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I am in a personal debate of whether I want to upgrade my current boat with a newer fish finder, maybe a Garmin echomap 73sv in the front, and a hook 7x also up front, because I have a older lowrance and could put both of them on a transducer, and have the Garmin on a separate one. I could also buy some extra tackle for the season, and just get the odds and ends I need. Another option would be for me to get a lowrance hds 7, and then a foot pedal trolling motor, because my current one is a mint kota endura c2, but I would rather have a foot pedal. My budget is about $1300 so I could also get some tackle heading into the season as stated above.

 

My other option is getting a kayak, but not having any major accessories. I really do like the freedom of the kayak, but I feel I would be able to enjoy the upgraded boat with my friends and fish more often, but in the kayak, I would be able to get out more often and be solo. I am having a tough time deciding. Any input is appreciated! Thanks! 

 

P.S. to clarify, the specific kayak I want is the Jackson cuda 14, I really like it, and the standabilty is very nice. I would probably get a crate well, which is a small livewell by yakgear, as I have a milk crate already. I also already have a icemule cooler, which I love. Jackson also employed an advanced seat and further produced a quality seat by adding a small cooler where I could add my camelbak hydration pack. I really do like it, but wonder, does it out weigh the boats upgradability and usage?

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I got to tell you my two cents I have a kayak and a garmin 74 sv both are not the same but both have upsides if I had to pick one it would be the kayak and save the electronics for later unless you're going with panoptix it trumps all 

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Okay, I apologize! My mind reading skills seem to have let me down!  So lets start over with some simple questions.

What is your current boat? Is it an aluminum jon boat, bass boat, canoe, or some type of fiberglass rocket ship?

What type of water do you fish in? Are they mostly small ponds and lakes, slow moving streams, big lakes, reservoirs etc?  All of these answers help us to answer you.

For some applications ( like running rivers ) a rear transom trolling motor and a small gas engine are your best setup. To add boat control a remote actuated front anchor helps, as does a second rear deployed anchor.  In drinking reservoirs I have run 2 trolling motors on the rear and one foot control up front. This setup required the use of 5 batteries on board. Still others of my boats had higher horse power outboards and fancy electronics.  I run both big tidal rivers as well as 60 mile long lakes with those boats. In a normal fishing day I may travel 30 miles or so.

 

The kayak is a good choice for some types of fishing, but not the solution for all fishing waters.

As for expensive electronics you can get starried eyed and purchase much more than you will ever need. The Lowrance HDS is a great product. It can be too much for some needs though. The Elite TI and Hook series are nice machines that do most of the things a HDS can do. The HDS can do things like display the current engine stats for a 250 HP outboard, kinda silly if you have a 36 volt trolling motor on the back. The Elite does many of the same things but for almost 1/2 the cost.  A Hook is another function packed slightly less expensive option.

 

So please tell us what you have and how you would like to fish out of it. Perhaps include a picture of it as well. Then let's talk about the waters you would fish.

  

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44 minutes ago, fishnkamp said:

Okay, I apologize! My mind reading skills seem to have let me down!  So lets start over with some simple questions.

What is your current boat? Is it an aluminum jon boat, bass boat, canoe, or some type of fiberglass rocket ship?

What type of water do you fish in? Are they mostly small ponds and lakes, slow moving streams, big lakes, reservoirs etc?  All of these answers help us to answer you.

For some applications ( like running rivers ) a rear transom trolling motor and a small gas engine are your best setup. To add boat control a remote actuated front anchor helps, as does a second rear deployed anchor.  In drinking reservoirs I have run 2 trolling motors on the rear and one foot control up front. This setup required the use of 5 batteries on board. Still others of my boats had higher horse power outboards and fancy electronics.  I run both big tidal rivers as well as 60 mile long lakes with those boats. In a normal fishing day I may travel 30 miles or so.

 

The kayak is a good choice for some types of fishing, but not the solution for all fishing waters.

As for expensive electronics you can get starried eyed and purchase much more than you will ever need. The Lowrance HDS is a great product. It can be too much for some needs though. The Elite TI and Hook series are nice machines that do most of the things a HDS can do. The HDS can do things like display the current engine stats for a 250 HP outboard, kinda silly if you have a 36 volt trolling motor on the back. The Elite does many of the same things but for almost 1/2 the cost.  A Hook is another function packed slightly less expensive option.

 

So please tell us what you have and how you would like to fish out of it. Perhaps include a picture of it as well. Then let's talk about the waters you would fish.

  

I have a older fishing machine boat, it is a 16ft, with a Evinrude 30hp. I fish big lakes mainly, and just have a transom mounted trolling motor. I hope this clarifies, I mainly fish bass and walleye. Typically northern Midwest fish. The boat specifically is a sea nypmh fishing machine. It has no console, has been redone somewhat, but is still true too it's old demeanor. 

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Now that helps a lot.  Since the boat is setup to run from the transom and not a remote steering then I would pay some attention to how the Lindners and In Fisherman setup their big river boats.  The will run them from the rear seat with the best electronics next to them, remote anchors ( electric or manual Anchor Mates) as well as drift socks, a drag chain etc.  The techniques allow you to handle all the duties from one place.  I ran such a boat when I fished out of a 16 foot jon boat with a 9.9 HP outboard and transom trolling motor. That was rigged to be efficient while running the rocky Susquehanna River.

Now adding a front trolling motor can add some extra boat control too.  Take some time to read some of their articles and watch some videos. For you area I think you could take that boat and make a really nice multi species machine. 

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Pros and cons to kayak fishing.

Pros:  

Cheap to operate

can launch without a ramp.  

Can throw in the truck and go

can go places a boat cannot, like over shallow areas or back into pads, etc.

quiet

fish alone  you get some exercise, unless you get a trolling motor

 

 

Cons

limited range

tough to handle in wind and waves that you can handle better in a boat

you are the engine

limited amount of gear

Fish alone

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I have a small 12’ jon boat and a Slayer Propel yak. I love them both. Some kayaks get heavy and aren’t as easy to transport. A 14’ Cuda ain’t something I would top load. It is a sweet kayak tho,  and you can probably stand and fish from it. Get the yak. They are a hoot. 

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You need both a bass boat and at least one kayak. I wouldn’t want to try to get along without either.

 

However, I’d recommend a much lighter and simpler kayak package. You can stand and fish on your bass boat. You can fish smaller or skinnier water on the kayak.

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Have you ever fished out of a kayak?  After fishing from a boat for years, kayak fishing is something I don't care for and in no way could it substitute for boat fishing.  Sure, I enjoy it more than bank fishing or wading but if the option is a small boat or kayak, I will always pick the boat.  

 

If anything, build a casting platform on the front of your boat and get a bow-mount trolling motor.  Good luck.  

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Why not do both? I have no clue what your budget is and I've never owned a boat so I don't know what the price range is for your upgrades. I am kayak owner however and I enjoy it for certain trips yet other times I wish I had a boat. 

 

My grandpa has a boat and it's great for running the majority of public lakes and taking more friends out on the water

 

On the other hand, I own a kayak and it's amazing for running skinny water (small lakes and rivers) but it's hard to cover big bodies of water effectivley without paddling ALOT. It also doesn't allow for you to take your buddies to the lake unless they have yaks also. Yaks will give you the freedom to explore some newer skinny water but your gonna get frustrated fast if you're trying to run all over the lake in one

 

That being said you can actually find some quality kayaks under $600. I know you mentioned the Cuda (which I absolutely adore) but that is a pricey buy when you can get something more affordable that's just as effective. The Field and Stream Eagle Talon 120 is a great yak that is going for $549.99. The Pelican Premium Enforcer 120x Angler 12' Kayak is going for $599.99. Do some searching on forums as well. There you can find some used kayaks in great condition for cheap. That's where I got mine (a 12' Manta Ray) for $400.

 

When it comes to kayaks, especially if you've never fished out of one before, less is more. It's WAYYY different then fishing out of a boat and you don't need and certainly won't want a ton of tackle, rods, etc. in the yak. I usually take 2-3 rods, a 8-10 bags of my favorite plastics, and 1 3600 series tackle box filled with the hard baits and terminal tackle I expect to use on the trip. Even then, that's probably too much.

 

Phew, with all that said, if you make compromises on both the kayak and the boat you might be able to do both depending on your budget. Then you've got the best of both worlds. 

 

Hope that helps!

 

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Get both (kayak and boat) if you can. They're very different experiences. There are times when you can't haul or launch a boat, and the yak lets you fish. There are times when the yak can't handle the chop or the distance or passengers, and the boat lets you fish. Yak doesn't have to be expensive. Top two yakcessory recommendations are a sit-on-top (not sit-in) and an anchor with trolley. Comfy seat is great but you can always improvise (cushion etc) if you want to save $.

 

 

 

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As mentioned, kayak fishing is a whole different experience, mostly good, some not so good.  

 

If you go that route, I would recommend spending the money on a higher end kayak. Jackson Kayaks are more expensive than a SunDolphin for a reason.  The Cuda is an excellent rig, but don't sleep on options from Wilderness Systems, FeelFree, Native, etc.

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Since you have a boat i would get a kayak. I have both and each has there place. It is great catching fish from the the yak. I would be careful on how heavy the yak is, some have so much weight you lose the ability to transport on top of the vehicle and putting in gets a little tougher though. 

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That's a tough choice to have to make...

 

Having a kayak opens up a lot of fishing areas for someone.  Also, if you get a more conventional kind of kayak, you also have a pleasure boat for relaxing or exercise.  I have a Wilderness Systems Pungo 140 and it serves both roles pretty well.

 

Also, I think we're right on the edge of some big advances in sonar, so it might not be bad to put off that purchase for a bit.  The Panoptix, for example, is amazing, and the price will surely start coming down a bit.

 

On the other hand, there is nothing more convenient than fishing out of a dedicated fishing boat.  When I get in my kayak, I get a bit frustrated at times.

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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