Thursday, August 28, 2014

Enter Kayak

I made a decision earlier this year, well, actually a few years ago - I just finally did something about it this year.  And that was to fish more and fish different lakes.  However, there is one distinct problem with that:  I normally keep my boat in my slip where I camp.  Generally, that would only leave shore fishing and/or wading, which is fun in its own right but won't necessarily help in exposing you to the different elements that you would experience fishing out of a boat.  In addition, some of the waters near my home are off-limits to gas powered motors and offer little more than canoe launches to access the water from.

I figured it was time to get a small water craft of some sort.  Did you know how many options there are for small water craft?  You would think it would be an easy choice, but...   Well.  It's not.  Not really.  You have float tubes, inflatable rafts, inflatable pontoons, canoes, and kayaks.  And probably something else that I've forgotten (or blocked).

The break down of my options went as such:

Float tubes:  I felt like I would be required to have a case of beer circa 1996 Apple River.
Problem:  I don't drink and don't really want to be 16 again.

Inflatable raft:  After my experience fishing out of my buddies raft last year...  No thanks.  I am too old to be that scrunched up.

Inflatable pontoon:  There is still that whole filling it up with air thing and if there is a slight possibility that I can put a hole in it, I'll find it.  And somehow manage to do it.

Canoe:  I'll be honest, for a while, I was leaning this way.  Ample gear storage, fair stability...  The only problem is that I was never that good at handling a canoe in Boy Scouts.  In fact, I was told that I could not solo anymore at Tomahawk..  While things change with time...  I figured that I'd keep looking and come back to this one.

Kayak:  Did you know that there are (at least) three different kinds of 'yaks available?  Most of the 'yaks that are marketed for fishing are the sit on top variety.  The problem I had with these, though, is..  Well, how do I put this delicately...  I'm a putz.  Most of these, I would fall off of just trying to get into it.  Entertaining for those around me, for sure, but not my idea of a good time.

I kept looking, resigning myself to the eventual fate of a canoe and then happened upon a Youtube video of this guy standing of a kayak/canoe hybrid trying his best to tip it.

 I waited for the spring sportshow to roll so I would have an opportunity for a better price and stopped by the Clear Waters Outfitting booth, looked at the boat they had on the floor and pulled the trigger on the Nucanoe Frontier 12.

As I alluded to earlier, stability was a huge factor for me.  The Nucanoe boats have a nice wide beam so I'm able to stand up and pitch around cover just as well as I can in my boat.  The only difference is that I'm a little closer to the waterline and once in a while my pitch is a little lower than needs be - but once you get used to it and adjust, no big deal.

I also got the 12' over the 10' model for the bonus of a little more space.  Which means that, at some point, I'll be able to do that BWCA trip I've been thinking about since I was...  10?

Here is a picture before I really started getting it rigged up.
I've made a few changes to the 'yak since this was taken and I'll post about those as time goes on.  Until then...

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