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garrettash58

Should I get a jon or a fishing kayak?

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I have recently picked up a bug for bass fishing. I have experience on both, but I have never owned either for myself. I have a relatively low budget and I am curious as to weather you guys recommend me look into a fishing kayak or fixing up a jon boat? If you choose the Jon, feel free to leave tips on customizing it, if you choose the kayak, feel free to recommend an affordable one to me! Thanks!

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It 100% depends on whether you ever want to take someone out with you, and whether or not you can afford a dedicated fishing kayak. A little sit-in pond kayak you can buy anywhere for $300 will work as in you will be on the water but won't be a lot of fun to fish out of (unstable, very little storage room, etc.) If you go with a jon you will very likely want a trailer for it eventually, so consider that. But a jon is on the whole more stable, has more room, and you can bring more stuff with you.

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I would reccomend a Jon boat if only for the room alone. There are many ways to customize it to even be a small bass boat. Check out tinboats.net or .com can't remember. I started with a Jon and customized it, then after a few years sold it and made almost enough money to purchase a real bass boat.

i still miss that boat though

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It depends on what waters you are fishing also. Do they allow outboards or are they electric only? How big is your water? A 800 acre resorvoir or 60000 acre lake with a lot of pleasure boaters to make a lot of waves? Also what are you looking for in this boat? Do you want it very stable? How much gear do you have or want to take, a jon boat can hold more gear than a kayak and generally they are more stable than a kayak also.

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The main deciding factors are involvement and loadout.  How involved do you want to get into moving and handling it?  Also the level of outfitting you're set on- the amount of people and gear you are planning on bringing very important.  

 

A kayak is very easy to transport, get in and out of the water and requires no paperwork.  The only downside is you likely can't bring anyone with you and gear isn't so much limited as it will need to be prioritized.  

 

A jon boat you will likely need a trailer which will need to be registered, and then you're relegated to water with boat launches.  You can bring way more gear and have a lot more space, but as I mentioned earlier it also limits the water you have access to.  

 

So the answer is totally subjective.  You should really sit down and figure out where you'd be going with it and what you'd be doing.  When you build the most accurate picture possible of your intentions, it will help you figure out which attributes will fit your needs the best.  

 

Happy shopping!!  All things considered and with no details though, I'd lean kayak with a low budget.  CL is your friend for a cheap used boat.  

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I was struggling with the same question for a while.  In the end, the idea of needing a trailer (axle maintenance, registration) in addition to registering the jon, turned me to a fishing Kayak. I ended up getting a decent entry level yak and am currently having a great time configuring it for my needs.  I just strap it in the truck and go. Good luck.

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I either have, or have owned all of the above. I started downsizing years ago, and ended up fishing a canoe. Thankfully the new style fishing yaks started coming out as fishing out of a canoe on big lakes is like herding cats with a lazer pointer and a blindfold on.

I chose a kayak just for the ease of use. I want to fish, and kayaks can just be thrown in the water at any time, are stainable, and can rig all the same electronics easily.

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I've been fishing out of kayaks for quite a long time. I bought my first, a recreational sit inside that I had to take my shoes off to have my feet at a comfortable angle. But.... I couldnt afford a bass boat at the time and it got me off the bank. I've learned a lot from the 5 or 6 kayaks I have learned and now paddle what is the perfect fishing platform for what I do. Now I can afford a boat but truth be told, I dont really want one anymore. 

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Depending on your budget exactly I would look into a perception pescador 100 or 120. Great little budget kayak about 50lbs so easily car topped and carried to launch site. Tracks well and is stable enough to stand on and fish as well. 

They were selling at paddle fest the other week for 705 for the 120 and 640 for the 100. 

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I had to make the same decission last year and I went with the yak due to budget. A fully rigged Bass Yaks Jackson Big Rig with 45lb trolling motor, fish finder, anchor trolley, anchor wizard, batteries, etc...all the fixings, cost far less than a Jon boat.

The advantages: 

no need for a trailer, handles wind better than a Jon, can launch in skinny water, 

Disadvantage:

top speed is 6mph, limited trolling time, no room for 30lb catfish

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Or you could go this route . This is a Bass Baby and it has wheels . I can take it anywhere i can drive up to . Bottom picture fishing in an irrigation ditch .

 

2009-7-19001.jpg

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tracker22 said:

A fully rigged Bass Yaks Jackson Big Rig with 45lb trolling motor, fish finder, anchor trolley, anchor wizard, batteries, etc...all the fixings, cost far less than a Jon boat.

Not disagreeing with you at all but I wouldnt have thought that in a million years. Just quickly Googling that Yak is far from cheap. 

Jackson Big Rig $1,749.00 You can get all kinds a Jon boats for under $1000 Small Jon boats I put in my truck and do not need a ramp. If you have to have a trailer you can pick up a trailer brand new for about $500. Yes a trailer requires registration but you dont have to have a truck and your not limited to fishing by yourself. 

All the 45lb trolling motor, fish finder, anchor trolley, anchor wizard, batteries, etc should be the same pretty much no matter what boat you put them on. 

 

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How you store and transport your water craft becomes a big part of the decision. I think it comes down to basic human nature, if something is easy to use you use it more frequently.

I started kayak fishing back in 1991. In the late 90's I had both a kayak and a boat with an electric motor. Over a 3 year period I found I was taking the kayak 19 out of 20 trips. Eventually I loaned the boat to a friend who had a son old enough to become his fishing partner. I figured that way if I ever needed it for a fishing trip I could just borrow it back. In all the years since I have borrowed it back zero times.

Currently I get out on the water 4 or 5 times per week. I really cherish the after work trips I sneak it. Fewer boats on the water, calm and peace. However I only get 2.5 - 3 hours on the water on a work day. The ease of loading and unloading make it worth it even for a short trip.

I am most familiar with the Wilderness Systems kayak lineup. I would take a look at a Tarpon 120 and the Ride 115 or 135. The Tarpons are faster but the Rides have the stability to stand and fish.

Good luck!

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, S. Sass said:

Not disagreeing with you at all but I wouldnt have thought that in a million years. Just quickly Googling that Yak is far from cheap. 

Jackson Big Rig $1,749.00 You can get all kinds a Jon boats for under $1000 Small Jon boats I put in my truck and do not need a ramp. If you have to have a trailer you can pick up a trailer brand new for about $500. Yes a trailer requires registration but you dont have to have a truck and your not limited to fishing by yourself. 

All the 45lb trolling motor, fish finder, anchor trolley, anchor wizard, batteries, etc should be the same pretty much no matter what boat you put them on. 

 

Yes they are not cheap, but if you compare a top of the line kayak to a top of the line Jon the price difference is substantial. Compare apples to apples.

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7 hours ago, Tracker22 said:

Yes they are not cheap, but if you compare a top of the line kayak to a top of the line Jon the price difference is substantial. Compare apples to apples.

I am a kayak fisherman and have been for years but that is not an apples to apples comparison at all.  Sure top of the line to top of the line but that is where it ends.  For what i have in my kayak and trailer i could have bought a nice aluminum boat but I wanted a kayak.  I don't take people out fishing with me other than my son and he can fit in there with me for now.  I don't have to register it or worry about maintenance.  I'll probably kayak fish until it becomes to hard on me physically to do so or if i want to take out more than just my son, i may get a aluminum boat. 

Bottom line is that if money is a concern then it will be hard to beat a kayak as you have no additional expense after the initial purchase.

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Perception Pescador Pro100 is $618 at REI through tomorrow.  Oars and PFDs are 15-25 % off as well.  If you haven't pulled the trigger yet, go get yourself a great entry level set-up before the end of the day tomorrow and have no regrets that you got a great deal on a great set up that gets you on the water and off the shore. That's all I've got to say about that!

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On 5/28/2016 at 8:06 PM, garrettash58 said:

I have recently picked up a bug for bass fishing. I have experience on both, but I have never owned either for myself. I have a relatively low budget and I am curious as to weather you guys recommend me look into a fishing kayak or fixing up a jon boat? If you choose the Jon, feel free to leave tips on customizing it, if you choose the kayak, feel free to recommend an affordable one to me! Thanks!

Is your wife going with you?

If yes, kayak. If not, kayak. ;) LOL 

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I have 2 kayaks and a canoe. I own an older fish/ski that I rarely use. But I still want a jon with a trolling motor on a trailer.

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If you want a yak then a sot will make life a lot nicer.  I roll a classic nucanoe because of my ability to reconfigure for different trips and from one or two people.  Mine is 12' and works a lit better for two then the 10'.  The new frontier has better options for sonar.  Hobbies make some great rides but out of my budget.  A Jon is great but you will have a motor trailer batteries and a lot more hastle.

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Depends on the waters you want to fish. I enjoy kayaking a lake about 3500 ft (.66 miles) in diameter (its pretty close to a circle). Any larger than that is kind of a pain unless you want to do more cardio than fishing. Kayak is also useful for fishing difficult to reach ponds. I've fished some small ponds that I haven't seen anyone else at and catch a ton of fish because they're unpressured. 

Personally I plan on buying a jon boat soon but I'll keep my kayak, maybe even upgrade to a better kayak later. If you do go the kayak route, you probably want to buy used on craigslist... 50% off retail price + no tax and kayaks don't really deteriorate. I got such a good deal on my Tarpon 120 that I could probably sell it at a higher price than what I bought it. 

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1 hour ago, HeavyTwenty said:

Depends on the waters you want to fish. I enjoy kayaking a lake about 3500 ft (.66 miles) in diameter (its pretty close to a circle). Any larger than that is kind of a pain unless you want to do more cardio than fishing. Kayak is also useful for fishing difficult to reach ponds. I've fished some small ponds that I haven't seen anyone else at and catch a ton of fish because they're unpressured. 

Personally I plan on buying a jon boat soon but I'll keep my kayak, maybe even upgrade to a better kayak later. If you do go the kayak route, you probably want to buy used on craigslist... 50% off retail price + no tax and kayaks don't really deteriorate. I got such a good deal on my Tarpon 120 that I could probably sell it at a higher price than what I bought it. 

The tarpon 120 is a sweet boat I was demoing one last weekend along with a tarpon 100 and the new 130x 

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I've been looking at a kayak for fishing for about a year. Cabelas has a nice setup they just came out with for ~$1000 that lookalike a killer setup for the price. The Vibe Seaghost looks really nice as well for ~$900 including a paddle. Unfortunately my budget is considerably tighter and I'll be saving for another year to get a decent one bc of other expenses but it'll be worth it. Overall, I'm looking at a kayak bc I prefer smaller waters that have less pressure and less expenses over the initial purchase and accessories. 

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If you're still on the fence...50/50, then I suggest getting a yak.  I think the barriers to entry are lower (cost, transport, storage, etc.)  You will find out pretty quickly whether you like it or not.  Resale value is very good and you can get a jon if you don't like the kayak. 

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I started with a Jon Boat and switched to a kayak because I fish alone most of the time and the boat was just too much. Kayaks now a days are pretty stable. I started with a cheap sit-in I bought used and upgraded to a sit on top. Last year I bought an Ascend FS12T from Bass Pro for $500. It's 12' long 31" wide and very stable. I can stand and fish all day long and have caught 5lb Bass off top water lures while standing and never fell out. I can carry more then enough tackle in a milk crate that sits right behind the seat and I can also carry 5-6 rods if I need too.

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I've taken all of your responses into consideration, and have come to a conclusion. My granddad who passed away relatively recently left me and old Lincoln (not that great condition) which I believe I am going to trade for a pretty good condition custom Jon. I am obviously going to add some things to it myself, but it's already pretty well suited. 

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