Withlacoochee River – North Florida Coordinates XY: 30.464334, -83.224044
I have always been a passionate outdoor woman. This being said, there are some things I enjoy more than others: Fishing being one of them.
During my “formative” years, I had heard that the best fishing occurred off shore – yes, that nebulous, mystical place on the outer limits of the Florida coastline that I had only rarely visited as a child and never as an adult.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested; no, my seemingly lackluster interest in off-shore fishing was a direct result of the fact that I just couldn’t get there. Until Hank Parker invested his interest in the Hobie Cat (http://www.hobiecat.com) sit on top kayak, I had spent most of my free time fishing off the banks of the local rivers and lakes in my area.
Upon discovering that I could actually fish from a kayak, I began to research kayaks that would function the way I needed it to. For example, I needed to navigate without losing my direction to the current. I needed rudders and rod holders, and foot pedals (http://www.hobiecat.com/mirage/miragedrive/). Yes – the Hobie Cat Mirage fit the bill and became my “go to” kayak.
Not long after my purchase, I began to read of other vendors who touted their kayak as the latest “go to” kayak for all of my fishing needs. To be open-minded, I have to admit that I borrowed other kayaks and have found some of their options to have merit (lighter weight, better rod placement, and more convenient storage compartments). None however, has been able to compare to the Mirage drive pedal. Its unique foot pedal action allows me to easily navigate upstream while steadily casting to various logs and lily pads of interest.
For those who are, like me, budget minded but are tired of languishing on the bank, I encourage you to try a sit on top fishing kayak. The Hobie Cat can be a bit pricey as compared to other fishing kayaks but it really is all about preference. If you are on a budget, consider carefully what you are willing to live with – and live without.
Let’s take a look at a few options that you should consider when making your purchase
- Seat arrangement/comfort: This is all important. One can neither reach a fishing pole if the seat placement is poor nor can one pedal back to shore if seat causes an aching back.
- Count the rod holders: What fisherman fishes with just one rod? Make sure you have adequate places to holster your rod/reel.
- Navigational options: Steering mechanisms such as rudders, foot pedals, and paddles. Can you live with the options you chose?
- Storage compartments: While on the water, you become the “King” or “Queen” of your floating barge. Make sure storage compartments are plentiful and thoughtfully arranged so as to encourage an easy workflow when reaching and grasping items of interest.
- Accessories: Check your kayak for available options. Most newbie Kayak fishermen do not consider the need for a small anchor to keep them from drifting with the tide. Check to see what kind of options is available.
- Weight: If you are a solo kayaker, make sure your kayak is light enough to allow you to stow and launch without assistance.
- Other more critical benefits to consider are:
- Fuel is not required
- Maintenance is minimal
- Easy navigation to areas that larger boats cannot navigate
- It is a great way to get exercise and stress relief.
So, there you have it. If you are itching to get out on the water, check out the benefits of kayak fishing. From bream to redfish to sharks – the choices and methods for fishing are endless if you choose a kayak that fits your needs and what you hope to harvest when out on the water.