GETTING THE RIGHT KAYAK FOR FISHING
Kayak Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor sports. But if you’re intimidated by the thought of fishing from a kayak, then please reconsider. Kayak fishing is a lot easier and safer than it looks. It’s also more fun. In the past few years, manufacturers have been designing kayaks specifically for fishers. That’s why most kayaks now are remarkably stable and comfortable. Most kayaks are now equipped with rod holders, tackle hatches, anchor systems and even livewells. As a result, there’s a better chance you can find a kayak that’ll fit your needs.
The process of choosing a kayak for fishing can be incredibly overwhelming with so many choices to choose from. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t be able to find it. So, how exactly do you choose the right kayak for fishing? Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you narrow down your choices.
WHAT KIND OF KAYAK FISHING DO YOU WANT TO DO?
There is no one-size-fits-all when choosing the best fishing kayak for your needs. Before you make a decision, the most important thing you can do is ask yourself where and how you plan to do most of your paddling and fishing. There are two types of kayak fishing: freshwater and saltwater.
In freshwater kayak fishing, there are two choices; you can either go fishing in still water (ponds, lakes) or moving water (rivers, streams, rapids). When going still water fishing, go for smaller, lightweight kayaks that have higher initial stability (the stability you feel when you first sit in a kayak). If you’re fishing on moving water, shorter and wider sit-in kayaks with high secondary stability (stability you feel when you’re paddling) are the best choice.
For saltwater kayak fishing, you can either fish inshore or offshore. For inshore (inlets, bays, flats and estuaries) kayak fishing, longer and slimmer kayaks with a moderate degree of rocker (the measure of the curve of the hull from the centre to the end of the hull along the keel) is most ideal. That’s because you need to paddle long distances and you may encounter steep waves. For offshore (all bodies of water with a depth of 70 feet or more) kayak fishing, it’s best to use long, slim sit-in kayaks because it’s significantly faster and requires less effort to paddle.
SIT ON TOP OR SIT IN KAYAKS
A lot of anglers prefer self-bailing sit-on-top kayaks, especially for saltwater fishing. They’re much safer since they can roll over without filling with water. These kayaks also give the angler more room to move around or even throw a leg over the side for stability when reeling in a fish. Sit-in kayaks are highly recommended for moving waters and in situations where a lighter-weight craft is desirable. Sit inside kayak provide a drier ride compared to a sit-on-top kayak too.
DO I NEED PROPULSION?
If you thought that kayaks could only be propelled with a paddle, think again. Pedals are now an option in several kayak lines. A good example is a leg-powered kayak, which is pretty popular among anglers because they free up the hands for fishing except for those who are smart enough to get an electric motor powered kayak. There are also kayaks with a pedal/propeller drive and electric-motor-powered kayaks, which are an increasingly popular option, especially for anglers. Obviously, paddle powered kayaks are more affordable compared to the other options.
What you need to keep in mind when choosing a kayak is that the longer the kayak, the faster and easier it’ll be to cover distances. As for the width, wider kayaks are more stable and can support more capacity. Remember, choosing a fishing kayak is all about preference. With numerous options of kayaks designed for anglers, you’ll want to start with a model that meets your basic needs. More importantly, choose a kayak that will allow you to be comfortable out on the water. That’s what matters the most.
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