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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

By Bama1986
Hello all, new to the forum (thanks for the add). Going to be new to kayak fishing. Looking to get started sometime this year, have a few ideas of what I’d like but don’t know where to shop to find decent used ones and gear , also not sure what gear is Mandatory for kayak fishing (pfd of course). No , I’m not looking to spend $1000 on a yak. Looking at CL for GOOD used ones, minimum 11’ (I weigh 250-265)
Not looking to buy one RIGHT now , I’m “shopping” for info and things of the such.

Anyways looking for a little help on this subject matter . Thank you for your time and consideration !

Respectfully ,
Semper Fidelis
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By Neumie
Bama1986 wrote:Hello all, new to the forum (thanks for the add)...........
Anyways looking for a little help on this subject matter . Thank you for your time and consideration !

Respectfully ,
Semper Fidelis

Welcome to the forum.

Where are you planning on fishing? Storing it? Transporting the kayak? That'll help narrow down your options.

Length really doesn't impact weight capacity as much as beam and hull design. Given your weight (and typical fishing gear) you'll want a kayak with a listed weight capacity of at least 400-425 lbs. Basically, add your weight plus what you'll think you'll carry with you while fishing (accounting for coolers, ice, tackle, etc) and divide by 0.7. You want yourself and gear to be about 70% of the listed weight capacity. If you plan on doing camping trips you'll want a kayak with even more capacity.

Minimum requirements for kayaking are PFD, whistle (when at the coast, but good idea to just always having one attached to your PFD at all times), and a 360 degree white light from sunset to sunrise.

Here's a spreadsheet with all (I think) sit on top kayaks which are available for kayak anglers: CLICK

Best places to look for a kayak are on here in the For Sale Sub Forum, your local Craigslist, and (if you have Facebook) in the TKF Buy, Sell, Trade Group. There are also apps for cell phone such as Offer Up, but I don't have any experience with them. Since you're not looking to buy now you have the luxury of researching and waiting on a good deal, but be ready to make a purchase when a deal does pop up. Word of caution however is don't wait too long because it's the off season for the used kayak market so it's easier to find a deal as there are not as many buyers, but that'll change as things warm up.

I've scored two great deals on kayaks because I was actively (and passively) looking and open to travel a little bit to get them. 5 years ago when I lived in DFW I was looking for a used kayak to add to my fleet for bass fishing. I was heading to Austin one weekend and broadened my search to include it and cities along the I35 corridor. Two days before I was to make the trip the exact kayak came up for sale in Belton for a steal. Bought it on my way down and met up with an ol fishing buddy and hit up Lady Bird Lake. (I recently sold that kayak for more than I purchased it 5 years ago.) This past year I was looking for another used kayak for my wife, and had been passively keeping an eye out for it in the SA/Austin markets. Had trip to Houston planned for a weekend and broadened my search to include Houston/Galveston and anything along the I10 corridor, and the exact kayak popped up on the market the week before I was to make the trip. It was still available when I made my trip to Houston that next week and ended getting a steal on that kayak as well.
Last edited by Neumie on Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By Ron Mc
You definitely need to start a dialog about where you plan to fish.
A good flats boat - distance and Wind - and a good pond or river boat have very different requirements.
The Kayaks for Sale on this forum is always a good place to start.
By TG05
Definitely pay attention to the comments about weight capacity and your weight + all gear weight. Test paddle anything before buying it. After the kayak itself, a comfortable PFD and a light paddle are important. Take the kayak out a few times fishing to see where you lay things or what you really need before you start buying other gear or modifying the kayak. And have fun.
By Bama1986
Gonna be fishing : Galveston , Kemah, Seabrook, Clear lake , Sheldon , conroe .... does that help ?

Salt will be kept to calm bays (where ever I may find them, maybe a jetty now and then.
Fresh will be kept to lakes such as Conroe, Houston, Livingston. On again, Calm days. And Not deep water.

This isn’t to go out in two foot waves or six miles out on rigs . Just nice and easy yakin .
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By Ron Mc
think I'd still look for a 12' or 13' boat, and you want a sit-low option for wind - tall, adjustable-height chairs are showing up on most new boats these days.

Longer boats are more buoyant, as in they float shallower for the same load, and also track better.
If standing is not in your plan, the more narrow the better - the other way if you want to stand, wider is better.
Keep in mind paddling 2 miles is more work than you might have guessed, especially when you add coast wind.
A used Heritage 12' Angler or Redfish might be just the starter boat you're looking for, especially cost-wise. These boats sit low, track well, and spin well to turn. Some people also stand in them, but I would look for a wider boat for that.

If you want a new boat, best plan is find out when ACK has spring demo days, also if you can travel to San Marcos, TG will demo boats for you on the San Marcos river just about any day. Texas Kayaks in Boerne demos on Boerne City Lake with an appointment - maybe you can find a local kayak shop that can demo boats and go try some.

As far as essential equipment, stake-out pole and/or anchor, and I find a drift sock and trolley invaluable for flats fishing. Paddle leash, first-aid kit, tools, lines, duck tape, sharp-sound device (whistle works). Useful are rod holders, fishing crates, a cooler/lunch-box, dry storage.
You already know pfd, but your pfd should have a high back that clears a kayak seat back-rest.
Also don't buy a cheap paddle. Werner fan here, and the $250 Werner paddles are excellent - good internet shopping can find size and color overstocks for $200. Though since a spare paddle is a good idea anyway, can cheap out on a first paddle and upgrade later - just keep in mind, weight and especially flex in a cheap paddle is energy that could have you home by now.

I'll throw up my rigged Tarpon photo - this is a 16' wind-and-distance flats boat. 28" wide, sits low.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Bama1986
12’ -13’ is what I’ve been looking at. Thank you very much for your help !

Also, DEFINITELY not a stranger to paddling heavy boats ,, don’t mean kayaks . Lol

Why the drift bag ?
User avatar
By Ron Mc
Bama1986 wrote:12’ -13’ is what I’ve been looking at. Thank you very much for your help !
Why the drift bag ?

you're welcome
read down to the end of Sunday - photo 14 - viewtopic.php?f=8&t=248672
By Bama1986
That’s was a great read ! Thank you for taking the time to write it . Do the drift sock or bag helped keep you position safely during the rain storm ..? Get a drift sock. Got it

Thank you lol
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By Neumie
Ron's got some good info.

As far as the drift sock they really help to slow you down on windy days when you're set up to drift a flat. The anchor trolley lets you move the sock all the way to the back so you're pointing down wind. A good way to anchor is also good. I carry two different length stake out sticks (3.5 ft old golf shaft and an 8 ft park-n-pole) in lieu of an anchor. Although the folding anchors are more popular a properly setup Bruce anchor is better at holding. Heavy chains, old window weights, or lifting weights can be used as well for anchoring or slowing a drift down.

Start off simple when you hit the water with just some poles, small selection of lures/tackle, and mandatory safety requirements before going too crazy rigging your kayak. Get an on the water feel for where you'll want rod holders and things attached.
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By Ron Mc
Bama1986 wrote:That’s was a great read ! Thank you for taking the time to write it . Do the drift sock or bag helped keep you position safely during the rain storm ..? Get a drift sock. Got it

Thank you lol

thanks - though I post them, I write them for me - part of remembering.
The main thing, drift sock trolleyed to stern won't let you cross-cock in a gale and get capsized by a wave or washed out of the boat (what happened to Stevo when he took up his drift sock at just the Wrong time - he was chest-deep, but it wasn't any fun).

I plan flats trips around the wind- just like sailing - get your paddling done upwind, aim at upwind structure, sight-fish fish-sign as much as you can, and drift-fish home.
The drift sock trolleyed to the stern is easy-chair blind fishing.
If I was tackling Estes on a N wind, it would be Estes cove - wind current would be pushing bait through "former cut" and you could be walking on reds.

We paddle Boerne City Lake here for fun. It's a great place to learn wind, because it's at the top of the hill country, and there's nothing between it and San Juan PR - it always has a 17-18-kt wind, no motors, and it's a 190-acre swamp cooler in the summer, making its own cool breeze. But it's also good practice for learning and handling your boat in the wind (this was mid-August, and we were cozy).
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By SteveRetrieve
Deciding on which kayak to buy is actually a pretty tough decision.

I just upgraded from a cheap entry-level kayak that I had for 5 years. It was 11.5’ long and only 60 pounds so it was super easy to transport. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I rode my new (used) kayak. The phrase “you get what you pay for” is certainly true in this market.

You said you didn’t want to buy a thousand dollar kayak, but I would strongly recommend you find a few kayaks that you like in the $1,000+ range and look for deals on used ones. Also as others mentioned, a decent paddle makes a huge difference.

For me the biggest factor when deciding was transportation. I have a car with roof racks, not a pickup, and I’m not going to get a trailer, so that narrowed my choices down tremendously.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
By Bama1986
That is my plan exactly ,, tonfindnanused GOOD one in the $500-ish range.

Thank you all for your help !
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