I like my little Necky Sky for fishing. Its opened up and entirely new way to fish for me. But, its small, 9.6 ft, has limited storage room, and, even though the cockpit is fairly large…its a rec boat…its still a bit cramped. So, after the first of the year, I’m thinking its time to get another yak. I’ll keep the Necky for use by one of my two boys. The delimna is which yak to buy.
I’ve looked at many of the SOT’s and understand the advantages and disadvantages pretty well. One of those disadvantages seems to be speed. Its not that I need to go fast when fishing, but sometimes paddle two or three miles to a fishing spot. Most of the affordable SOT’s, from what I’ve read and heard from owners, aren’t all that fast and are sorta sluggish paddlers, even when compared to a small sit-in.
I mostly fish lakes, some rivers, and don’t plan of fishing salt but every once and a while. The sit-in is fine for that kind of fishing. I do like the ease of getting on and off a SOT…I’m not that young, 56. And, it seems that SOT’s provide more ability to move your legs and sit side saddle. Most of my fishing expenditions are of 5-8 hours on the water.
I know this is long, but bear with me. What I would like is a kayak that paddles easy, glides and tracks well without a rudder…don’t see much advantage to one when fishing around hydrilla or stump areas. I’m thinking that I want at least a 14 foot yak as I also want the ability to load it for overnight camping. So, what, other than a Loon or Pungo is out there that makes a good fishing kayak…sitin, or SOT? My funds are limited, so I’ll proabable be buying used. I want the two impossibles with a fishing kayak, a bit of speed and stability. You can get the stability, how about speed? Speed doesn’t mean race type of quickness, but good glide capabilities.
for ever it seemed, for that up-grade fishing boat that would fit the bill. Test paddled, looked for 4 years. Bought a QCC 400X sight un-seen, and haven’t looked back again. Great boat, does everything I’d hoped for and then some. Flyfishing and this outfit are hard to beat in my mind.
Paddle safe. LJB
give this one a look
It is made buy liquidlogic with fishing in mind.
I do not have one of these my self but I am thinking about making this my next fishing yak.
I think those Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro’s are decent boats. They are fast enough yet have good stability. I think I saw a few for sale over at TKF. Personally I use a canoe for my fishing, both fresh and the salt (bays not the gulf). I have a solo canoe, Swift Shearwater. Loads of room, fast enough, stable enough and hauls a bunch of gear. It is also easy to get in and out. Mostly IO like th e dryness of the boat, especially as the water temps drop. Good Luck. I am thinking of hitting Churchhill Bayou during the Thanksgiving Week for some flounder. Any interest?
Where’s Churchill Bayou? Not
familiar with it. Haven’t done any saltwater fishing for years, lived in W. Texas and northwest South Carolina, not very close to salt and then work and other stuff came up. I’m in Kingwood and the lakes are much closer to me.
I’d be interested, but don’t know yet the plans for Turkey day. Gotta go get my son at LA Tech next week. Also, have only caught flounder by accident, so don’t know much about them. What are using for bait/lures?
I’ve got a canoe, but its a 17+ footer. Weighs over 80 lbs. Great tandem boat, but needs new seats and a thwart/yoke replaced. On the too do list. Got my Yakima racks installed on my truck camper top last week, so plan on repairing the canoe so I can use it some.
You are right about lots of room in a canoe, almost bought a solo canoe, but the price was too high. Tandems can be found used pretty cheap…lots of Old Towns out there for sale, but solos don’t come on the market often.
I’d be absolutely shocked if you go test drive a Tarpon 140, or 160, or an OK Prowler 13 or 15 and come back and tell us that any of those are slower than your Necky.
I’m no “expert” but I’d be wiling to bet a six pack (Diet Mountain Dew for me please) that any of the 13’+ SOT’s will be faster than any 9’6" boat on the market.
I think that when people talk about SOT’s being “slow” they’re usually comparing them to sea kayaks and not to short recreational boats.
I just bought my sixth fishing yak and my first boat with a rudder. I LOVE the rudder.
As a wise man once wrote… “I never met anyone who had a rudder and wished that they didn’t but I’ve met a LOT of people who didn’t have one and wished they did.”
The rudder isn’t there for when you’re piddling around the stumps but it comes in real handy when you’re travelling to and from your fishin hole OR for when you’re letting the wind drift you down a shoreline.
As I understand things…
The Prowlers have a better “hole shot” but the Tarpons have more glide. IMHO, the Tarpons are a little tougher and will withstand a little more abuse. Conversely, the Prowlers are a little lighter.
Someone straighten me out if I’m wrong please.
Just my $.02
Re: Churchill Bayou
I was lucky and found a used shear water on the classifieds here. It is 16’2" I think, 46 lbs. A pleasure to paddle and to load. However the wind can be a pain to deal with sometimes, but if I use my cover it managable.
Churchhill bayou is down around West Galvestyon Bay. It actually connects Cold Pass to Christmas Bay. I usually have fairly decent luck there. As for bait, I have tried plastics and lures, but do better with bait. Well got to run.
I own both a Loon 138 and a Tarpon 140. If I were
to pick one of them for using it the way you mentioned I would choose the Loon 138. It is a real comfortable kayak. I mainly use my Tarpon for open ocean fishing. I like the way the Loon
handles. The hull is so quiet. I wouldn’t hesitate to load it up with camping gear and head out for an overnighter. I like fishing from it. With the right kind of seat pad a 5-7 hr fishing trip would be doable. I like my Tarpon but I like my Loon more for freshwater fishing. Just my .02
While the Tarpon and Prowler are nice
SOT’s, its difficult finding a used one at an affordable price. They’re such popular boats that even used, they command an almost new price, especialy because most of the sellers have already tricked the kayak out with rodholders, anchor trolley, and other extras. Its almost as they not only want near top dollar for the kayak, but they think you should pay new cost for the extras.
If I were to buy new, I’d add the Phoenix 14 to the list of kayaks to look at. Its a good looing boat. But, like the tapons and OK boats, its not inexpensive.
On the other hand, Loons and Pungos are often offered at low prices. I’ve seen two Loon 138’s go for under $300 this year. And, saw Pungos for about $300-400.
Light & Fast
My criteria for a good fishing kayak:
Light - under 60lbs
Narrow - 28" wide max
Length - 12' minimum
Heavy capacity - 350lbs minimum
Quiet bow design - no sloshing at the bow
I've found that if you set some limits on the boat specs it will help prevent buying something you won't be happy with 6 months down the road. When you start looking you'll find good deals on boats that just don't meet your criteria.
The two kayaks I have are the
Perception Acadia 12(SINK)
and the Prowler 13 (SOT)
The Perception kayak has a much stiffer/thicker plastic than the OK Prowler 13. Old Town kayak polylink material is some of the toughest plastic I've ever paddled. I previously owned a Loon 111 and would highly recommend the longer Loon 138 kayak for overnight trips. Old Town is one of the best values in a new kayak. If you can buy a used one it's even better. Wilderness Systems also makes tough plastic. The WS Pungo and Pamlico models are good kayaks. I prefer sit-inside kayaks because I can paddle more efficiently in them and add a spray skirt when the water or weather gets bad. Sit-in kayaks also typically have much more cargo capacity than a SOT of the same size & weight.
If you'd like to demo one of my boats send me a PM and we can plan a trip to Sheldon or Conroe for some crappie fishing.
Phoenix 140 SOT
Check out the Phoenix 120 and 140 SOTs. Right now I am looking at the Kaskazi Pelican, 50 lbs. Kaskazi also make a boat called the Dorado specificaly for fishing but the 60 lb weight is more than I want.
like my necky spike
but if I were to get another sot it would be the WS Tarpon 140 /160 . the flat cockpit makes standing to cast, pole ,and sight easy.
I’ve looked at the Phoenix, its a great
looking boat and, from what I’ve read on a couple of kayak fishing forums, performs well. From what I’ve read, it is a bit faster and paddles easier than the Tarpons or Prowlers. But, it is a new model and their aren’t any used ones out there. If I go for a SOT, it’ll have to be used.
You might want to look at the Sea Dart. You should be able to find one used but it wont have a tankwell and will come in at 60 lbs. Would work very well for camping. There are rigged fishing models under another name but I would prefer to rig my own.
I have a friend who uses a necky sky for the small rivers around here. It is very manuverable and works great for this. I mostly use a perception sundance 12.0. It dosen’t turn as quickly but tracks better has good speed and a large cockpit which allows me to get in and out easily since I get out to wade fish when the water looks like wading would be more productive. The OT dirigo looks like a good fishing boat (ver similar to my sundance). I have to admit I often look with lust at some of the SOTs - might even get one if I could explain it to my wife.
I’ve got a line on a Walden Scout, or
similar. The guy isn’t sure, but the picture looks like the scout, but without being rigged for fishing. Its a 12 footer. Reviews here indicate its a good kayak. This one is an older model and has had some use, but its also cheap. Haven’t seen it yet, just pictures. Anyone familiar with the Scout? I know that Walden folded either last year or early this year, but have heard the company has a new owner who wants to start building kayaks again.
Sun Velocity meets your specs
I wanted a yak for fishing and camping just as you describe, and did a ton of reasearch before buying a Sun Velocity. I think they call it Voyageur now. I looked at the little Sky and it was on my short list but none that I looked at compared with the Velocity. I bought it four years ago and still wouldn’t take any of the newer boats over it. I could fish lakes with the Sky but the Velocity opens wilderness tripping, salmon fishing in salt water, big swift salmon rivers like the Fraser, and swift steelhead rivers, with not much more size or weight.
Mine is 13 and a half, beamy and stable, sit inside with a spray skirt. It has a huge cockpit inside, with lots of leg room, which was the final selling point for me. Some of the other sit insides I had to splay my feet if I extended my legs. I can extend my legs with feet comfortably up, move around a lot, yet the fit feels snug enough at the hips for the whitewater I’ve done in it.
It is flat out the best combo of whitewater and sea kayak and fishing sit inside that I’ve seen. With bulkheads and large storage fore and aft, I’ve done three day camping trips with it easily. At about 40 lbs weight it is easy to cartop alone. I packed it nearly 3/4 mile up the steep switchback trail from Ross Lake to the North Cascades highway after paddling down from Canada one time.
I got it to fish steelhead rivers in the west, usually no more than class II water, and also fly fish lakes and sometimes fish saltwater. The boat has the curious ability to track well yet turn easily. I had to try it to believe that. I think the reason that it is not more widely known is that the designer tended to antagonize a lot of people.
The Velocity has a reputation as a sweet surfing kayak. It is a sukperb combination of sea, whitewater and rec boat, with good features of each. I’d be astounded if you couldn’t paddle it faster than any sit on top (other than an Aussie racing hull), and you will get there dry and warm. The only downside that I know is that the rear hatch on my older version is not watertight in heavy waves, but I think the new ones have fixed that. If you fish in the south, in warm water and weather, then I’d consider sit on top. I’m in the Pacific Northwest. I was lucky in that I found a like new used Velocity just when I decided to take the plunge and pay retail for a new one.
Here’s a link
Oops. Just checked the specs on the web site and apparently the Velocity is 13’ rather than 13’6" My bad, although I should go measure mine to see if they have changed the length since I bought mine. Also, they are a little heavier now, going 46 lbs. with the larger hatches and not sure what else. Sweet boat, unique profile. The flat foredeck is also very nice for attaching fishing gear.
Looks like a nice kayak. Its also in
the same price range as a 138 Loon, Dirigio, or the Pungo. Didn’t look at shipping costs, don’t know of any dealers in Texas.
My Walden Scout was my first kayak and I still love it.
The cooler holds a limit of redfish (5 here) with a 1/2 gal milk jug full of ice.
The material it's constructed from is TOUGH and I'm confident parking it on top of oyster beds at low tide. It's strong enough that I can walk across the bow when I beach it and I weigh about 180#.
Its one of the few SIK boats that will float no matter what happens to it. I cut a piece out to add a hatch and threw the piece in the pool. Three weeks later it was still floating.
If it's in good shape and they're asking $400 or less I'd say it's a very viable choice for quiet waters. Tracks well and has decent speed.
If you choose the Scout drop me an e-mail and I'll send you pics of how mine is rigged. I'm very happy with it.
Footnote: I moved up to a T-140 for coastal fishing. The Scout does very well in small marsh ponds but I wanted to go in the Gulf so I opted for a SOT (purchased from KFS).