Fat Novice needs kayak advice

Hello all! I am a fisherwoman who has recently decided to try Kayak Fishing, in Barnegat Bay and in the ocean on calm days. I am in the process of narrowing down which kayak to get, and I was hoping to get some suggestions from people who are more knowlegeable. I am, to put it bluntly, fat. Weigh about 220, 5’6". I am also poor, and really can’t spend more than 5 or 6 hundred. With all of these criteria established, I’m looking to get a SOT that I can take out and catch world record stripers and blues (my wants are simple!) I was looking at the Kingfish, as there is a local store that has one for $459. . . I’m aware of the scupper leak possibility - what I was wondering is the weight issue. I tried out several 'yaks at a demo day, and determined that I’m too heavy for a lot of the smaller ones - but they didn’t have a Kingfish, so I don’t know. If anyone has a Kingfish and a similar weight, please let me know how it works for you! Alternatively, please feel free to give suggestions on alternate choices, keeping in mind that I’m a Poor Fat Novice! Thanks in advance, and good luck and tight lines!

I am 230 - and have a boat to consider
I have an Ocean Kayak Malibu 2. I think it’s the same hull as the Drifter - a 12’ SOT. Nice and wide.

The Malibu 2 is a tandem/single boat. The Drifter is a solo boat.

Slow & steady boat. Solid in the water. I often sit sideways and dangle my feet like sitting on a dock. You’re not going to set any speed records, but after a rough patch where some folks wiped out, I had three person’s recovered tackle and gear on my boat PLUS a recovered paddler sitting on the bow dangling her feet one over each side and was able to quite comfortably pilot the boat through some squirrelly water to a safe spot.

If you get the opportunity, test paddle a Malibu 2 (I think they now make an XL model as well) or a Drifter. The Drifter is a pedigreed fishing platform for the kind of water you describe. The Malibu 2 does not have as much flat space for mounting and is probably better thought of as a “dual purpose” boat than a purely fishing boat.

  • Big D

The Mainstream Kingfisher will
carry you. It has a weight limit of 350 lbs as I remember. But, Mainstream has apparently been closed down by Confluence, buyers of the name…it was a Perception brand. The Kingfisher has good and bad qualities. It tracks poorly in comparison to almost any other sit on top. For paddling, its somewhat of a barge.

You may want to take a look at the Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT. It may be a problem, though, as the seat area is a bit smaller than most kayaks. Avoid the Pelican Castaway, not a good tracker, has problems with hatch leaks, and most find it a miserable boat.

A small kayak you may want to look at is the Malibu Mini-X. Its a 10 footer, may not be as fast as a 12 or 14, but will carry you. Its a bit more expensive than the Kingfisher, but its a better kayak. Unfortunately, there isn’t much in the under $500 sit on top kayak world anymore.

An Ocean Kayak Drifter is a fantastic fishing kayak. It’s very stable and only $599 at Bass Pro Shops.

The Cobra Fish N Dive
is low but steady. May max your budget though. Lifetime warranty is nice.

Cobra does back that warranty. A
friend had his Navigator 3 years, it developed a leak in the seat area, and Cobra gave him a new updated Navigator. But, I would not advise a novice to buy a Navigator, it can be a bit squirrelly with that secondary stability.

When I weighed a hundred pounds more than you I had a Drifter and didn’t come close to maxing out the capacity. It’s big, slow, heavy, and stable. I remember the ride being a bit wet in the butt area, too, but that was a while ago.

Its still wet.

We bought it!
Well, we got the Kingfish, and it works really well! I fit well in it, and it is extremely stable. . . doesn’t track that well, and is slow as molasses, but I don’t really need these things - just want to fish. I took it out in some really big swells, and it handled them like a champ, while I was sitting sidesaddle. Thank you all for your input - I’ll keep all these things in mind for later purchases, but I like my new 'yak! Tight lines for you all!

Its floatatiln and will get you there
and back. Congratulations.

Good for you
I hope you get a lot of enjoyment and catch many fish.

  • Big D

Self rescue …
Congrats on the new boat - gotta love that new plastic smell. But please do yourself a favor and practice a deep water self rescue. A great day can turn into a lousy day if you flip and have no idea how to get back in. Start in shallow water first (about 4’ deep) and work your way up to completely deep water. Someday, you may be glad you did …

. . . don’t worry
it’s the first thing I did!