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Author Topic: Waterfowl kayak setup  (Read 1151 times)

Offline kselkhunter

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Waterfowl kayak setup
« on: November 08, 2019, 09:04:41 AM »
After reading Pete's "I'm still breathing" thread, and to avoid jacking his thread I thought I'd post this for those interested in a stable waterfowling kayak setup.


This is the life jacket I use in my kayak.  Designed for waterfowl hunting, no obstruction on shoulder for mounting shotgun, and still Coast Guard certified.
https://www.amazon.com/Onyx-Mesh-Shooting-Sport-Vest/dp/B012BJW3DY


I never take the life jacket off.   And my waders are the style that are only held up by the Velcro shoulder straps so I can shed them even with my jacket on over them.   


I use this kayak for fishing and waterfowling.  It has a multi-hull design in the rear for stability, and a retractable skeg also for stability.  600lbs capacity, 350 at the seat location.  The tie-down storage area behind the seat easily holds a 12slot decoy bag plus my anchors for anchoring in place....I've never tried loading more than a dozen but it's probably possible.   My A5 shotgun fits perfectly in the side rod holders, but they do make a gun mount accessory as well....I usually have a fishing pole in there as well and fish my way home (the Mirage pedal drive can get you up to trolling speed, or you can splurge for the battery drive).  I have the safety beacon light and flag on it for launching in the dark, and I recommend a lighting system for dark entries (headlamp rarely is enough).   I haven't felt the need to add the Sidekick outrigger attachment as this kayak is so stable.  I haven't added the integrated fish/depth finder yet, but it's pre-setup for that.  The wheel cart mounts in the skupper holes and allows you to easily wheel it around anywhere with the bigger wheels, and you just invert it on top (the skupper holes also function as water drain so go all the way through) when launching and carry the wheel cart with you for easy exit (or walk it back to your truck).  I can launch the kayak without a boat launch and pretty much anywhere that I can wheel it to....I can load it in the bed of my truck with the bed extender or put it on/in a trailer.   
https://www.hobie.com/kayaks/mirage-pro-angler-14/


Hobie makes most accessories you'd need.  Anchoring systems, outriggers, safety lights, etc.


I use this camo cover once parked in the reeds (I sometimes just sit on the kayak for the hunt, and use it as my blind).  The Hobie seat reclines quite a ways back, or you can just remove it and fold it down and use it more like a layout blind with the camo cover:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FLWTQVB?ref_=pe_1196280_123950170


If you opt for a less stable kayak, I'd recommend one of these if you're doing a lot of Columbia crossings.   Some of them come in dark green, I haven't looked for a camo one.  But you can buy camo netting large enough to cover the boat and the stabilizers.
https://www.globosurfer.com/best-kayak-stabilizer-and-outriggers/


So - other kayak waterfowlers please share your setups for guys considering it to learn more, as I'm sure there are plenty of alternative setups to mine out there.     
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 11:07:17 AM by kselkhunter »

Offline linxx77

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Re: Waterfowl kayak setup
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2019, 09:58:31 AM »
This is really good info! I used to retrieve with a cheap sit-in kayak on the Columbia. It was my first year so I was just testing everything I could think of. Realize now I could have been in big trouble pretty quickly.


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Offline BD1

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Re: Waterfowl kayak setup
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 10:29:35 AM »
I use the same lifejacket  :tup: I don't take it off until the boat is on the trailer and in the parking lot

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: Waterfowl kayak setup
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2019, 10:33:26 AM »
This is really good info! I used to retrieve with a cheap sit-in kayak on the Columbia. It was my first year so I was just testing everything I could think of. Realize now I could have been in big trouble pretty quickly.


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If you're just doing short retrieves from the bank, a sit in kayak is fine.   My outrigger recommendation is mainly if you're crossing the Columbia or crossing channels to hunt islands in the Columbia or hauling heavy decoy loads or crossing big lakes where there can be sizeable waves.   The life vest is a more important recommendation.  Some guys opt not to put the vest on for those short retrieves, and that is where the risk is as they've got waders on and can go south quickly if they flip.


Offline Odell

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Re: Waterfowl kayak setup
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2019, 11:45:54 AM »
if you are a die hard waterfowler you might also consider an aqua pod or a similar type layout/kayak boat. I hunt from these often and they are very stable. Never go out without a life jacket and a wader belt
what in the wild wild world of sports???

Offline fowl smacker

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Re: Waterfowl kayak setup
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2019, 05:44:06 PM »
I'm an ex aquapod user, switched to a sit on top about 10 years ago and will never go back.  I only say that because some of the places I hunt are quite a distance to travel and the aquapod was just too slow and too much work to get there.  My current setup is a fairly inexpensive Emotion stealth angler in 11'.  I have two of the fat pool noodles slid inside along the inner edge of the kayak for extra buoyancy.  I use it fishing a lot so it pretty much stayed rigged for fishing and when I hunt I throw a camo material over it with some grass on it.  When fishing I wear a Kokatat dry suit, when hunting I wear cabelas breathable waders with a wader belt and a Cabelas brand camo life vest with mesh shoulders so there is nothing to get in the way shouldering my gun.  I do have an anchor trolley system on it for lake fishing and just dropping if I get out to hunt a shoreline and am expecting a ride to come in so my yak doesn't disappear.  NEVER EVER anchor your kayak while in it when there is a substantial current, it can swamp you very quickly.  Sometimes if I need more decoys than my kayak can carry, I'll pull a little decoy sled behind me.  Keep your movements slow, smooth, and in control.  If done safely hunting from a sit on top (or any layout boat) can be very rewarding.  Stay safe!  There is lots of good kayaking info in general on NW Kayak Anglers website that's worth checking out.

Offline ghosthunter

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Re: Waterfowl kayak setup
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2019, 07:52:22 PM »
Been hunting a couple years now in a H12.
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We are all traveling from Birth to the Packing House. ( Broken Trail)

Offline follow maggie

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Re: Waterfowl kayak setup
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2019, 03:24:48 PM »
I'm an ex aquapod user, switched to a sit on top about 10 years ago and will never go back.  I only say that because some of the places I hunt are quite a distance to travel and the aquapod was just too slow and too much work to get there.  My current setup is a fairly inexpensive Emotion stealth angler in 11'.  I have two of the fat pool noodles slid inside along the inner edge of the kayak for extra buoyancy.  I use it fishing a lot so it pretty much stayed rigged for fishing and when I hunt I throw a camo material over it with some grass on it.  When fishing I wear a Kokatat dry suit, when hunting I wear cabelas breathable waders with a wader belt and a Cabelas brand camo life vest with mesh shoulders so there is nothing to get in the way shouldering my gun.  I do have an anchor trolley system on it for lake fishing and just dropping if I get out to hunt a shoreline and am expecting a ride to come in so my yak doesn't disappear.  NEVER EVER anchor your kayak while in it when there is a substantial current, it can swamp you very quickly.  Sometimes if I need more decoys than my kayak can carry, I'll pull a little decoy sled behind me.  Keep your movements slow, smooth, and in control.  If done safely hunting from a sit on top (or any layout boat) can be very rewarding.  Stay safe!  There is lots of good kayaking info in general on NW Kayak Anglers website that's worth checking out.

Can I ask why you donít wear a dry suit for hunting?  Ive been curious about trying a sit on top kayak for fishing & waterfowling.

Offline fowl smacker

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Re: Waterfowl kayak setup
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2019, 11:23:58 PM »
A couple reasons I don't wear it for hunting.
1.  (The main reason)  It's bright blue
2.  It isn't the most comfortable thing to wear with tight neck/wrist gaskets all day.
3.  Shedding layers for changing conditions is very difficult.

Even if I had a dry suit in camo I'm not sure how much I'd wear it.  Tromping through mud with booties on doesn't sound like fun.  My breathable waders are just more comfortable.  I've done float tests with them on and am 100% confident in my setup that if I were to take a spill off my kayak I'd be ok.  Yes, my top half would get somewhat wet, but with my pfd on, I can still swim just fine.  The reason I do wear it fishing is because I mostly ocean fish with a surf launch and I KNOW that I'm going to get wet.  Hopefully that answers your questions you had, feel free to pm or post here if you need something more specific.

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Re: Waterfowl kayak setup
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2019, 11:27:48 AM »
thanks for the info

Offline ghosthunter

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Re: Waterfowl kayak setup
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2019, 12:15:03 PM »
I do much the same. I have three yaks now. And all three have a dry bag with survival type gear in them. Including fire started and hand warmers. The bags are kept in the rear storage on the Ascend yaks which only has a cloth cover. I also have emergency retrieval ropes in dry bags on the front of each yak with just the end of the rope exposed. the other end attached to the yak.

We don't hunt moving water but still not a lot of firm ground around. We have a safety meeting before each trip. The yaks will not sink so everyone is told to stay at their yak till others get to them. Our plan is to tow the person in the water to shore.
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