Want to fish slow river nearby for smallies and small lake nearby for largemouth. Would like any and all opinions on what brand to buy. I don’t want to spend over $1,000 and less is better. I want SOT only.Reasons are my own! Thanks for any input. Oh, one other thing. I might consider using a trolling motor on the lake.
I have never used one but SE seems to have some pretty unique fishing options in thier boat line.
Cobra and Malibu Kayaks
Cobra and Malibu are the two brands of SOT's favoured here in CA for fishing.
Cobra has several models that would work well, but you will be pushing up against your 1K limit. We got a tandem for 1100 with hatches and paddles 6 years ago.
Here's a local shop that has some prices listed on their web site. There are a couple choices that will get you a complete set up for just under 1K.
Malibu also has a couple of popular fishing models, but I think they are a little more expensive.
how soon you want to acquire a boat, and how far you are from Harrisburg, Blue Mountain Outfitters has a demo day in early May. Give you a chance to paddle and compare various craft.
ASK THESE GUYS…
WS Tarpon Line
Wilderness Systems Tarpon SOT line...
10, 12, 13.5(tandem), 14 and 16 ft models all well under $1000.
Also check out WS "The Ride".. a pontoon style hull design...not sure about pricing.
Can buy from any of several online sources already outfitted or do it yourself to save a few bucks...
Thanks for the response Jim. I live just across the river from harrisburg and will look into that demo day. Thanks again.
Get a used scrambler as soon as you can
Find a used boat as soon as you can and start having fun. The neat thing about it is if you don’t like it you can likely resell it quick and not loose money.
In the mean time it will help you figure out what is the perfect boat fo you and your what and your fishing. These things are best figured out through experience. A boat that is good for my river might not be ideal for your river. I might be 4’2" and 300# and you could be 6’6" and 150#. Different boats for different folks on different rivers chasing different fish.
fishing kayak choice
Just picked up my Native Ultimate 12 last week. You’d do well to check this boat out-what a cool design. It’s not a sit on top nor is it a cockpit boat. Best darn seating ever and there are bass out there that have my name on them come ice out.
Might consider a FeelFree kayak,
as all they make are SOT models. I have the largest model, and have only had it in the water a couple of times, but it is very well designed for all around performance, including fishing. Stability is outstanding, as is paddling efficiency.
They are being sold, for the most part, on EBay, and to save on shipping costs you can pick it up at the trucking teminal next to major airports. This concept may not appeal to some buyers, but they have now sold over 3,500 SOT models this way, and they have a 99.7% satisfaction rate.
I'm sure there are other issues some folks will have about this concept of marketing, and I will only offer my advice and recommend the FeelFree SOT based on its value and outstanding performance on the water. Fun experience being in it.
Do search on feelfree on ebay, if you're interested. Happy Paddling and Fishin!
IF YOU’RE GOING TO USE A MOTOR
don’t bother with a kayak.
Get yourself a cheap rowboat and put the kicker on the stern. You’ll be happier that way -and can tote all the more traditional fishing gear as well -Vienna sausages, chips, cold beer in a big cooler…
If, on the other hand, you really DO desire to take advantage of the stealth and ‘closer-to-nature’ capabilities of kayak fishing, and are new to kayaks, then think about a few to try out, just to see how well it works for you.
All boats suggested above will do -but maybe not for you. The Ride has a wicked hull slap in even a 2" chop (yes, that’s no typo, 2 inches is right), and because fish depart when the unusual drops into their neighborhood, that might not be the best choice, though it IS a VERY stable SOT, though rather slow.
You can pick up brand new SOTs for between $300 and $900, depending on new/used, used/age, make/model, and outfitting.
The OK Prowler 13 and 15, the T-160 and T-140, the Malibu Extreme, and a few others out there are good, yakangling platforms currently available. Used, you can try for OK Scramblers and Scrambler XTs, OK Scupper Pro TWs, and the like.
I use my handle’s namesake to fish the flats and inshore waters of South Florida and the Keys, and it works quite well for me -it fits me well, and I like the way the Scupper Pro TW paddles -for fishing and skin diving. I find it a more than stable platform, but some may want wider -and I know a few folks who fish -VERY sucessfully! -from 21" wide SINKs as well.
to see my fishing/diving setup.
Which is the whole point to getting -even just a demo sit-in -seat time in a boat -it should fit you and be able to meet your needs: Will it carry what you need to fish and be happy on the water?
If it’s a yes, then that’s a good boat for you. If not, then even all the best recommendations in the world for all the right reasons in the world will do you no good, because you won’t be happy in the boat.
And remember, you’re not just buying a kayak. You’re buying a paddling SYSTEM: a boat, a paddle, a PFD, and a means to transport it from where you keep it to where you fish and back again. The latter then starts making things like size and weight loom in greater importance, especially if you’re driving to/from your fishing locales, and are loading/unloading by yourself. And don’t forget about boat storage, either.
There are also what we call “rec boats” -recreational SINKs, Sit-INside-Kayaks, that might also work for you, as well as an SOT.
But I really do mean what I said at the top of the response: if you’re into putting a trolling motor on your boat, it might be wiser for you to consider conventional craft as opposed to a kayak.
But if you DO go the kayaka/yakangling route, here’s to all the best as you fish and
-Frank in Miami
I was looking at the FeelFree tri-Yak for paddling with the kids. Do you think it would be too heavy with about 100 pounds of kid aboard who probably won’t contribute much? Just curious,
The Tarpon 120 will do you real well for rivers and lakes, a good all around boat that is definitely in your price range. You also might want to check out the new Wilderness Systems Ride 135, redesigned, faster and even more stable than before. I just sold the old model Ride and have seen the new one close up and its real nice, will be acquiring one this year. If you need to use a trolling motor, the Malibu X Factor and the Cobra Fish n Dive will both take one, but the Cobra is slow. I also owned a Cobra Tourer and its my favorite sit on top, but its expensive new - worth buying if you can find a used one.
There’s plenty of capacity!
The Tri-Yak is rated at 661 pounds, and the link should get you to the specs:
With 2 adults, some gear, and an 80 pound dog who contributed nothing but shifting around, I was amazed at how stable it was and how efficiently it paddled. I’ll do a full review of it after a couple more paddles when the ice melts. Good Luck, and Happy Paddling!