Southern Cal. Lobster Fishing with Josh

By Graham Kay
on October 11, 2018

Southern Cal. Lobster Fishing with Josh

  oside_kayak_guy  

Up until now I have been using my SCOUT365 for inshore fishing but was able to take it hoop netting for lobsters this past weekend.  It was awesome and exceeded my expectations!  I have used a kayak before but the SCOUT365 was such a better experience than the kayak.  

My buddy picked me up and we threw the SCOUT bag into his truck.  Once we arrived at the harbor, we had the boat set up in about ten minutes.  Super easy to do.  Unlike using  the kayak, I was able to bring someone along for the journey with this two seater boat.   My friend and I each grabbed an oar and it was an easy row, plenty of space and comfortable seating on the inflated sides of the boat.  I am six foot four and we had no issues with leg room.  With my kayak experience a  week earlier, it was hard to keep my balance as I pulled up the hoop net.  It almost tipped and it was wobbly.  With two 150 lb. plus guys on the SCOUT365, it was solid and it never even lifted out of the water as we reeled in the nets.  We both were able to stand up at the same time and it did not tilt and it stayed level. 

Putting the boat away was a cinch, it literally took about a minute to deflate and put in the bag.  The bag works like an envelope where you place it in the middle and then fold up the sides and clip it closed.  I highly recommend this boat.  I have an electric 55 thrust motor and a battery charger all ready to go and am just waiting for registration from the DMV.  Once I get it, I can’t wait to get it out on the water again.

An Unforgettable Inflatable Experience!!

By Jody Bickel
on October 04, 2017

An Unforgettable Inflatable Experience!!

birding on mission river

Coastal Scene Magazine August 2017 edition 

Story and photography by Richard Gonzales

The Coastal Bend region offers such a wide range of outdoor water recreational opportunities. Boating, birding, fishing, duck hunting, beachcombing, exploring, or just
relaxing overlooking the waves of wind-driven currents. Getting out on to the shallow waters of the Texas coastal bay system allows outdoor enthusiasts to reach down and
feel the wetness, especially if they are in a kayak…or, in the ultimate alternative to a kayak, a Scout365 Inflatable.

Technology continues to change the way humans do things whether using a cell phone or a water craft. Way back when, native cultures would send a smoke signal to reach across vast distances. The original kayaks were made by the Arctic Eskimo tribes who used washed up driftwood to sew together with seal skin to better protect against harsh cold climate conditions. They mimicked nature by custom building each kayak to fit the size of the paddler. The word for kayak originates from the Arctic native Inuit language qayaq.

shoulder carry                             unloading

“In today’s world, different people are going to choose different types of equipment like kayaks, canoes or inflatables,” said Hector Rios, a certified kayak instructor in Aransas Pass, “Technology and social expression will dictate what people ultimately choose for their preferred outdoor water craft and how they convey their message. Some people want to have a trailer hauling their kayak. Or they may like it attached to the top of their vehicle,” added Rios, who also is a Commissioner on the San Patricio Navigation District.

There are so many ways to get on to the many bays and estuaries in the Coastal Bend. Aransas County has developed the Aransas Pathways system that has 17 sites from which kayaks can launch from. The Scout365 Inflatable offers another way to use these sites or to launch from even more remote locations. This was the case on the Mission River along State Highway 136 between Bayside and Refugio with a Coastal Bend Paddlers & Explorers Meetup Group event on July 23, 2017.

trip leader

Jody Bickel is the Trip Leader for the Coastal Bend Paddlers & Explorers Group. She uses the online social media app Meetup.com to organize water trips for beginners, intermediate and advanced paddlers and explorers. “We now have 53 members and are averaging trips about three weekends each month,” said Jody, who came to the Coastal Bend a year ago from the Rocky Mountain region. “All participants must be fit enough to move their own equipment, and to paddle and/or small motor for several hours in a variety of weather conditions. Trips are all in the Coastal Bend region, most within a one-hour
drive of Rockport/Fulton. You need to have all of your own equipment, but you can easily start off renting the basics from area outfitters. You need to plan on getting your own equipment transported to/from the boat launches, although group members may be willing to lend a hand,” she explained.

The Mission River begins at the confluence of the Blanco and Medio Creeks in central Refugio County. It meanders downstream 24 miles into Mission Bay, a tertiary bay that empties into Copano Bay, which adjoins Aransas Bay at the northern end of Live Oak Peninsula. It is a river where you can catch both salt water and fresh water species like blue cats, trout, drum, blue crabs and reds all in the same day. The Mission River, like many other Texas rivers, empties into a bay that oftentimes carry the same namesakes….Nueces, San Antonio, Aransas, Lavaca, and Tres Palacios. All of these coastal areas are on the Coastal Bend Paddlers & Explorers Group radar.

standup

“I was relocating to the Texas Coast for my work as Business Development Manager at Mitigation Solutions USA,” continued Bickel. “As a full-time RV’er, I wanted to purchase a boat that was easy for me to store securely (locked in the RV storage compartment) rather than a rigid boat, or a boat that required a trailer. I wanted to be able to explore the area bays and rivers to get to know the region. A boat that was designed to be paddled and also have a small motor on it was ideal. I started searching and found that the Scout365 boat had been recently made available for sale. It was a perfect match!” she said.

The Scout365 is set up within 10 minutes and measures 12 feet by 3.5 feet fully inflated. It has a high pressure inflatable flooring pad that adds to stability so two people can stand up in the boat. When it comes time to deflate the boat and store it, the dimensions of the boat in the bag is only 36” x 26” x 11” making for convenient transportation and storage.

“I have been exploring the outdoors on water since I was a kid,” Bickel shared. “My dad took us on canoe trips. Over the years I have whitewater kayaked and rafted, sea
kayaked, and canoed. Other than riding in other people’s motor boats, I have never owned or operated a boat that can use a motor until now. I love it! This boat allows me the freedom to paddle and get exercise, and also the ability to move more effectively with the motor when its windy, or I am tired, or need to get somewhere faster. I currently use a lightweight Honda 2.3hp outboard on my boat and am considering using a 55lb. electric trolling motor for a second boat.”

Charlie Roemer who comes to Rockport from Ohio to spend time with his grandson Logan says his grandson enjoys adventuring, but the paddling not so much. So that means Grandpa has to do most of the paddling when he and Logan head out to explore in his kayak.“I would seriously consider the Scout365 to avoid the extra cost of a trailer and to make my water trips with Logan more enjoyable,” said Roemer. “A Scout365 with an attached motor would be a better outdoor experience for both of us,” he added.

end of trip                             assembly

“There are so many places to go in the Coastal Bend, so as a Trip Leader, I try not to go to the same place twice,” explained Bickel. “I have been to San Antonio Bay, Aransas Bay, Redfi sh Bay, Nueces Bay and Corpus Christi Bay. I will go as far north as the Guadalupe River or west to Lake Corpus Christi, as long as it is within a reasonable distance for a day trip,” she said.

The inflatable Scout365 is stable enough to seat two or three people and allow one to stand up and fly fish. It has the capacity for a 3.5 horsepower motor and up to 500 pounds carrying capacity. All boats are made using the latest generation of PVC 1,100 denier PVC fabric with polyester support which offers excellent abrasion and tear resistance. The new generation PVC is designed to be inflated and deflated on a regular basis and the results
are a boat that is tough and built to last. With a portable, compact, stable and rugged design, the Scout365 is available in seven colors, including a camouflage pattern that comes with a three-dimensional “duck blind”attachment for birding and duck hunting. Scout365 just added a flycasting stabilizer bar for the serious sportsfisher, which according to the crew at Scout Inflatables is a world first for an inflatable boat of this size!

As an avid outdoors-woman and full-time RV’er, Jody serves as the South Texas Brand Ambassador representing the full line of Scout Inflatables products. The Coastal
Bend Paddlers & Explorers Meetup Group is sponsored by Scout Inflatables as a part of their business mission to help get more people out enjoying their natural environment more often. The online price for the comprehensive Scout365 boat package is about $1,300 but just a mention of Jody can save 10% off the retail price plus a bunch of great freebies provided by Scout. “I just enjoy being present and experiencing the natural environment, seeing new places, appreciating them, and helping other people to get out and do the same,” Jody shared.

To find out more about the Scout365 Inflatable or the Coastal Bend Paddlers & Explorers Meetup Group, contact jody@scoutinflatables.com or call (361) 558-5168. Come and join them on their next outing.

 demo

Fall Fishing Guide To The Sierra: The Scout 365

By Jody Bickel
on September 18, 2017

Fall Fishing Guide To The Sierra: The Scout 365

Fall Fishing Guide To The Sierra: The Scout 365

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON STAFF WRITER Published: Sep 07, 2017

 

A versatile, portable and rugged option to kayaks and canoes

MAMMOTH LAKES — I have been saying for a long time, I definitely see a kayak in my Eastern Sierra fishing future. A combination of factors has caused this addition to my trout-fishing versatility to remain on the back burner, and while I was very skeptical at first, I’m now fully convinced I have found the all-encompassing solution. 

witha500pound

WITH A 500-POUND capacity the Scout 365 can carry a wide array of passenger and gear combinations. A perfect “water taxi” for shuttling people and gear to otherwise inaccessible shorelines and islands. WON PHOTO BY MIKE STEVENS 

 

Prior to the Fred Hall Shows, a kayak/canoe alternative called the Scout 365 kept popping up on my things-to-check-out-at-the show radar. Seeing that giving it a once over would serve personal as well as work needs, I headed over to the Scout Inflatables booth on Day 1 of the show. 

Portability and the ability to safely store it overnight for up to 10 days (I’m a condo camper, we’re talking parking lots where things tend to disappear from time to time) are the biggest reasons I have yet to head north on Highway 395 with a traditional kayak on my roof. How much space it takes up was also a concern, as a guy who travels with at least one or two other dudes, food and supplies for a week, and their luggage which usually gets put on the roof of my wee-little Ford Escape. 

At Fred Hall, I saw an inflated Scout 365 on display in the booth and immediately noticed its sturdy, beefy looks, and the boat version of “kicking the tires” made me think of (not joking, it really did) the Kevlar pontoon raft Chuck Norris scored in the original Missing in Action movie. Point being, I knew right away that the giant treble hook on a just-unsnagged Thomas Buoyant traveling at 100 mph back at me wouldn’t put a hole in the thing and put some serious drama into my day. 

thescout365

THE SCOUT 365 is the ultimate inflatable kayak/canoe alternative. WON PHOTO BY MIKE STEVENS 

 

That bulletproof feel comes from its PVC fabric and polyester support that serves as its exterior armor. Hand-glued seams, overlapped sheets of material and dual layers of reinforcement means maximum strength and durability. The drop-stich Air Floor creates a rigid bottom (the more air you crank into them, the better) creates stability allowing for easy stand-up casting (5-11, 240-pound me not only stood and casted with ease, but I tried to dump myself into Rock Creek Lake thing to no avail) and an effortless glide over the water. To borrow a sportboat term, the Scout 365 sits “high on the water” regardless of the load. 

The bottom of each pontoon has an 8-inch wide skid-pad that allows the user to drag it from truck-to-shore worry free. Scout Inflatable staffers actually encouraged me to drag it to my heart’s content. 

It took me about 20 minutes from out of the bag to into the water, but it’s advertised as a 10-minute setup which I easily accomplished on my second go around. It packs into a big duffle bag, and accessories can fit into a similarly-sized bag. I had the boat bag, and a second bag containing two batteries, the Air Floor, oars, bench seats and seats with backrests, the included foot pump and an after market electric pump that saves some time, and various other knick-knacks like rod holders and PFDs. All that was not bagged was the optional trolling motor that sat atop both bags in the back of my Escape with plenty of room to spare. 

inflatablefloorboards

INFLATABLE FLOORBOARDS maximize stability and allow an angler to easily stand and cast. WON PHOTO BY MIKE STEVENS 

The Scout 365 is ideal for RV owners, tent or car campers, anyone who bounces from lake to lake like one might do in the Eastern Sierra, or anyone who needs maximum portability and easy setup and takedown without sacrificing performance or safety. It’s perfect for shuttling people and picnic supplies from one end of a lake to an otherwise unreachable beach or island for the day as well as a limitless variety of other non-fishing uses. A great craft for on-the-water family activities, I zipped around with ease with my 6- and 4-year old girls, then my wife and baby boy, and I gave it a real test by putting the two heaviest guys in my fishing party out on Rock Creek Lake and told them to have at it, and the performance was the same as with a lighter load. It has a 500-pound capacity and can take up to a 3.5-horsepower outboard or various electric motors. 

Scout Inflatable’s pro staffer Ryan Moriarty uses a Scout 365 (the exact one I field tested, actually. He made me give it back) as a support boat in saltwater kayak tournaments as well as in the Colorado River. He’s made plenty of videos trying to tip the thing over, too. 

There’s a lot more to the Scout 365, including the optional tent feature that turns the boat into a comfy 1-man shelter worthy of overnighters or using as a duck blind. Scout inflatables is also developing support bars to further improve the ability to stand up and cast, which is a feature fly-fishermen will be all over. 

For more information and all the specifications of the Scout 365, visit www.ScoutInflatables.com

 

customizingandpersonalzing

CUSTOMIZING AND PERSONALIZING the Scout 365 to fit your needs is limitless. Here it is at the Fred Hall Show with the optional tent attachment which Scout Inflatables staffer Ryan Moriarty multi-day camped in during an Eastern Sierra trip. WON PHOTO BY MIKE STEVENS

Scouting in the High Sierra's

By Jody Bickel
on August 31, 2017

Scouting in the High Sierra's

Convict Lake, California

In May, I fished the KBF trail event in Lodi, California. Arrived Thursday afternoon with enough time to explore the area a bit. Prefished Friday and found a camp site, happened to be next to a buddy of mine. I took the Scout365 out for a bit but the area I found out of the wind was taken by two bass boats when I got back, without an anchor I went back to camp to set up. Got the boat set up for the evening with the tent option crashed for the night. Despite the wind I slept like a baby. Letting a little air out of the air floor = immediate comfy air bed.

                   

We both went south Saturday morning for the tournament and met up with Derwin Chang and Kirk Gossett and a few others to fish the area. Launched to even more wind, legs jack-hammered for a an hour before I went back for my shoes. I found one spot that was giving up fish for the whole day, came back a couple of times when everything else didn't work. Caught two early on and then lost a good 17-19" bass when he jumped right next to the kayak. That hurt a bit, but they were there. Caught a third fish but he jumped off the board before I could get a pic, he was only 11" so I don't mind to much..... got a one more a bit after that for my third fish pictured. 1:30 rolled around and the cut off was at 2, set my alarm for 1:50 to submit my pics and headed back to the only spot that was working for me. I was determined to get one more before cut off. My alarm sounded 1:50 before I got there, submitted my pictures and committed to the final push. Hooked up at 1:57, landed the fish at 1:58, phone buzzing with text messages and a jet boat speeding by throwing one foot wakes as I'm trying to take a picture of a fish on a hog trough, couldn't get sketchier after I've already lost one off the trough earlier. With a good picture taken and sent in at 1:59 I had no idea where I placed but it was enough to make me celebrate on the water. Sure enough it was good enough to move me from 14th out of 42 to 11th, had I gotten a picture of the one that flopped off earlier I would've finished in 9th. I had such a great time fishing the delta and will be making future plans to come back for sure! I need to thank Richard Wohlwend-Penny, James Snyder and the whole crew from The Headwaters kayak shop for outing on an awesome event.

Trolling in the Sierra's

Second half of the extended weekend fishing trip, the Eastern Sierras. Left Lodi Saturday evening and drove over the pass, through part of Nevada and down the 395 to Bridgeport. Made it to Robinson Creek campground by 10:30 and had camp set up and a fire lit within an hour. Despite the 30° temperature I was quite snug camping in the Scout365. Started Sunday with a pot of coffee and a small fire. Explored the creek a bit but it was 4x the size I saw last year and no holes to be found close by, talk to the guys in the shop at the lake only to find out they were letting water out to make room for the snowmelt. Set up the Scout365 to troll and got about a half hour in before the winds picked up, made my way back up to a small cove at the upper end and set anchor to try lures for a while to no luck. The wind sucked up a lot of battery juice so I called it quits and headed back to camp. I sat around for an hour at camp and with the creek full I decided to pack up, off to Convict Lake. Got in and found our site from last year empty so that was all set. Had camp up and a fire going in an hour again. Woke up Monday morning to another pot of coffee and fire with what I thought was small bits of ash coming down out of the sky here and there. Yeah, snow! On the Water by 8, yet again a very slow day but an experience I've never had before. Hearing snowfall in the silence of nature is one thing but on a boat while fishing is another. With work pressing at home, I packed up camp and took a quick shower at the lodge and hit the road to home.

Ryan Moriarty is an original Brand Ambassador for Scout Inflatables and lives in Escondido, California. He is an avid fisherman in both saltwater and freshwater environments. Ryan is on the management team donating countless hours for the Southern California Chapter of Heroes on the Water (HOW). A nationwide group with a simple mission statement...To help disabled veterans rehabilitate and reintegrate through the sport of kayak fishing. Ryan is an senior administrator and active member of the San Diego Kayak Fishing SDKF Facebook group as well as an active member of KBF, kayak bass fishing tournaments. Ryan is a pro-staffer at Cinnetic Fishing Reels.

A Recipe for Adventurous Living - Scout Often

By Jody Bickel
on March 25, 2016

A Recipe for Adventurous Living - Scout Often

Welcome Adventurers One & All!

Scout Inflatables is pleased to announce the launch of our Brand Ambassadors blog page. Join us here to learn about our exploits and experience utilizing Scout boats, SUP's and accessories. Be sure to let us know if you have any burning questions about our trips, travel planning, products usage, etc.

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Over the course of my career as a natural resources professional, I have lived and worked in dozens of communities in the continental United States. As a student of the land, I do my best to embrace what each region has to offer. The same goes for outdoor recreation. When in Rome, outdoor re-create as the Romans would do. I am a recreation generalist that dabbles in many forms, whatever it takes for me to be outside year-round. My resume includes over 7,000 miles of solo backcountry travel in three countries and too many states to list, as well as boating, rafting, kayaking, fishing, biking and trail running.  

backcountry travels

When I relocated to South Texas, and converted into a full-time RV lifestyle, I had to find just the right boat to meet my needs. I wanted to get out and explore the local rivers, bays and estuaries, year-round. I wanted a setup that I could manage assembling and portaging on my own, with room for my dog to come along for the ride. For security and ease of moving, I wanted the boat and equipment to be able to be stored in the underbelly of my fifth-wheel RV. I also needed it to be affordable. I only wanted to own one boat, so, like me the boat, must be a generalist, capable of performing well in the majority of potential boating environments.

room for the dog

The Scout boat was my choice and it continues to meet and exceed my expectations! 

This winter, we initiated a local Meetup group - Coastal Bend Paddlers & Explorers. With over 40 members now, we organize boating adventures in the region several times each month. Come join us if you are in the neighborhood or search meetup.com for boating groups near you.

No matter where you live or what time of year it is, there is always some form of outdoor recreation available to you if you are willing to Scout it out!!

full setup