Does any one fish out of a kayak?

I also own a Big Game Prowler in addition to a Prowler 15 (my primary boat).

Rich, what do you consider a longer distance for paddling? One thing I notice on a "slower" boat, is that a good paddle makes a big difference. Don't go with a cheapo model that flexes a lot as you'll lose a lot of your efficiency in the paddle. But don't go overboard and go with the biggest paddle blade right out of the chute unless you know already that you are a strong paddler. Bigger is not necessarily better, especially when it comes to paddling heavier boats over longer distances.

Another boat in the Ocean Kayak lineup worth considering is that Prowler 13. It is sort of in between the Big Game and the Prowler 15, faster than the Big Game but not nearly as stable, more stable than the Prowler 15 but not as fast.

If anyone is down south next weekend, I'll be working the Alder Creek Spring Paddle Festival at Vancouver lake, with kayak fishing talks at 11 and 3. Come check it out, stop by and say hi, and test drive different boats while you're at it.


Rich Schager

You should have been here yesterday...
"Rich, what do you consider a longer distance for paddling?"

I'm going to moving a place that has an island (Squaxin) nearby that appears to be about a 10-11 mile journey to circumvent. So besides fishing, I'd also like to take occasional day trips, both alone and with others. And if that goes well, then I'd also like to take some longer trips.


Here's my two-bits worth... just purchased a Hobie Fisherman with the pedal-drive system. You want to cover alot of water / distance in a short time with little effort? This is your craft. Check out the Hobie website on these. They're great!!!!!
If anyone is down south next weekend, I'll be working the Alder Creek Spring Paddle Festival at Vancouver lake, with kayak fishing talks at 11 and 3. Come check it out, stop by and say hi, and test drive different boats while you're at it.

I'm going to be out of town. I love to meet you and talk about those yaks. Any others coming up?
I personally enjoy fishing from the Bainbridge ferry. It has the power to get me around during the more turbid times on the water and I enjoy listening to Cisco on the loud speaker....Ha! Ha! Sorry for the bogus post!!!!!!
The Big Game has that built-in transducer port. Although I wouldn't want to give up the use of a scupper hole for it. You can just use marine goop to secure a transducer to the inside of any "plastic" boat. The transducer will happily shoot through the goop and the hull. Be careful not to have any bubbles in the goop as they will interfere with the signal.

Tim, I may be working the REI Paddle Demo Day in Seattle on June 9th ... I'm not 100% sure of my schedule yet.


I have been a guide fresh, and salt water Colorado, and Alaska. I am involved with a lodge and Pacific Mountain Guides in Valdez, and Pybus Lodge on Admiralty Island. I researched the Kayak thing for 2 years before making a move on the right boat. I had all different manufactures wanting to send me boats to try and use. I will speak of only one boat designer for stability, handling, and amount of gear that it will hold. SOT by wilderness systems you cannot go wrong in my opinion, and i have used these with clients in Alaska, BIG WATER, and I only had one turn over and that was on the GUlkana river through a class 3 rapid.... the guy did not listen, but he was able to right the boat immediatley and get right back on go to shore change clothes and keep fishing! We nailed 8 30 ++ lb Kings from these boats. Used them all over Prince william sound, which is very similiar to the Puget Sound. The Tarpon 160i is my choice for speed and they can accomadate 345 lbs of dude and equip. Very stable, and everything is very accesible. I have fished Halibut Alaska style and it is a blast from these Kayaks....... Ck em out...

Capt. Christian Ray
Christian, nice to see you here. Are you all set up to run kayak fishing trips out of Pybus this year? The T160 is a fast boat indeed, no doubt about it.

Evey kayak design has its pros and cons. Try as many as you can before making the plunge. With all the choices available, there is always one that fits "just right".

Allen, thanks and I should of mentioned the Prowler as well, I did finally use one last week. It did not have the leg room for a guy my size 6'3"...... and I love the adjustable foot pegs in the Tarpon.Otherwise it was a tossup! the Prowler is lighter by 8 lbs or so, which is a downfall of the tarpon, but it is a fast boat! Are you in town?? and yes I am set up with my initial baot order of 6 Tarpon anglers. my first Steelhead trip is the 10th of May, cant wait to get out of here!! Otto is looking forward to fishing with you this year, and I am going to try to be there as well!! Lets get together for lunch in the next or so if you can.....

Capt. Christian
Ah yes, the Prowler 15 tops out at about 6'3". I'm 6'3" myself and fit exactly perfectly. You must have longer legs than me. Oddly enough, the Prowler 13 has slightly more leg room. Howard McKim, a kayak fishing guide out of Ketchikan, is about 6'5" and he runs a Prowler 13 because it fits him.

Do whatever you can to meet us for the trip with Otto!!! It's certainly not a trip to miss. I'm looking forward to just absorbing all the knowledge I can from some of the kayak fishing "talent" that will be on this trip.

I'll be in town later in the week. Will give you a ring and we can have lunch.

Tim, I may be working the REI Paddle Demo Day in Seattle on June 9th ... I'm not 100% sure of my schedule yet. -Allen
Allen... thanks. Let me know if you are. One last question you or Christian might answer since you seem to be aqquainted with these three boats I'm considering based on your and other folks recommendations.

In order of stability (first being most stable) I would rank them (1) Big Game, (2) Hobie Outback, (3) Tarpon 16. In order of speed I would reverse the first and third so we have (1) Tarpon 16, (2) Hobie Outback, (3) Big Game. This is based pretty much on the beam measurement of each.

I'm leaning toward stability as the main priority but need to keep speed in mind if I want to get out with some of my sit-in kayak friends for a paddle.

So, here's the question: Is there a significant difference in speed (i.e. a knot or more) between the fastest and slowest in this group.
I think you have it right for the stability and speed ordering. Here are some comments from a guy I know that owns an Outback.

The Outback is a really stable yak. It takes a lot of leaning just to feel like you could go over (yet I have gone their Shocked ). It's a great troller and not the fastest but moves quite well. I think it would be suited really well for someone who doesn't get on the water too much. I always feel like it sits too high in the water so makes me vulnerable to wind. It also paddles pretty badly compared to other yaks. But it does have a ton of room under all the hatches. If you're going to be on a lake hunting bass, salmon, or trout, the Outback will be great.

Another stable boat you might want to consider is the Malibu XFactor. I used to own a couple of those before switching to Ocean Kayak. Worth checking out, although I don't think there are any dealers in WA.

I think I answered the difference in speed in a previous post. You might have 1/2-3/4 mph speed difference between the fastest and the slowest SOT yaks. I'm not talking sprint speed, I'm talking average speed over distance which will be in the 3-4 mph range. To put that in perspective, you might have 1/2 mph speed difference if you took a group of 6 people and had them paddle the same exact kayak model.

I took my used OK Scrambler XL out in the Sound for the first time on Sunday morning. As Allen mentioned in previous posts, this isn’t the fastest or most stable kayak on the water, but I thought it did just fine. I started off paddling about 2 miles in 30 minutes, at what seemed to me to be a leisurely, but brisk, pace. The tide started running later in the morning, and I was amazed at how easy it was to paddle against the tide. I originally thought that casting from a kayak would be difficult, and that the primary use would be transportation to beaches that can’t be accessed by foot. Not so! I pointed the bow down-tide, and the boat held its position fairly well as I cast in towards shore. For a beach fisherman like me, it was a revelation to cast without worrying about snagging up on the back cast. I got out and fished three times, and except for the first time, when my leg went numb from the ½ hour paddle, I had no trouble getting in and out of the boat. That first exit was very scary – for a few seconds I felt like I’d drown. After that, I did leg stretches when paddling to keep my right leg awake. Kayaks ride low in the water, and are great for watching birds and wildlife. It’s almost the same feeling as being in a float tube on a lake.

I forgot two items which would have been useful. One was a stripping basket for fishing from the beach. I have a fold-up basket that will be easy to carry on the boat from now on. The other item is a pair of gloves, which may have prevented a small blister I have on my left thumb.

The fishing was slow – one small blackmouth and a strike from a sea-run. I did see a few fish jump. The highlight for me was fishing three new beaches that were previously inaccessible to me. Exploring is a big part of fishing the Sound, and I’m looking forward to more of it this summer.

I thought a report from a first-timer might be interesting for those considering a kayak. Hope this is useful.

Tim, I think Allen has it right on the money. The only thing that i would say is the Tarpon travels a great distance after you stop paddeling, where the Ocean tends to slow faster. I am not a dealer or rep, so Allens knowledge of the overall value and strengths of many different kayaks are right on, I just fish for a living!!(sorry guys) :)

Tom if you are getting blisters its time for a lighter paddle, ck out the new fishstix by AT, they are not cheap but it weighs just over one lb!! I use these with clients and they have never gotten a blister even on 20 mile trips around the islands.

Capt. Christian