View Full Version : pontoon boats verses sit on top kayacks
With the theft of my float tube over the winter (may whoever stole it neglect to fix the leak and sink to the bottom of very cold lake! ) I am left looking for new fishing platform. I had just about decided to go a step up from the float tube and get a pontoon boat when I started hearing a lot about sit-on-top-fishing kayaks. I checked out a few model such as the OK Prowler and Cobraís fish and dive, looks like they can be made into a decent fishing setup and perhaps could be a bit better for traveling across the lake. ( I mostly fish small lakes and a few good sized rivers.) but Iím wondering about the comfort factor. I could sit in my float tube all day in relative comfort, but I always felt limited on mobility, and often the wind blowing me back to the opposite shore was a factor. The kayaks look a bit cramped but maybe the added mobility would be worth it, looks like some even allow for mounting an eclectic motor. (can you do that on a pontoon boat?)
The cost comes pretty close to the same so itís not so much a factor. Anyone have opinions on what is the better ride? Any pics of a current set up would be much appreciated.
a kayak makes one of the most effecient fishing craft out there. they are relatively cheap, easy to care for, and can carry a very large amount of gear if you so choose.
i run a guide service here in florida that is kayak only. most of the time the second call i get from a client is where they can get thier own, and how to rig it.
here are a few pictures of mine:
this is my Islander Ventura
and my Dimension Typhoon
many people equate it to fishing from your lazy boy.
on my website at www.paddleandpole.com you can find links to many other kayak fishing resources.
flyboy, how stable are those? I was thinking of getting a "bass buster" type boat cause you sit up higher. The kayak seems like they would be a bit tipsy to get in and out of.
Flyboy, I was hoping youíd show up! I believe it was one of your post that first got me interested in the yaks. Holy cow, the I love the pics! That is exactly the kind of rig Iíve been thinking about, ( actually it looks much better than what I had envisioned ) Lights, electronics, rod holders, and plenty of gear! Is that a rudder on the Ventura model? Iím still confused on pros and cons of those. Thanks for your site link too, lots of good information on there, too bad weíre on opposite sides of the country, Iíd book you for a tour in a second just to see how itís done.
Perhaps you could give me a few more valuable insights on your setups: What kind of gear should I be looking at to set up like that? As a pro guide you probably have a list of equipment that is tried and true and experience with what does and doesnít work. Any hints? Some other models suggestions that make good setups would be appreciated too. (As for fit Iím about 5í11 and 180lbs)
Hmmm, I have a million other questions but this is a very good start!
Just remember, he's a sea fisher, you're a lake fisher. His setup has everything in the dang world strapped on cause he can't come back. A sit-on-top kayak is quite stable, I seakayaked once or twice in one, about ten miles. Unless I caught a cross wave (hitting the side of the kayak) and failed to turn the bow into it a little in time, you just bob around. Only once in over twenty miles of kayaking up and down the CA coast did I even come close to flipping, and a quick paddle-thrust into the water stopped that (with a lean into it). The one-man sit-ons are ok, but if you plan on taking a lot of crap, get a 2-seater and use the front seat for all your gear. Some one-man's have cargo strapdown areas, or what's basically a built in livewell or cooler (in his pics, the round blue thing in the deck). The one I used was more like the orange kayak on the bottom. A fishing vest is handy for your most-used stuff, and those soft-bag tackle boxes holding various trays of lures would be better than a big tackle box.
Those micro-pontoons for one man are very stable and good to fish from, but even with the oars onboard, you can't get around a lake as fast as a kayak from what I've seen.
being along the coast of florida means that i get the opportunity to fish anywhere from freshwater lakes, inshore rivers and flats, to open ocean. all of my boats are rigged in a modular sense where i can add or subtract components as needed. kayak fishing itself is still relatively new so alot of our work is pure cusomized fabrication from raw material as nothing else would work. as the sport is growing you'll be seeing alot more "fishing" kayaks in the mainstream that actually work well for the job, don't let the ones listed as having an angler package fool you, they are usually poorly designed for your specific needs.
most of the time im prowling inshore saltwater so the type of fishing is almost identical to lake fishing. i'll answer some of your questions:
stability: a kayak has two forms of stability, initial and secondary. the initial stability is when you first get on or in the kayak. usually it will feel a little tippy to most people at first, this is due to not having a feel for the boat. secondary stability is really what your looking for, this is how far you really have to push the boat to get it to tip. i have never had anyone ever tip one of my kayaks. my ventura is actually stable enough to stand in.
rudder: personally i wouldn't own a fishing kayak without a rudder. i use it most often by putting the wind at my back and drifting. by using the foot controlled rudder i just push a pedal in the direction i want to go giving me hands free control. if you do get one i'd recommend getting one factory installed as it's usually cheaper.
gear: just about anything that you can find at a marine/boating store will work on a kayak. i'd definitely stick with all stainless hardwear though as it will make maintience much easier. you can carry as much as you like and make things complicated, or make it as simple as a single rod and a small tackle box.
for specfic models that work well for fishing:
Wilderness systems tarpon (120, 140, or 160 models)
Wilderness systems ride
Ocean Kayak Prowler, Scupper Pro, Caper]
Malibou Kayaks extreme
alot of those links that are on my site go to great message boards that have a wealth of information on kayak fishing and kayak rigging. if you had anymore questions let me know.
and just to show you the versitility of these boats, this is my Ventura under sail power.
I'm impressed! I've thought about a fishing kayak for a long time and was almost ready to buy one after reading a Fur Fish & Game article; but didn't. Those look like nice ones.
MrMurphy and Flyboy, Thanks, for the ideas and info,this is what I looking for. I found a few dealers not too far from me, I'm gonning to see if they will let me test run a few models....well as soon as the ice melts anyway;f
Flyboy, I found my way on to couple of those message boards linked to your site (oh no, another board to get addicted to!)I'll probably take most futher questions there. Thanks for the start, I'm getting excited about this!
May the fish always bite your lines,
No problem. I too can attest to the fact the little rudders DO help.
Pontoon boats (assuming you mean the small, inflatable crafts) are good for lakes. You can use fins to manuever or troll and most are rated for moderate rivers. If you do a lot of river fishing and/or have a larger budget you should look at a cataraft in 9-10ft.
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