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.