All boats can be repaired, but it is a matter of ease and cost. And if you are going up a narrow creek with some submerged tree stumps or small rocks that could be sticking out – a kayak runs a greater risk of sustaining damage compared to a classic aluminium jon boat. But remember, here we are talking in the context of great lake fishing, where you will have deep waters and no necessity to quickly move upstream, so these kind of obstacles will be rare and far between. But even if you do manage to somehow damage the kayak, fixing a plastic hole is much simpler and inexpensive than repairing punctured aluminium.
A Visceral Experience
It’s difficult to explain, but the kayak is somehow a more involved vessel to fish from. Due to its compact size and tight room, you feel more connected to it. You can get really small with a kayak, where you begin like you are almost wearing it, rather than sitting in it. It’s lightness also means that the most exciting parts of fishing are felt with your entire body. If you are fishing for larger fish, like bass, when you get it hooked and start reeling it in, you can feel it tugging the boat. There really is no feeling like it, since you feel like you are really fighting with the fish. If you have a pedal kayak, it gives your the added benefit of pedaling backwards as you reel the fish in, helping you keep the tension on the fish at all times, which is especially important with fish like bass. And once you’ve reeled it in, you can just reach into the water and pick it up, which never gets old. Being so down close to the water also makes it feel like you’re in stealth mode, and you feel the kayak better than a regular boat. It has to be tried to be fully appreciated.
If you are making the trip to one of North America’s great lakes, you’re probably planning for it to be a long trip. And there is nothing that ruins a fishing trip faster than getting back pain after an hour in the water. Regular boats are utilitarian objects, with not much more than a bench to support your bottom. It is assumed that you will be fishing while standing on your feet, but that is quite tiring, and 80% of your time fishing does not require you to stand at all. Kayaks, especially top of the line models, have perfected the seating situation. Seats can be long and deep and fixed at a reclined angle that saves your back while being adjustable for your size. Higher end kayaks aren’t cheap, but boats with dedicated seats are even more expensive. Plus, in most modern fishing kayaks you can get on your feet quickly if you have to without loss of stability. It truly is the best of both worlds.