What is it that puts flyfishermen off about using a kayak for a fishing platform?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Krusty, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. If you don't mind me tossing in my $.02, kyak fishing is a fast growing sport here in Oklahoma. The North East Oklahoma Kayak Anglers is gaining membership and hosting regular events. The guys (and gals) have been fishing the lakes, rivers, streams and ponds.
    I saw a recent post from one the guys who landed a 60# paddle fish from his yak on the Grand River. I have tried it out and am getting ready to buy a 10' fishing yak that I plan to use to chase stripers with my fly rod on the Arkansas River here in the Tulsa area, and down on the Lower Illinois about 60 miles south of here.
    I like a yak for the versitility, mobility, low purchase price, and low maintenance cost. I also like that they are quiet and handle extremely well in high winds - something we deal with in spades here. Yep... even here in the land of high-powered bass boats yaks are taking a firm hold in this fishing community.
  2. Wow. An old post which is of interest to me today sooooo.....
    I'm buying a fishing kayak.
    FYI: I don't own a boat. Never have. I like beach fishing. Always will.
    I am thinking that a small kayak will get me to more beaches better, easier, faster than
    walking. I am NOT sure I'm going to like actually fishing from the yak. Maybe I shall.
    But I am pretty sure that I will like having it so that I can explore more water, avoid tideland trespass issues, see more sights than I can by foot. I fish alone. I don't want a lot of weight and gear to haul to the beach, such as motors and batteries and hundred pound hulls. Gonna try the yak. I will be sure to update you. Fishing south sound on Monday. Stay tuned!
  3. Bradley, do you have a kayak in mind? I may have one of mine up for sale.
  4. I saw one at Cabellas yesterday that is currently on my radar.....its a 12 foot Old Town Vapor that someone has returned so they have it discounted. What are you thinking of selling? Details! :)
  5. I've yet to see a drift boat that I can lift by myself and carry to the beach.
    That happens to be one of my criteria......I don't mind trailering my boat, but I do mind being restricted to a public boat launch. I'm trying to find something under sixty pounds.
    But I'm beach fishing, not running rivers. Just sayin'.
  6. Krusty:
    Thats a very sweet looking setup you've got there!
    Is that a fish finder I see mounted in front of the cockpit area?
    How wet do you get inside the boat with waves like the ones in the photo?
    Are waders a must? The 'yak I've been looking at has a closed cockpit, but it's big
    and roomy so I'm hoping it's not too difficult to get in and out of.
    I will probably be bugging you for more info after I get my boat.
  7. I would really focus on a SOT kayak both for convenience of gear placement and safety. They are nearly always more stable than sit ins and if you get dunked you just climb back on rather than depend on a roll. You don't need much size either--10 - 12 feet is fine and much lighter. I would probably start out cheap, Craigslist stuff, and see what you think. You can always dump it next year and upgrade. My fishing partner uses a 10' Malibu and it fits in my Sequoia. It's fine, except he has a hard time fishing and controlling in the wind.

    You will get a little wet. Get a pair of cheap wading pants. I bought some last week in Tahoe (forgot my waders like a dumbass) for $70 and they're breathable and light. Perfect for the yak.

    So many of these yaks are so big and heavy your portability requirement is largely defeated. You really don't want to screw with the carts if you can avoid it. Keep it simple.
  8. You mean like this? :)
    Thanks, Ed~! 12972444a.jpg 12972444a.jpg
  9. I have become very opinionated on this subject, myself.
    Light hull weight is a major consideration. Try to find something under 60 lbs if you intend to avoid using a cart.
    SOTs are much more difficult to handle when portaging. A sit-inside can easily be slung over the shoulder, and off you go, as long as its not too heavy. You can't do that even with a lighter SOT, since they are very unwieldy out of the water, and they don't hang on the shoulder very well at all.
    I've seen guys dragging 'em over trails, and even asphalt parking lots. That takes some hide off the bottom of the skeg area. Some of 'em now have little wheels built into the skeg for this purpose. Not a bad idea, actually.

    My Tarpon 140 (14' long and nearly 80 lbs now with all the stuff I added) is way too heavy to lug any distance to the water without a cart or a helper. I now transport it to the beach on a canoe trailer most of the time so that I don't even have to put it on the roof of my vehicle. Its easy to lift off one end at a time and place it on my Wheeleez beach cart. Then I strap it down and load it up for rolling it all down the beach to the water's edge! Some guys take the cart out with 'em fishing. I just run mine back up to my vehicle, as I could use the jog.
  10. If you want to spend less on "spray pants," just wear the cheapest rain pants that you can find over some nylon shorts or boardshorts. Wear longjohns under those when it gets a little cooler.
    I do wear kayak booties, but I scored mine on sale at a really good price.
    Get a good kayak fishing PFD, since they have a high cut back. Look for a deal,but don't skimp too badly. A cheap "comfort vest" just doesn't cut it in a yak.
    In an SOT, you will eventually have to get one of those expensive drysuits if you want to fish in cool waters or weather. Either that, or suffer with a cheaper but less comfortable wetsuit ensemble of some kind. I'm cheap, and I'm willing to put up with the relative discomfort of a 3mm farmer john, with a longsleeve hydroskin top under that. I have a spray jacket that I can wear over that for added wind-chill protection.
    I think the Vapor is a cheap, poorly appointed, and heavy boat, but that's just my opinion. There's so many better fishing yaks out there to choose from. You do get what you pay for.

    I still love my Native Ultimate 12, which is a hybrid design best described as a "low-profile canoe." Its not self-draining, but its stable, maneuverable, and works for my needs.

    Since I am arrogant enough to believe that my good judgement will keep me out of danger and I won't ever fall out of this craft, or capsize it, I often wear my waders in it when I'm heading up a tidal creek or river, just in case I want to get out and wade. Otherwise, I would not have much reason to wear waders in it. When the water is warm in late summer, I shuck off the rainpants and wet wade in my nylon shorts. Wearing cheap rain pants over shorts also makes it easier to pee, unless you have waders with a fly. Worn over shorts, they also protect my legs from the sun and insects.
    I make sure that I have a belt on my waders when I wear them, though, just in case.

    The bare hull of my U-12, with seat removed, is about 50 lbs, which I can portage slung over my shoulder for a ways. then I have to go back for the rest of my stuff. The portage or launching always takes at least two trips.

    Get a good, strong, light paddle. The lighter the better. Get one the right length for your hull design and body size. The better ones start at over $200, but a lesser one will get the job done.
    After a day of paddling and 10,000 strokes, you will appreciate lightness.
    I can rant on this all night, but I gotta go!:D
  11. Cannot agree more on the paddle. I spent nearly $300 15 years ago for my Kevlar paddle and never looked back. I skimped on the Scadden oars and need to fix that. Paddles make a huge difference in energy efficiency.
  12. Thanks for all the info. I ended up with this very nice 12 footer that weighs sixty pounds....and it has built in handles both fore and aft as well as on the sides....I can carry it one handed a fair distance, I think. I agree about the Vapor; it's just what Cabellas had in my price range. Fortunately, Ed's SOT came up for sale this morning and now I'm a boat owner. He also had a nice carbon fiber paddle that I will have to try out to decide if it's right for me....but at least I'm ready to get on the water.
    I think I'm going to put it in a local lake on Monday.
  13. Congratulations Brad! You have a great setup from a good boater. You're going to have a blast in your new yak. Good decision.
  14. Brad, Is the boat you got from Ed like the tan one posted above? Looks like a good one!

    When you have your yakking garb on, and before the water temps drop even more, you might want to practice capsizing, righting the yak, and hauling your carcass back on board. Its good to practice this stuff with a bare boat, at first. Of course, if you capsize while loaded with gear, it will be more difficult to right the yak with stuff hanging down underwater (assuming it is fastened on or leashed and didn't drop to the bottom) since all that gear hanging is creating considerable drag.
    So you might even want to practice re-entries with some gear on board that you won't mind getting wet.
    I have almost rolled my Tarpon a few times while fishing. Recovered just in time, though. When I was practicing re-entries, I discovered that once the "secondary stability" is surpassed, you easily can capsize in the wink of an eye.
    A kayak fishing pfd with front pockets loaded up with too much stuff can hang you up when re-entering. I keep my vhf handheld marine radio lashed to my pfd, as well as a survival knife, when I'm out in the salt fishing from my Tarpon. I still haven't gotten a safety flag, but I'm going to have one by Spring. I won't likely be taking my Tarpon out along the Jetty here until Ling season re-opens in mid March.
  15. Jim....
    Yes! That's my boat. I have a buddy who is a kayak guide who is going to loan me a drysuit to do exactly as you suggested: practice the exit and re entry a few times so if/when the time comes......I'm at least a little ready. Good point about the gear.....I'm still trying to figure out what all to stick on it. A flag seems like a good idea, since the boat sits relatively low. Now that you mention it, I do have a marine radio ..... good suggestion. I've never owned, or fished with, a fish finder, but that's a pretty cool gadget and I am unfortunately, kind of a gadget addict. Do you use one?
    I can't wait to explore a couple of estuaries in this thing. I also do a lot of photography, and I expect to have some new horizons open up for me with this little boat. See you on the water!
  16. Oh yeah. Don't leave any of your hatches open while fishing. Get what you need from inside the hull, then close and seal the hatch asap. I keep my bilge pump on a leash (so it doesn't creep away from my reach), just inside my 8" hatch that is in front of my seat.

    I see that you claim to be a minimalist when gearing up. Right on, as "less is more," but don't forget your safety gear. I am gradually eliminating any extra gear or tackle that I find I don't use, except for the safety gear.
  17. Roger that.....hadn't thought of a bilge pump. Looks like either Cabellas or West Marine is going to get more of my money. Not that Ed left me much. (just kidding, mod!).
    My short list for this week is: paddle leash, air horn, a dry bag, and some waterproof pants. Oh...and a pirate flag.
  18. Brad, you will have to come out here with your photo gear next summer and paddle the Elk River estuary with me.
    I use fishfinder sonars in my boats. I use my old portable Piranha in my U-12 and Don Hill mini-drifter, with water-filled foam pucks as thru-hull transducer mounts. Press in the transducer, and fill puck with water.
    I got a Lowrance Mark IV DSI fishfinder/gps unit, and it works OK, but the grayscale screen is small and very hard to read in bright sunlight. I need to make a sun shield for it, or its going to be almost useless. I have it mounted out near my feet on my Tarpon. I have no problem reaching the buttons on it, but I need to mount it much closer so that I can decipher the gps display. Part of this is due to the small sized screen, part is due to the nature of the gps map and the fact that its grayscale.
    The sonar display info seems easier to read. I usually don't have to take off my Cocoons to read the display. I like the DSI imaging, as I can see the bottom structure better than ever.

    For some reason, the GPS display is not as easy to decipher in the sunlight. If I'm wearing my Cocoons polaroids over my regular glasses, I usually have to take off the Cocoons to decipher the gps display, even if its up close. If just a little bit of salt spray gets on the screen, it gets even more difficult to read. Because of this, I can't recommend this unit. I am hoping that a sun shield helps.

    I'd go for a unit with a larger screen, and maybe a color display. Perhaps a seperate gps unit, handheld, so that I can keep it under cover and take it out and read it up close when I need to check my position. Good to have if the fog rolls in. Otherwise, the need for gps is questionable.
    In the morning wispy fog and overcast out on the Bay, I was able to note that I was trolling along the edge of the river channel, and the gps chart showed the depths fairly accurately, and indicated where the deeper spots in the channel were, so that I knew which way I wanted to head. Once the sun came out, the lightly salted gps display was mostly unreadable. So I just kept that unit switched on the sonar display for the rest of the day, since I could still squint and decipher that info.

    The screen and display on my old portable Piranha unit has less info on it, and thus is easier to read.

    I had both of 'em hooked up with transducers mounted on the transom of my johnboat when I had it out this Summer, though, so I could compare them. (apples and oranges).
  19. I am a huge fan of the Humminbird RF-35 wrist worn fish finder for the toon, tube, and yak. It's $80 with a wireless transducer, and I will put it up against either of my two $1000 sonars for utility and accuracy. It's the only finder I've ever had where you can literally "sight cast" to fish. Of course the primary use is depth, structure, and WT but due to its wide cone it can spot fish in very shallow water. It's portable and pretty bulletproof.
  20. Jim: Elk River......Grays Harbor area? Great idea. I always drive past Grays Harbor (on the way to the ocean, usually, or up 101) but have never explored the water there. Lets do that.
    Going to take your advice and scoot down to Cabellas and check out sonars for my new little boat. Not sure where the heck to mount it, as I think working space is kind of at a premium while sitting down, but I'll figure something out. Due to fishing budget considerations, I am going to forgo the GPS capability for now, I think. I do have GPS on my tablet device, with maps, that might serve in a pinch, but I'd be nervous about whipping that thing out in a salt water environment. I'm even thinking about taking this boat on an overnite camping trip.....we have some cool little islands that are close enough to paddle to, I think, and the boat will hold way more gear than I need for an overnighter. We'll see.

    LCnSac: I'm going to look at one of those, but I do like the idea of a bigger screen. How much structure data can they show on a wrist sized screen? But the price is sure right. On sale right now tool. Hmmm.....

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