Featured Image Credit: Scott Beutjer
I’ve been fishing out of a kayak for a few months or so now and absolutely love it. What’s interesting about my personal experience though is that while I decided to get into kayak fishing to fish more remote locations, I’ve found I’m actually fishing a lot of the same lakes and even tournaments that I used to frequent in a bass boat, just without a kayak motor to help me get from point A to point B.
I’ve spent the majority of the last few months paddling around in a borrowed Bonafide SS127. It has been a great boat and a huge upgrade from TeaCup, the Sun Dolphin Journey 12 SS I bought for $300 at Tractor Supply.
While competing in tournaments against bass boats from the Bonafide, I honestly haven’t felt like I was at that much of a disadvantage. In my three attempts, I actually won one and finished second in another, but bombed in one on Lake Martin. The outcome of that worst tournament I believe was largely due to the one area I do feel at a strong disadvantage: propulsion.
Kayak Motor | Why Propulsion Seems Important
On some lakes like Yates where I finished first and second, you can fish within a few miles of the ramp and have just as good of a chance as anyone. But on Martin, I feel like I need to cover a lot more water and even skip some. With only a paddle and two biceps, that’s hard to do in a timely fashion. Even in my last tournament on Yates when I finished second, I ended up paddling 6.8-miles.
So the question I pose to you the reader: What should I do? Suck it up? Try a pedal drive? Add a motor?
Sucking it up is fine for the time being but I don’t think that’s going to be the answer if I want to stay in this for the long haul. I’m afraid the wear and tear on my body would run me off the water sooner rather than later. A little paddling is good for me and will be inherent to some degree when fishing from a kayak whether I use a pedal drive or add a motor.
There are just some places those two can’t operate where I will still have to pick up a paddle. But after paddling about 5-miles, both my wrists start to pop with each stroke and that’s something I can’t ignore and will have to address before it causes serious issues.
I’ve considered the pedal drive and may still explore that option further. But then I fear the frequent and long term use of that form of propulsion would inevitably just lead to knee issues over the years.
Kayak Motor | Does a Motor Take Away From the Experience?
I’ve also considered jumping straight to a motor on the back of the Bonafide. But I’ve had some paddling purest say that adding a motor basically takes you out of a kayak. That I might as well just buy a johnboat. That being said, I’ve also seen the undeniable difference adding a motor to a kayak makes in the KBF tournament trail results. And there’s no doubt the addition of a motor would make me more efficient on the water with less pain and risk of joint damage over time.
So what’s your opinion?
This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert
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