I've been kayaking sporadically since I earned my first beads for a wet exit at Kamp Kanakuk in 7th grade. But, in January, we snagged a good deal on a 2014 Wilderness Ride 135, and that's when things got serious.
Tony drove all the way to Lafayette, Louisiana to pick up my baby and to add a Tarpon 140 to our fleet. I don't call them our "babies" lightly. When you've got four yaks carefully stowed in your garage and two vehicles parked in the driveway exposed to the elements, it's a huge statement about your priorities. Judge us if you want.
The amazing thing about kayaks is that they provide a sort of simplicity to the angling sport. Here are a few examples of what I mean:
1) Motorized boats are expensive
The cost of maintaining a motorized boat is out of the question for most people. I believe that we'd have to take out a second mortgage on the house to pay for said boat. We'd spend all of our extra cash paying for gas just to take the boat out. Then you've got to worry about insurance and maintenance on top of that. My dad (a powerboat owner) often reminds me that there are two most exciting days for a boat owner: the day you buy your boat and the day you get rid of it. At this point, we've had zero finance fees, zero fuel costs, and zero maintenance issues with any of our four kayaks.
2) Kayaks are extremely portable
Unlike with motorized boats, no special trailers are necessary when you are ready to drop everything and go kayaking. I've even witnessed my 100-pound friend whip out her tandem kayak, scoot it right on top of her Pontiac Grand Am, and strap it to her roof with ease. We were loaded up and on the water within minutes.
3) Kayaks provide an added health benefit
I can tell you from experience that with proper paddling techniques, you will get a full body workout from a day of kayaking. It's not just an upper body thing. Your core is constantly working to keep you balanced and aiding in a stronger and more efficient paddle while your legs are helping to brace your position and boost your speed. I don't remember having a single sore muscle on the days I was out on the powerboat.
4) Kayaks are eco-friendly
That's right. No environmentally-damaging emissions given off from these babies. No worries about fuel spills in our bays that will harm the aquatic life.
5) Kayaks provide the ability to navigate areas that you can't get to any other way
Man, oh man- have we been able to creep into some confined spaces while paddling our kayaks. I've seen some things in an up-close and personal way that I never would have been able to experience from a motorized boat.
While the simplicity of kayak fishing is certainly alluring, there are many add-ons that offer convenience and ease. It all boils down to the person in the kayak--- there are plenty of gear options that will enable you to bring out your inner-techie. To simplify or not to simplify? That, my friends, is a balance you choose for yourself.