Fishing is great. You get to spend time away from the busy streets of a big city. You get to breathe in the fresh air and smell the morning dew. Without a doubt, it is the perfect way to bond with friends, family, or get reacquainted with yourself. This is one of the main reasons why fishing is among the most popular hobbies out there.
Today’s market has tons of accessories, tackle, boxes, hats, vests, knives, and even special sunglasses. Anything you can think of, there’s a model created specifically for fishing. But the hallmark sign of a serious enthusiast is a kayak. Having a fishing kayak tells you and your buddies that you just took this fishing game to the next level. In fact, they’re the hottest thing right now in the world of the sport. But are they worth it? Absolutely.
Your average pontoon boat is still a great way to get out into the water and choose your spot. They’ve got a lot of reserve buoyancy that allows you to bring on and store pretty much anything on there. But they’re also not cheap. Your average pontoon boat can range from $20,000 to $60,000 depending on what model you want. It’s pretty much a brand new Mustang on the water. Fishing kayaks, compared to all the other motorized options, are a complete steal. A brand new fishing kayak will cost you around or below $3,000. And if you shop right, you can get it even cheaper. You can go with one of the fishing kayaks they use in Australia they’re no stranger to the great outdoors, on sale for almost half the price of their competitors. For any sports enthusiast, this figure is pretty much a no-brainer. You can’t go fishing unless you get in the water. And with the modified designs, you’re getting everything you want from a motorized fishing boat, right there with you on the kayak. All of this for a minimal fraction of the cost.
Not only are kayaks easy on the wallet, but they’re also highly portable. Storing anything can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you live in a full house with kids or a significant other. In a modern home, there’s barely any room for you to begin with, much less a boat. Plus, we’ve all seen those big fishing boats parked on someone’s lawn, gathering dust and collecting rust. They’re a complete eyesore. We can totally bypass this with the fishing kayak. They’re slim, lightweight, and can easily be stored in a garage with some hooks or a proper platform. You can load them on the back of a truck or strap it to pretty much any car. They’re so light that you can lug them around with virtual ease on a bicycle or a motorcycle. You just need a simple trailer with some wheeled on them. And the best part? You don’t have to store it on your front lawn and kill the grass underneath. You don’t have to sell things in the garage to make it fit. Having a fishing kayak ensures that you can pick it up and go any time you feel like getting out on the lake. It’s that easy.
There’s A Right Size And For Everyone
Now, let's get down to the specs. Let’s say you’re already convinced. You’re gonna go out and buy that fishing kayak once and for all. There are still a few things to consider. First and foremost, what kind of water will you be fishing on? In the most practical sense, what are the five closest bodies of water around you? These are the factors that determine a key metric in deciding what to buy: kayak length. In terms of length, kayaks are generally classified as short or long. A short kayak is anything under 11 feet long, or roughly 3.35 meters. A long one is anything from 12 feet/ 3.6 meters and above. With that said, a short kayak is, much like a modern car, built for maneuverability. They handle extremely well on the water. A long one is built for speed. So if you’re fishing in smaller ponds, backwaters, or creeks, your best bet is the short one. Rivers, lakes, and oceans are better tackled by a long one. If the fish are further away from the shore, it makes sense to get a kayak that will get you out to where they are. As a side note, if you’re a bigger person, let's say 6’5” and 300 pounds, you don’t want to be in a short kayak either way. There’s a compensation factor for body mass, and a short one won’t cut it.
They’re Not Your Average Beach Kayak
If you haven’t seen one before, a fishing kayak has a slightly different shape than the other ones you find at beach resorts and adventure parks. There are two main types of kayaks: sit-in or sit-on-top. Now, your run-of-the-mill kayak from summer camp is a sit-in. It’s the one that most people are familiar with. Those are fine, and you can fish in them. But they’re not optimal in terms of your sport-specific capabilities. A sit-on-top kayak is much more suited for fishing. If you look at the dynamics of the vessel, anchoring your feet and maneuvering from different angles is very limited when you’re using a sit-in. You essentially have two main movements: forward and back. If you’re sitting on top, you can position and move to wherever the line is with relative ease. It also offers a means to plant down and angle the big ones right out of the water. Also--and if you’ve ever been a boy scout, you know this, if water gets in a sit-in kayak, there’s no way for it to go out. You literally have to cup your hands and scoop it out. It takes forever. With a sit-on-top, water can go in and out as it pleases. It has no effect on you sitting up with your feet planted.
Another reason to get a kayak is that they’re quiet. When you’re out there on the water, using some old and loud motorboat, there is a ton of metal lugging around the surface, causing all sorts of commotion. Fish can sense the ripples and the vibration of a fast-moving vehicle. And if you’ve ever gone diving, you’re no stranger to the roaring of the engine even if you’re many feet below the surface. Fish are quite sensitive to loud noises. Yes, some may be used to it due to the frequency of boats in a given area. But if someone were to even toss a pebble in a lake, all the fish scatter. How much more for a giant hunk of metal? Kayaks are sleek, silent, and amazingly stealthy when it comes to pushing through the water. It’s only as fast and seamless in its motion as you want it to be. And fish, you’ll soon come to realize, do not jet away from it the same way they do towards an old motorboat.
No Maintenance Cost
Kayaks are essentially a single piece of buoyant material. They’re extremely uncomplicated vessels. They’ve been around since travel by boat has. With that said, a kayak is the easiest piece to maintain in your whole fishing arsenal. You don’t have to change the oil because there is no oil. You don’t have to replace the rudder because that’s not on there either. Kayaks, aside from being ultra-affordable, have virtually no maintenance cost. It’s a good idea to hose them down after you’ve been out, to prevent it from stinking or to rinse the salt off. But aside from that, they can sit in storage for years and still be good as new when you take them out. Imagine having to change out parts on a motorboat because you’ve been using it too little. Imagine the rust buildup and the aesthetic upkeep on the off-seasons. If you’re in the American North Eastern states, they salt the roads when it snows. Any of that gets on your boat and you’re looking at repair costs for something you barely use.
No Risk Of Debt
Aside from having no maintenance cost, there’s really no financial risk after you purchase them. Most people who have fishing boats either buy them used for ten grand or buy them brand new for sixty grand. Either way, that’s a hefty purchase for the average person. Money like that usually means a loan or a payment plan of some kind. Now, with bills coming at one left and right, it’s really easy to miss a payment which, unless you have stellar credit, never looks good. It’s one of those purchases that, if not used professionally or often, will just be a money sink. With kayaks, you don’t have that problem. You’re not at any risk of ruining your credit score because you decided to buy a kayak one weekend. Your significant other might be a bit surprised that you have one strapped to the top of your car. But that’s about the extent of it. Kayak purchases are upfront, singular in nature, and done with by the time you take it out.
The cool thing about having an affordable boat like a kayak is that you get to trick it out with any accessory or color you want. You can have it painted. You can throw lights on there. You can even have a beverage holder in there. The options are limitless. But remember, if you’re going to have all your rods and accessories on there, it’s going to take up the limited space that’s allotted. That, in turn, takes a bit of the bare-bones experience of fishing on a kayak. But if you’re going to go down that route, you might also be interested in detachable trolling motors. They can get you to where you across the lake way faster than you can paddle.
You Can Get A Workout In
If you spend the majority of your time at a desk, most likely you’re not getting as much exercise as you should. Yes, fishing is a leisure activity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a workout in while you do it. Paddling with enough force can work your entire upper back using water as a means of resistance. The great thing about water is that it’s about as difficult to paddle in as you want it to be. If you apply more force, it will push back. The constant pulling action makes for a fun way to get some blood flowing to your arms. It may sound trivial, but plenty of rowing athletes use kayaks as a means to supplement their main sport. It’s great for core stability along the transverse plane, and muscular endurance in your biceps and upper back.
They Offer A Change In Perspective
Fishing in a kayak changes your whole perspective on fishing. When you’re out angling on a big boat, you can let that line sit and do whatever you want in between. When you’re in a kayak, you’re low to the water, right there in the thick of it. Kayak fishing forces you to use what you’ve got to get the job done. This, in turn, increases your level of skill in the sport. You can learn a lot from having to catch a fish without the bells and whistles of a pontoon. It will make you a better fisherman. On top of that, paddling your way out there is smooth and relaxing. It’s a slower pace. That’s a good thing. Most of us enjoy that peaceful side of going out in nature and experiencing it first hand. No loud motor, no chit-chat. Just you and the water.
Fishing is primal. It’s one of the great experiences any person can have. Even those who have no interest in fishing know the sublime joy and excitement of catching their first fish. It’s inside of us all. It channels something from the past and connects us to nature in a purely unique way. At the end of the day, whether you catch and release, or find something to bring home to the dinner table, fishing will always be there to calm our minds and uplift our spirits.