, and I asked him what he had, and it was a Hobie MirageDrive Kayak.

Hobie MirageDrive 14 and Parts

The BassHole Drive: flippers!

The BassHole Drive: flippers!

This was a 14-foot version, but I forgot to ask Chad what model it was. Perhaps a Hobie Pro Angler? If I see Chad again, I’ll certainly ask him.

You can’t make out the bar in front of Chad that helps give the angler stability while standing up. So I asked Chad if he can stand in the kayak. And up he went! Stood right up without any difficulty.

Fast and Seaworthy!

Hobie KayakI asked Chad how he liked the Hobie Kayak, and he assured me he loved it. He hauled the MirageDrive right up out of it’s slot to show me the drive. He said he could get up to 7 mph just pumping his feet, and the effort was “easier than riding a bike.”

Chad told me he’s taken that Hobie out onto the ocean fishing for stripers and tuna. Of course I’ve seen photos of fisherman doing the same, but this was the first live witness to the Hobie I’ve met.


Many Thanks

Many Thanks, Chad!

Chad reported that the only downside of the kayak is it has no reverse. So, you must go forward!

AND I know he caught some trout, because:

  1. He told me he had, and
  2. I saw him catch one!

Thanks, Chad!

Thanks for the information, Chad! I hope to see you out on the waters again.

OK, now back to the basic background information.


  • Highland Lake, Andover, NH

    Another nice day, even if it is Friday the 13th!

    Temperature (Air): 5/12, 61 to 67 degrees; 5/13, 62 to 69 degrees

  • Sky: 5/12, Sunny; 5/13, Overcast
  • Precipitation: 0% both days
  • Wind: 5/12, SW @ 3 mph; 5/13, SSE 5 to 9 MPH Beaufort Wind Scale)
  • Humidity: 5/12, 42% to 31%
  • Barometer 5/12, 30.0 inches — Falling
  • Visibility: 10.0 miles
  • Water Color: Clear
  • Water Temperature: Still in the mid-50s!

About Highland Lake

This was a 2-day fishing trip, though I drove from my home on both days. Highland Lake is just a 10 minute drive from my home, and basically is just up the road from Webster Lake, which I’ve written about many times so far (and will go back to again!)


  • Acres: 206Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 5.17.34 PM
  • Depth: Average: 16′; Maximum: 44′

As I stated in an earlier post, Highland Lake is about 1/3 the size of Webster Lake. But it isn’t getting warm any quicker!

Over the 2 days, I covered the area from the boat launch area, to the point at the bottom of the image.

To do that, I had to “boogie” on day 2, and so I even rowed correctly. Not sure if that is “backwards” or “forwards,” but it means I couldn’t see where I was going. But the extra power helped get me there in about 15 minutes!

Finding the Boat Launch


I found the place!

I found the place!

  • My terrible sense of direction.
  • My inability to get a street address for a place near where I was going.
  • Driving right past the boat launch and discovering a beach (which didn’t allow “boats,” not sure the Hobie qualifies as a boat, but “better safe than sorry.”

I finally figured out (thanks to my son-in-law Nick’s description and my iPhone’s directions) where to launch!

By now you’ve probably figured out:

Results: Double Skunked!

No bass. But I did see some interesting sights (including Chad!).


Polliwog before “scampering” away.


Here’s a polliwog that I saw right at the boat launch. There were a bunch more, which I certainly noticed when I got into the water and they all scrambled away! So I could have tried my Wiggle Wog, but instead I tried a few other lures (listed below).



I didn’t catch any fish, but I’m sure the loon I saw certainly did!

I read that looking for birds is one way to find bait fish, and where there are bait fish, there could be bass!

But I didn’t really dare casting out to where the loon was fishing. I believe I also read about someone once catching a bird on his bait, and I certainly didn’t want to have to try to disentangle my lure from an angry loon!


Canada Goose Landing in water




Well, technically it’s a weather vane. But it was pretty cool, so I thought I’d share it.


DSC02956I used 3 lures:

  • Red Eye Shad
  • Long Billed Crankbait
  • Small Spinnerbait

So, middle of the water, bottom, and top and up and down!

But I couldn’t locate any bass.

Caught me a stick!

Crankbait with stick

Nice stick? You should have seen the one that got away!

I did manage to catch this stick! As you may be able to see, the Red Eye Shad did the honors.

I had caught a rope earlier, which was wrapped around a stick, which was caught on a rock ledge, but at that point I didn’t think to take a photo, since I was still thinking I might catch a fish!


As I was leaving, so were a couple of other anglers (I won’t call them BassHoles, since they were fishing for trout). They were also skunked (one told me the first time in a very long time). They blamed it on the date: Friday the 13th. And maybe there is something to that?

Nah. Just couldn’t find the fish.IMG_0538

Gotta go back! It’s a beautiful lake.

I do wish I had more mobility. My BassHole powered craft is limited by the fact I’m no longer in my 20’s! Those days are long gone!

But at least my efforts will pay off, if not in fish caught, at least in fitness gained?

Now where’s that ice cream?

Hey, we’d all love to hear YOUR fishing adventures, even if you didn’t even catch a stick!

Tight lines!

Roger, The Smiling BassHole

Catch-Big-Bass http://catch-big-bass.com/ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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The Smiling BassHole

I'm a BassHole!Kickin' Bass and lettin' them go.

Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • If I knew you personally, I would go with you to these places. The things that you see and experience is just amazing. I am far from these places but it makes me want to go there you know. Minus the Skunk spray…. That Kayak that Chad has interests me.

    • Thanks Von! That’s quite a compliment!

      Yes, Chad’s Kayak is awesome! I included it in a review, which you can read on this page.

      Of course I REALLY want to see the fish! And I’m certainly hoping to see some in the very near future!

      If you are going fishing wherever you are, come on back and share you experience!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Hi Roger,
    Thanks for your post. It made me laugh. I hope it was supposed, too. If not, oops!

    Area looks great. A couple of my friends here in Hawaii also fish on their Hobie kayaks in the open ocean. Too dangerous for me! Be safe!

    • Thanks Jodie!

      Well, anytime you see a BassHole bragging, “Caught me a stick!” You can safely assume they have a sense of humor! Glad you enjoyed the humor! As a recovering standup comic and clown college graduate, I really can’t help myself.

      I’ve seen plenty of YouTube videos of guys (they always seem to be guys?) on the ocean in their Hobies. One was about a fella who capsized the entire kaboodle! Though he did preface the video by stating that there was a high wind bad weather warning that small craft should not be out in the water. Like I say, they always seem to be guys!

      I certainly try to stay safe!

      Thanks for the comment!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Roger, Great post.

    I never fished for bass (or anything) in a Hobie. But my friend had a 16′ Hobie Cat catamaran sailboat that we used to take to Lake Tahoe “up the hill” from Reno, NV in the summer. The wind came up every afternoon. Perfect for sailing. I said all that to say this. Hobie makes very high quality stuff. That boat was super nice. I am not sure that the 16′ was actually designed for 2 adults, but we had a lot of fun on it. No problem “flying the hull.”

    Bass fishing…oh yeah. This website is about bass fishing. I live in NE Oklahoma about 40 miles from Tulsa. There are lakes here (Army Corps of Engineers, man made lakes). A lot of folks fish those lakes.

    But I always had really good luck fishing for bass in small farm ponds. Biggest pond I fished was 13 acres. We fished the shore. Either from a small canoe or standing on shore. We’d go around the pond once. Take an hour or so. Early in the morning when the sun came up. Or late in the afternoon when the sun was setting. Everyone had his favorite bait. I did best on a spinner, similar to what you have pictured in this post. Also did good on rubber worms. Dark brown as I recall. The color did matter. Could have exactly the same worm with a different color and the bass wouldn’t touch them. But when they were in the mood, they would be all over those brown worms like white on rice. We would always have good luck on that farm pond. It was located near County Rd 416 and County Rd 402 on the Washington County/Nowata County Line about 10 miles southeast of Bartlesville, OK (Corporate Headquarters of Phillips Petroleum Co/Phillips 66).

    • Thanks Jeff! Awesome comment!

      Yes! Hobie does make quality products! I believe the sailing products are how they got started, then they branched out into fishing craft. My little pontoon float is a Hobie Fish Cat 75. They also made a 60, which you could carry on your back. I’ve had that Hobie for 20 years or more, and it’s still going strong! The seat broke, but I was able to rig up a nice alternative using a stadium seat. They don’t make these anymore, so of course don’t offer replacement parts.

      Lake Tahoe is a great place! My wife and I spent a week-plus at Camp Concord, a family campground. It was awesome. We were the only couple there with no children, so we offered some welcome non-child conversation to other campers. All your meals were included, and if you were going off for the day, you could pack your lunch.

      Now, back to fishing! Yes, farm ponds can be terrific. My brother had 2 ponds (technically not farm ponds, but naturally occurring bodies of water up in the woods above his house) that I loved to float tube. I had an inflatable tube that I could transport on the airplane (my brother still lives in Vermont; at that time I lived in San Francisco). The first night he brought me up to one, I made a cast — caught a bass. Made a cast — caught a bass. Made a cast…. My brother went back down the hill to his house and told my wife, “Roger’s never coming back.”

      Had some great fishing adventures there!

      Thanks for sharing yours! And be sure and check back in when after your next trip and let your fellow BassHoles know how it went!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • So is Chad’s Hobie craft a bit like a pedalo (I don’t know if that’s a British term or not but essentially a boat with pedals that power a propeller)? If so does he have a little slide on the back for the kids? I guess not.

    That’s the beauty of any kind of fishing, nature. You see all kinds of beautiful birds and other wildlife, being at one with the natural world. Well the fish may not see it that way but that’s life.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Dan,

      Here in the US we call those “paddle boats.” A paddle boat has pedals, but they go round and round and drive a wheel that propels the boat. The Hobie has pedals that you push in and out, more like the action of the clutch in a standard shift transmission. I talked about the Hobie MirageDrive in my review of kayaks.

      Instead of a paddle wheel, the MirageDrive is 2 “Turbo Fins” that move back and forth. Here’s a video showing how they work.

      It’s a lot faster than the paddle boats! But, no slide for the kids!

      Yes, it is great to be out in nature while fishing. It would be even better if part of what I saw were some bass, up close and personal!

      Thanks for the comment!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Hi Roger. I am really entertained by your article. I also like spending time in the nature. That paddle boat/kayak looks perfect for sport fishing.
    Good luck with your Hobie.

    • Thanks Milos!

      Glad you were entertained: I try to put some humor in the blogs, especially when I don’t have any fish to share!

      I can only hope that eventually get my own Hobie!

      Thanks for the comment!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Firstly what’s a pollywog, secondly your trip sounded great, and thirdly Chad has a great life!

    Drawn a blank means you have to go back.

    • Thanks Steven!

      “Pollywog” is another name for a “tadpole,” or the larval stage of a frog or toad. There is food stored in their tail, and as they grow, they develop legs and feet as the tail grows shorter. Then eventually they turn into a frog or toad.

      It was a beautiful day and a great trip, despite the lack of fish for me!

      Chad DOES have a great life! And he was enjoying smoking his cigars while cruising and fishing AND catching!

      Yes, I will be going back! It’s a very nice spot. I’ll let you know my next trip!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • What a great experience! It seems like you had a wonderful day and meet a great person. Chad’s kayak seems like something I would love! I usually head out with my girls to fish at the local state park. Beautiful lake and wild life, you would probably enjoy it! Again, a great article, makes me want to head out and fish!

    I hope your next fishing trip is a rewarding one!

    Best wishes!


    • Thanks Eloah!

      Sounds like you have some fun fishing at your state park. Be sure and share your fishing adventures with your family, we BassHoles are interesting in hearing your fish tales!

      Yes, Chad’s kayak is a beaut! I’d love to get one myself, and hope that someday I can be cruising in my own Hobie Pro Angler with Mirage Drive!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Tight Lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

    • Thanks Antonis!

      Glad you enjoyed the scenes! I will certainly keep posting photos of my fishing (whether I catch anything or not) adventures!

      Tight Lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Oh man I love those shots! So beautiful. I found myself laughing when you talked about being direction-impaired-I am too LOL. I fondly remember fishing with my grandpa as a child and now my children have started fishing as well. Great post.

    • Thanks Hillary!

      Yes, I am “direction impaired”! My father used to marvel that I could make it from our house to our barn every day without ending up on the neighbor’s farm.

      I got lost for hours once trying to hike to a lake to fish. No water, no idea where I was going, finally made it back to the trail and found my way back to the parking lot. My wife asked why I didn’t take a map. I replied, “I thought I knew where I was going.” She said, “THAT’s what they are going to put on your tombstone.”

      But I still have fun fishing!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • As my husband is into kayaking and a mad keen fisherman I thought i would check this site out. You almost had me in a kayak as I read your adventures. You sound like you are having amazing fun. I love you have the same bad sense of direction I have. Your photography is beautiful. Keep the adventures coming!

    • Thanks Robyn-lynn!

      Yes, I do have a terrible sense of direction. I wrote a humorous essay entitled, “I’ve been lost here before.” Which is the closest I ever get to recognizing where I am! Thank God for GPS systems! They have revolutionized my life. And me, a constant wanderer!

      Glad you enjoyed the photos! And I will keep having adventures!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Hi Roger. I remember when I was young, my brothers and I would go to the local pond and try to catch the Pollywogs. You are probably the only other person I know who calls them that. Just hearing the old word brought back memories and a smile to my face. Thanks for that.

    • Thanks Larry!

      Yeah, we used to do that too! When my wife saw the post, she said she and her brother used to catch them and bring them home. I remember once keeping one in school all the way to a frog! Then we let him go.

      You made me laugh as well, since a number of folks asked what was a polliwog! So I guess not everyone calls them that anymore (of course they don’t have any social media presence, so I guess kids today would never even notice them!

      But they will always be a part of my spring memories.

      Thanks for the smiles!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

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