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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:54am - Jun 28,11
Posts: 182
Location: Northside

Post Posted: 06:07pm - Feb 13,17 
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SO, I have a great Ocean Fishing Kayak. 13 foot. I love it....but it's 80lbs without any of the gear stowed in it....I have an inflatable roof rack, which works well, but I am running out of space in my garage to store the kayak. It's also kind of a pain to get from the roof to wherever I am going to launch it....and there are places where I would love to launch it, but the yak is just too cumbersome. My question is this: I am looking at a one man fishing pontoon boat
http://www.cabelas.com/product/boating/canoes-kayaks-small-boats/pontoons|/pc/104794380/c/104710680/sc/104508180/classic-accessories-8482-colorado-xts-pontoon-with-swivel-seat/2203710.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fpontoons%2F_%2FN-1100576%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104508180
Have any of you fished lake michigan out of one of these? I stay really close to shore, have a life preserver etc etc. I are they comfortable? are they slow? do they track well? how are they as far as wind/waves/currents etc is concerned? If I get some positive feedback, I will probably move forward with getting one. Not sure exactly which one I am going to get, but I like the idea of these. I know the one in the link also weighs 80lbs, so I probably wouldn't get that one.
I know I could get a trailer for the kayak. I already got a malone canoe/kayak cart for $100....but I am realizing that was once a $1100 kayak has become a LOT more expensive just to be able to use it (cart/roofrack/garage ceiling hoist system etc) and I don't want to spend hundreds more for a trailer....plus I don't have room for a trailer.
any insight would be great! Thanks a bunch guys.

Dubzee

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 12:16pm - Jun 13,15
Posts: 269
Location: Chicago

Post Posted: 09:01pm - Feb 13,17 
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I've seen some recreational folks on something like this before....I'd have some concerns personally about it since it sits on the water...you get big waves (unexpectedly) it looks like you'd get tossed around. At least a kayak's hull sits in the water and can cut through waves. That's largely my concern specific to LM fishing on it.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:11am - Feb 12,03
Posts: 421
Location: Lockport, IL

Post Posted: 09:25am - Feb 14,17 
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That watercraft is designed for drift fishing rivers. It's not meant to be used in open water.

Taking that onto Lake Michigan is a round peg in a frying pan.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 08:55am - Nov 20,08
Posts: 404
Location: Oak Forest

Post Posted: 11:53am - Feb 15,17 
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Have you considered an inflatable kayak? I'd go that route before the pontoon for most bodies of water.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 07:43pm - Apr 16,14
Posts: 677
Location: chicago

Post Posted: 01:21pm - Feb 15,17 
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BigJim wrote:
Have you considered an inflatable kayak? I'd go that route before the pontoon for most bodies of water.


Can you elaborate? I've been interested but haven't heard anything other than formal reviews. Thanks!

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:57pm - May 11,04
Posts: 211

Post Posted: 08:17pm - Feb 15,17 
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I have used inflatable pontoons for several years. They do not row easily, they can be pushed around by the wind. They are very stable. If the wind kicked up and the water got choppy, it just stays on top like a big bobber. You can add a trolling motor but the motor mount sits right behind the seat and is hard to use. There are web sites showing guys using them on smaller lakes, Lake Michigan is too big and too dangerous. I wouldn't take mine there. They do work best floating downstream on a river. They pack down into a pretty small package when you let the air out. They inflate in just a few minutes so you don't have to transport them inflated.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:54am - Jun 28,11
Posts: 182
Location: Northside

Post Posted: 12:50am - Feb 16,17 
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Thanks a bunch for all the info and opinions!! Mostly, it seems as if it is not recommended for the big pond.....I don't go very deep/far in the kayak, so I'm assuming that would be true with the pontoon too. But Lake Michigan is still lake Michigan, no matter how close to shore you are, and at the end of the day, safety first. I do like the reviews from you folks and others telling me how stable it is. I have talked to a couple people who have used them for fishing in Grand Traverse Bay area and one who used it around Washington Island....all for smallmouth fishing. All three of them had the same things to say: "Was really easy/nice to fish out of. VERY portable, especially for people without roof rack/truck/trailer. SUPER stable, even in chop and moderate wave. REALLY comfortable, even for fishing a long time. Not fast enough, got blown around by the wind, limited range because of the paddling." Honestly, I might bite the bullet and get one....if for no other reason than it is easier to take to small lakes, streams, rivers than the kayak. Also, I rent. If I move, I have to find a place that can accommodate a 13' kayak....a garage space or large storage space limits any future apartment search I may have......decisions, decisions...... :?

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:36pm - Mar 30,08
Posts: 1009
Location: Highland, IN

Post Posted: 02:41am - Feb 16,17 
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Sounds like best solution might be just downsizing the kayak. I have a couple of 8 or 9ft sit a tops I use. I've down a little bit of trolling in them for summer steelhead and fall kings, but they aren't the best for that since they are short and slow. But they're easy enough to toss around and stable for smaller fishing or casting for salmon. I've been toying with moving up to a hobie mirage 12 to salmon fish more but the storage and hassle of moving it are major drawbacks. Everything's a trade off.

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Support Staff
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Joined: 12:03pm - May 9,06
Posts: 5536
Location: Lake County

Post Posted: 06:04am - Feb 16,17 
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A lot of times people ask about questionable crafts on Lake Michigan, with the caveat "I'll stay close to shore." In my opinion, other than being able to get back to harbor quickly, close to shore is the worst place to be. If the wind kicks up, the waves near shore will be much rougher and confused. Plus, most pleasure boaters will be running the shoreline, and may not be on the lookout for a small craft, especially if visibility is less than ideal. Areas in front of harbors are crazy busy with boat traffic, especially if the weather's nice (which I'm assuming it would be to go out in that craft) It's bad enough being out there in a boat when the fog rolls, I can't imagine in one of these. In addition, if a big westerly blew up, I'm not sure you'd be able to paddle against it.

Grab some friends and go out on a charter once or twice a year, or wait until you have to room for a more appropriate rig.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 08:55am - Nov 20,08
Posts: 404
Location: Oak Forest

Post Posted: 12:11pm - Feb 16,17 
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thewatsonator wrote:
BigJim wrote:
Have you considered an inflatable kayak? I'd go that route before the pontoon for most bodies of water.


Can you elaborate? I've been interested but haven't heard anything other than formal reviews. Thanks!


I looked at inflatable kayaks before I decided a hard boat was better for me. Haven't actually paddled one though.

An inflatable kayak would be faster, have a lower center of gravity, and paddle better simply due to its design. I believe Hobie actually makes an inflatable with the Mirage drive system, if that's your thing. Then, at the end of the day, you can deflate it and put it in the trunk. My cousin keeps his in the trunk all summer for quick outings. I had a roommate in college that had one also for playing on the river. It held up to the occasional rock and stick better than I'd have expected.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:16pm - Jul 29,06
Posts: 358

Post Posted: 02:24pm - Feb 16,17 
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Check the regs, I was interested myself and in some dupage county lakes they're not allowed.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 02:57pm - Dec 18,13
Posts: 167
Location: LakeFront

Post Posted: 02:46pm - Feb 16,17 
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Tinyfisher hit it right on,...closer to shore= rougher water, especially with rec boater wakes bouncing back off the wall...,

Great point

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 04:06pm - Mar 16,10
Posts: 692
Location: chicago

Post Posted: 01:51pm - Feb 17,17 
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If your stuck on those types of craft then go for it. For my money I would just get a 12 ft aluminum car topper with a 55 lb thrust trolling motor. They are easy to transport on the roof of even a regular vehicle and you will feel a little more secure. JMO

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:27am - Jun 13,03
Posts: 637
Location: western suburbs - downers grove

Post Posted: 01:46pm - Feb 20,17 
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There's always one of those Point 65N kayaks. Take it apart into three pieces, and store it in your closet or trunk. They look pretty cool. Just an idea. http://kayaks.point65.com/kayaks/modular-fishing-new

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:34pm - Jul 18,15
Posts: 109
Location: Evanston

Post Posted: 03:33pm - Feb 20,17 
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D-DUBZ wrote:
SO, I have a great Ocean Fishing Kayak. 13 foot. I love it....but it's 80lbs without any of the gear stowed in it....I have an inflatable roof rack, which works well, but I am running out of space in my garage to store the kayak. It's also kind of a pain to get from the roof to wherever I am going to launch it....and there are places where I would love to launch it, but the yak is just too cumbersome.
Dubzee



Ocean kayak is great. I'd re-evaluate your storage/transport options rather than switching vessels.
My 95 pound yak was a pain in the ass until I figured out better ways to load it.

I'd hit up ChiCityYaker or others and look into some loading/unloading options.

I store mine outside the house on blocks as I don't have a garage. Load unload is quick and easy once I upgraded to thule racks, but I had a system that worked with my foam block topper too.

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