TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By bones72
#2287988
My name is Eirik Svare, I just moved back to Texas, after a 15-year hiatus, from Colorado Springs where I retired from the Army so my wife could be closer to her family. I am an avid fisherman and tie flies as well. We just got into the Killeen area last weekend June 14th. I’ve been around canoes my whole life and have some limited experience with sit inside kayaking. Never been on a sit on top rig; things look like they have come a long way even in the last five to ten years. I have an upper back injury due to my time in Afghanistan. I have 16 foot Ascend flat backed canoe that I rigged with a trolling motor while I was in Colorado for fishing the lakes there. It’s heavy though and reaching back for the tiller kills me, paddling it is a pain when solo but better than sitting cocked sideways in the seat all day. In the ten years I was here in the Ft. Hood area I paddled a local river in a 13-foot fiberglass canoe for the sand bass in the spring and on the ponds on post for crappie and catfish. That little thing zipped right along but of course I could be looking back without remembering that 1. I was 15 years younger staring down 30 rather than quickly approaching 50 and 2. My back wasn’t jacked up.
I was wondering if anyone else was in a similar situation and made the move to a kayak. The newer yaks seem fairly light for example under 80 or 90 pounds and fairly short. I’m thinking the lessened weight might make them easier to paddle versus my larger canoe but have no idea. I am also very intrigued by the pedal drive boats. I think they would best suit me but oh my lord they are expensive. I also like the fact that the newer yaks have really nice looking seats; that is also a plus for my back. Thanks for taking the time to look and If anyone wants to head out fishing let me know I am game and if you’re a flyfisherman I have a ton of flies that I have tied for a possible trip to the coast and others that I think would be awesome for river/creek bass. Also if there are any birdhunters on here I have an awesome German Shorthaired pointer I plan on taking back to the prairie for a few trips this fall.
Last edited by bones72 on Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
#2287991
bones72 wrote:My name is Eirik Svare, I just moved back to Texas, after a 15-year hiatus, from Colorado Springs where I retired from the Army so my wife could be closer to her family. I am an avid fisherman and tie flies as well. We just got into the Killeen area last weekend June 14th. I’ve been around canoes my whole life and have some limited experience with sit inside kayaking. Never been on a sit on top rig; things look like they have come a long way even in the last five to ten years. I have an upper back injury due to my time in Afghanistan. I have 16 foot Ascend flat backed canoe that I rigged with a trolling motor while I was in Colorado for fishing the lakes there. It’s heavy though and reaching back for the tiller kills me, paddling it is a pain when solo but better than sitting cocked sideways in the seat all day. In the ten years I was here in the Ft. Hood area I paddled a local river in a 13-foot fiberglass canoe for the sand bass in the spring and on the ponds on post for crappie and catfish. That little thing zipped right along but of course I could be looking back without remembering that 1. I was 15 years younger staring down 30 rather than quickly approaching 50 and 2. My back wasn’t jacked up.
I was wondering if anyone else was in a similar situation and made the move to a kayak. The newer yaks seem fairly light for example under 80 or 90 pounds and fairly short. I’m thinking the lessened weight might make them easier to paddle versus my larger canoe but have no idea. I am also very intrigued by the pedal drives boats. I think they would best suit me but oh my lord they are expensive. I also like the fact that the newer yaks have really nice looking seats; that is also a plus for my back. Thanks for taking the time to look and If anyone wants to head out fishing let me know I am game and if you’re a flyfisherman I have a ton of flies that I have tied for a possible trip to the coast and others that I think would be awesome for river/creek bass. Also if there are any birdhunters on here I have any awesome German Shorthaired pointer I plan on taking back to the prairie for a few trips this fall.


Welcome back to Texas Bones and thanks for your service!
You may consider a kayak that has a forward mounted trolling motor. They ain't cheap but there are several makes/models now I believe that have motors that mount where the pedals would normally be on a pedal yak. I think several guys on here have also outfitted their Hobie's with after market tm's with a diy cassette in the well where the pedals go. I believe there are some threads on here from Kickingback or Shoffer maybe that show some pics. Not sure tho, my memory's not what it used to be, lol. Maybe some of them will chime in and help out with some recommendations. I saw a guy at the lake last summer that had a Trident 13.5 with an IPilot tm mounted on the front of it with remote and he never had to leave the seat to operate it or raise and lower it. It was sweet but he probably had 3 to 4 grand (or more) invested in it. Good luck to you on finding a solution tho. I have some back issues too and know how uncomfortable kayaking can be. Fortunately mines not to the point yet where I can't at least enjoy a few hours in the seat before I have to get out and stretch the legs for a bit.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2287992
If you're serious about foot power, I recommend sticking to Hobie.
The propeller bicycle-crank drives have a really strange seating position in order to accommodate that full-rotation pedal motion.
Sounds like you'll be mostly lake fishing.
The front-mounted trolling motor is brilliant.
But as most will recommend, try to find a place to demo new boats and decide for yourself.
By bones72
#2287995
I do like lakes but actually much prefer moving water. In Colorado most of the moving water I enjoyed was kinda smallish for watercraft but growing up in Virginia most weekends found me in a canoe on the Rappahannock, Rapidan or Shenandoah rivers. Really want to explore rivers I didn't get to on my first go around in Texas. Never caught Rio Grande Cichlids or Guadalupe bass (actually may have caught the bass but probably mistook them for well marked largemouth). I also really want to do the salt never got that way last time either. I can sit for a while in boat if the seat has a back to it, longer if it has some kind of padding(the old cat gut lace bench seats in a canoe are out of the question)and I can walk for days just can't lift much especially repeatedly.
#2287997
Ron Mc wrote:If you're serious about foot power, I recommend sticking to Hobie.


I see Pelican has their version of the mirage drive (hydryve) now on the pelican catch 130 for around $1500. Not sure how it compares in durability or functionality to the hobie tho. Plus I've seen decent used Hobie outbacks and a few revo's for around that price maybe a little more.
For hill country rivers, I think a pedal drive or trolling motor either one would get aggravating from raising and lowering for rocks and shallows not to mention the risk of damaging either one from running aground unexpectedly. Of course, I have no kayaking experience in hill country rivers and don't own a pedal kayak so that's part speculation and part logical reasoning on my part.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2287998
there's really no reason to use a pedal- or flipper-drive in rivers - you're usually floating with some kind of livery or shuttle from upriver to downriver, so what you mostly need is a nimble boat.
I guess I could see using a reverse drive to hold against the current and fish a still bank, etc.
Since these boats are all outfitted the same, I'd guess they're rentals on the Guadalupe.
Image
#2288000
Ron Mc wrote:there's really no reason to use a pedal- or flipper-drive in rivers - you're usually floating with some kind of livery or shuttle from upriver to downriver, so what you mostly need is a nimble boat.
I guess I could see using a reverse drive to hold against the current and fish a still bank, etc.
Since these boats are all outfitted the same, I'd guess they're rentals on the Guadalupe.
Image


Hey Ron, do you think a Hobie Revo would be a good river yak if you pulled the drive and paddled it? I ask because I've really been thinking about getting a pedal kayak but I still want to be able to float a river on occasion. Mainly the Brazos below PK.
By bones72
#2288004
My experience in rivers here was going upstream from a put in point to get up to the second or third sand bar; I guess about two to four miles up from the put in. Then paddling back down with the current. The canoe at the time was basically just transportation. The put in above said hole would have been seven to ten or more miles above it. The other hole I frequented I used the canoe because I could haul it out and get around a massive log jam. (Not sure how tight lipped folks are around here about naming spots so haven't named the places. Anyone from around here I am sure knows the spots).
I'm beginning to think that paddling a yak is well within the realms of possibilities but some sort of pedal drive might be nice (almost necessary) to take breaks on longer trips. There so much I want to do stripers/hybrids are on the top of the list.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2288005
imaoldmanyoungsalt wrote:Hey Ron, do you think a Hobie Revo would be a good river yak if you pulled the drive and paddled it? I ask because I've really been thinking about getting a pedal kayak but I still want to be able to float a river on occasion. Mainly the Brazos below PK.

Same buddy has a 16' Revo, and it would be hard to turn and short on stability in a river.
Image Our February trip to Estes, tides were so low, he paddled the whole time and made a good showing.

The Revo 11 would be easy to handle in a river, and the 13 might just be the compromise boat for both river and coast.
With its rudder, I've taken my T160 in the middle Guadalupe with no problems.
Image
#2288007
Ron Mc wrote:
imaoldmanyoungsalt wrote:Hey Ron, do you think a Hobie Revo would be a good river yak if you pulled the drive and paddled it? I ask because I've really been thinking about getting a pedal kayak but I still want to be able to float a river on occasion. Mainly the Brazos below PK.

Same buddy has a 16' Revo, and it would be hard to turn and short on stability in a river.
Image Our February trip to Estes, tides were so low, he paddled the whole time and made a good showing.

The Revo 11 would be easy to handle in a river, and the 13 might just be the compromise boat for both river and coast.
With its rudder, I've taken my T160 in the middle Guadalupe with no problems.
Image


Thanks Ron
I was thinking along the lines of the revo 13. I use my redfish 14 now and with the rudder it handles really well in the river. May just keep it for river fishing and get a pedal yak to go with it for everything else!
By bones72
#2288023
Thank you for all the replies. I have an idea in a direction to go now. I have seen some really cool rigs in the classifieds. I guess more important than the drive' paddle, pedal or an electric, I guess is the seating. I can sit but need a back on the seat to come a pretty fair ways is this an add on/aftermarket kinda of thing or is that how they are manufactured?
#2288033
bones72 wrote:Thank you for all the replies. I have an idea in a direction to go now. I have seen some really cool rigs in the classifieds. I guess more important than the drive' paddle, pedal or an electric, I guess is the seating. I can sit but need a back on the seat to come a pretty fair ways is this an add on/aftermarket kinda of thing or is that how they are manufactured?


I hear ya. I find the paddling isn't as bad on my back as the sitting and twisting to reach things behind me is. However, I also have a bad shoulder which usually results in much pain the day after a long paddle. Thats why I'm looking into getting a pedal yak. Like Ron said tho, I think the Mirage type drive is a better motion for me than the rotary, bicycle type, motion would be. I plan to test drive several before making a final decision tho.

As far as seats go, mostly the newer kayaks have much improved seats with backs that are somewhat comfortable. Some more so than others. There are some aftermarket seats that can be adapted to some kayaks tho. Like the Larry chair for instance, but the kayak has to have a seat pan that will fit/support it and then you can get into issues with too much stress in areas not meant to support the uneven weight distribution that can result in cracks in the plastic. I have DIY'd some stadium seats, like the ones from Academy, in my kayaks and it has helped a lot with my ability to sit longer but only time will tell if it will cause any cracks or not. So far so good and I'm going on a year of use now. For me, the trade off of less back pain is worth the risk tho.
By bones72
#2288039
Yep I have upper back issues; dang the luck, if it was a lower back thing they probably have a fix. I came off a 14 foot roof during a firefight. Nothing heroic just not paying attention, went to get more ammo for the SAW an;d slipped on the mountain of brass. That stuff was like marbles. Came down in full kit right between my neck and shoulders. Nerves got rerouted now I go in and get a couple nerve endings burnt off every couple of years otherwise they start signaling for muscles to spasm creating a vicious cycle.
User avatar
By TexasJim
#2288082
It's very important to get the right kayak and seat, especially with your back ailments. Once you do, you have lots of great river fishing in Central Texas, as you probably know. The Guadalupe from Hunt to Canyon Lake, the Llano from Junction to Inkes Lake, the Colorado above Travis, even the Brazos below Whitney Dam, provide miles and miles of great river fishing. The Brazos between Possum Kingdom and Granbury is great. There are some shuttle services you can use, to do a one-way paddle. I was living outside Kerrville when I bought my kayak, and the Guadalupe was my fishing hole. TPWD stocks trout in the Guad every year.
If you can do a Demo Day, it'll be worth your while. Some kayaks look great, but paddle like a barge.
Welcome! Thanks for your service. Get a 'yak and go fishing. TexasJim in Rockport
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2288149
bones72 wrote:Thank you for all the replies. I have an idea in a direction to go now. I have seen some really cool rigs in the classifieds. I guess more important than the drive' paddle, pedal or an electric, I guess is the seating. I can sit but need a back on the seat to come a pretty fair ways is this an add on/aftermarket kinda of thing or is that how they are manufactured?

I'll add my 2c to this - stability can be a factor in changing seat height. An aftermarket tall seat on a narrow nimble boat no question will lose primary stability, and if it loses secondary stability, too, you're just going to turtle.
Wider new boats usually already have the adjustable seat height option (except Compass).
The specific reason I threw in my buddy's Coosa is the river thing - he tried taking this boat to the coast one day and found it a lumbering barge in coast wind (worse than his old X-factor).
But again, it's the best river SOT I've ever seen.
User avatar
By JW FunGuy
#2288157
Hey bones I hear ya. I had a spinal fusion on C6&7 years ago (too many stupid human tricks ) and the rest are now fusing on their own :x and flaring up occasionally as well. But! I find my Tarpon 120 to be quite comfortable. I like that I can raise the seat back up when I need extra support or drop it down when I need to paddle hard and need the extra shoulder mobility. Plus I can raise the bottom front of the seat up to support my legs more or change the angle for my hips (which are also bad) . All of this can be done on the fly while still sitting in the boat! The real key for me is to take a break from paddling and start fishing. I prefer to fly fish so I try and get out and wade whenever I can and that keeps me going all day with no problems.
I have take the Tarpon 120 on the Guadalupe many times and find it a nice river boat. I wouldn’t want to take it down a “rock garden” or a extremely pushy river that needed fast, precise maneuvering, but I have a whitewater boat for that. :)
By bones72
#2288175
Sounds like my kind of fishing JW. I prefer to flyfish but have been known to drown minnows and throw hardware as well. I like to wade fish and target individual fish, or troll. Ain’t to into throwing baits repeatedly against a bank unless of course they are all balled up on a bank. Thank goodness my legs and hips are good they are about all I have left. Between my back, chronic kidney stones, being half deaf, TBI, and PTSD I get overwhelmed sometimes. As rough as I feel sometimes I thank God I can walk miles and miles and remember there are so many others that can’t do what I do anymore. I’ve seen videos of these newer yaks and they seem really quick and whole lots more comfortable than what I remember as a kid some thirty years ago. Safety also seems to have come a long way as well with good lights etc… . They also seem way lighter.
Though I like moving water I would like to find a yak that can handle the bigger lakes like Belton and Stillhouse as well as the coast. I just need to go get something. My problem is expense. The move down here about broke me and I pretty much live off my retirement and disability. There are three or four in the classifieds here that I really want to jump on but really can’t unless people take trades. I have a two or three fly rods (if they all went) that would be near to covering the cost as well as a custom Mauser in 7mm rem mag. A buddy of mine took a vintage Mauser action put a browning barrel to it restocked it and did an awesome job with the stock. I’ve taken Colorado antelope and whitetail with it and my youngest son got his first mulie. It shoots. Its bit much medicine for Texas even with 140 grn loads but it’ll knock stuff down. That’s about all I’d be willing to part with. I doubt Austin the Kayak shop in Austin or Basspro would accept anything like that as payment and rather shy being new to the board and not really knowing anyone to try and ask about a trade. Also, a little concerned with getting it on my Jeep Compass; had to get rid of my truck in Colorado as it would have never been able to pass inspection here plus my neighbors would have hated me for the eyesore it was. I think I will just try and save and get one when the time is right.
I still have my canoe and there is plenty of wade fishing. I’d love to get out with someone though all my buddies from this area have moved away or work away from home either in oil or the railroad. I don’t know for certain but really debating heading down to the Corpus/Aransas, during the week, next week area to at least fish from a dock even if I have to soak meat. I keep seeing the pictures of the fish in the salt and I have the itch. There might not be croaker (at least big enough to eat) or spot of bluefish like a remember at home in Virginia but there’s gotta be something, at least a whiting. Been living vicariously through others on the computer for three weeks now need to get out.

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