The Feelfree US family of brands has over 60 Team Members throughout the nation. You've probably seen us feature their pictures on social media, had a question answered on one of the group pages or perhaps crossed paths at a local tournament. In this series we ask a collection of questions to help you get to know them a little better.
Featured Team Member: Bobby Ulrich
Location: Cheney, Washington
Public Profile: Instagram & Instagram
Photos by: Josh Taylor
Tell us a bit about yourself...
When I'm not kayak fishing I am a husband, and dad to three boys. Our family loves a wide variety of outdoor adventures. My wife and I love hiking, biking, and camping, as well as coaching and watching our boys play baseball, football, and basketball. I work with college students, and enjoy helping them develop as people, and love getting to travel the world with them.
I got my start in fishing when I was a kid. My grandpa taught me to fish using worms, and a bobber. After he passed away when I was in college, my rod began collecting dust in my garage. I got married, had a family, got my kids through the diaper stage, and realized that I had a little space in my schedule to begin fishing again.
While walking through an airport one day, I saw a display for a fishing kayak. I must have stared at it for 15 minutes. I envisioned myself using it to catch the fish that my grandpa and I would always dreamed of.
After researching for weeks, I found myself buying a Feelfree Lure 11.5 with Overdrive Pedal System. I knew that I wanted a pedal driven kayak, and the Overdrive was brand new on the market. I took the plunge, and used some inheritance money from my grandpa to get into the sport of kayak fishing. After the first trip, I was hooked. The "Wheel in the keel," the Gravity seat, and the stability of the Lure made the experience beyond what I was expecting. There was, and still is something about it that I still struggle to put into words. It was like I was a part of fishing in a way that I didn't know was possible.
What Feelfree Kayak(s) do you own and why did you choose those models
I currently have 2 Feelfree Lure 11.5s, both with Overdrive. I also have a Seastream Angler 120 PD, and a Moken 12.5. I wanted different kayaks (under the Feelfree family of brands) so that I could experience a wide variety of all that Feelfree has to offer. I have found the Seastream to be an excellent full featured kayak at an affordable price, and the Moken to be the best fishing kayak under $1000. My main fishing kayak is a Lure 11.5 with Overdrive. It is just the perfect blend of price, comfort, weight, stability, and innovation.
Some of the accessories I have mounted to my Lure 11.5 are:
- Lowrance Elite Ti2 (9") with Berleypro Visor
- Anchor Wizard with an anchor from Da Bomb Anchor Company
- YakAttack Black Pack with additional rod holders
- YakAttack AR Tube rod holder
- YakGear Backwater Assassin paddle
- Ram Mount X Grip phone holder
- Ram Mount arm for my transducer, and fish finder
- Yakattack Through Hull Wiring Kit
What do you enjoy most about kayak fishing?
My favorite thing about kayak fishing is that I just feel a part of the lake, and nature unlike any other type of fishing. When I am kayak fishing, I am just "in it." I feel immersed in nature, and the sport simultaneously. I enjoy the silence of it. I love standing at water level, and the feeling of the wind as each little ripple in the water nudges the side of my kayak. I love hearing the birds, and frogs unlike any other time that I am on the water. I love the solitude, and the ability to clear my mind of this hectic world. I love watching the line on my finesse presentation begin to move across the top of the water silently, and the anticipation of what lies underneath.
What kind of fishing do you prefer and describe some of your most fished waters?
I prefer to fish smaller lakes and reservoirs. Most of my waters here in Washington state are spring fed. Most are pretty weedy, and sparsely populated. A lot of them contain large chunks of public land that remains untouched. We have a lot of largemouth and smallmouth in the northwest, and I will target both throughout the season. I enjoy fishing reservoirs as well. Most of the reservoirs I fish are almost completely public land, so you can fish miles of shoreline without ever seeing a home. Besides bass, my local lakes include pike, tiger muskie, walleye trout and sturgeon. One of my goals is to catch a 7' or larger sturgeon on my kayak.
What’s in your kayak fishing gear box?
I take 5 rods with me whenever I go fishing. Two are spinning rods, and three are baitcast. The spinning rods are usually rigged with a dropshot (Roboworm), and a fluke or wacky rig. The three baitcast rods are usually rigged with a jerkbait or crankbait, a Chatterbait, and a topwater or big glide bait.
Inside my box, I have 5 boxes and a soft plastic bag. One of the boxes contains my favorite topwater lures, Whopper Ploppers, Spooks, poppers, and frogs. My second box is all blade baits, Chatterbaits, spinner baits, and spinners and spoons. The 3/16 oz Chatterbait is my go-to in this box. My third box is all jerkbaits, and my fourth box is for crankbaits. I have multiple brands and colors that I like. I've had really good luck lately on deep diving jointed Rapalas. I also have a soft plastic bag that contains both a terminal tackle box and about 30 bags of soft plastics.
Just under that bag sits my fifth box. It's a quick fix box that contains different parts for my kayak. I have some rudder cables, nuts and bolts, screws, track adapters, some paracord, and zip ties, along with a metric allen wrench set and a couple screw drivers.
The outside of my box, I have 6 rod holders, 5 of which I use for rods, and one that I use for my net. I also have some fish grippers (for the pike and muskie) in a holster on the side with a teather.
Any tips or advice you can offer those getting into kayak fishing?
If I were to give someone my best tip for getting into kayak fishing would be to not over complicate the sport. Don't rush to add thousands of dollars of gear to your kayak. Everything that you add, not only adds weight, but time on the front end and tail end of the trip. Keep your setup simple. It'll lead to more time on the water doing what you love.
Thanks for your time Bobby!