Tarpon 160 Fishermen - questions?

Where do you keep your live bait? Do you use a paddle leash? Do you use rod holders? Any suggestions for fish you have caught except a stringer? I wish the boat had a cooler well.

Fishing accessories
A paddle leash is a must. That way you don’t have to worry if the paddle goes overboard while you are casting or playing a fish.

Most guys I know use a bait bucket with either an aerator or the oxygen tabs in it. I’ve used just a trolling bucket attached to the side of the kayak, then bring it on board when you paddle to a new location.

A fish bag works good for storing your fish below deck. Most of the time I use a stringer and bring the fish on board when I’m paddling.

Rodholders are good if you plan to bring more than one rod or you like to troll. Flushmounts on each side of the cockpit behind you are a good spot. I prefer using the Surf to Summit seat with the rod holders built in. Mostly because I didn’t want to cut any holes in my boat.

What he said… plus…
Here’s my three favorite sites for kayak fishing specific info. Browsing the articles, rigging sections and pictures of these three sites will bring you up to speed pretty quick.




I use two methods for bait. Shrimp can be kept alive in a small cooler for hours if you use a little blue thing and wet, shredded newspaper or paper towels. Minnows I usually use the troll flow buckets sold at walmart ($8?). I also made a bait well from an oval storage container ($3) I found at Walmart and a battery powered areator ($16). Works great.

Some of the Super Walmarts carry a large cooler bag. It folds up flat to about 12x2x24. The liner isn’t the best so it’s a good idea to wrap fish in a wet piece of old bed sheet to keep the fins from poking holes in the bag. Four of the larger frozen blue things work real well. When the day is done rinse the bag out very well and then wash with a little bleach and water. The bag only cost about $10.

Good luck!

Thanks Yak! Looks like a great site.

Live Bait Well
Wildy is now offering several live bait wells that are made to fit into the rear opening. One is even equipped with a recirculating pump.

One other thing that I have learned with my Tarpon 160 is to keep your heavier weight in the rear. Any excessive weight up front really affects your ease of paddling and turning.


Bait wells
Do you have a web site for “Wildy” I’m interested in the slip in type.

Wildy Address
"Wildy" is just a shortened name for Wilderness Systems…the folks who manufacture the Tarpons as well as many other fine yaks. I doubt if it is there but you can check to see if they have added the product to their website. The address is “www.wildernesssystems.com”. It is kind of sad that a good manufacturer of yaks, does such a poor job of updating their web site. It has got to cost them in sales dollars.

Your absolutely best bet is to find a WS dealer. I would think that in Florida you would have quite a few dealers in your area.


Slip in bait well
Thanks for the info. I own to WS boats a Pungo and a Freedom, I"ll check the site and dealers. Thanks again for the post.


to see what a well-rigged T160 fishing platform looks like. Guy by the name of Mike, handle Chefmik, rigged his out quite nicely, and used it well down here in South Florida, from the Lauderdale area down to the Keys.

He knows his stuff, and he’s a pretty good yakangler. You can go to


for more info on SE Florida yakfishing in general, and see a variety of different yaks outfitted for fishing. Most of us FLYCers are SOTers and throw artificials and flies, but we HAVE been known to resort to live bait every so often.

When I go out, I’m ahead of the T160 game in my S-Pro because I;ve got a TW in which I can drop a bucket with an aerator if I like. Usually, however, I’ll use shrimp (the “universal donor” for saltwater fishing down here) in a ~1 gallon bait bucket with some O2 tabs, maybe take along a few extras if I expect to be out for a long while.

When fishing, I’ll usually carry it in the cockpit with me -if I hook a lunker, we’ll see how well the setup works…LOL!

One thing you definitely want is a set of paddle clips to set your paddle firmly away from rattling/slifing around the cockpiy as you go about your business. I think they’re superior to a leash for fishing. And maybe you’d appreciate something along the lines of a ping-pong paddle to make small corrections as you fish -keep the boat lined up if you’re drifting.

If you’re going to be in areas with current, get an anchor setup (perform a search for anchors) to hold you from being swept away.

There 1001 ways to rig an angling yak -and you’ll get that many answers if you ask 1000 yakfishers, so be prepared to ferret out what works for you (e.g., paddle clips vs. leashes).

You’ve got a pretty good fishing platform in your 160 -tho many down here go for the 140 because it’s more maneauverable and has a tankwell.

Oh, and by the way -Chefmik traded in his T160 for an OK Prowler -and I know why: for a South Florida yakfisher, it’s probably the best platform out there.

The B&B’s coming up Feb 7th & 8th -how long before y’all c’mon down for a nice Florida Keys weekend…?

Have fun fishing in the Happy New Year as you rig your Tarpon and

Paddle on!

-Frank in Miami

Thanks Frank! I won’t be fishing
until June, but our rented beach house will have 12 in it so I suspect I’ll be spending a lot of time on the water.