First kayak or possibly 2 kayaks... Looking for opinions & suggestions

My experience is very low, I’ve kayaked just a few times renting or borrowing one. I need to know if I can accomplish my goal w/a single kayak or maybe I’ll have to break down and get 2.
First, I do enjoy just hitting the water for an afternoon of recreational paddling.
Second, I’d like to be able to do some fishing with it.
Third, I enjoy duck hunting and would really like to find something to accomplish This task as well.
I’m not sure if “sit in” or “sit on” would work best and I’ve also heard that they make a “Hybrid”.
In the end I think Stable, light, and able to carry up to 400-450lbs which includes me of course. Reasonable cost would be another category all together I suppose, but I’m not looking to break the bank either.
Thank you!

Honestly it seems that the best fishing platforms are SOTs. Which rarely fit anyone’s definition of light. But they are easier for fishing gear than a sit inside.

The compromise would probably be a rec boat with a large cockpit, just understand this puts you on quiet waters without waves or strong currents. But they can be relatively light.

Celia is right; SOT make great fishing boats because your gear can be laid out and be easily accessible, but they are heavy.
A good rec boat will accomplish what you want and be much lighter.
Case in point. I paddled my WS Tarpon 160 and a friend my age and condition paddled his WS Pungo 140. At the end of our paddle, the Tarpon weighed 200lbs(felt weight) and the Pungo not near that.
BTW, the Pungos have a removable dashboard that can hold a fair amount of gear.

We have a fishing 10’ rec-kayak that has a fairly open cockpit and a 14’7” tandem canoe I made into a solo and paddle with both a single blade and a double blade paddle depending on what I’m navigating. Of the two even considering the weight difference I would much rather paddle the canoe for the type usage you described. The fishing kayak at least in the Old Town line is practically the same as their other 10’ rec-kayaks except they add a couple rod holders.

As to the SOTs I see rigged for fishing and hunting my guess is they are as heavy as my canoe and to me don’t look as practical with gear attached all over the deck. A lot of the folks with fishing SOTs here raise the seat and often replace the seat with something like a stadium seat back for better visibility and comfort for all day sitting. The higher seat then reduces stability so they rig DIY pontoons with PVC pipe and pool noodles or crab floats using the rear pole holders as mounting points. If you Google it you will find lots of ideas of what others have done.

When I relocated my seat to the center of the tandem I used a stadium seat back and at the mid boat point the hull is wide and it became a very stable location along with having the weight distribution make for a level trim. I added additional flotation and still have plenty of room for gear both behind and in front of me. You can buy a much better setup ready to go similar to mine and lighter called a pack-canoe, but those were out of my price range so I made my own simple enough to do if you are handy with tools.

Ether way here is a photo of mine don’t rule out a canoe is my advice. :canoe:

If you want light weight, thermo-formed is lighter than rotomolded plastic. If want less expensive, Hurricane is cheaper than Eddyline.

The main thing about fishing a kayak is learning to downsize the fishing stuff. I fly fish while the water is low and drag a worm or fluke as the water goes up. I don’t carry all my crap with me, I decide what I want to do and downsize.

Fishing barges all seem to weigh a lot. They also have no efficiency when paddles. I prefer a boat that gets me to places few others can get to, that got me a 14 pound bass a few years ago.

Many SOT fishing kayaks are heavy for a reason. They are designed to be super stabile to accommodate the person moving around and even occasionally standing while retrieving gear, casting, and landing a fish. Not to mention carrying the usual cooler filled with ice and beer. They are not really designed for portaging or paddling long distances.