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#1 GC

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 03:36 PM

I'm interested in acquiring a fishing kayak. I have absolutely no kayaking experience. I would only be taking the kayak on calm waters of the local tidal tributaries and estuaries in this area.

I am 6'2" and weigh 225 pounds. I would want something that I could throw on the top of my van by myself... And haul to the water by myself.

I would appreciate any and all advice or recommendations concerning a fishing kayak.

#2 matt

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 04:11 PM

GC - depending on your budget, any of the Hobie models with the mirage drive (foot peddle control) are the best fishing kayaks available.  I personally want the Pro Angler 14 model, they are pretty much incredible and just about the best fishing kayak available.  The main thing holding me back is living in the city with no where to store it.  Once I move to the burbs, I will have one of those bad boys.  Do some research on the Hobie models, figure out which one will suite you best, and search out a used one for the best price!  they are occassionally available on craigslist, bassbarn and elsewhere.

 

Good luck on the hunt, you'll love fishing from a kayak. 



#3 GC

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 04:15 PM

Thanks for the recommendation Matt. In the online research I've done so far Hobie models have definitely been highly recommended.

#4 ILoveFishing

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 05:15 PM

Hobies are totally sick.......but expensive.  I beat my kayak to hell,  especially around here and in the salt.  You can get a more than worthy yak for like 500 bucks,  just gotta look around for the best deal.  Best time to buy one is in the fall when stores liquidate their kayak stocks before winter.  I made the mistake of getting a sit-in kayak but it still suites me well and hasn't really interfered with my ability to fish properly.  I am in the process of selling my current one to purchase a sit on top.  Personally i dont think you need a hobie for the type of fishing you plan on doing.  Knowing what you like to fish for during each season,  my guess is that you would only use it during late spring and summer  (thats when i do 90% of my kayak fishing), and we do a lot of the same type of fishing together during the same time of year,  including bottom fishing off the bank....you carp fish while i flathead fish about the same times of the year .  Anyways,  i would just take a day and hop around some sporting goods stores and see what they got.  Definitely put the yak down and sit in it before buying it.  


Itching for some fishing.

#5 CO

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:18 PM

It's always a matter of escalation. Do yourself a favor and go right to motor boat and trailer! If your budget is a hobie with the foot pedals, go for it. I saw a woman in Florida in front of my parents place put in the whitewater, paddle right over the breakers and was out to the reef in about 15 minutes, catch muttons for lunch and come right back in 15 minutes later with zero issues. That's Atlantic Ocean surf we are talking about.

#6 matt

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:34 PM

It's always a matter of escalation. Do yourself a favor and go right to motor boat and trailer! If your budget is a hobie with the foot pedals, go for it. I saw a woman in Florida in front of my parents place put in the whitewater, paddle right over the breakers and was out to the reef in about 15 minutes, catch muttons for lunch and come right back in 15 minutes later with zero issues. That's Atlantic Ocean surf we are talking about.

 

Got to disagree with you there.  A tricked out $3000 hobie pro angler kayak can do waaay more than a motor boat could ever do.  Sure, they are slower, but its good exercise. They'll get super diverse places that motor boats never can.

 

The main advantage of the hobies over EVERY other model, is the hands free fishing and the fact that they retain value so well.  You could get somethign cheaper...but you get what you pay for.  Why buy a $500 kayak when you'll ultimately want a $1000 hobie in a year or two?



#7 CO

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:54 PM

I saw that one in action, the hands free thing was awesome. If I was getting one I would get the Hobie with the foot pedals

#8 ILoveFishing

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 09:40 PM

Thats true matt.  But as a youngin with limited funds i just see myself puttin the money out for one.  Especially considering the amount of time i use it rather than bank fish.  Which is like 50 to 1.   not because i dont want to kayak but because i legally cant, its too dangerous, im bottom fishing with bait (which can be done easily on a yak but its much easier off the bank) , and its more productive fishing from shore at times depending where i fish.  I primarily use my yak for tidal bass, lake bass, down the shore, and in the future i will take it to the dam and flathead fish more.   


Itching for some fishing.

#9 GC

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 05:56 AM

All of the feedback so far has been very informative and I certainly appreciate it. I hear you Chris about limited funds... the majority of my life, with a growing family I had to pinch pennies (NOT complaining... it makes you value things more). Now, with my kids grown and out of college and my wife working full time I can afford to spend a bit more. 

 

I know you're a boat guy Joe..., a very knowledgeable experienced angler and I understand your passion as I have friends who own boats, but I want to keep things as simple as possible.

 

Matt, you've sold me... "The main advantage of the hobies over EVERY other model, is the hands free fishing and the fact that they retain value so well.  You could get something cheaper...but you get what you pay for.  Why buy a $500 kayak when you'll ultimately want a $1000 hobie in a year or two?"



#10 CO

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 07:19 AM

Good info on here for you to check out

 

http://www.hobiecat....wforum.php?f=26



#11 Tom

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 07:40 AM

A couple of years ago I bought a completely tricked out sit in top (SOT) fishing Kayak  a Tarpon 12 footer. I had all the bells and whistles....anchor trolley system, fishfinder, three rod holders, 2 dry storage areas, the works. It had a wide beam and tracked very well in the water.  The thing was top notch and I could not wait to use it as I was completely in love with the idea of slipping into little nooks and sneaking up on unsuspecting fish. I am all about stealth mode fishing.

 

I used it twice before selling it.

 

In my excitement of getting one I didn't take a step back and think it through, but in hindsight I can sum it up by saying I got rid of it for the same reason I sold my boat even longer ago. Using either the boat or the yak, for me at least, started to turn something fun into more of a chore. I am not trying to be a downer but thought I would share my experience for perspective. With the boat I did not have a slip or place to dock it, so every time I wanted to use it I had to load the boat up with gear, trailer it to somewhere, wait in line to launch, stress through the launch process, then, finally, fish. Once I finished fishing I had to reverse that entire process. Over time I found that to take away from the enjoyment that fishing brought me and the "work" factor became just not worth it for me.

The kayak experience was similar for me, but not the same. I still had to load the thing on my roof and tie it down to start with. Not an easy task with an SUV when one is not exactly tall ;). I actually hurt myself quite badly and left heavy scratches in my car loading it once. If you get a Yak, make sure you can lift it for loading onto a car. Without the add ons, my Yak weighed about 60 pounds or so. The anchor system, while neat, required perfect positioning for placing on the roof of my car. Then tying it down securely, getting it to the water, etc. again just started to turn fishing more into work. I rarely have more than a few hours to fish at any given point in time, so I think you can understand why the add on work items started to become irritating. More time fiddling with stuff turned into less time on the water.


What set me over with the Yak was the wind. I generally fish lakes (especially Marsh Creek since it is close). I did not realize what a pita the wind could be on open water when trying to fish. Staying in a given area was brutal with any wind, even with the anchor set up (which in a wind just turned it into a merry go round). Casting lures from a sitting position and being so close to the water surface was also an issue to the point of the advantage of moving quickly from spot to spot was offset by how limited my range had become while so close to the surface.

Just my .02 based on my experience. Would I get one again? Probably. It would have to be the right setup, such as the Hobie with mirage drive and I would need a better way off getting one off and on my vehicle without scratching the car or busting a nut.



#12 matt

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:10 AM

Very good feedback, Tom.  The Hobie Pro Angler 14 is a beast.  It can hold 600lbs!!!  i think it weights 80-100lbs, so loading it on car tops is definitely a huge challenge - there are tons of good youtube videos about strategies for loading it on top of a car.    BUT, the upside is, it is stable enough to stand and fish from!  It is also versatile enough that it would be good for a tidal creek, or fishing 2 miles off shore.  I really can't wait to get one. 

 

i do share your concern about the potential discomfort of constantly fishing from a sitting position though (even though you can stand in them).

 

Some of the smaller and lighter hobies (outback, revolution), have a lot of the same good features as the pro angler, but are lighter and more nimble. 

 

My main goals for getting a yak are to fish the salt backbays, and be able to get to remote places to fish from shore or the boat, on tidal rivers or lakes. 

 

The best advice I've read about yaks is to do multiple test runs on different models, to get a sense of what feels comfortable.  There is a bunch of places that let you demo yaks, and may have old models at discount prices.

 

One thing I have also read about hobies with the mirage drive is...buy one made in 2011 or newer, the models before that had some issues with the mirage drive slot that were common.



#13 Doc Watson

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:29 AM

I agree with Tom on this.  From personal experience with my father's boats and my own experiences locally fishing the local venues, unless it's an easy in and out with any watercraft, it detracts from the fun time.  

 

When my father got his first boat, he "stored" it in our driveway on it's trailer.  To use it (a 16 ft., deep-V hulled runabout with a 60 hp motor) the cover had to be pulled and stored, gear hauled out and stowed, boat trailered and launched.  Then returning the process has to be repeated adding washing all gear and boat, flushing the motor and (hopefully) cleaning some fish.  Lotta work for just an afternoon on the water.  Once he got a sailboat and slipped both of them at the same Cape May marina, fishing became FUN again !!!  Just walk across the dock, cast off and you're fishing in 20 minutes just outside the inlet.  He did that after he retired and had the time.  Hauling a boat or yak around, IMHO, is for the young.  Even fishing locally, I'd rather park near a local creek or stream than go down to Fairmount or up on the big D above Trenton.  Parking and walking to the fishing spots is too much like work on the big rivers and as I get older I don't want to have to work so hard to have fun.  

 

Think it through and maybe even borrow a yak before you take the leap and buy one.  How much will you use it today and how many years will you be young enough to enjoy all the work that goes along with it.  I know how much you appreciate and enjoy all the outdoors has to offer while you relax bankside waiting for your "golden gladiators" to visit for a snack, and the yak will open up many more nature encounters to you as well.  So, for you George, the prospects are more than just fishing and that alone may be enough to make the choice easier.  Hunting from a yak with a camera could be as rewarding as fishing.



#14 ILoveFishing

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 12:44 PM

But like matt also said. If you get one and find that you dont use it or enjoy it as much as you thought, you can resell it for basically what you paid for it. Win win situation I think.
Itching for some fishing.

#15 GC

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:28 PM

Great insights and opinions guys. I've been thinking about it for a while now, and have been hesitant due to some of the concerns expressed by Doc and Tom.

I'm certainly not a young man, but I have been blessed with good health. I would actually look forward to the physicality of using the yak. Over the past two summers I've waded many miles through all sorts of swampy conditions. I am wet wading during the summer and I'm concerned about some of that crap that I have to wade through.

I do want a yak that I can haul by myself. I'm not worried about scratching my car but I certainly don't want to hurt myself. I also want a yak that can handle the swampy conditions of some of the New Jersey and PA estuaries. I would not always be fishing from the yak, but it would allow me to get to some more remote areas like Matt mentioned. Also, like Doc mentioned I simply enjoy being out on the water and exploring.

Does the pedal drive mechanism on the Hobie handle submerged vegetation? Or is it designed more for open water areas?

I really appreciate all your thoughts and viewpoints… Thanks for taking the time to give me some valuable feedback.

#16 matt

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 07:43 PM

GC - vegetation can be an issue, if it's real thick, but the mirage drive pops in and out easily.

There are endless youtube videos of kayaks in action. Watch a bunch and you'll be ready to make the purchase. I've never used a pro angler or any hobie product, but having fished from yaks I know I love it.

Sure, there are some potential new hassles fishing from a yak (loading etc...), but all I think about is the endless possibilities and new adventures a yak provides.

Hopefully some day we can both get out in our yaks together and wrangle with some fish.

I just wish I was moving sooner so I could get a yak already!

#17 GC

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 07:53 PM

Thanks for the encouragement Matt... I've been doing a lot of reading and it looks like I'm leaning towards the Hobie Mirage Outback.

 

Joe... The Hobie site you suggested has a TON of info from Hobie users... Thanks!

 

I'm in the process of investigating the best system for transporting... seems like there are many different options available.



#18 Doc Watson

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:59 PM

Maybe this will help with choosing the right carrier and getting it around.    And here's some assistance for those of us who are not as young as we'd like to be.  ;)  But, if your budget is tight after splurging on the yak and accessories, here's a loading assist system you can make yourself. 



#19 Tom

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 06:35 AM

I hope I didn't dissuade your thinking about a yak too much! I love the whole concepts...finding little spots often overlooked, exploring,etc. If my home lake wasn't so infested with yakkers and boats already I might have held onto it. Get one that works for you and have fun with it!



#20 GC

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 06:54 AM

I hope I didn't dissuade your thinking about a yak too much! I love the whole concepts...finding little spots often overlooked, exploring,etc. If my home lake wasn't so infested with yakkers and boats already I might have held onto it. Get one that works for you and have fun with it!


Tom… I highly value your opinion and I want honest feedback. I've been thinking about a kayak for a few years now, but share the same concerns you expressed...

Your last sentence will be the key to my decision…it. "Get one that works for you and have fun with it!"

You are an intelligent experienced angler... continue to give your honest feedback. Thanks




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