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      New Fishing Kayak - What should I Know?     
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02/22/2021 02:24AM  
I’ve done lots of research on fishing kayaks (specifically ones you can stand up in) for the past couple of weeks and decided to take advantage of a good deal I found on a Old Town Predator 13. This is my very first fishing kayak and I’m very eager to jump in and start fishing!

This is not my first time in a kayak (I practically grew up in boats and kayaks), so I got all the safety knowledge down.

What I’d like to know though, are there any tips or tricks you could give a first-time kayak angler to help them start out a little more confidently and successfully?
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02/22/2021 12:09PM  
Subject that’s near and dear to me but I’ll hit just a few points. ALWAYS wear your PFD no matter how stable the yak and calm the waters. Tether your tools (fish grippers, pliers, etc). Just watched a video last night of a guy losing his pliers overboard. Try to minimize on gear and keep your “work area” as uncluttered as possible. When you bring a nice sized pike, musky, snook, redfish, etc aboard things get crazy pretty quickly. Build a DIY light/flag pole out of PVC. Mount it inside your milk crate. You definitely want boaters to see you, night or day. I have a bicycle tail light that has a strobe mode close at hand under low light conditions. Tons more info but that’s the safety highlights that pop to mind. Email me if you have specific questions. Enjoy your yak, yak fishing is an absolute blast.

***My apologies, I misread. You didn’t want safety tips. I’ll leave them for others.***

02/22/2021 12:27PM  
I've been fishing out of kayaks for quite a few years. I've had my latest one (Jackson Kilroy) for about....3 years and is the only one you could stand in. I love it. I'm yet to put any of my electronics on it, but it sounds like you know what you're doing already. Use a rod that's long enough where you can get the tip around the bow while fighting a fish if needed when it runs. (and your rod won't be straight when this happens) I like to have a bungee cord by me at the seat when I'm fishing in downed timber I can just wrap around a branch and have an instant anchor. Little stuff like that will come to you but the basics are pretty straight forward
Savage Voyageur
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02/22/2021 01:19PM  
I’m going to follow this thread, because I’m going to buy the same kayak as you are. If anyone has information on electronics, power, mounts, storage ideas please post so we all can benefit from the answers. Thanks
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02/22/2021 03:57PM  

Leash everything you don’t want going overboard. Also when you get your yak and the weather is nice enough bring along a friend, take everything out of your yak then paddle out a bit and purposely tip over. Learn how to get back in it just in case. Get the skills down before it were to actually happen and you are in panic mode.

Check YouTube for videos about anchoring. There’s more to it than just throwing out a heavy weight.

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02/22/2021 04:04PM  
Savage Voyageur: "I’m going to follow this thread, because I’m going to buy the same kayak as you are. If anyone has information on electronics, power, mounts, storage ideas please post so we all can benefit from the answers.Thanks "

I have two yaks--smaller yak: Hummingbird Helix 5 track mounted with enough cable to move it anywhere on the track. My recommendation is as far forward as possible but that's a personal preference. Mount it where it's easy to read but not in your sweet spot for casting and retrieving. Lots of people put their fishfinder on the rear of the front deck/compartment. Vexilar 9aH battery that gives pretty good run time. I don't troll much so I don't use a track mounted rod holder. I like a clean boat so I don't have anything track mounted except the FF.

Larger yak: Hummingbird Helix 7 on H rail mount (H rail is Hobie specific) again with enough cable to move it along rail. Dual Nocqua 10 aH batteries with an automatic splitter that switches to second battery when voltage drops below a predetermined value. I bought a third battery to give myself even more run time for remote trips. Interior lights and an HDMI outlet for charging phone or Go Pro also powered by Nocquas. I do have a Go Pro boom on this yak but it's behind and to the right of me so it isn't a factor for fishing. Also have a micro Power Pole with its own unit-mounted battery.

Just saw a 12v 12aH lithium battery made by Universal Battery that is popular with ice fishermen. $100 for battery and $50 for the charger (lithium batteries need a different charger than lead acid). Same rough dimensions as my lead acid Vexilar but MUCH lighter and they advertise 10X the cycles and shorter charge time. If I was currently looking at batteries for a yak I would give these a good look.

I do a standard milk crate in the rear tankwell with a 3 rod rod holder ziptied to it. Inside the crate I have a short section of PVC ziptied in a corner. I built PVC poles with an LED lantern screwed to the top and a cross bar to hang a safety flag from. This goes inside the PVC section in the crate. I don't do it but a person should bungee cord the rods into the holder in case of roll over. Tackle trays and a water bottle in the milk crate, fish measuring bump board and lunch container under seat. Pliers and fish grippers tethered to seat. Side gear pockets hold a small flashlight, the bicycle taillight I mentioned in a previous post and a black magic marker I use to blacken the last 3-4 feet of braid when I'm using braid directly to the lure. Front compartment has FF batteries, rain gear and, in the case of the bigger yak, the safety gear required by Coast Guard for Great Lakes or offshore. Floor or pedal drive compartment holds gloves, face mask, head lamp, fob for Power Pole, wallet, truck keys and phone. That's my system, you'll develop your own over your first few trips but try to stay well below your yak's rated weight capacity. Some get a little sluggish near rated capacity.
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02/22/2021 05:21PM  
Also following this thread - I am retiring sometime this year and the plan is to buy a small trailer for many camping adventures of all kinds. My wife is seven years younger than me so I will have lots of time to get out into the woods:)

Since I can't or won't tow a boat behind this and don't love fishing from a canoe, I too am interested in a fishing kayak that I can haul on a rack on top of the trailer. Mine will be casual fishing on small to medium lakes like you find in state and national forest campgrounds here in MN so don't need state of the art. Plus will already be dropping a bunch of bucks on the trailer. I have seen the pedal drive and the Minn kota drive boats and they are sweet but alas, far beyond my price point.

Any suggestions for a budget to mid range yak would be great. Plus I am taking note of all the recommendations of all kinds to make the first trips better. Thanks.
02/22/2021 07:04PM  
I have a rail/track mounted Scotty rod holder that is nice for trolling. Easy to take on/off if I need to. I like that my Jackson seat has a high and low position depending on what I'm doing, also a built in thermarest back rest. I have a GoPro mount on the front deck cover, but the whole deck is removable which I do from time to time depending on what I'm doing so I might move that some day.

My next things are a mount for one of my Helix 7's and an anchor trolley. But now that I've got a jon boat I just sunk at least $5k into....I tend to take that on my more serious fishing trips. My yak goes to the spots that are too hard to reach in the boat or if I'm just going for a short trip and don't want to mess with the boat. (that usually means I don't need to mess with electronics)
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