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I’m in search of advice on what you think I should eventually purchase for my love affair that is bass fishing. I’ve thought about this decision for months however I find myself continually bouncing back and forth only to wish that I could have both vessels. Obviously there are many pro’s and con’s of each, however I’m curious to see if any of you all have spent some time on both platforms and prefer one over the other. If you could only have one of these platforms to fish out of, which one would it be, and why?! Thank you🤘🏼😎

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I'm going to offer a third alternative - modified canoe. Here's my rig.

 

20190421_141516-1.jpg.aeb9cc8f4dc5c700a7dfd1aef230165a.jpg

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This another one of those questions where other peoples advise may not be helpful to you. There is such a huge difference between a kayak and a bass boat that your circumstances have to dictate your decision. What is your budget for the initial purchase and for years down the road. Where do you plan on storing your craft? How frequently will you be able to use it? What kinds of water will you be fishing? Will you want to take others with you? Answer these questions and see which boat fits your needs best. What works for me and which I like better doesn't matter if my choices don't fit your situation.

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If you have the scratch to buy a bass boat, a kayak is cheap enough you can add it on later if wanted. I have both and strongly prefer the bass boat. Heck, you can get a kayak for a couple hundred at academy. 

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I have both and use them for different waters.  Kayak for small rivers and no motor and carry in lakes.  I don't like kayak fishing on busy lakes with power boaters.  Maybe if I had a big stable Hobie pro angler or similar with pedals or torqueedo motor it would be ok

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if i only fished farm ponds it be a kayak. but i fish big public lakes.  so for me bass boat hands down 

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I would recommend a Gheenoe or Riverhawk. You can fish ponds, rivers, reservoirs, and lakes too. Find you a good used one and have some fun.

25C73A25-0506-42D3-85D2-1F57DBC63D72.jpeg

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This seems like a bit of an odd question, it’s kind of like comparing a truck to a bicycle for price. Honestly, if you can afford a bassboat, I’m pretty sure you can shell out a couple hundred more for a kayak as well and call it done.  

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Wests Pond in Virginia? I looked it up. Looks like a great candidate for a kayak to me owing to its small size. If you plan to fish this place, your listed favorite, often, you'll get on the water a lot more often in a kayak.

 

Brad

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21 minutes ago, Brad Reid said:

Wests Pond in Virginia? I looked it up. Looks like a great candidate for a kayak to me owing to its small size. If you plan to fish this place, your listed favorite, often, you'll get on the water a lot more often in a kayak.

 

Brad

Brad says it best. Where do you plan to fish the most and what would suit that water for you to get out without a hassle. Does that mean loading up the bass boat with all your gear in it or throwing the yak and a few rods with some tackle in the truck to make a day of it that way. Only you can answer this question.

 

On another note as another poster mentioned, bass boat is more expensive and you could always get a kayak later which is cheap comparatively.

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I went through this same question 15+ years ago.  I decided on a kayak for a few reasons:

-majority of lakes around me are HP restricted or electric only

-storage

-cost to operate

-expense both up front and maintenance

-can always motorize it later

-transportation of boat

 

Kayaks can fish anywhere a larger boat can but the real limitations are storage on the boat, distance covered in a day, number of people fishing with you and comfort depending on your preference.  

I have no concerns fishing where there is boat traffic and have done it a lot but it isn't really needed where I live.  Since that decision I have bought many different kayaks and the market for fishing specific kayaks is so great right now.  There are so many options in all price ranges.  


Ultimately it becomes your preference on which one you want to fish from.  There is a learning curve involved with fishing from a kayak but there is also one in a boat as well.

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Something everyone is disregarding here is upkeep costs and additional costs that come with a boat.  Those are the questions I think are the most important.  Are you going to use a boat enough to account for the cost of upkeep, storage and maintenance?

 

You can get an OK boat for a relatively low price but upkeep is expensive.  And when a boat breaks down, you have to remember the acronym.

B.ust

O.ut

A.nother

T.housand

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Kayaking is great excercise. A bass boat is a never ending payment. It will break on you quite often and its not cheap to feed and launch it. A kayak can go anywhere a bass boat can go and then some at the expense of 5mph. Get a yak first off craigslist fully rigged and save up for a good bass boat.

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I have debated this for a couple of years as well. Decided to buy a kayak because I fish small lakes, rivers, and ponds mainly. I can store the kayak easily, load it on the car in 5 minutes, launch it almost anywhere, and the overall price can't be beat.

 

This is my fist year with it and I absolutely love it. Just went for five hours this morning. Great exercise and very relaxing. There is a learning curve like everything but it opens up so much more areas that aren't accessible. 

 

Have to pack light and come up with some creative solutions, but that's part of the fun. For a few hundred dollars I wish I would have done it sooner. 

 

I just have to learn how to enter and exit without looking like a beached walrus :)

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Thank you all for your opinions! I ended up going with an entry level kayak, more specifically a lifetime teton 10' angler. By no means is it a fancy kayak, but it will certainly allow me to get out more often which is very important to me. The bass boat will come one day...

5 hours ago, flyfisher said:

I went through this same question 15+ years ago.  I decided on a kayak for a few reasons:

-majority of lakes around me are HP restricted or electric only

-storage

-cost to operate

-expense both up front and maintenance

-can always motorize it later

-transportation of boat

 

Kayaks can fish anywhere a larger boat can but the real limitations are storage on the boat, distance covered in a day, number of people fishing with you and comfort depending on your preference.  

I have no concerns fishing where there is boat traffic and have done it a lot but it isn't really needed where I live.  Since that decision I have bought many different kayaks and the market for fishing specific kayaks is so great right now.  There are so many options in all price ranges.  


Ultimately it becomes your preference on which one you want to fish from.  There is a learning curve involved with fishing from a kayak but there is also one in a boat as well.

I couldn't help but notice you and I are from the same small town @flyfisher Love me some Mechanicsville👍 do you mind if I ask of any local spots you could recommend to get my kayak wet and a line in the water?? Thanks! Also, any beginner kayaking tips you or anyone could recommend? 

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If I could figure out how to easily post a picture of the kayak, I certainly would. Any tips on posting pics easily would also be greatly appreciated!!🙏

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2 hours ago, Kyle S said:

Thank you all for your opinions! I ended up going with an entry level kayak, more specifically a lifetime teton 10' angler. By no means is it a fancy kayak, but it will certainly allow me to get out more often which is very important to me. The bass boat will come one day...

I couldn't help but notice you and I are from the same small town @flyfisher Love me some Mechanicsville👍 do you mind if I ask of any local spots you could recommend to get my kayak wet and a line in the water?? Thanks! Also, any beginner kayaking tips you or anyone could recommend? 

I'll send a PM....

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11 minutes ago, flyfisher said:

I'll send a PM....

Thank you!!

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I am a kayak fishermen first.  There is nothing like it.  I paddle, not pedal.  I currently have 4 kayaks.  Secondly, I am a float tube guy.  Very different, but it is very comfortable and perfect for some locations.  Third, I fish our of my bass boat.  The bass boat gets me to bigger water that I would not want to take my kayak or tube into.

 

I currently fish out of my boat the most due to recovering from back surgery.  The kayak and tube are uncomfortable enough to really hurt me, and that hurts me 😖.  You can launch a kayaks in minutes and fish just about any body if water.  Similarly with the tube.  The downside is you cannot cover as much water, which may not be a big deal.

 

No doubt a bass boat is good... So the cons for me are I have to drive and hour back and forth to fish at my closet lake.  Gas is expensive in CA at $4.  Driving a truck, towing a boat, gasing the boat, etc adds up really fast.  That's my biggest con.  On another note, I get very little exercise with boat in comparison to kayak and tubing.  Yeah, when I was able, the yak and tube were apart of my weekly workouts so I mixed fishing with it.  I was in excellent shape 

 

Truth is, if my back was better, I would be in my kayak or tube 3 days out of the week and boat maybe once.  I have some nice smaller bodies if water that I love to be in with my smaller vessels.  The boat is just more a burden that is WORTH IT if you use it.  I was determined to not do what I see too many people do, let the boat sit. 

 

I use my boat about 3 times a week.  It's the most expensive, but do to health it's the only way I can fish... Very worth it for me.  That why my wife wanted me to get it... I couldn't fish at all pre surgery.  

 

My questions would be... How often would you fish?,  How close is your go-to body of water, and how much time/resources you have to get the craft used as much as you can?  That can help determine what you go with.  Ultimately, I see you with both...  I didn't really want a boat as the kayak is just great.... But it's a bout having fun the right kayak too!

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How is this even a question? I can see bass boat vs jon boat maybe, but a kayak is "more fun, gets you places you can't with a boat, and puts you closer to the water" is an euphemism for "I can't afford to own, keep, and run a boat"

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11 minutes ago, BassWhole! said:

euphemism for "I can't afford to own, keep and run a boat" 

Which is exactly the reason I went with a canoe this time. I've owned a boat in the past and it was more trouble than it was worth to me.

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1 hour ago, BassWhole! said:

How is this even a question? I can see bass boat vs jon boat maybe, but a kayak is "more fun, gets you places you can't with a boat, and puts you closer to the water" is an euphemism for "I can't afford to own, keep and run a boat"


Some people just do not need a boat as much as they want them.  We have been taught for a long time how important a bass boat is... Yet Kayak fishing is becoming more and more popular as well as profitable.  It is not because people are "poor" and cannot afford to run a boat.  Sometimes it is storage.  People who are renting, living in condos, or city dwelling were parking/storage is limited is a big deal.  Even more getting a boat in and out of a location.  The hassle to store a boat is a real hassle people in some locations.  Many people just want to get on the water and grabbing a kayak, putting it on a car, in a truck or on top of an SUV is easy.  

 

No need to try to shame a person for logically declining to purchase a boat.  If it does not fit them, that's them.  A fisherman is just that.  It does not matter what they fish out of or not.  I love how fishermen who are so caught up on materials forget its all about fishing.

 

What is more the questions and is more personal to the purchaser like where and how he plans to fish.  It is obvious he can have either or...  And another thing, he just wanted opinions that many other people ask.

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It's nonsense to say that people who prefer kayak fishing just can't afford a boat. I had a boat and sold it. I now have a kayak because I enjoy it more (I mainly fish shallow rivers). I'm sure the affordability is a draw to some, but that blanket statement is just false. There's something about the kayak that I just love. And I can afford a boat. 

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Two different animals in my mind. 

 

Big water and adequate time and $ budget: bass boat.

Smaller water, or range needed to cover, less $ and hassle: kayak, but... properly set up to fish.

Minimal hassle: kayak out of the box and a fishing pole.

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32 minutes ago, jaimeastin said:

  Sometimes it is storage.  People who are renting, living in condos, or city dwelling were parking/storage is limited is a big deal.  Even more getting a boat in and out of a location.  The hassle to store a boat is a real hassle people in some locations.  Many people just want to get on the water and grabbing a kayak, putting it on a car, in a truck or on top of an SUV is easy.  

 

22 minutes ago, Paul Roberts said:

 adequate time ..... and hassle

Good points, both.  

I live in a townhouse with zero on-site boat parking options.  Nearest 24hr access storage with electric outlet is over five miles away and $120/mo.  Even the most basic cleaning and maintenance challenges would be compounded immensely comared to garaging a boat at home.

The time/hassle point is another reason I have a kayak and not a boat.  The time that I spend upgrading, cleaning, maintaining my Hobie, cart, roof racks, etc....amounts to a few hours a year.  I expect that a boat would require ten times that, if not more....hours stolen from being on the water....or spent with the family.

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