looking for some advice on a new kayak

“Fish while hanging upside down
in the water”…couldn’t get that scene out of my head all day.

No need for a second kayak OR a fish finder.

the Pungo is a good rec. kayak
the dividing point between the Pungo and the Manitou is that the Manitou would be acceptable in bigger waves with a skirt, the Pungo less so. The Manitou will be easier to self-rescue and the Pungo will still be dificult given the large cockpit coaming.

If that is still not an issue then the Manitou will require a smidge less effort for the same speed.

If that is still not an issue and a bigger coaming is a priority then the Pungo is preferable.

There should probably be a dozen other kayaks with similar characteristics. Hell a used CD Pachena would be dynamite.

I’d go for something less beamy
than the Pungo. Maybe a 24 inch beam boat, no more than 25. I think the suggestions of the Manitou and the Tsunami line are good ones. There are some boats with that beam that still have a pretty large cockpit opening. And it will enable you to start developing something closer to the stroke you’ll be doing when you eventually get that sea kayak. Pungos are bathtubs, and as comfortable as they are, they don’t let you develop a good stroke.

Look at Boreal Designs
I’m a bit shorter than you but close in weight and my first kayak was a used Boreal Designs Oookpik. It is only 13 feet long but it has two hatches and you can get a rudder - it is a very versatile, well made fun to paddle boat. I really liked it, but I moved to longer/faster boats and now my wife has upgraded to the Ookpik from a 10 foot rec boat and she loves it. And it is Canadian!

Posterior fit
The reality of boats apt for ocean touring is that they necessarily have tighter cockpits than a boat like the Pungo. They have to have good contact for turns etc. Without that you are terribly compromised in your ability to really control the boat, hence the reason that you are hearing that Pungo and rolling are not a great fit. Yes people have rolled them, but generally it’s very accomplished rollers who take up a dare.

So - if you want to put that in your future, you can choose to get a boat that will start getting you there now. Or you can leave the whole thing to a later time. That’s really something you have to decide.

6’2" 230lbs
You want a big boat. The Prijon Kodiak is nice but expensive.

Most sea kayaks; no All the sea kayaks I have been in are fine for fishing. They were designed to go for seals, whales, fish and all the above with some gusto.

I fish from my Capella and NDK Explorer with good success.

We were fishing off a place called Flatrock for cod. 15 fish as allowed by our food fishery and I stuffed them all into the cockpit. My friend gutted his on the deck and successfully chummed in a 6 or 7 foot shark. We stopped doing that.

My friend was in a WS Sealution, he is about your size.

He now owns a WS Tempest. It serves him well.

We were fishing 3 and 4 foot seas with no problem.

Now we were using hand line not a rod and real.

Celia is a good source and likely closer to your reality than me.

Capella and NDK Explorers are not great beginner boats but they are sound craft. Another friend has fished for cod, herring and mackerel from a CD Storm.

Oh those 15 fish had a combined weight of over 100 Lbs.

The only thing that I was concerned about was possible entanglement if I capsized.

In our waters a SOT is not a good option.

Some courses and perhaps a club membership may, no will: be great investments.

Depending on where you paddle you will be into it for a nice paddle, a wet or perhaps dry suit, plus the stuff you already have, A PFD may be on the list depending on what you are using. A spray deck is a given.

I would look for this stuff used.

A Current Designs Storm, Prijon Kodiak or Seayak, NDK Explorer, Wilderness Systems Sealution or sealution XL, Wilderness Systems Tempest are LL FINE BOATS. yOU WILL WANT TO TRY THEM OUT. You will find the CD Storm tippy and the WS as Sealution stable as a lawn chair.

Good luck you will enjoy this sport.