Fishing Yak Stablility and Length

Hello, I’m new to kayaking, a somewhat athletic 70 year old, 5’10”, 190lb, wanting to do kayak fishing on local lakes. Specifically a 7000 acre lake in NE Kansas, and some very large ponds, eg 25 acre. Waves are not the problem, but wind can be. I have only been in a 11 ft Perception American Islander Fishing , and an Old Town Dirigo 120 (not fishing), both “Sit in”. I will definitely want a fishing yak, and it should be a SOT, new or used. I have been reading reviews and know how important the seat is for comfort, as well as stability.

But I read a lot of reviews that mention stability on the ocean, even BTB, beyond the breakers. When I read a review on paddling net where someone gives a yak a 7 out of 10 because stability on the ocean, it doesn’t apply to me. I will never use it on the ocean, and will never be out on a windy day more than about 10-12 mph, and frequently not that much.

Regarding length (and weight), 12 feet was ok, but the 11 was much better for me. (Would like to stay under 50# for my truck and my back). 10Ft yaks are mentioned, but almost never the 9ft. I will try to find some to try of that size, but there aren’t a lot available, and I don’t want to miss a good craigslist listing if at all possible. Ideally I could find what I am looking for for about $400 used.

Any thoughts on stability and length for me? Thanks in advance.

Stability vs paddling efficiency
Once you get under 10 feet in length, the fishing SOT kayaks are pretty “pudgy” and won’t be as efficient to paddle. But it sounds like you aren’t planning on going any long distances or looking for speed. If you are ok with a sluggish but comfortable fishing kayak, then there are some to be had.

A quick look on the ACK website shows a few good choices. ACK - Austin Canoe & Kayak in Austin Texas. Really nice folks to buy from. They are experts on all things “fishing kayak” and they will answer any questions you have either on the phone or by email.

Feelfree Moken 10 Lite at 55 pounds and Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 at 52 pounds would be good choices. Both have hatches & gear track systems to carry gear & mount rod holders, fish finders, etc.