5 Reasons to Start Kayak Fishing in the Off-season

By Randy Newton

It’s not by chance that you have started looking into kayak fishing. Either you know someone already active in the sport, or you have seen the popularity of the sport increasing. You may have also tuned into the fact that kayak fishing is much more affordable than buying a boat, saving you thousands of dollars. The latest generation of fishing kayaks offer better stability, versatility, and angling efficiency than their predecessors, making it comfortable for beginners to learn the sport. If you’ve been debating on whether or not to start kayak fishing, there is no better time to begin than the off-season; here’s why:

  1. Time to Shop and Compare

The off-season is the best time to shop and compare the various brands, models, styles, and colors of kayaks that are in the market. Articles in fishing magazines will provide information on how to find the right yak for you. The off-season is the perfect time to look for everything you want, and find the best deal possible.

Most of us don’t like doing homework, but surfing the web to see what others are saying about the most popular fishing brands will be a great place to learn about products on the market. Hearing from various users about their experiences will educate you on why some products may or may not be the best fit for your situation.

If you are a tall, heavier set sportsman, you will benefit more from hearing about other larger paddlers successfully using and enjoying specific brands. New kayak buyers are typically drawn to shorter kayaks initially, then they quickly realize that they are limited in their range and decide to upgrade to a longer and faster kayak down the road, which ends up costing them more out of pocket expense.  It’s better to research the products and buy the right yak the first time.

A kayak shop can be a great source of information in helping choose the right kayak. Make sure you go in with a little knowledge beforehand and speak someone who has experience fishing from a kayak. A big box store will not typically have salespeople with real insight into the best kayak for your situation.  Even a dedicated kayak shop may not have sales people that truly know all the product lines, so make sure you are talking somebody who ‘speaks’ kayak fishing.

SEE VARIOUS FISHING KAYAKS HERE

  1. Year End Discounts

There are many outfitters, online shops, and big box stores having sales to clear the shelves for next season models.  There are huge discounts on all the supplies needed for your first trip in the spring.

Let’s face it, cost is king, and a kayak is an expensive investment. Many times, with a little research, you can shave off as much as 10-20% of your purchase. Some dealers are also open to negotiating, especially on models that might not be selling as well or last year’s models. To save money, the best time to buy is at the end of the season. The last thing a shop wants to do is go into the off-season with a bunch of last year’s models hanging around, so take advantage of them wanting to “clean house”.

fallsale

  1. Blemish Models

Another way to get better deal is to ask for any “blem” kayaks. A blem is a kayak that either has some manufacturing defect or a kayak that got a little scratched up, either in shipment to the dealer or in the store. Most times, the manufactured blems are just cosmetic imperfections, like colors that are not quite blended right or perhaps a decal that is off center.

Then there are more serious manufactured blems, like kayaks that might have repaired scupper holes. Scupper holes or channels are the most common places on a kayak for leaks to appear. They are usually repaired by adding a little extra sealant after the kayak comes out of the mold. Usually all blems still carry the same warranty as first grade kayaks but it’s a good idea to ask, and have the dealer write on the receipt that the full warranty applies.

  1. Don’t Over-Analyze

Perhaps the biggest mistake people make when it comes to shopping for their kayak is crossing the line between research and over-analyzing their purchase. Some people struggle with deciding which model to choose and then end up on sidelines waiting for the new next best thing. The great thing about kayaks is that they really don’t lose much value, so if you buy a kayak this year and after a season of use, you decide to sell it, you probably won’t lose more than 10-15% of your investment – try that with a motorboat! So go ahead and pull the trigger you will be happy you did!

With the Internet, the consumer has been empowered. Making the right choice and ensuring you don’t overpay has never been easier

  1. Pre-Owned

Digging through the countless postings on Craigslist and other for-sale-by-owner sites can be exhausting, but the reward can be great. Everything on these sites is negotiable, and often times, the pre-owned items being sold are in excellent condition. If you buy second-hand, inspect the kayak and make sure there are no holes or large gouges in the yak. Look for weak, thin, areas which may lead to problems later on. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price, or for them to throw in the paddle or other gear for free. There is always room for negotiation.

So in closing, the reason that you put yourself through the stress, countless hours of internet searching, walking in and out of large box stores/local outfitters is because you want the perfect platform for you. People will downgrade other brands, and try to talk you over to the darkside (their brand). But you are the one who has the budget, the knowledge, and the desire to get more for your dollar. Please take it from me, it’s supposed to drive you nuts. But this will give you insight on other ways to get what you want.

Bio:

Randy Newton
Plantation, FL

Prostaff: FeelFree Kayaks,  Swivel Stix Anchor System

Favorite Bait:  Zoom Horny Toad, and Doomsday Turtle