Fresh water creeks

i am thinking of buying my 1st kayak for fresh water creek fishing. I especially want as dry a ride, and as stable a kayak as possible. The crreks in eastern NC have lots of snakes. I have been thinking about either the mini X or the pro exployer from Malibu. Anyone have any suggestions that may help me make my decision?

More info
Does anyone know anything about the Pro Exployer by Malibu? I really want a dry ride if that is possible with a SOT. Also, I may want to do some fall, early spring and maybe even winter fresh water fishing. I am new, with no kayak as yet, so any advice will be appreciated. I live near the ocean, so there maybe a possiblity of lauching there at some time. I am 60yo, 5’ 7 1/2" and 185 lbs.

Don’t know about Explorers
However, Malibu has a good reputation.

I just wanted to mention that any SOT is going to have some wet associated with it. If you want really dry, then I’d suggest a SinK with a skirt. I think SOT and some wet is better for fishing, though. And the amount of wet you get really isn’t that bad, especially in the summer. If you’ve got a medical condition the requires you to stay dry, then by all means make that a high priority. Otherwise, it’s really not that big a deal.

My vote is for the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100. The most comfortable kayak I have ever sit upon. Of course, I realize that I don’t get a vote with your money…

  • Big D

Take a look at the Liquid Logic
Manta Ray 10. It has a bit higher freeboard than the Mini-X, a great seat, and is about as dry as you are going to get in a sit on top kayak that length. Malibu makes a good product, as does LL and Wilderness Systems with the T-100. But, if it were me, I’d get a solo canoe, maybe the Wenonah Vagabond, or the Old Town Pack. The Vagabond weighs 43 lbs, the Pack 33.

Fresh water fishing
Big_D, TY for the info. Maybe I should ask what type clothing should be worn if I wanted to do cold water/weather fishing. I do not have a health problem with getting wet, but I do prefer staying dry. Tell me if there is a sit in kayak that would be a dry ride and is very stable. I am totally new to all this.

Fresh water fishing
Jerlfletcher, TY for the info. I had bee thing about canoes for a while, but liked the idea of the type of kayaks that have super stability. i am not so fond of getting tipped over in some of our creeks and rivers here in eastern NC. Most of the time, my fishing will be close to the banks where there are lots of snakes. I will check out the cnoes and kayaks that both you and Big_D suggested, and rething all my ideas. One other reason I was thinking Kayak was that I have a small PU truck. I feel I could carry a kayak better than a canoe.

Clothing for wet and cold
Regardless of what boat you get, you can always flip. You have to be prepared for staying warm in the water regardless of when you go out.

I use a pair of breathable chest waders with a soft nylon back belt. It’s basically a weightlifting belt, but made of softer fabric. I think it was initially sold as a “wading” belt. Then I wear my PFD tight around my chest. Between the PFD and the back belt, that will stop any water from running down into the waders and keeps me mostly dry. Underneath, I wear fleece pants. On the top I wear a neoprene paddling shirt from NRS and I plan on getting a semi-dry top. Probably also from NRS as they have a reasonably priced paddling top that has a wide neoprene waist that will prevent most water from coming up under the shirt. Remember your hands. I just picked up a pair of “fishermans” neoprene gloves at Wal-Mart for $12 to replace a paddling set of neo gloves for which I paid $30. The only difference is that that fishermans gloves have a slit on the forefinger and thumb to roll them back. My hands don’t spend enough time in the water to worry about those, and I’ll probably close them up with some duct tape anyway.

If you want to stay bone dry, go with a dry suit. Expensive. For $200 you can have a pair of breathable waders and a semi-dry top. A dry suit will run you more than twice that.

NRS is available on-line at They’ve got pretty much everything a beginner paddler needs, and a whole lot of things that he didn’t even know he wanted. Request the catalog for some good “morning” reading, if you catch my drift.

  • Big D

A sit in kayak tends to be drier, I have
two recreational kayaks, both stay pretty dry, except for paddle drips. They are, howver, more difficult to deal with if you should flip over…a rare happening with kayaks like the Old Town Loon and Dirgo or the Wilderness Systems Pungo and Pamilico. Big D is closer to you and knows the weather a bit better than me. Here, most folks wear either stocking foot waders or a wet suit in the winter. Farther North, dry suits…expensive…seem to be the norm.

A canoe will keep you almost as dry as a sit inside kayak, but is easier to get in and out of. Unless you have a lot of rushing water that will press the boat against rocks or deadfall, canoes don’t usually trap. Even with fast water, its rare. Sit on tops are wetter than canoes or sit insides, but that can be helped greatly by putting in scupper plugs to stop the water coming in from the scupper holes in the kayak bottom.

I would rather NOT be in a SINK if they drop from tree limbs or are they just on the bank? Anyway, I second the Old Town Pack which is a sit on bottom canoe you use a double blade paddle with. It is super stable and are used even for stand up fishing for scouting fish on the flats in FL. At least you can move around and access gear easier than in a SOT or SINK and stay much drier.

Carrying a 12 or 13 foot canoe in a
small pickup is no problem. My Old Town Loon is almost 14 ft long. I put it in the bed of a pickup sometimes and tie the stern pull rope to tie downs, with bed down. Some states, if it sticks out more than 4 ft, you may have to rig a light, but that’s not too difficult. I’ve carried my 17 foot tandem in my old pickup, an S-10 by running the bow up over the cab, cusioned the cab with and old blanket, and resting the stern on the tail gate in the up position. Tied down, it didn’t moved. Its been carried that way up to 30 miles.

Of course, if you have the bucks, you can buy nice rack set ups. Some folk make a rack out of PVC, 1 1/2", or the same size electrical conduit, thin wall variety.

Freshwater creek fishing
Big_D, TY so much for all the info. It will be very helpful if I make my mind up to get a YAK. I will eventually do that I’m sure. I will visit the web site you mentioned too. I have a feeling that most of the fishing I will do with a YAK will be on very still water, in the spring and summer, so only lite clothing will be necessary. Unless another boater sends his wake across me, I should stay dry anyway. I do have one more questtion regarding the sun. What would you wear out in the sun on one of our sweltering, humid, hot days here in the south?

Freshwater creek fishing
beachcamper, I will research the Old Town Pack further. TY so much for your info. Snakes are abundant here in easter NC. It is not unusual at all to se several in one trip. Most are not poisonous, but they are all poisonous to me. So far, I have never had one to get in the boat with me. They are seen hanging from limbs a lot, and I have seen them fall in the water. i am very careful when I’m under limbs, but you know how a fisherman can be.

Frwshwater creek fishing

You have given me some great ideas. I do not have a lot of mad money to blow, so I have to look for ways to save if possible. I may give the conduit a try. I could make something to put in the back rack hoders and use the top of my truck cab. Most of the fishing I do is not more then 30 miles away fro me. If you have any other ides I am open to them.

A couple comments
Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. In the summer in NC, definitely not a problem. Wear anything. In the Spring, it’s amazing how quickly you can get yourself in a heap of trouble with 70 degree air and 45 degree water.

Warm days, I just wear light wind pants or swim trunks (with sun screen), a wicking t-shirt, mesh top PFD, and have a “flats” shirt along for extra sun protection. I’m bald, so a hat is a must for me. In cool temps, I usually wear a wool ball cap and in warm temps I usually wear a straw plantation hat.

  • Big D

another suggestion
If you have a pickup with a receiver hitch:

under $150 and easy way to transport the canoe or kayak.

Harbor Freight and Northern Tools
often put bed extenders on sale for less than $40. Fogdog sells this to convert a ball hitch to a receiver hitch:

bury the hatchet in the donkey

However, with a canoe, its not needed. The gunnels serve the same purpose of supporting the canoe on the bed and tail gate. Or, just toss it in right side up if it looks like its going to be clear.

You can also use 2x3’s or 4’s to build a rack for the boat. If you have stake holes, its not difficult to build a rack out of lumber or something like conduit.

I don’t have pictures, but the way I made my racks was with conduit. the uprights rest in the stake holes. I used right angle conduit to stabilize the uprights…did drill into the bed side rail. I had Yakima cross bars so used them. My cross bars are attached to the uprights with U-bolts. I drilled holes for the U-bolts in the uprights and ran the cross bars through the U bolts. To further stabilize the rack, I used the galvanized bridging for floors. The are thin, so I doubled them. I was lazy and didn’t dril. They are attached at an angle to the uprights and cross bars with hose clamps.

For the cab, you may want to try what a friend does with his Cobra Expolore and Triple…not at the same time. He ran web straps through pool noodle…the large diameter type. The web straps wrap under the roof inside the car. Then he uses web straps to go on top of the kayak and again inside the car. He takes it 250 miles to the bay like that.

stable sit-in
Pungos and Loons are popular stable fishing platforms that you can be completely dry in.

Freshwater creek fishing
Big_D, Thanks again for the clothing tips. In the summer, exposure to the sun is can be a problem. IO was thinking about my legs which, in a YAK, would be exxposed all the time I’m fishing to the sun. I’ll have to check out the clothing you suggested for that. I am not very bald yet, but I’m getting there. I do wear a hat when I’m fishing. I also use sun blocker.

receiver hitch extender
Beachcamper, I have seen these before. I don’t have a receiver hitch on my Ranger, but it is a good idea if a truck has one. It is another way for me to think about. TY so much for the info.


I went over what you were saying about making a rack to fit my truck bed. I can use what you’ve said to help me build one with what i have available, My wife was just going to throw some pool noodle away. I’ll save that for future use.