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I need to get off the banks and get out where the fish are. I've been looking at kayaks. Does anyone have any good advice or opinions about kayak fishing? I'd love some feedback. Thanks.
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my opinion on kayak and kayak fishing is this ... it is a niche boat. when fishing the slop and the skinny flats these boats are at its most efficient as a tool for fishing. when used in huge open water basins traveling and search schools of open water fish has got to be it least efficient mode. requires large amounts of muscle power and energy to cover the large areas. this is where my Jon boat is more efficient to use.
last summer was largely spent searching for B'Gills and preds with tiny baits in mere inches of water with the kayak. traveling large expanses of slop flats with and without lily pad beds. the jon boat would have failed miserably.
if you had to pick just one vessel you would need to fish your every day popular fishing mode seriously look where your vessel would be... then choose accordingly.
the Hobie builds a fine line of kayaks at a very fine premium price. yet they fail miserably in the shallow weedy, sloppy flats. the peddle pkg which largely demands the high price premium requires probably a good foot of open water draft for operation. they are basically designed for the open salt water tournament flats which has a huge money trail following. those tournaments are big business and these kayaks run the show.
my personal preference has turned towards Nucanoe Frontier since i am requiring a two seater in future fishing exploits. demanded by my grandson... lol. i have no plans on getting rid of my existing 10 fter... in essence i would have to give it away. plus the small tight boat will still come in handy.
it is hands down the most stable kayak on the market. ive been in many including the Hobie mirage 12. i could actually stand in this one and fish. fly fishing with my damaged legs could also potentially be achieved with a stand up assist. the amount of accessories available to this line is off the charts.
check out this old warrior in his Nucanoe. these units are 1/3 the price out of the box of the Hobie. 3000 would buy you a fully loaded Nucanoe full rigged and accessorized with trailer and trolling motor.
given the huge inventory of kayaks on the market to choose from ... i limited myself to the most stable kayaks to choose from on my future purchase and Nucanoe was on top of the list.
Thank you, David!! Great info. I'll be researching yaks and yak trailers over the next few weeks and will put this info to good use. So far I am loving what I'm seeing and reading on the Hobie website. I have my eye on the Mirage Pro Angler 12. Pricey but sweet. Still looking at all the options though. Thank you and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a prosperous, healthy New Year to you and yours.
A bit more to add, if I may
Dicks has the Old Town Caper, the best of the lot in their catalogue, as far as Im concerned. They used to have a Field and Stream sit on top (SOT), that was also good, but I dont see it now. The Trailblazer has a cool name, but any time you have a coaming over your legs creating a “cockipt,” I have concerns. They float and people use them, Theyre even a bit warmer in cool weather. But fall out and you play hell getting back in – not to mention all the water you ship in if you do manage it. They also have minimal storage within handy reach, and thats crucial if youre a gear head.
LIFTING AND TOTING – OH MY!
I've seen and tried clever roofing systems and I never liked them. The best involved standing the yak up, having a cradle for the hull to lay in at an upward angle alonside the vehicle, and fixing a bungee contraption to the bow. The idea was then you lift and and rotate the stern of the thing up, over and onto the rack. It looked pretty good, actually.
Now, most guys say, “Its just 50 lbs (etc.), I can lift that up, no problem. Fugeddabout it!”
Thats what guys do, right?
But these things stick out at all the awkward angles possible, and then you have to manipulate the thing over your head and twist and bend to get it up. If your in good shape, like maybe you play rugby regularly, thats probably fine. If not, this becomes a chore and risks spraining your back. Neither belong in fishing.
And if you're like many of us, you've lost agility, flexibility and that trim youthful waistline through the years. This means just getting the thing and all your gear from the vehicle to the water, and then rigged, stowed and yourself piled safely into it without trouble, well, it is a challenge (another reason I dont like sit insides).
Some guys will say Im worrying, and they do it just this way. I guarantee it.
But I'd be remiss if I didnt mention it.
Personal watercraft are always a physical effort, the part those young sales people forget to mention when they are trying to sell you one. Whether you are young or old, however, too much of that and you find yourself dreading the whole thing. This is also a curse to good fishing.
If you get to fish with John Sheehan, then you are lucky indeed. If solo, everything you can do to up the odds of fun, and decrease the chore factor, is going to be key. DO some research into how people manage that. Start by googling
kayak milk crate
Texas kayak fisherman – some great stuff here; I suggest you join their forum and really get into the culture. Look at pictures of what they do along these lines and ask questions.
David, thank you for taking so much time to fill me in. Valuable info I'll use for sure. Some answers for you:
1, What's your budget? - Well, it just increased from what you've told me. I started looking in Dick's Sporting Goods and had my eye on a $350 Trailblazer 100 Angler Kayak. It's a low sitting, 10 foot, 38 lb. yak that looks quite manageable by myself.
2. Are you handy making things or do you buy the stuff you need? - I'm very handy.
3. Are you a gear head, with every gadget, or a minimalist? - Love my gadgets. NOT good at traveling light...
4. What sort of transport do you have? - 2016 Maxima Platinum. Not load hauling friendly. I'll need to use my wife's SUV with a roof rack.
5. Average distance from vehicle to water? - pretty close to most bodies of water.
6. Previous experience with canoes? - I have used both, yaks and canoes, but not much and not in a long time.
7 Other non-powered craft? - nope
8. Rivers or still water fishing? both, mostly lakes and reservoirs
9. Do you keep fish for eating or catch and release? -catch and release
10. Fishing solo or with others? Mostly alone, but lately getting to fish some with John Sheehan when I'm lucky.
Here are the main points to consider, Gary:
1, Whats your budget? A decent yak will cost you between $500-1000
Sit on top - more stable than sit inside yaks, nearly unsinkable, too. Much easier to get BACK INTO should you find yourself upset. The angler models are also outfitted for fishing and roomier
Seating - whenever possible, you want a seat that is detached from the hull. These sit you higher, good for fishing. They also prevent the dreaded "swamp ass," caused by sitting low in the hull on a molded in seat.
Rod holders - a must have.
Cargo space - behind the seat you mount your "crate," a plastic box filled with tackle and other needed stuff. Internal waterproof storage is nice for longer trips on the water.
Comfort features - tackle pockets, drink holders, rod holders, bungees, accessible storage trays, soft cushy seating. Look for all these.
These things cost money - you'll soon see that to get them, you're price will be in the range I've given.
Did we mention water boots for warm water use? The best ones shed sand and drain quickly. I like scuba/reef boots. Dry boots or even hip waders are nice in the cooler seasons.
Big hats, good UV blocking, polarized sunglasses, sunscreen, loose fitting pants, fishing vests... all this stuff makes the business more enjoyable.
2. Are you handy making things or do you buy the stuff you need? There are a gazillion things that make fishing from a yak easier or more effective. Many people make these items, as it isn't hard or expensive to do so.
3. Are you a gear head, with every gadget, or a minimalist? There is only so much room in a kayak. Sooner or later, you have to pare down your gear to the essentials. You can get a lot in there, but you still have to keep this in mind.
MAKE ROOM FOR A BASIC SONAR UNIT
4. What sort of transport do you have? A 12 ft kayak is a big lug. It overhangs the bed of a truck enough to often be a traffic hazard. Getting it atop a car is a chore, may sprain your back (dont ask how I know) and is also a potential traffic concern. Trailers are much easier; when possible, have one.
5. Average distance from vehicle to water? If you intend to tote a yak more than a few hundred yards, you'll soon learn how out of shape you are. Ideally, you want to park next to the water. Barring this, you'll want a dolly cart that is -
Fortunately, You can either make one or purchase.
6. Previous experience with canoes? Most people who have canoed have a good basis and passing familiarity with yakking. Its not the same, but it has similarities. If you have none of this, take it slow.
PS Get a paddle leash - paddles have a mind of their own and are always in the way. Juggling paddles and fishing, together, well... the paddle often parts company with you. Its nice to have the thing tethered.
You also want a kayak with a paddle park - and you'll want to use it.
7 Other non-powered craft? Here again, experience helps. If this is your first go at boating of any kind, take it slow.
8. Rivers or still water fishing? Fishing kayaks are NOT white water slippers. They are at their best in still waters. Anything above Class I water should be avoided.
9. Do you keep fish for eating or catch and release? This becomes an issue for STORING caught fish while you're out. Many solutions exist, but live wells are essentially a luxurious extravagance on a kayak. Baskets, stringers, bags... all sorts of things are out there. But you should think about this.
10. Fishing solo or with others? If solo be VERY careful and deliberate when on the water. Fast and jerky movements are the enemy. This is why canoeing is a helpful requisite. In short, you gotta learn to center and be calm. Seriously consider a PFD, too.
Thanks for the tips, guys. I just spent 20 minutes on the Hobie website...wow!! I've got a lot to learn about yaks...
sorry i had to delete a previous comment... i felt uncomfortable releasing my physical condition..
yeah completeley different animals the extra 2ft ive heard...i wouldnt know about any difficiencies between the two lengths because i only own the 10ft... its what i needed at the time to completely slide in my vehicle. as for tracking, speed etc i wouldn't know the difference this model runs great.
it did come in handy maneuvering in the small waters where i was fishing though.
seeing the need for both im buying a 12ft er for the extra seat.
with the 12 fter comes added expense, wt etc so im also looking for a trailer.
for the smaller waters ill be taking out the 10fter
If I was buying another yak, I wouldnt hesitate to get the Ascend - in 12 foot length.
Having had both 10s and 12s, I can say the extra 2 feet are night and day difference.
They take the water better, they track better and they offer more stability. They,re also roomier for the occupant and have greater capacity.
On the con side, They dont handle like a narrow, round hull, they won't spin turn and they are heavier to haul and need more room in the vehicle.
But theyre worth the trade offs once youre ON the water.
Lets answer a few questions shall we?
1, Whats your budget?
2. Are you handy making things or do you buy the stuff you need?
3. Are you a gear head, with every gadget, or a minimalist?
4. What sort of transport do you have?
5. Average distance from vehicle to water?
6. Previous experience with canoes?
7 Other non-powered craft?
8. Rivers or still water fishing?
9. Do you keep fish for eating or catch and release?
10. Fishing solo or with others?
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