Kayak fishing has become popular over the years because they are more stable than portables and canoes and more affordable than traditionally powered fishing boats. Most people also find them more water-friendly, which gives paddlers in urban areas countless more access points.
With the popularity in the kayak industry growing, so has the emergence of different kayak manufacturers who produce quality fishing-specific kayaks designed for everything from the open oceans to the smallest creeks. Competition is awesome for consumers, but it can also lead to people being overwhelmed and confused about which kayak is best for their specific needs.
Here are some tips to consider when looking for your fishing kayak.
1. Length matters when choosing fishing kayaks
Your fishing kayak’s length is essential because it will determine how it will perform once in the water. The first thing you should consider is what type of water you will be using it on. Mostly shorter kayaks less than 11 feet are best for maneuvering, while longer kayaks than 12 feet are much faster.
If your area mainly consists of backwaters, smaller ponds, and creeks, opt for agility rather than speed. If you are fishing on larger water areas like the oceans, lakes, and rivers, then go for the longer models.
It’s also essential to factor in your body – above 6 feet and more than 300 pounds, you probably don’t want to go under 12 feet in length regardless of the waters you fish.
2. Kayak stability
While kayaks of the old days were unstable and tippy most of today’s fishing kayaks are stable enough to stand on. Stability is excellent for fishing, but too much of it causes the kayak to be less maneuverable and difficult to paddle efficiently.
It would help if you chose a broader and more stable model. If you have a big body, plan on standing up while fishing or go to small rivers and ponds. Narrower kayaks are less stable, but you can paddle them easily and are ideal for paddlers that wish to cover a lot of water in a day.
3. Maximize on storage
As a fisherman, you probably have a lot of fishing gear, and for that reason, you need a kayak with enough room for all your necessities. Reliable Fish Bags, dry sacks, and bilge pumps are some of the things that your kayak should have room for.
Sit-on-top models have internal molded hatches, while sit-in has more open space for storing your gear. Create a mental list of all the things you will be carrying while going kayaking and visualize where everything goes before buying.
With recent advances in the fishing kayak industry, the disadvantage is that now there are heavier than ever. You should factor in this when doing your research. If you plan on fishing in unfamiliar waters, then buy a fishing kayak that is light and easy to drag down a path to the lake or river.
If you are kayaking in an area where it is straight from the truck to the water, you can load up on gear and accessories. In general, when buying fishing kayaks, you will notice that sit-on-top kayaks are heavier than sit-in models.