The BEST Fishing Kayak. PERIOD.

A quick walk through of my multi-functional kayak.


Youtube - KEY WEST KAYAK FISHING https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGY6yxE8kogYHKXisMhA2w
All About The Bait Store - http://www.allaboutthebait.com/

Replies

  • DES51DES51 Posts: 157 Deckhand
    Just buy a boat! Life would be much easier!  🙄
  • Android77Android77 Posts: 488 Deckhand
    BOAT. Break out another thousand my maintenance cost for about 5 years.
  • JW_YakAnglerJW_YakAngler NaplesPosts: 171 Deckhand
    edited January 27 #4
    At least Steve uses his motor properly though, shutting it down and poling or paddling into the fishing zones. It drives me nuts when boats motor up to a flat, then get frustrated when they dont immediately get a bite and motor off to the next spot, trolling motor never touching the water. If they want to fish like that, go offshore. 
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,817 Captain
    Knowledge will help you catch more fish, but comfort is key.  I would much rather get skunked in comfort than a KMart special, that will also not be as safe.  Steve has a great youtube channel.  His kayak is a versatile model, but it is getting old, I would think that he would want to upgrade to one with the vantage seat -- keeps one drier, up off the hull and more comfortable.  I hope he keeps the yak in the shade, cause a 10 yr old kayak 10 miles offshore does not sound like a good proposition.  The older it gets the more susceptible to cracking.
  • jordinejordine flPosts: 52 Greenhorn
    Nice setup though the seat doesn't look comfy.
  • FreeLinerFreeLiner Posts: 1,573 Captain
    jordine said:
    Nice setup though the seat doesn't look comfy.
    Agreed. I wouldn’t trade my 19 Outback for it anytime soon.
  • FlatsMatt96FlatsMatt96 ChuluotaPosts: 1,001 Officer
    I think the best fishing kayak is the nucanoe flint. Those things are crazy stable and cool! You have a real nice setup there though.
    If youre going to burn a bridge, dont just burn it, use C4 and make a statement. 
  • Wra22Wra22 Posts: 151 Deckhand
    IMHO the best fishing kayak is the one that can handle the most dangerous conditions you fish in, that you can lift, that you can store, and that you can transport. 
  • TrevfishinTrevfishin In my mind I'm in my kayak fishing, unfortunately physically I'm at work :(Posts: 665 Officer
    The best kayak is the one that you can afford and use comfortably....
  • Lake-LinkerLake-Linker Posts: 82 Greenhorn
    Steve - coincidence that you posted this right after seeing a clone of your yak out near the Wilkes Barre?

    For me this WAS the "best fishing kayak". Or rather,the best option (for me) for traveling and fishing solo

     I just got back from 7 weeks in the Keys. It's becoming a yearly trip...That may seem like long enough to peddle or paddle to any spots but with windy days,not really. It tripled (or 4X) my effective range for backcountry fishing and made trips to the wrecks a possibility. It made crossing large open stretches do-able (but uncomfortable) on windy days. It opened large areas that I could learn instead of just visiting when conditions were perfect. The outrigger made re-entry from spearfishing or lobster diving almost effortless.. It made effectively fishing and exploring the backcountry possible.

     Sure,a "real" boat would be nicer but I already own several. Problem is that they don't magically appear at the launch - transportation and storage are issues...dockage...maintenance and upkeep (saltwater and my Lund ProV? Ugh!)....I can throw my kayak on top of my trailer,put my motorcycle inside - arrive in Keys,remove bike,inflate air mattress...

    Thanks for the videos,Steve...I've spent a few $$$ in your store and will again....See ya next year?
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 4,178 Captain
    I have to put my kayak on top of my car.  The best kayak is the one I can manage solo.  It isn't the ideal kayak if I lived on the water or had a trailer.  Nice setup, thanks for the video.
  • BarrellBarrell Posts: 1,174 Officer
    Solo Skiff is the best if you want a motor.
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 516 Officer
    Steve's kayak setup is amazing and works extremely well for him but somehow I find myself thinking that if I'm having an engine I wold go for a boat or skiff, even if something small such as a Gheenoe.  In fact whenever I consider a larger paddle kayak such as a PA 12 or 14 my thought process tells me that the prices are so close to an engine powered skiff again I would be tempted to go that route.  Of course that opens other cans of worms, licensing, fuel, insurance, etc., and since I've only owned paddle kayaks I may be thinking totally wrongly.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,817 Captain
    Most the motorized Kayaks in my area are PA14's.  It provides the most space, wt. capacity and comfort.  The engine of choice is either a Suzuki 2.5hp or the Honda 2.1hp, both are about 30lbs in wt.  I have been told that the engines are used at 1/4 throttle for about 5kts of spd.  Any more throttle than that is considered unsafe, as the kayaks are officially rated for 400Watts of power that equates to about 1/2 hp.  I have yet to see anyone using a solo skiff.  For offshore, the Solo skiff, and other equivalents look very uncomfortable.  The pro angler 14 has a low center of gravity seat that one can comfortably sit in all day.
  • BarrellBarrell Posts: 1,174 Officer
    If you want a seat you just bolt one on. The Pa is not designed for speed and efficiency. The solo skiff is. Without knowing for sure I would bet with the same size motor the solo skiff would be more then twice as fast and go through water half the depth. I was a dealer for both brands. I have a 4hp Suzuki on my solo skiff but it will handle a 6hp. I have no motor on my Hobies.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,817 Captain
    Barrell said:
    If you want a seat you just bolt one on. The Pa is not designed for speed and efficiency. The solo skiff is. Without knowing for sure I would bet with the same size motor the solo skiff would be more then twice as fast and go through water half the depth. I was a dealer for both brands. I have a 4hp Suzuki on my solo skiff but it will handle a 6hp. I have no motor on my Hobies.
    Solo skiff is probably a great inshore bay fishing vessel.  As far as efficiency goes, when the total bill for fuel is under $10, it's an insignificant factor.  Perhaps twice as fast, but just not designed for offshore comfort.  If they stripped the pre-molded seat off the hull and set it up so that a fishfinder, live well and a comfortable seat could be easily mounted, They might get more business.  
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 516 Officer
    edited March 31 #18
    Barrel and John, from your experience what is usually the determining factor for folks deciding between a smaller boat such as a Gheenoe, a skiff, or something similar vs a pedal kayak such as an Outback or a PA since obviously the price of a PA begins to encroach on the price of a motorized skiff, especially for someone like me who would also need to invest in a trailer.  I like the idea of not licensing a craft and not dealing with fuel and engines since I've owned boats forever yet the engine does give a person more capability to check out other areas and cover water much more easily.  I'm truly looking at both options and each has a lot of merit.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,817 Captain
    Basstar said:
    Barrel and John, from your experience what is usually the determining factor for folks deciding between a smaller boat such as a Gheenoe, a skiff, or something similar vs a pedal kayak such as an Outback or a PA since obviously the price of a PA begins to encroach on the price of a motorized skiff, especially for someone like me who would also need to invest in a trailer.  I like the idea of not licensing a craft and not dealing with fuel and engines since I've owned boats forever yet the engine does give a person more capability to check out other areas and cover water much more easily.  I'm truly looking at both options and each has a lot of merit.
    People choose the kayak for simplicity sake, fits on the car top or bed of a truck.  light and easy to deploy from any beach.  No extra parking charge for parking a trailer.  
  • DES51DES51 Posts: 157 Deckhand
    Simplicity, exactly!  Morphing one into a boat kind of defeats the purpose. 
  • Wra22Wra22 Posts: 151 Deckhand
    What is a typical parking charge for a trailer?  Thanks. 
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,817 Captain
    edited April 4 #22
    Wra22 said:
    What is a typical parking charge for a trailer?  Thanks. 
    Depends where one is trying to fish.  From Boynton Beach Nth, there are many areas with free parking.  Sth of Del Rey Beach to Miami, most the shoreline has metered parking at rates from  1.75 to 2.50 per hour just to park a car.  A trailer will get ticketed unless it is put in a separate car stall, and paid for at the applicable parking rate.  
  • krashkrash Posts: 648 Officer
    At Dania how do you guys do trailers ?


    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • Lake-LinkerLake-Linker Posts: 82 Greenhorn
    If you've seen some videos that show where Steve lives you'd see he doesn't have room for even a small boat/trailer. There's a reason for all those mopeds and scooters and little cars on KW. He'd have to rent a slip or storage space. 

    The solo skiff looks nice. Similar in advantages to Steve's rig...BUT...what's the alternative propulsion? Paddling only?...If Steve's motor dies out on the wreck that (it appears he) fishes most often it's 8.6 miles back to the launch. Last time I was out there the current was ripping along. 4MPH? 5? Absolutely unfishable. A north wind was picking up too....I've got a near-clone of his kayak - I shut the motor to refuel and when I went to restart it the recoil rope broke...The Mirage drive (pedal power) got me inside the reef where I anchored,pulled the recoil off and started the motor with spare rope. I could have done the whole distance with the pedal drive but it would have been tiring and time consuming. I'm not sure how well I would have fared with paddling. Not good,I'd guess.

    That mirage drive is what enables him (and me) to fish the wrecks or backcountry without worry that a motor problem means a big problem. Of course,carefully pick the days and - of course - be very willing to reconsider at the edge of the channel and again at the reef.

    The mirage drive is also essentially a hands-free trolling motor. In shallower current areas he can stop and briefly fish spots without anchoring. "Hold and pitch".

    At roughly half the weight of the solo skiff the kayak can also be carried over rocks and used - without outrigger and motor - to fish places without good access. I'm thinking of a bridge that I occasionally fish that's well lit for night fishing but launch access is across large rocks.. Baitfish - and trout - stack up where the lights shine down. Shore fishing doesn't quite reach the lights - except for casting heavy snag hooks. I'm not a fan of guys showing up,seeing me catch fish and casting those things around me. But...anyway...

    That skiff looks pretty stable....This past January I had a 9' bull shark hooked for 45 minutes. We easily covered 1/2 mile or more...In the last 15 minutes he rammed my kayak twice. 3 minutes before I cut the line he actually BIT my kayak. Hard....In the skiff I would have been higher off the water - shark teeth wouldn't have been so close to my elbow - but would the skiff have tipped? That outrigger on the yak adds tremendous stability....and thinking about that - how easy is it to get back into the skiff when lobstering or spearfishing?

    One day I went out to fish the edge of the channel and maybe some nearby patches after checking Windfinder...forecast of 2.2' seas max. I realized the forecast was wrong - and rapidly changing - before I got a mile out. I turned around and didn't even fish.... Seas built and when I got back I checked Windfinder again (I didn't dare check my phone on the water). Revised forecast was for 5.5' seas. Scary but still pretty stable.....How's that skiff take 5' to 6' waves? 

    Most of my fishing was backcountry this winter. It was nothing to do 20 miles during the day - especially when spearfishing blowouts. Certainly the skiff would cut travel time and increase fishing time. But without the Mirage drive as back-up I'm not sure if I would have been that comfortable being more than a few miles from the launch.

    I kind of like the looks of that skiff. It is cheaper than putting together a clone of Steve's kayak - even with buying a used Hobie and finding amas/akas at discount. It looks more comfortable especially in a mild chop. Dryer certainly. Room for more stuff too. I like the built in cooler. But for all around versatility I think the kayak wins - at least for me.

    Of course my opinion's colored by the fact that I went to the cost and trouble of putting together a rig very similar to Steve's.

  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,817 Captain
    edited April 7 #25


    That skiff looks pretty stable....This past January I had a 9' bull shark hooked for 45 minutes. We easily covered 1/2 mile or more...In the last 15 minutes he rammed my kayak twice. 3 minutes before I cut the line he actually BIT my kayak. Hard....In the skiff I would have been higher off the water - shark teeth wouldn't have been so close to my elbow - but would the skiff have tipped? That outrigger on the yak adds tremendous stability....and thinking about that - how easy is it to get back into the skiff when lobstering or spearfishing?


    Too bad you did not have a video of when the shark attacked your kayak.  I have fought a few big sharks on the kayak, and yours is the first account I have read of a hooked shark attacking a kayak.  I have been bumped, rammed and splashed by aggressive sharks that were free swimming, but never one on the hook.   I doubt the shark could tip the skiff, and believe the skiff is also safer from potential shark bites.

    There are a good number of hybrid Hobies with engines in Florida.  I like the pro Angler the best because of the additional space.  I have fished the Elbo and Alligator Reef peddling the Pro Angler, so I sympathize with your need for an engine.
  • Lake-LinkerLake-Linker Posts: 82 Greenhorn
    Bottom and top bite marks count?..lol...not really great pics. I was just glad it didn’t bite the rudder assembly. That could have been costly.

    bite was about 2’ behind my elbow.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,817 Captain
    Bottom and top bite marks count?..lol...not really great pics. I was just glad it didn’t bite the rudder assembly. That could have been costly.

    bite was about 2’ behind my elbow.
    Very interesting -- rather than continue off topic, would like to see this in a separate post with a more detailed explanation of how that happened?
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