John's Journal...

Alabama's Gulf Coast Fishing with ProKat Boats and Phil Mosley

Famous Kat Owners

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: You may ask why I’m devoting a week’s worth of information to fishing on a catamaran? The answer is simple. Having hunted and fished my entire life, I’ve never fished on a catamaran, except many years ago, when I was in high school and a group from our church went to Panama City, Florida, on an overnight fishing trip. We had 38 people fishing off a big catamaran that had bunks down below to sleep 40 people and a galley big enough to feed a large group of fishermen. At the time, this was the first and the only catamaran boat I’d ever fished from or seen. It was also one of the biClick to enlargeggest fishing boats in Panama City. My second introduction to a catamaran was when I tried my hand at sailing out of Destin, Florida. After 10 minutes of instruction, I rented a sailing Hobie Cat and was off to run into the wind. I remember the thrill of getting that light cat up on one keel as I turned it rather quickly. I also remember the sharp thud on the back of my head I encountered when I tacked into the wind and forgot to duck when the boom came over my head to catch the wind from another direction. I got that funny taste in my mouth and saw those white spots in front of my eyes that you see just before you faint. However, I’d never seen a catamaran truly built for sport fishing until I rig fished on the ProKat. Apparently, there’s a large armada of cat enthusiasts out in the salt-water fishing world. To keep you updated on some of the newest innovations in fishing boats, I needed first-hand knowledge of what a catamaran could do.

Question: Mike, who’s using cats today?
Robinson: We sell many ProKats to the government. We’ve even shipped Kats to Guantánamo Bay. One of the latest sales we’ve made was to Jimmy Johnson, the famous football coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson’s an avid fisherman, as well as a football coach and a TV commentator. He’s always wanted to try a Kat, so we took him out on a sea trial. He liked the boat so well that he traded in two of his v-bottom boats to buy a catamaran. Captain Norm Isaac, host of the BXRL Fishing Tournaments on ESPN, runs charters out of the two cats he owns. Mel Fisher, the treasure hunter from the Florida Keys who discovered the “Atocha,” one of the richest treasure ships ever found, purchased two ProKats because he lClick to enlargeiked the stability the catamaran offered for his treasure-salvaging operation.

Question: How tough are your boats?
Robinson: One of our customers was headed to Key West, Florida, for a great fishing vacation with his son and a friend. He was pulling his boat, when he fell asleep on Highway 1. He flipped the boat over, broke the trailer in half and rolled his ProClick to enlargeKat over on its side. The boat skidded almost 300 feet down the highway. He had to get two wreckers to lift the boat up, and he bought a new trailer to carry the boat. Even though the hull had some bruises on it, the boat was still fishable, and the vacation wasn’t ruined. They caught a lot of fish, had a great trip and called to tell me about the toughness of the boat. Once I found out the owner didn’t have insurance on the boat, we offered to fix it for free. He’s a valued customer of ProKat, and we take care of our customers. Then last week, I received a call from the Bahamas. Somehow, one of our customers had punched a hole in the bottom of his boat. So, we chartered an airplane and sent some of our technicians to inspect the boat. We discovered we could fix the boat and return it to the United States for him. We want to take care of our customers and get them back to fishing as soon as possible.

Question: How big are the catamarans you make?
Robinson: We have cats from as small as 20 feet that are powered by a single engine up to a 36-foot boat with a 12-foot, 8-inch beam. Every ProKat boat is hand-built by our employees, who are trained to do a specific job well. Our employees are skilled technicians.

If you want to know more about fishing Alabama’s Gulf Coast, visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Business Bureau at, or call 800-745-SAND.

For more information on ProKat Boats, call 205-763-0231or visit

Tomorrow: Speed is What You Need

Check back each day this week for more about "Alabama's Gulf Coast Fishing with ProKat Boats and Phil Mosley"

Day 1: Amberjack, Red Snapper, Grouper and Catamarans
Day 2: The Advantages of Catamaran Fishing in Salt Water
Day 3: Famous Kat Owners
Day 4: Speed is What You Need
Day 5: What is Fishability?



Entry 406, Day 3