Sea Yakology

What type of ocean fishing kayak would you use?

There are two types of Kayaks. Sit-On-Top (SOT) Kayaks are basically a well-designed surfboard with a comfortable seat, and some deck storage. Like all kayaks, unless the boat gets eaten by something, sucked into a cargo ships propellers, or directly hits a mine, they are virtually unsinkable. They are a bit slower than Sit-Inside Kayaks (SIK), but not prohibitively slow. They can cover reasonable distances with little effort. They are self-bailing, and easier to enter and exit, even from the water, than SIKs. They can be ‘eskimo-rolled’ easliy, although you may lose some gear. They are extremely popular with kayak fishermen. On the downside, you are exposed completely to the elements, both cold and warm. You have no protected place to store very much gear. Sit-Inside-Kayaks (SIK) have a covered deck, and can be sealed completely with cockpit covers, or skirts. The only part of you exposed is your upper half. In tough situations, your lower body and gear are protected by the hull. They are very fast, and can cover great distances easily. Greenlanders and Aluets even hunt whales and large seals in these. Most have ample below-deck storage compartments to keep your gear safe and dry, even during a ‘roll’. This is the safest Kayak to have. On the downside, they require a bit more gear to use (cockpit skirts, although this is optional), if they take on water, it has to be bailed out, they are tricky to enter and exit from (especially in the water) until you get used to them, and your gear is difficult to access on the water. SIKs are the prefferred Kayak for touring, adventuring and just about everything. If all you are ever going to do with your kayak is fish, and you live in a realtively mild climate (or are willing to purchase the proper protective clothing, such as an Emersion-Suit), then a SOT may be just right for you. Personally, I would not go on the ocean in anything but a Touring, or Sea Kayak. They are all SIKs. My advice is to try them all out. You’ll find the one you like best. Happy Fishing.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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