First time yak advice needed

Evenin’ folks. I am looking for my first kayak. Let me give you a bit of a background and what I am needing and then hopefully y’all can point me in the right direction.

I’m a 50 year old who has spent my life blasting glass and living the life behind the boat dancing on the end of a rope. Slalom, barefoot, jump etc. I’ve pretty much done it all. 50 years of that and the arthritis has set up in my back but that is ok since my knees kind of said “f@#$ you” a good while back. But even though I can’t ride the wild water anymore it is ok I’m still in excellent overall health 5’10 195lbs with all my teeth. I’m ready to slow down and enjoy life at a gentler pace. I’m wanting a fishing Kayak. Here are the parameters I’m looking to use it in. I live about 1/4 of a mile off of the Cahaba River in Central Alabama. Excellent fishing and a few rapids moving up to class 2. If it’s not there then I will be on some of the impounded waters here fishing grass beds for Crappie, Bream and Bass. I go to the Gulf Coast a few times a year and want to be able to use it in Mobile Bay for the white trout and Red fish around Fort Morgan. I’ve canoed a few times and really hated it so I know that canoe while a decent choice is not what I am looking for. I’m thinking something in the 11-12 foot range with all the bells and whistles associated with fishing. What recommendation sez ye?

Fishing kayaks ??
Since Im a couple of years older then you I feel your pain, knees are good but that back… I researched a lot of fishing kayaks and everyone has there favorites. I have come down to a few kayaks that fit southern fishing since I’m from Ga. Most on this board are from the north " Won’t hold it against them". I like Jackson kayaks the new Predator from Old Town and Slayer from Native Watercraft. Look at these and see what you think.

I suggest you go find a paddle symposium
or a dealer with a big assortment and one that provides free demos so that you can try out many different types, from sit-inside to sit-on-type (sinks and sots). You have a lot of test paddling to do before you buy! Enjoy the experience! If you do your homework now, you will benefit greatly later.

first time yak advice
If stability is paramount, the Frontier 12 is unbeatable but you lose speed and it is a bit heavy. For fishing a sit on top is your best bet but your feet will get wet. My son uses a sit in model that is alot faster than my Frontier by not nearly as user friendly for fishing. I do occasionally use a trolling motor on mine especially if their is alot of wind.

Look at Jackson Cuda
I think your back will appreciate the seat. It is short and maneuverable enough for the class 2 water. It’s a bit slow for big flat water, but with a fishing kayak slow can be good. It is designed to stand and fish (not going through the Class 2’s mind you).

I think you’d like it.

There are a lot of other options out there, many of them good. It’s a good time to be in the market for a fishing kayak.

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