Like many kayak fisherman, my first kayak was a mistake and I only used it a few times.
There wasn’t a lot of information available. Things have changed. Kayak fishing is a major force in the kayaking world and there are lots of models to choose from.
There are dozens of websites with interactive forums to ask questions and read about models.
Since my first kayak I’ve personally fished from 50 different models in a variety of environments ranging from the flats of the Caribbean to the hike in ponds and rivers to vast expanses of Alaska’s Prince William Sound to name a few.
I’ve learned a lot along the way and I’d like to share some observations with you.
The first thing you’re going to need to become a kayak fisherman is a kayak.
There are a lot of choices out there and it can get confusing.
One thing that’s nice is kayak fishing is now a large part of the kayaking world and because of this there’s a lot more information available.
Even so don’t just walk into a kayak shop and expect to get what you need for your purpose.
While fishing is the second largest recreational outdoor pursuit in the world there are still many more people who don’t fish than those who do.
Also even if you go to a business that specializes in kayak fishing you’re still the person who is going to be using the kayak. So you’re the one who is responsible for what you’re going to end up with.
If this is your first kayak keep in mind there’s a wide array of models and uses. Kayaks vary from long ocean going expedition or touring models to short little white water and surf kayaks.
They all have their purpose. Most models are not going to work well as a kayak fishing vessel. I highly recommend not being an experiment. By this I mean buy a model that has a fishing pedigree.
It’s a model that’s currently being used by a lot of fishermen. The reason being it works.
There are easily hundreds of models available but the sport is dominated by a couple dozen models.
By restricting your decision to one of these models you’ll simplify greatly your decision. Then it becomes a matter of choosing the attributes that best suit your needs.
Before I discuss attributes lets quickly cover kayak types. There are essentially two designs.
The names are self explanatory. SOTs are big hollow tubes that you sit on rather than in.
Any water that ends up on the kayak drains through holes that run from the top to below the water line.
These holes are called scuppers and they eliminate the need to remove the water as the properties of the designs does this.
The traditional type of kayak that one thinks of when they envision a kayak. You sit inside the kayak. It is a lot like a canoe.
Any water that comes over the side must be physically removed.
To prevent water from entering the kayak an accessory is available called a skirt. It is basically a lid in the form of a membrane that goes over the opening of the kayak that has a hole for your torso.
It is a required accessory for white water kayaking.
There are many types of canoes and kayaks available, details of each style can be found below.
Choosing a Fishing Kayak--Buy a model that has a fishing pedigree. It’s a model that’s currently being used by a lot of fishermen. Fishing kayaks are dominated by a couple of dozen models.
-- I headed out to Bunche Beach with the kayak. I threw a Rappala X-rap out one side of the kayak and a blue-backed Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow out the other side and commenced paddling around
Kayak Fishing Blog
--THE ULTIMATE INSHORE FISHING EXPERIENCE!
Come try a fishing experience that is as unique and exciting as the wilds of Florida!
Kayak Fishing Charters
-- Websites of the greater Naples FloridaOffering many different types of Kayak Rentals as well as Kayak Tours, Kayak Fishing, Lessons and Fitness Classes for adults and children.
Kayak Eco Touring
Launch Maps The Launch Locator Map Section gives you the chance to find kayak launch locations all over the world. It also lets you share launches with others and even leave a fishing report for a particular location.
This map is here to help you find areas to launch your kayak and other kayak fishing resources.
Gear Guide Kayak Fishing Gear See the latest fishing kayaks that hit the market. Also see our buyers guide for complete list of all fishing kayaks.
Instructional Kayak Fishing Videos
Videos that will help improve your skills on the water
Good luck and see you on the water.
Good luck and see you on the water.
#6 Cooscroosn 2010-06-05 19:45 Lots of good info. Thanks.
#5 jssteve 2010-04-12 19:34 Jon - Complements...
You've done a nice job providing a factual and unbiased presentation of the benefits and tradeoffs.
Hats off. After reading a very similar article my 2 friends got Sit-ins, I got a SOT. Here's observations after 5 years:
1)open saltwater lends well to longer, stable SOT pedal drives if fishing is your primary interest
2)for streams, rivers, estuaries or beaches where you stop alot to fish-especially where the banks may be steep/deep or difficult to access easily, SOTs provide ease of exit/entry,especiall y in waders.
3) Sit Ins are often "cleaner" on deck with less to tangle up on, but you do sit lower which makes it more difficult to cast for a fly fisherman.
4) Sit Ins appear to be alittle faster than SOTs of the same lenght (hull designs).
5) For the "average" person who kayaks 10-20 days per year, when (not if) you dump, many find a SOT easier to walrus wallow back on to than righting a sit-in, especially in choppy or windy weather and certainly in a relative quick river or rip current.
6) If you "ferry" kids, beach stuff, coolers,etc, and then after you've performed your vacation duties you get to go fishing for a few hours, SOTs are great.
7) it all comes down to needs and tradeoffs - 650hp 2 seater or suburban, something in between...whatever floats YOUR boat...enjoy
#4 Bobby Reep 2010-02-25 19:13 Thanks for the info. This will make my decision a lot easier.
#3 Doug 2010-02-24 22:32 Thanks for a great article to help me select my first kayak..
I'm looking for a kayak to fish small lakes in MN, maybe with some portaging involved so weight will be important to me.
I also have a small car so I need to consider the overall length also. Can't wait for spring!
#2 eric.hyman 2010-02-20 01:01 Lot of good information for me. help me make my choice.
#1 2010-02-10 21:44 Lots of great info!