Great Fishing Kayaks
Revolution Fish Length: 13 ft. 5 in. // Weight: 59 lb. // Capacity: 350 lb. // Price: $1,749 Hobie’s Mirage...
Revolution Fish Length: 13 ft. 5 in. // Weight: 59 lb. // Capacity: 350 lb. // Price: $1,749 Hobie’s Mirage Drive gives this boat hands-free propulsion for fishing. Foot pedals power flexible flippers below the hull that drive the boat faster than most people can paddle. The flippers fold flush for beach landings. Adjusting a small hand control tunes your rudder course. A tackle box (included) fits into the rear hatch, and forward of that is a large cargo well flanked by two flush-mounted rod holders. A watertight compartment is forward of the gel-filled seat. Two mesh-covered side pockets hold small items, and there’s a large compartment in the bow. Launching wheels are included. This is a very fast boat that can handle large bays, open reservoirs and big rivers. A turbo-flipper upgrade will zip this baby along even faster, if your legs are in shape. (800-462-4349; hobiefishing.com)
Dirigo Angler 14 Length: 14 ft. // Weight: 59 lb. // Capacity: 350 lb. // Price: $775 This is a ride-in (versus ride-on) model whose roomy cockpit fits long-legged paddlers. In fact, a second seat allows you to place a child or dog between your legs. The craftsmanship is beautiful. The Dirigo is extremely stable, tracks well and handles a chop and 15-knot winds easily. A big, watertight rear compartment is surrounded by gear-holding bungees. A “dashboard” at the forward cockpit has a dry locker for small items. There’s an anchor system and a forward-mounted rod holder, which swivels 45 degrees for trolling and doesn’t interfere with paddling. (207-827-5515; oldtowncanoe.com)
Freedom Hawk Length: 13 ft. 10 in. // Weight: 85 lb. // Capacity: 400 lb. // Price: $1,925 The first kayak designed for stand-up fishing, this boat has two outriggers that “V” outward for stability. A leaning bar offers additional support when you’re on foot, and there’s a push pole for working shallows. The outriggers detach, and each contains dry-storage. There’s hardware for an anchor system, built-in rod holders and forward space for tackle. This kayak is designed more for protected waters but can handle some chop. (812-629-8570; freedomhawkkayaks.com)
Prowler Big Game Angler Length: 12 ft. 9 in. // Weight: 69 lb. // Capacity: 600 lb. // Price: $1,499 This Ocean Kayak model boasts a huge bungee-cord-covered molded rear well designed for a gear-stowing milk crate or bait bucket. There’s an inset for your tackle box just forward of the well and flush-mounted rod holders on either side. Forward of the paddler is a storage tray that holds a small Plano tackle box (included) and drinks, and forward of that is a deck area where you can install a bracket for rod holders or a GPS. A large, watertight compartment is built into the bow deck. The boat is nimble enough to use in rivers, but where it really shines is in rough, open water. (800-441-5713; llbean.com)
KAYAK LIKE A PRO
Looking to try out a new rig before you buy or to improve your kayak-fishing skills under the guidance of an experienced instructor? Sign up for one of L. L. Bean’s new customized guided fishing trips. All gear is supplied, and you can also take a short introductory course at L. L. Bean’s Freeport, Maine, store. (888-552-3261; firstname.lastname@example.org)