Ever tried to fish from a kayak? It can be downright maddening if you’re not rigged correctly. Here’s how I’ve done it…if you love to fish and you’re looking at getting a kayak or if you already have one, here’s some stuff you can do to make your rig more fishable.
Start simple then build. The first thing I would do is add some paddle holders to the yak. Below, only one is in the pictured…top left. My paddle holders came from the Home Depot, I think they are some sort of towel hook or something. I just screwed them straight into my yak. As with every modification you make, you must keep in mind how it will affect your other modifications. If your going to add outriggers as I have, make sure the paddle is held forward enough not to be impeded by the outriggers. My paddle is held on the left side of the yak and the forward holder doubles as my anchor tie off point. If my paddle was held on the right it would be in the way of my tolling motor…something to think about. If i had it to do over again i would keep paddle left and motor right. Also pictured below is a deck board. The deck board is most useful if you can stand, and usually you will only spend time standing if you have outriggers. So if you’ve got riggers or are going to have riggers soon make sure you use a deck board unless the standing area is already flat. If your yak is like mine…its sheer hell to stand in the little cupped space your ass would usually be. My next deck board will likely be cut longer so as to increase walkable space forward and help keep my vest and everything else out of the water. With all of the weight in the yak water comes up the scupper holes and fills much on the area below the board. In a perfect world I would use some sort of 3/4 inch plastic, but plastic sounds dirty… stick with ply wood and recut another piece when you need. This piece has lasted over a year. Remember to think ahead and think logistically. On second thought I might keep the board the same length as its already hard to fit everything in the trunk of my suv.
If you want to fish from a kayak I would highly highly recomend you make some adjustable outriggers, its a little bit of work and money but you will be paid back in full.
What I’ve got here is a 1 1/2 pvc frame shifted right for the trolling motor, connected to 4″ styrene? drain pipe. The pvc is held to the yak with electrical conduit hold downs and the same for the the 4″ pipe to the pvc. t joints next to the yak were for storing the riggers up for going through tight places, I rarely use that method anymore because it’s a dangerous pain in the ass when your on the water to do that, especialy with a motor and battery on board. the riggers are either screwed or glued everywhere accept at the t joints. Simply remove either side at the T and youre ready to rack up the yak and transport the riggers in the back of your ride. Every situation is different, when doing your riggers you need to keep in mind that when your on the water you will sit lower in the water and your riggers should be adjustable up and down to get the proper support. adding a battery in the rear will change that and you want to be able to adjust. I simply allow the electrical conduit hold downs to rotate around the 1 1/2 ” pvc and then drill an extra hole through the conduit hold down and add a screw.
Notice the orange bungy cord here. This is essential or the riggers will easily work out of their couplers…it must be tight. The tighter the better. What I’ve done is pre drilled for a large eye bolt to got through the left outrigger arm. Then attached a my bungee and streched to maximun and positioned a lag bolt just beyond that stretch point. Because its a bolt head not an eye i can get the bungee tighter than if it was an eye. If thats confusing…take my word for it.
Below is the how i mount the motor… a minnkota endura. Take special note here! The power cord for the motor is short, and I burned up my switch using an extension chord patch trying to place the battery forward.
I had been placing the battery box right where you see the soda cans below. It makes a nice seat right there but the yak has all the weight in one place and wants to spin like a top. I have managed this for a long time but trust me…you want to put the battery forward. I used a $10 set of jumper cables from wall-mart as my new chord and haven’t had any issues, I actually think I’m getting more power despite the added length, I’m maxed out on cable size as it was a real job just getting the chord into the main housing for the connections and was barely able to get the copper into the female crimp connectors. It can be done! after twisting the wire and forcing it in, only the central core was inside the crimp…do the best you can. If you burn your switch up its $40 replacement. Try to monitor for any burning smell when testing and after your first day on the water using full speed take the housing apart and look for signs of melt on the switch…if no melt then you should be good to go.
I place the battery up in the front hold and leave the battery box right where you see the soda cans for a seat. you can use a square bucket or other seat as well, whatever you want! Be careful placing your hand on the edge of an empty box and putting your weight on it as you go to sit down…you might have a nasty accident!
Fully loaded minus the battery…must have taken it back to the car. you’ve got room for a some soda’s a back pack to help carry your anchor and your vest and rod up front. Moving this stuff around is a real job, Im 34 and fit and it can be a bitch, but I love what i do so its manageable. I have a hefty nylon rope up front and always take a glove or shirt to wrap around my hand for hauling. I usually drag the yak with everything but the battery and anchor…just too much work and mud to try and do anything else. Believe it or not I often get compliments on my rig from the local cat fishermen i encounter. Its stealth as hell for sure. Best wishes and good luck.