Interview March 2008 with Hook 1 Kayak Fishing Gear E-mail
Monday, 12 October 2009 06:10

Hook 1 Kayak Fishing Gear Interview March 2008

kayak fishing  gear

We continue our series of interviews with the people who really matter to the sport of kayak fishing. This month we are featuring Mark and Karen of Hook 1 ( For readers that might not know Hook 1 specializes in all the gear you need to outfit your kayak for fishing.

Can you give our readers a little background on how Hook 1 came about?
(please give us some info on when it started and just a good overview)

Mark had started kayak fishing with the influence of a neighbor and friend.  He was in the market for a rod holder for a kayak fishing trip to Baja and there was really only one on-line store at the time to get it from.  After Mark put a few other pieces of equipment on his kayak, people started asking him where he got it.  We had the idea to open a store and start selling kayak fishing “gear”, but then we thought, why don’t we do it online?!  I developed the website learning by-the-book and a few good tips from a friend.  We went on-line in April of 2002 with about 15 products.  Now, 6 years later we have over 200 products!  Crazy!!  It’s a lot of fun and the people in the sport couldn’t be better customers.

What have you seen in the growth of the sport since you have been involved with it?

The move from rod holders and leashes to electronics, bait tanks, new innovative items. We have also seen the development of websites and message boards for kayak fishing all over the world!  You used to be able to count the kayak fishing websites on both hands, now you can’t seem to keep up with how many there are.  It’s been really interesting watching the sport grow.

Are you seeing particular growth in certain areas of the country?

The coastlines have always been the biggest kayak areas but freshwater has been growing. If you can put a boat on a spot you can put a kayak on that spot plus a lot of places too shallow for even a flat boat to get to.  

How about internationally – are you seeing more people overseas get involved and if so, what countries?
UK and Australia are the biggest, but kayak fishing reaches Spain, Israel, Canada, New Zealand and other countries.

Right now, what are the hottest selling items for outfitting your kayak?

Rod holders have and will always be #1. No one fishes the same as you. Even your best fishing buddy likes his kayak different than you. We have always catered to the beginner. They want to know what will work best for them. After a few question, we can give them some ideas that can help them make the best choice for the kind of fishing they want to do.

Any new gear out there that you feel is really special and will make a difference to the kayak angler?

Manufacturers are now developing products and kayaks specifically with kayak fishing in mind.  When we started kayak fishing, you bought a paddling kayak, not a fishing kayak and you turned that paddling kayak into your fishing machine!

Where do you think we, as kayak anglers will see as advances in the gear in the future?

Kayaks. The perfect kayak for all will never be made in my opinion. There are just too many different ways to fish from them. With so many manufacturers getting in on the kayak fishing craze, who knows what will come! 

You both field a lot of questions when comes to installation of accessories on kayaks, what is the most common mistake you see made?

I don’t think I see mistakes made, the customer probably doesn’t want me to know that… but the most common questions are about fishfinder installs.  We have How-To pages as do many other websites and there is so much information out there for the kayak fisherman now as compared to when we started in this business.  The biggest recommendation from kayak fishermen to newbies is to rig your boat SLOWLY – make it simple, get used to your kayak before you mount anything.  Once you drill that hole…

With people ordering gear constantly, how do you both escape from it and get to go fishing?

In the busy months, I don’t get to fish as much as I would like to.  I send Mark out there to fish and do P.R. I slave away and fill orders – ha ha.   Seriously, we both fished most of the tournaments out here on the Southern California coast last year. 

You guys also are involved in some large kayak fishing tournaments on the West Coast, can you tell us a bit about them?

The Plastic Navy Tournament Trail was the largest tournament series out here and had 6 tournaments last year, each at a different location.  We fished in each one and gave away prizes.   The other large tournament is put on my La Jolla Kayak Fishing.  This tournament gives a large portion of its proceeds to benefit cancer research.

What accomplishments are you both most proud of when it comes to the sport?

Staying true to why we started this business.  Have our gear in stock and ready to ship – getting the orders out immediately.  We do run out of things occasionally, but for the most part, every order is filled FAST!  We’re here for the customer and to help out where we can.

What are your favorite species to fish for from the kayak?

As far as me (Karen) I love to catch halibut with live bait.  I switched over to live bait  last year – I carry the cooler with the drinks and Mark carries the bait tank.  I now carry a bait bucket and keep a few in there.  I finally learned how to put that bait on my hook without help.  My biggest Halibut was about 26” and lots of fun.  I even saw a halibut come up and hit my bait when I was in some shallow water – very cool.  Mark’s favorites would have to be halibut, yellowtail and white sea bass.

What is in your own fleet when it comes to kayaks?

We started out – if you can believe it – fishing off of Ocean Kayak Frenzy’s.  We currently have 2 Ocean Kayak Scramblers, 2 Scupper Pro’s, Prowler 15 and a Prowler 13.

Any kayak fishing vacations planned in the future?

We would love to fish in the JAX tournament, Texas, and  meet our fellow kayak fishermen and women out there!  We are heading over to Catalina Island soon and will do some fishing.  Catalina is an island off of Southern California.  We have camping reservations made up and down the coast this year and will get out fishing on those trips.  We would love to go to the East Cape – Baja, but will probably make that trip next year.

So what is next for Hook 1 Kayak Fishing Gear?

Keep growing, having fun and enjoy our customers and friends in the sport.  We just added a blog. We post How-To’s, fishing stories, new product announcements and more.  We welcome everyone to come visit our blog and give us some comments!

Lastly, Karen, when are you going to share some of those great recipes with the readers of KFM?  SOON! 

Thanks again,


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