First Fishing Kayak

Im searching for my first fishing kayak. I fish freshwater for mainly lake trout, walleye, pike, panfish and stocked trout. I want to get into kayak fishing because it seems like a much more enjoyable and efficent way to fish. I fish some rather large bodies of water and also some small bodies of water in which a typical boater cannot reach. I do not fish rivers or streams. I recently rented a perception impulse 10 to try kayak fishing for the first time, it was not my first time paddling however. It was a stable and fishable kayak but i would like a faster boat that is more capable of rough water, i also wouldnt mind a SOT kayak. I live in a rather rural area and cannot attend much demo days or rent decent kayaks. Some of the kayaks ive been looking at are the Tarpon 140, Ride 135, and the Jackson Cuda. If anyone can help me, it will be appreciated!

I fish
out of a canoe. Tried a kayak but it didn’t work for me. I like to bring the dog and wife along.

I used my friend’s Tarpon once and it was pretty good. enough room and good stability whilst fishing…turning in cockpit and such.

You’ll have to wait for someone else to respond regarding rougher water or ‘big water’ for these boats. Maybe even post in the general advice section? Seems that’s where a lot of responses come from. Good luck.

why not a canoe?

– Last Updated: Jul-02-15 10:54 PM EST –

I can't speak to the models you mention because I have no experience with them. You mention a desire for speed, yet also are considering a SOT, which are generally stable, but slow, particularly the models designed specifically for fishing.

I know many people who fish out of kayaks. I have myself, but I find a canoe to be a far better platform for fishing. You can move around a lot more, you don't have to unhook your catch in your lap and you have room for a cooler, your dog or your kid, a friend or all three. Your gear is easily accessible in front of you instead of stowed behind, where it is awkward to access.

I know kayaks are hip and sexy, while canoes still have that old summer camp vibe, but there are many advantages to fishing out of a canoe vs. a kayak. If you are only going solo, perhaps a pack canoe would be a good option. Kayaks have advantages too, especially when it gets windy. But I think you should throw a canoe into the mix when you are considering options for a good fishing platform.

Pack Canoe
Thanks for the reply guys! I will definitely take a pack canoe into consideration. Any brands or types of canoes you guys prefer? Thanks again.

Go with a canoe.
I use an Ocean Kayak Frenzy SOT for fishing on the Gulf side for sharks, mackerel, jacks, bull reds, etc, because my canoe would get swamped in the surf, but on the bay side I fish from my canoe. More comfortable, can bring more gear, more room to move about and to land a fish in without having it in your lap.

Which canoe Bay side?
I’m very interested in reefmonkeys response. I’m new to kayaking. Don’tm have one yet. The few I tried out leave me with a fish in my lap. Didn’t like it. I live in Pensacola. I’m not interested in launching in the surf. My main place to fish would be the bay and estuaries. EVERYBODY has a SOT. I’m liking the thought of a canoe because of what I read in this post. I’m thinking the old town next might be considered a native ultimate “lite”. Plain old pack canoe might be better. Reefmonkey, what canoe do you fish out of in your bay? Might I ask which bay you fish in?

1st yak
All the kayaks you mentioned are quality craft. I have a tarpon and like it a lot but the Ride is probanly a little more stable. Their drawback is weight. Have you looked at the hurricane line? Their pretty, have a great look and finish. They also come set up specifically for fishing.

All good yaks.
If you’re only doing flatwater, you may want to consider a Jackson Big Rig too. The Ride 135s are sweet.

  • Big D

I fish West Galveston Bay, TX
My canoe is a cheap Pelican 3 person, does the job fine for me, but is slow and kinda heavy, so I know there are better ones out there. Probably a lot of people could give you better advice on specific canoes than I could.