The kayak craze

For the past few years I’ve noticed more and more kayaks on the water as I’ve traveled around our country. I thought it was probably a good thing, but I really didn’t know exactly why until I got one of my own. Now I get it.

They’re light, and easily maneuverable. At first I thought that they’d be hard to paddle, but when I got my new Hobie I realized that several models, including the one I own, have pedals inside that move them along with blades that are on their belly, under the water.

Of course, you can paddle them if you want. I use my paddle occasionally but not enough to wear me out or turn my kayaking into a chore. Some of you may want a little better workout than I want. If so, paddle hard into the wind, into the current or paddle until you can’t paddle anymore. You’ll break a sweat and get the exercise you want.

That part of being a kayak owner is great if all you want to do is enjoy the water and the outdoors. But, and here’s the thing, they’re great for bass fishing, too. That’s the part I like best.

For one thing you can get into places that you can’t even think about putting a bass boat into, not even one of the newer aluminum models. That’s a super advantage. You can target bass that haven’t seen a lure in years. Everything you throw at them they see as new and interesting, and when you catch them it’s a completely different experience.

In a boat you’re up above the water level looking down on everything. In a Kayak you’re down on the water level. Your perspective is horizontal, sometimes up. You can’t believe how spectacular a jumping bass looks from a kayak unless you experience it for yourself. I was amazed at the difference.

Another great thing about them is that they’re much less expensive than bass boats. Plus, you don’t need a lot of fancy tackle. Let’s face it; the hidden secret in our industry is cost. A modern, high-end bass boat is a major financial investment. That’s not so much true with a kayak.

If you want a little more, however, you can get some of the bells and whistles that come with a modern bass boat. Some models will handle a deep cycle battery so you can install GPS and SONAR units on them if you want, carry a cooler and still have room for two or three rods and reels as well as several plastic boxes full of lures.

As you can tell I’m pretty excited about my new kayak. I just got it, and I love it. It’s on top of my truck, and I plan to take it everywhere I go this season. It’s really neat, especially after I had it wrapped to match my boat. It travels on the top of my Toyota truck kind of like my BassCat’s little brother.

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter or visit his website, mikeiaconelli.com.