Perch, Walleye, Steelhead, etc.

Anybody fishing for some freshwater species? I am seriously considering getting another kayak strictly for the purpose of fishing / hunting. But I don’t want to dive into to quickly. Any tips or pointers in what to look for in a good fishing kayak? I have looked at the Old Town Predator K111, But have not done much research past that. I will be putting the yak into large reservoirs, Lake Erie, and smaller streams, creeks and ponds.

The P111 will work for the smaller water
and will do OK in large lakes with attention to how far you get from shore and weather conditions. Don’t know that I’d try Lake Erie with that large of an uncovered cockpit and the skirts available can’t be rigged tight enough to keep out water. For lakes, I prefer a longer kayak. My lake kayak is a Loon 138, but its not one I’d use on one of the Great Lakes except on calm days and fairly close to shore. Its not the best at quick turns, so can be clumsy on small streams.

Fishing Paddlecraft
Like you I like to paddle/fish all kinds of water. Big lakes, small streams , rivers and ponds. I’ve been through 16 boats trying to find the perfect one for all conditions. Sit on tops, sit insides, canoes all have served a purpose. The perfect one isn’t out there. It’s all a compromise. I’m down to two boats neither is a kayak. Solo canoes, though they are paddled like kayaks with a double blade. One a 16’ for big water, the other a 12’ for streams and ponds. Try to figure out what you want most out of the boat. A lot of new paddle anglers think stability is the key, but boats with that characteristic tend to be slow, a pain if you have to paddle a distance to get to the fishing hole. Hatches on kayaks make it a pain if you need to access a piece of gear that’s tucked up in to the bow. An open deck boat like a canoe makes it easier ot enter and exit and access gear, but is more prone to being blown around by the wind. Sit on tops work great, but you usually end up sitting in a puddle of water all day and in colder water that means a wetsuit or at least some sort of wader you have to bring along. All have their pluses and minuses. If I was looking for a do it all fishing paddle craft I’d be leaning toward a sit on top kayak in the 14’ length of a solo canoe in the same length. Boats like that seem to have a decent compromise of speed, stability and gear access that fishermen need.

Agree with much of what you say
In cooler months, I fish from my Loon, a bit warmer and more stable, but slow. About this time of the year, the water is near 70 degrees so I switch to my 13.5 ft solo canoe. Its a great compromise boat. It does well on lakes…that’s mostly what I fish…but is super on rivers. My next paddle boat will probably be a longer solo canoe, maybe the Wenonah Prism or the new Wilderness solo. The Prism is 16.6, the Wilderness 15.8 as I recall, both will give me more room for the type of fishing I do. Of course, I’m also considering building a rowing boat.

I have a Prism
It is an awesome solo canoe for fishing and just general paddling. Paddled with a double blade it handles all conditions well and moves at a good clip. To troll I have to use a single blade to keep my lures running at the right speed. I am in the midst of planning a one week, four lake fishing/camping expedition for mid June using the Prism. My other canoe is a 12’ pack canoe that works great for paddling up streams to get into beaver ponds where the big trout are hanging out.

Just about any yak will do.
But of course, WHERE and HOW you fish makes a big difference as to which is “best” for you. There’s already a ton of basic advice on this board, just scroll down.

Give specifics for more specific advice. yak.canfish, BigD and several others can give you greatly detailed advice once they know what you want to do with a kayak . . . .

Good luck!


Thanks for the replies…
I guess I should have mentioned that I have a 14.5’ kayak that I take out in Lake Erie - more just for paddling though. I also have a 14’ canoe that I use for fishing / Trapping / hunting. I am looking for something a bit smaller that I can haul into out of the way areas by myself without getting a hernia doing it. I plan to fish out of it mostly, but the occasional duck hunt isn’t out of the question. Speed isn’t really an issue and neither is the maneuverability. I don’t plan to take it down any really tight creeks. It will likely see more pond time than anything. As far as Lake Erie goes…I may run it along the shoreline for steelhead or walleye when they are running, but only if it is really calm. I’m not really a big fan of SOT’s, but the K111 seems to be a decent compromise. Thanks for the help.

Pond boat

– Last Updated: Mar-30-08 7:19 AM EST –

If you are looking for something small and light weight you can't beat a pack canoe. All weigh 30 pounds or less. Carry it over your shoulder or easily with a yoke. Here's a list:

Old Town Pack
Bell Bucktail
Wenonah Wee Lassie
Native Watercraft Compass
Hemlock Nessmuk XL
Placid Boatworks Spitfire

Hemlock, Placid and Hornbeck are near you. Oak Orchard Canoe in W. NY sells Wenonah, Bell and Old Town.

Thanks for the list…I’ll have to check some of those out.


– Last Updated: Apr-02-08 9:54 AM EST –

hi...just a suggestion ..i bought a WS Pamlico 135T(tandem) kayak w/rudder ....took out the rear seat and floor bar, huge cockpit opening. i have a ton of room now for gear...haven't paddled it yet ..i expect it to be a bit of a barge but then fishing slow is the name of the game. A few others have done the same thing with tandem kayaks. It all boils down to personal preference. check out this link from joco:
PS: if you buy a Pamlico w/ rudder and rig it solo ..ya kinda have to jump thru a few hoops with rudder pedals/wire to get it set up right advice if going solo w/ruddered boat ..order Pamlico w/o pedals/slide racks installed ..install them yourself later, when you get seat/ weight balance location figured out. you can email me for more detailed info as too the probs i ran into rigging solo. good luck
PS: betn..ride 135/search15/matr12
^^^check that thread out on pnet also(joco)^^^