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should i get it?


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I have been doing a lot of landbased fishing and want to be able to get to better spots and catch more fish. should I get a fishing kayak? I have been trying to get a tiny but it just doesn't work well with me. any views if I should get one?

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If you have somewhere to store it, do you have transport for it and if you are keen to get out fishing frequently then it is a definite yes. The question will be how much will you want to spend?

There are $350 to $450 kayaks out there which will get you on the water or you can do like I did and buy a Hobie or similar with peddle drive. If you sell the former you will only lose a few hundred dollars if that. The latter hold their value pretty well. I've had mine since 2010 and it gets me on the harbour up to Balmain or down to Manly and the heads. I've taken it out on the Narrabeen lakes, Pittwater, Botany bay, Cooks river and even Glenbawn dam up in the Hunter valley. Easy to launch as I just need some beach or pontoon access.

From a fishing perspective it is easy to change location without having to pack up gear, it doesn't disturb the fish (sat in a school of feeding fish last weekend on Sydney harbour for half an hour without them sounding), you can fish some pretty shallow locations. See all those schools feeding from the shore - my mates and I can get to them (but not as quickly as a power boat). You get some exercise at the same time as fishing. No annual registration fees.

Should I keep going?

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I used to be taken out fishing on a boat by my dad, and thought it was awesome. That is, until I had to go out fishing by myself. Oh my god is owning, maintaining and taking out a boat a pain! Plus they are expensive, you need a trailer so you can't park everywhere, you need a license. they can spook the fish and can't be used everywhere. I have a hobie I can chuck on the roof, and it is fantastic. Sure fishing from a boat is more comfortable, but it's just not worth it. I would never go back to a boat. My only recommendation is to go for a foot pedal kayak, I can tell you for a fact they are worth it. You can find hobies used on gumtree for one or two thousand, you will never regret it.

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Like Rick said, once you buy it that's it. No rego, fuel or licence, costs you nothing to keep and even if you don't like fishing from it, it can be used to get you to those sand flats or rock bars that others can't access to fish from shore.

I sold my boat a few years ago and have never looked back. A big plus for me is I can launch anywhere and don't have to queue at ramps. I can always get pretty close to places I want to fish, like this.


20151210-10-12-15 #2.jpg

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Its like ive said before   horses for courses...i cant chase my snapper n marlin from my yak but i cant get my boat up over weirs n logs to chase bass...little paddle yaks are great for creeks and rocky log strewn areas  pedal yaks are better for open lakes rivers or ocean..the decision depends on which area you want to target most...rick

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If you're going to get one keep an eye on gumtree for a while, there are second hand fishing yaks going for a small fraction of the original sale price.... hobies being the notable exception here. 

Get a plastic (polyethylene) yak for starters they are more or less indestructible.

I got a 14ft bluewater capable yak with rudder system, paddle, live bait well, seat, 6 x rod holders for $300..... thing would have cost $1500 new easy. Keep an eye out one will pop up. Cant really go wrong for couple hundred bucks!

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I havent used my yak for several years since I got a boat. They're good, but contrary to others in this thread they do have some downsides:

The major one is that you have to paddle or peddle the bloody things. I'd get jack of it pretty quick. Others are;

  • I found it took me at least half an hour to mount the kayak holders onto the roof racks, and then the yak on top of those and strap it all it in. Although I've got a van which makes it extra tricky with the height. 
  • Unless I'd go out for a dawn fish, there's very few places in Sydney where there is parking at the waters edge on weekends. Which sometimes means parking a couple of hundred meters away and carrying the yak, and all of the fishing gear in a couple of trips down to the beach, rocks, whatever. By the time I'm done with that I'd be too exhausted to want to go very far.
  • You get wet. Not an issue for 5-6 months of the year, but at other times...no thanks. 


That said, if it was my choice to have a yak or not have anything, definitely get a yak!

Edited by Smasher
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Hi Again,

Before you jump in and buy I'd suggest you ask for a few recommendations based on your budget and how you think you will be fishing it. It will help you ask the right questions when the right kayak comes up.

Just a few things to think about:

  • Budget
  • Layout (how many rod holders and where - I like my foredeck clear so I can move the rod around when fighting fish)
  • Long (faster) or short (easier to transport)
  • Weight (you will have to carry it or wheel it between car and water)
  • How well it tracks (some need a rudder but a rudder can be a hindrance in shallow water)
  • Paddle or Peddle (keeps my hands free for fishing)
  • Freeboard (high less likely to get wet but more affected by wind)
  • Ease of installing accessories (one mate bought a kayak with no practical access to internal storage)
  • Capacity - your weight plus gear
  • Seat arrangement - you will be likely sitting for hours so you want to be comfortable.
  • Colour - I fish Sydney harbour with a lot of boat traffic so I really want to be seen - mine is bright blue but I've crossed paths with an old fart on a sailing boat that whinges I am difficult to see and should get a flag. Seriously?? If he can't spot a 4m bright blue kayak with me in a bright yellow vest and blue cap then what is a pissy little 300x300mm orange flag going to do (sorry, had to vent there).

Just a little more pre-thought will make the purchase of a kayak all the more enjoyable. A friend of mine bought one recently and has realised how magical it is heading out on the water in the early morning.

BTW - if you don't have a boat licence then I highly recommend having a read of the boating rules (no need to do the actual test) so you at least understand what rights you have on the water and the required safety gear.


Edited by DerekD
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13 hours ago, rickmarlin62 said:

By the way  life jackets are mandstory on yaks now  just buy small inflatable you dont notice they are on...rick

really I've been out on the surf ski with my dad without jackets and never get pulled up.

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15 minutes ago, rickmarlin62 said:

we had waterways guy doing a display and handing out goodies at our last comp..i asked bout yaks and his reply was compulsory on all waterways now..used to be if further than100mtrs from shore.but now all time anywhere...rick

alright thanks for that mate i guess i need to go and get a life jacket

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