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The Evolution Of Kayak Fishing

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I have heard it said that most kayak anglers get into kayak fishing because they “can’t afford” a boat. I believe this may be true in some cases and maybe more common in those who are just starting out. However, I believe this reason changes over time for others. There are many of us who come to enjoy and appreciate kayaking for what it is. You add the enjoyment of fishing with the enjoyment of kayaking and it becomes “a match made in heaven”.

I have recently come to question if a growing population among kayak anglers shares my thoughts. We have seen and are starting to see more development of new fishing kayaks that seem to be evolving more towards fishing boats. With new releases like the Old Town Predator XL with a Minn Kota motor and the Wilderness Systems ATAK, which is said to have a motor propulsion system, one has to wonder if these companies have begun to tap into a market in kayak fishing which has existed to a lesser degree but may be on the rise. As more of these companies begin to manufacture these types of kayaks it leads me to believe the market is growing.

Here in lies my question… is it true that most kayak anglers are only looking for a cheaper alternative to buying a bass boat? Are we witnessing an evolution of kayak fishing, which will lead fishing kayaks to be more like “motor” boats but with a cheaper price tag? More importantly, will we eventually lose some kayak anglers when they are able to make the transition from the “cheaper alternative” to a full fledged bass boat like the Triton? I am not sure this thought process is far fetched. After all, Old Town’s website gives a description of the newly released Predator XL and says: “The Predator XL bridges the gap between fishing kayaks and bass boats and shallow water skiffs.”

I know there are some that will view this article as a critique of these types of fishing kayaks. I assure you it is by no means meant for this purpose but only to ask the question on where the kayak fishing industry is going. I am a person that can appreciate time on the water fishing, whether it is out of a boat or kayak. However, I do believe there are questions that will need to be answered in the near future, especially for tournament purposes. Some of these questions include: “At what point does a kayak cease to be a kayak?” and “Will there be a development of tournament categories for motorized kayaks?”

I personally enjoy kayaking and fishing. Putting the two together only makes it that much more enjoyable. I also prefer the “human powered” aspect but… as the old saying goes: “to each his own”. I only wonder if the evolution of kayak fishing is leading us away from this aspect. I wonder if the day will come when seeing someone paddling a fishing kayak will be viewed as antiquated. 
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  1. Of course we wish the best fishing was close by our launches, but it's often not the case. That's why we designed the Cuda 14 for covering water, and fast fishing kayak.


Shane has been kayak fishing since 2009 and is passionate about it. Inshore saltwater kayak fishing is his addiction of choice, however, he enjoys the occasional offshore and freshwater trip as well. He mainly fishes the inshore lakes, bayous, and marshes of Southwest Louisiana but does venture into other territories. Shane is a member of the Hobie Fishing Team and holds Pro Staff positions with YakAngler, Lucid Fishing, and Ship To Shore Co. He was also the founding president of the Lake Charles Kayak Fishing Club. "My simple goal for this blog is to promote kayak fishing as it is something I love. I will post articles, reviews, videos, photos, and basically all things kayak fishing." ~Shane [Shane Coleman] (