What’s The Best Kayak For Offshore Fishing
If the open ocean is calling your name, you may be wondering: what's the best kayak for offshore fishing? Of all the places a kayak can take you, offshore is by far one of the most extreme, and gives you the chance to hook into some very large, pelagic fish. To give yourself every advantage when braving the surf and paddling out into the ocean here is a quick rundown on what makes a good kayak for offshore fishing.
The big water and big fish of the ocean must not be treated lightly. When you're offshore, the only thing separating you from the depths is your kayak, so it's imperative that you take the time to research and choose a kayak that is up for the challenge of the ocean.
Not only will you have the wind and the swell to contend with, but you'll have some potentially massive fish to wrestle with offshore as well. Your kayak needs to be stable enough to keep you dry-side-up, no matter what happens out there.
The best kayaks for offshore fishing are generally wider and longer than other fishing kayaks that you might use for lake or inshore fishing. A wide hull gives you better side-to-side stability, which will decrease the risk of flipping if a big wave sneaks up on you.
When fishing offshore, you end up covering a lot of water. You're in for a workout no matter what, but with the right kayak, you'll get where you're going as fast and efficiently as possible.
Non-anglers typically use long and narrow sit-inside kayaks when venturing offshore, as they cut through the water easily, handle choppy conditions well, and are very fast. But for kayak fishing, sit-inside ocean kayaks just don't offer the storage space and stability needed for fishing.
When choosing a kayak, there will most likely be a trade-off between speed and stability, but there is another option that has opened up new possibilities for offshore kayak fishing: the pedal drive.
Pedal-drive kayaks have completely changed the world of kayaking forever. Now, you don't have to be an Olympic rower to get offshore and into some fish. Pedal drive kayaks give you the advantage of using the large muscles of your legs to do most of the work and make it possible to cover lots of water quickly.
When choosing a kayak for offshore fishing, give considerable thought to the propulsion of your kayak. Do you want to rely on your upper body to carry you out? Or would you rather delegate the majority of the workload to your legs?
Bigger fish call for heavier gear, and usually more of it. You also have to consider the fact that getting offshore takes significant effort, and once you're out there, you won't want to paddle back to the beach until you're done for the day.
Your offshore fishing kayak needs to have plenty of storage for all your fishing gear, personal gear, a day's worth of food and water, and space to stow your catch.
Launching and re-entering through the surf can be quite a ride for both you and your gear. Not only do you need plenty of space to store everything, but you need the ability to lash it down and secure it to your boat to keep it on board when moving through the surf.
All factors considered, there is one human-powered fishing vessel that stands out from the sea of offshore fishing kayak options: the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14.
The Pro Angler 14 pushes the boundaries of what a fishing kayak can be. From bow to stern, it's completely decked out in fishing-specific features that solve many problems kayak fishermen might face when heading offshore.
Stability. Calling this kayak stable is a serious understatement. At 13' 8" long and 38" wide, it offers barge-like stability and is designed for stand-up fishing without the need for an assist strap or leaning bar. You may not find yourself doing a lot of standing when fishing offshore, but this level of stability will keep you upright when faced with rough ocean conditions.
Propulsion. The Pro Angler 14 features the Mirage Drive, which lets you propel the kayak with your legs. The pedal drive makes it possible for offshore kayak fishermen to venture out further, faster, and with more confidence to get out and back safely.
Storage. Hobie's design team really outdid themselves with the Pro Angler 14's storage situation. There's a place for just about everything! Many kayak fishermen find that they can go without their trusty milk crates aboard the Pro Angler as there is plenty of built-in storage on the kayak itself.
This is particularly beneficial when going through the surf and in rough conditions because all your gear can be tucked away in the kayak, without the need for external storage accommodations that could go overboard.
Here are a few of the Pro Angler's noteworthy features:
2 vertical rod holders, 6 horizontal rod holders. The horizontal rod holders are perfect for offshore kayak fishing, especially when paddling out through the surf. Your rods tuck in nicely along either side of the seat, with rod tips protected and handles lashed down. You won't have rods getting in your way when hauling the kayak out into the surf, and if you flip, the risk of breaking or losing your rods is decreased.
Integrated tackle management system. Built into the deck just in front the seat, there's a hatch that holds two medium sized Plano tackle boxes. There's also space to store more tackle or other items under the tackle boxes.
Large front hatch with removable liner. You can use the front hatch to store anything you might need, or you can throw in some ice and use it as a fish cooler. However, if you prefer to use a standard cooler there is plenty of space behind the seat.
Super easy fishfinder installation. With a built-in Lowrance transducer mount on the bottom of the kayak and pre-installed cable plugs, adding a fishfinder couldn't be easier.
Vantage Seating. The seat on the Pro Angler is truly in a class of its own. Hobie designed the seat specifically for the Pro Angler and added 4 points of adjustment for a completely custom fit. This seat is perfect for long days on the ocean.
Overall the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler is an incredible kayak for offshore fishing, but there are a few potential drawbacks you should be aware of.
First, the Pro Angler is a beast. While incredibly stable and durable, it is one of the heavier kayaks on the market weighing in at 145 pounds. Unlike other smaller/lighter kayaks, transporting the Pro Angler on your vehicle's roof is going to be a serious challenge and not a lot of fun. Count on investing in a trailer to transport the Pro Angler 14.
Second, launching the Pro Angler from the beach may take some practice. It's a lot of boat to handle in the surf, and the Mirage drive hanging below the kayak will bring its own challenges in a beach launch. That said, lot's of kayak fishermen use the Pro Angler for offshore fishing from the beach, and any difficulties encountered when launching from the beach are soon forgotten once you're out cruising in open water.
Offshore kayak fishing certainly isn't for the faint of heart. But for those who want a new adventure, and the opportunity to catch a fish of a lifetime, the deep blue awaits. There are certain risks involved in offshore kayak fishing, and before you head out, do your homework and make sure you have all your safety bases covered. Once you've found the best kayak for fishing offshore, get out there, live it up, and keep those lines tight!
Enter your text here...