Kayaks: An affordable, quiet, stable alternative fishing boat

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I have noticed a growing trend in boating the past few years. And while there are still plenty of big fishing and ski boats out there, many folks are opting for smaller, more affordable boats.

There is type of “boat” that seems to be showing up everywhere, and that is kayaks. I’m not sure if it’s the affordable price of a kayak, the much-improved designs they offer now, or the convenience of transporting one, but whatever the reason, kayaking is growing rapidly.

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Picking a kayak is more than just finding the lowest price. With the variations of designs these days, one needs to decide what they will be using a kayak for. Kayaks in general offer access to water that large boats can’t get to, from very shallow water to rough rocky water. They also offer a feeling of “fitting in” to nature rather than intruding on it.

 Some “yaks” are designed for swift water and maneuverability. These white water versions are usually shorter (less than 10 feet) and less stable, not ideal for a relaxing paddle on a pond or lake. These are the ones you see in raging rapids and plunging over small waterfalls. They are “sports cars,” if you will. They have round bottoms and turn on a dime. Not ideal for beginners.

“Touring” yaks are longer (12-17 feet) and handle choppy water on lakes and ponds better. They are much easier to paddle a long distance since they hold a strait line better than a shorter round bottom kayak. They are a little harder to transport due to the length.

Fishing kayaks have come a long way. Some you use with a paddle, some have pedals, and some are stand up versions. Some guys trick these things out with top of the line sonars, rod holders, anchors, nice after market seats, etc. The pedal models are more expensive than a paddle one, but they offer you virtually hands free operation allowing for more casting. The stand up models have outriggers that swing out to stabilize the boat and a lean pole like you would see in most drift boats. Standing up allows a more comfortable position to cast, and lets you rest a tired back from sitting several hours.

There are many variables to consider, such as cost, transporting, usage, safety, design and comfort, so it’s best to think it out and pay a little more to get one that fits your needs. There are also many more designs to choose from, top models, inflatable ones, modular, folding, and recreational.

Kayaking is growing and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any. There are even kayak fishing tournaments. It’s good exercise, affordable, and a great way to experience nature.