Fishing Kayak Considerations: A to Z

I’ve been considering a fishing kayak to use in the South Florida area. I’d like something to use in the flats, bays and possibly ocean as much as possible.

I started out looking for deals on kayaks such as the Perception Pescador 12’, which I found for around $450. Upped my consideration to an Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 ($700-ish) because of the added accesories and my thoughts that it would perform better in windy conditions or strong currents. Reading a little bit more I found out a rudder kit would help even more… (cha-ching… another $200).

At this point I began looking at peddling kayaks, which are great. I’d be able to move quickly against wind or current. My choices were between Hobie and Native Watercraft.

There’s a bunch of pros/cons I have for both which I won’t get into but both look like solid choices where I can’t go wrong. The only thing holding me back is the $1800 entry point.

I also looked into both brands on craigslist. But here in Florida there’s quite a bit of demand for them and I don’t think it’s worth it to buy a two year old Hobie kayak that’s maybe $600 less with no warranty. It’s a sellers market for both brands.

So now I’m considering the Lifetime 10’ Sport Fisher. This kayak goes for about $600. It’s not the longest kayak, so it must be slow. But my thoughts were to attach a trolling motor (mount $150, motor $200, and battery $50, etc). This pretty much gives me everything I’m looking for…

Wondering if anyone else out there has one or any experience in adding motors to kayaks? What was the stability like? Any experience with it in the ocean?

And what type of motor and thrust? The recommendation seems to be 30 lbs of thrust but I’d like to consider 36 or even 40, especially since I’m taking it out to sea.

RTM Tempo
or the Perception you mentioned. forget the expensive and heavy trolling motor, batter and all that just. Spent the money you save on hiring a guide or two to help you start catching fish.

Many folks want to have the ultimate rig, but they might be happier focusing on the fishing and the paddling.

Lifetime Sports Fisher

– Last Updated: Jul-27-12 8:30 PM EST –

That might be the most expensive solution if I need a guide each time to fish.. lol

I'd like the trolling motor because there are channels with strong currents and I'd like to take it out to sea.. Not too far out but I'd like to move quickly when the weather gets bad.

I've ruled out perception right now.. doesn't fit my needs. I did look into the new Diablo kayaks.. those seem sweet. You're even able to stand up on them which comes in handy when you're sight seeing for fish. But those are $1500+...

Another brand I looked into was.. Freedom Hawk Pathfinder... again..awesome kayak... the back half splits out for extra stability when you need to stand up. Has the attachment for a motor from the vendor, just like I'm looking for. But the price kills it for me... Looks like it also has a pretty deep bow... which should make it perform better when the waters choppy.

For what I'm looking for I keep coming back to the Lifetime sports fisher... still considering the thrust power for the motor. Endura 40 or 50..

all that stand up stability and trolling motor stuff and focus on what Frank mentioned.The Tempo would be a great choice and you should be able to find one down there easily.I searched all around but couldn’t find an RTM dealer any where near me that had the Tempo in stock.If I had I’d have one myself.I might have to wait till next year when the dealers restock after the winter but I’d rather do that than settle for less.Good luck!

Tempo doesn’t cut it…
Thanks for the feedback… I had a look but the Tempo doesn’t interested me… It’s a long touring Kayak.

Hardly any of the features anglers are looking for… That’s the kinda kayak you practice roll-overs with… fisherman have gear and can’t afford a roll over.

On the
contrary the Tempo is simply a copy of Ocean kayak’s SPTW.One of the most popular/best SOT’s for fishing of all time.There are a few minor changes but all for the better.I had an OK SPTW for a few years and dearly regret selling it.The Tarpon 160 I replaced it with was really nice to but IMO not quite as good overall.


– Last Updated: Jul-29-12 8:41 AM EST –

Yau can and are way over-thinking this decision. If you want the best either get out the credit card and get an OK Ultra 4.7 or go all the way and get a Hobie Pro Angler.

But if you come back donw to earth, look around, you'll be fishing next to peopla with all kinds of kayaks catching more or the same fish you are.

Depending on your size you can get away with a 12' kayak, but if approaching 185# go for 13' or bogger.

There is a Perception 12' kayak sold at Dicks called the Perception Sports Caster, and also sold at West Marine called the Pompano, outfitted a bit different seat anchor trolley or not sold for just inder $500. This kayak is the 2009 Tarpon 120 rebadged and sold at mas merchandised pricing. (Great deal for entry 12' kayak)

Rudders are (MPO) and I do have 1 kayak with and 1 without.. the one without gets more use, are a luxury.. very useful in 3 situations:
1) Drifting a flat or shoreline in a light breeze and current to help keep the nose of the kayak pointed in a specific direction
2) Peddle kayaks
3) In a stiff cross wind

13/15 Prowler is a great platform as is Tarpon 120/140 and Redfish 12/14.

Rethink the Tempo style hull.. if you do not lik it because you look at it as a racing hull.. it is a copy, hull side, of the OK ScupperPro which is considered one of the better kayak fishing platforms designed. The deck is a bit different and the Tankwell area is sort of useless to fisherman. I have a ScupperPro and a Kazkazi Dorado and if I'm going fishing the ScupperPro is my choice 90% of the time with no rudder. If I plan to cover 10 or 12 miles I'll use the Dorado but it is less comfortable, hard fiberglass hull it does paddle with much less effort and has a rudder which I seldom deploy.

If you want to look at , try and buy, rent for a day.. chack out Florida Bay Outfitters in Key Largo.. July 28th & 29th thye ar having their annual end of year sale of used and rental fleet of kayaks.

Thanks for the feedback! I didn’t know you can try them out at Florida Bay Outfitters. I just gave them a call and plan to head down there next week. Might even rent one out for half a day to go fishing.

FBO Rentals
If you rent they used to have a service where they would drop off & pickup at Garden Cove, Rattlesnake Key which is on the Oceanside, the fishing here is considerably better than behind FBO.