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Fishing out of kayaks?


Rob G
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I was wondering if anyone routinely fishes out of a small (10 ft) kayak. I was looking at one with interest since it only weighs 38 lbs and would be easier to transport than my 14 ft Wenonah canoe. Just curious what your experiences have been. As always, thank you for your input.

 

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Ron . . . as the owner of a 17-foot Wenonah Spirit II kevlar canoe in which you floatfished with me on the Kish earlier this year, you will find that the shorter the watercraft, the less stable it becomes. Personally, if I were to purchase a fishing kayak, I would choose a longer model. Take note . . . when float fishing on any river in my 17-footer, I still add sponses to provide added stability. The power of moving water can be unforgiving!

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I purchased a kayak late in the season but was able to take it out a few times and had a great time. Flat water mainly, but I did try the DuPage in Nov and found it very hard to fish and keep stable at the same time. I think the best way to fish from a kayak in a river is to use an anchor or beach it and fish, and then float further down to change spots....but then again I'm still learning...

 

btw: 9.5 kayak

 

my 2 cents,

 

-chris

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I have a canoe and Kayak. I like my canoe with friends, fishing and floating. I LOVE my kayak for me and fishing.

 

I have an Ocean Kayak Trident 13 Angler. Sit on Top. I say get a sit on top for the rivers. If you get stuck it is easy to get out.

 

I can give you a ton of reasons why this kayak is the one. Most of it you can read up on. However I'll give you a small run down.

 

#1. I can put on top the car by myself.

#2. I can carry my entire rod INSIDE.

#3. I have a transducer scope for a fishing finder and battery bag. Great for lake fishing.

#4. Two built in Rod Holders in the back; I can switch up poles or troll.

#5. I can fish Lake Michigan in this, really. Safely.

#6. Tons on room inside and on top for create.

#7. Comfortable.

 

I love what Ocean Kayak is doing. They are stable and easy to "trick out". I must say I disagree about a 10 foot kayak on the river. You need width to be stable and you need it short to turn on a dime. The longer the better for tracking, but you are not racing. So many people claim that certain canoes and kayaks are unstable. These are not Jon boats and will sway and be tippy. I think it is a matter of experience and preference.

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Ron . . . as the owner of a 17-foot Wenonah Spirit II kevlar canoe in which you floatfished with me on the Kish earlier this year

 

Who's Ron?? Never been on the Kish??

 

 

I have also thought of replacing my Wenonah royalex 14 ft Fisherman model canoe with the kevlar ultra light version, also about 38 lbs but a lot more $$$.

 

Again, thank you for all your suggestions.

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Ron . . . as the owner of a 17-foot Wenonah Spirit II kevlar canoe in which you floatfished with me on the Kish earlier this year, you will find that the shorter the watercraft, the less stable it becomes. Personally, if I were to purchase a fishing kayak, I would choose a longer model. Take note . . . when float fishing on any river in my 17-footer, I still add sponses to provide added stability. The power of moving water can be unforgiving!

 

This is not true . I fish out of a 9'4" Mainstream streak. At 6'2" 215, it more than handles me and my gear.

 

Stability is entirely based on the shape of the kayak hull. Longer models mean better tracking, thus more speed. You do not need speed for fishing. Longer boats are much harder to steer.

 

Short kayaks manuever better- a flat bottom hull generally means more stability, easier turning to avoid obstacles and line your boat up for accurate casting.

 

Kayaks that have narrow hulls or visibible keels are designed to paddle more for speed than manuverability.

 

The kayak you show should be very good for fishing small- medium river as it should turn very well.

 

I actually like smaller kayaks for river and creek fishing unless you will be by yourself and intend to paddle upstream alot. Even then, the smaller yaks can go upstream in any conditions it is safe to be on the water. The better shape you are in the easier this gets.

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Hi Rob,

 

I have had a 9 foot hobie for a couple years now. The "Sport" model, 48 lbs hull weight. I use it mostly on lake michian. I LOVE it, for all the reasons Travis lists. Pop it on the roof, throw the rods in the car, and I'm good to go. Mine is sit on top (I don't have to worry about waves much) and with the Hobie mirage drive my hands are free to fish with, which is great. For river use if you were on a smaller, faster river it might not be so good, it has a large turning radius and doesn't back up easily... and so you might want to use the paddle instead of the mirage drive. For larger water it's ideal however. I'm 5-10 and 170 lbs, if I were any taller I would have gone with the larger and heavier Outback model.

 

Gerry

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You can very easily make the wrong choice on kayaks, then make the wrong assumptions. This is what many people do, despite the dozens of different types of kayaks on the market. It really is more about hull shape for the type of fishing you intend to do.

 

If you will always be fishing with a friend, I'd get a short boat.

 

SOT are heavier, higher in the water, about 50% more expensive, and you will get wet. They are very easy to get out of, but you can sit on a SIK with your legs on the hood which is about the same thing.

 

Cockpit size is important for me. I like my lures velcroed on the hood within reach, but I don't want to be sitting in a coffin either. I like a larger cockpit like the Wilderness Systems Pamlico 100 (10')

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Strictly river, you might like a cockpit version but as far as many options between river, small lakes, and larger lakes I like SOT. Anyone who owns a kayak will tell you - it is a matter of preference. Borrow or sit them at the store.

 

With that said there are a few companies that I personally think are pioneering kayak fishing. You can you tube these guys and learn a lot and in my personal experience I would tell you don't cheap out. If you do you might want to upgrade right away. Plus this is not a boat; depending on how you fish you will have no ramp fees, no gas fee, and no motor hassles, and the ability to sneak up on fish in thick lily pads while bass boats sit casting lures and losing them – that alone pays for that % 50 percent pretty fast.

 

Ocean Kayak

Wilderness Systems

Hobbie

Emotion is coming up with some nice stuff.

 

As far as weight S.O.T.’s tend to hold more gear and have a higher weight max.

 

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I have a 10' W.S.Pamlico (sik), a 12' W.S. Pungo (sik), and a 12' W.S.Tarpon (sot).

 

Pamlico: By far the easiest to throw on the car and lug around. By far the worst tracking. If you're mainly floating rivers, the tracking's not too big of a deal until you try to go upstream. Very maneuverable (hey...I spelled that right on the first try!). Not much room for storage, but that's not an issue for 90% of my trips. Very stable.

 

Pungo: A little tougher to throw on the car. Better tracking, faster than the Pamlico. Very stable.

 

Tarpon: HEAVY. But now that I've mastered a technique, not toooo hard to throw on the car. Good tracking, but seems a little slower than the Pungo. Easy to hop on and off. By far the most comfortable. Very stable, particularly when getting on and off.

 

When I bought the Tarpon, the deciding factor on 10' or 12' was the fact that it had to haul camping gear. If not for that, I would have gone with the 10 footer. (Cheaper, lighter, and would work fine in my medium sized river.) I get just as wet in my SIKs as I do in the Tarpon. If it's not wet wading weather, I have on waders anyway. (Oh...and let's not forget the improved suntan exposure. No more walking around with a bronze upper body and glow-in-the-dark legs!)

 

If you can avoid it, don't buy one with the cheap plastic molded seat. The Wilderness Systems Phase 3 seat is adjustable and surprisingly comfortable.

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Pardon the pun, but maybe I'm missing the boat here :) You see, I feel I already own a sit on top kayak, it's my canoe, and those sit-on-tops mentioned are heavier than my canoe @ 54 lbs. My main goal is to lighten the load but I might be naive in all this.

 

Can you tell me if it is difficult to take along a fly rod without collapsing it while paddling?

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This fall was the first time I fly fished from a yak, and it was easier than I thought it would be. No rod holder or anything, I just laid it straight out to the front (assembled) when paddling. I'm pretty sure John L fly fishes out of his yak regularly. Maybe he'll chime in.

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Who's Ron?? Never been on the Kish??

 

 

I have also thought of replacing my Wenonah royalex 14 ft Fisherman model canoe with the kevlar ultra light version, also about 38 lbs but a lot more $$$.

 

Again, thank you for all your suggestions.

 

 

Sorry . . . it was Ron Grand who join me on the Kish.

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Pardon the pun, but maybe I'm missing the boat here :) You see, I feel I already own a sit on top kayak, it's my canoe, and those sit-on-tops mentioned are heavier than my canoe @ 54 lbs. My main goal is to lighten the load but I might be naive in all this.

 

Can you tell me if it is difficult to take along a fly rod without collapsing it while paddling?

 

 

My SOT is far easier to get on the car and lighter than my canoe. There is a difference between fishing from the canoe than kayak. Like I said, it depends how what kind of water you hitting.

 

Try a buddies, see what you like.

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Probably just showing my age, but I'll stick with my larger 17' Wenonah Spirit II ultralite 40-lb. tandem canoe for floatfishing on rivers. In addition, to sponses that I mentioned earlier, I also add attach a Minnkota trolling motor and Humminbird portable temp/fish locator for my fishing outings. Outfit permits me to fish solo . . . or better yet with a fellow fishing friend. Only requires one car though since I launch at the take-out site, motor upriver 2-3 miles, and float fish back to the car.

 

Of course, all of this gear is stripped from my canoe when my wife and I paddle with the Prairie State Canoeists. With a shallow arch hull design and bent shaft carbon filament paddles (8 oz. each), we can really "make tracks" heading down river.

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Good stuff. The kayaks don't catch the wind as much as a canoe and I really like being able to fit a kayak kitty corner inside the van. No time wasted tying the boat to the roof and really nice in the winter when it's cold. I have an H2Yo sit on top and a pungo 100.

Philf

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Good topic - Best for anyone is to try out ON THE WATER any hull type or size before buying. Stability means many things. Canoes with good stability at rest don't handle waves well at all. Longer with a defined keel track & have greater secondary stability - important when conditions get tough. Moving water, shorter the faster the flow for manuvrability. Kayaks overall are harder to swamp if wider recreational hull design. I own 2 SOT & need larger boats because I weigh about 300#, but I think they are the best for fishing bar none . Just my opinion,no craft does everything well its about use & tradeoffs. Also anchor in moving water can dunk your kayak before you know it - ask Eric.

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I own a WS Pungo 120. It's easier to fish out of than any canoe I've ever been in. As I see it now, the only advantage of canoe is the abilty to haul gear- ala camping as you would on a boundry waters trip. Canoes suck to fish out of especially when it gets windy. Granted, you can carry more fishing stuff in a canoe, but I'm of the KISS mentality these days. 1 rod, 1 small box.

There is a magazine out these days called "Kayak Angler", I doubt that "Canoe Angler" will ever appear.

 

Echoing John's thoughts there is always a trade off. But i think almost any recreational kayak would do fine for you.

I would probably stick to 12 feet as a nice in between size, but 10 would work too. A good strategy would be to find used, any raesonable rec boat to you figure out what you like and don't like, then get something you really like.

heck a you can paddle a tandem solo. then you can take another person with.

It's easy to make more out of this than it raelly requires.

 

Last thought. as far as ease of loading. Check out a rack system with rollers. I think Yakima calls them "Hully Rollers". I fisher with Eric this summr using his boats. He had two boats loaded, by himself in the blink of an eye. And these were Old Town Tandems. Big boats. All you do is put the bow up on the rollers and push.

good luck. You will love the 'yak.

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Did anyone read my article on kayak fishing in the current issue of the Bronzeback Bulletin?

 

I love my Native Ultimate. Love it alot more since bolting the seat across the gunwales. The higher seat in a canoe is a distinct advantage in my opinion. Maybe I'll write an article about how I managed to put the seat at gunwale height. Any interest? I would never buy a sit in kayak to fish out of again. Too low, too little leg and "stuff" room for my taste.

 

Canoes CAN be significantly lighter than typical plastic kayak, too.

 

Gregg

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Did anyone read my article on kayak fishing in the current issue of the Bronzeback Bulletin?

 

I love my Native Ultimate. Love it alot more since bolting the seat across the gunwales. The higher seat in a canoe is a distinct advantage in my opinion. Maybe I'll write an article about how I managed to put the seat at gunwale height. Any interest? I would never buy a sit in kayak to fish out of again. Too low, too little leg and "stuff" room for my taste.

 

Canoes CAN be significantly lighter than typical plastic kayak, too.

 

Gregg

 

Yes I did, I have the same feeling about sit in kayaks. Way more options with SOT. And you can motor a kayak or a canoe. There are some cool things going on in the Kayak World.

 

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Yep. My Saturn Ion has sponses. Really great for tracking in the snow. My emoticon feature isn't working. Hope the humor is found in 'Classic'.

 

:)

 

All kidding aside...this info is a great read! I hope to purchase a watercraft sometime in the near future. Do they make unstable kayaks that I can attach my Ion's sponses to? ;)

 

"Classic" was indeed taken in good humor, Don . . . and were you to add 4-foot sponses to your Saturn Ion like those for my canoe, the appearance of your vehicle would come close to that of Santa's sleigh. Keep in mind that we have a fishing outing planned for sometime in 2010 . . . with my full complement of canoe embellishments.

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