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pontoon vs. kayak . . .

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pontoon vs. kayak . . .
My son and I, along with a group of friends, went over to Trap Pond in SE Delaware last Saturday and had a GREAT day of fishing.[/size][/font] The bad news is, I kept getting stuck in the muck, and couldn't launch my tube. Rob went out in his pontoon, and did fairly well. Caught a couple of smallmouth and several blue gill. I fished from the bank, and did about equally as well.

After lunch, he went back out, this time in a friend's spare kayak, and he loved it. I got out on his 'toon, and had a much better time, and was way more successful! I snagged 15 - 20 smallmouth and a ton of bluegill. About 2 in the afternoon, the wind shifted to the NE, and started blowing hard and cold. No fear, Rob, Wayne and I were the last off the water at 7 pm. 'Twas a great day.

This was our second trip this year. A couple of weeks earlier we went up to Deer Creek in NE Maryland to fish for Shad. 'cept there weren't any shad in them thar waters. The water level was too low, and they couldn't get up the crek to spawn. Later we walked down to the mouth where it feeds into the Susquehanna River, and saw tens of thousands of shad stacked up waiting for the water level to rise. (Sunday afternoon it poured - probably enough so's we'll have a bountiful crop of baby shad this year!)

Anyway, tow serious questions I have for you experienced folk:

1.) How do you get into the water when you sink 2 or 3 inches in mud every step you take? It was so sticky, I could barely lift my foot, with fins on them.

2.) Rob is really wanting a sit in kayak. He forgot his water leg - and cannot get his walking leg wet (chips and electronics) - so he felt safe and dry in Wayne's kayak without waders. So whaddya think - should I make him stick to the pontoon, of cave in and go the kayak route? Kayaks are certainly a lot faster; he'd be running way ahead of me. If'n he got stuck, of otherwise in a predicament, it would take me a while to get to him . . . But all things considered, what advantages do you see in float tubes (or pontoons) vs. a kayaks, explicitly for fishing?

Cheers,

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Re: [MajBob] pontoon vs. kayak . . . In reply to
MAin difference is leg power. You mentioned wind, how was his fishing in the Kayak? Was he busy trying to hold position?

I have no Kayak experience, but I know they move fast and easy, but you mentioned fishing. A pontoon is ultimate hands free fishing, and you do have oars.

Both can move in shallow water.

I have fished lakes with mud like you mentioned. I did appreciate the Pontoon in that I could push it out just far enough it could float, climb in the seat and use oars to get out.
Not sure how this is done on a Kayak with having to climb in.





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Re: [MajBob] pontoon vs. kayak . . . In reply to
I would be concerned with getting wet if he uses his regular leg in either, but especially the kayak.

The kayak is quicker and more responsive than a toon, but it also moves easier in the wind. A good anchor can help him hold position. Just don't use it in too much current.

Where he doesn't use fins anyway, I would think a nice wide and stable yak might work well. They also have stabilizer bars that you can put on it. How is he for getting into the kayak?

The only other thing I can think of is that you sit much lower in a kayak. That can be a bit of an issue for casting and sight fishing, but a lot of people fish from them and love them.

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Re: [MajBob] pontoon vs. kayak . . . In reply to
On the stuck in the goo thing. I have launched in muck, but it is difficult. AT one place I had to wait to put on my fins until I was actually sitting in my floattube but still lightly touching the bottom..

Another place I was able to sit down in my float tube in about a foot of water and used my feet in the surface mud to scoot me and the tube out.

I would rather look for a patch of weeds to launch in than straight flat mud.
(This post was edited by cpierce on May 18, 2012, 5:09 PM)

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Re: [MajBob] pontoon vs. kayak . . . In reply to
Like FG I rely on my legs to keep my self in place. I don't like having my hands full when I am trying to fish. Oars are a pain in the hind end. That being said I have seen the sit on top kayaks and guys with fins on with their legs dangling and kicking to stay in place.
When it comes to fishing I am going to bring up the size of fish. I know guys land big fish on yaks but I don't know how. To me it looks like the rod could only be forward. If the rod were held over the side a big fish would have leverage to flip the yak. That ain't going to happen with a pontoon. I have never fished from a yak. My opinion means nothingSly Ron

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Re: [idahoron] pontoon vs. kayak . . . In reply to
I looked long and hard at a kayak as it was what I initially wanted. In weighing the pros and cons, I couldn't get past the hassle of hauling and storing it (my biggest car is a RAV 4).

Now that I've got a Scadden 'toon, I have to agree with others that it is hard to beat fins for hand's free cruising -- especially on windy waters like Strawberry in Utah. It also stores out of the way in my garage and fits easily into the RAV.

If I lived back east with smaller, more sheltered ponds where wind is not an issue, I might be talked into kayak because they do look fun.

I may split the difference and go with Scadden's New World Navigator.
(This post was edited by kandersonSLC on May 18, 2012, 6:09 PM)

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Re: [MajBob] pontoon vs. kayak . . . In reply to
MajBob, I think you need to define his limitations better in order to help with the differences between a toon and a kayak for him. I am assuming that with an artificial leg he rows the pontoon and doesn't use fins, so are we only looking at the difference between rowing a toon and paddling a yak, or are there other issues?

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Re: [MajBob] pontoon vs. kayak . . . In reply to
CoolObviously, there is no universal one-size-fits-all solution. You really have to sit down and write out wants, needs and negatives and be honest in formulating your points...and evaluating them while making a decision.

I think you have already outlined the major issues and you have had some good input.

As far as the mud...I hate mud. But I have had some fishing spots where I either had to launch in the mud or not at all. If you are not experienced, comfortable and of above average physical strength and coordination you should find another spot to launch. Most lakes will offer at least a few other options with gravel or grass to make the launch easier. If not...well, you gotta make the decision. Better to fish safely and comfortably than to get bogged down and/or suffer harm to yourself or your gear. Ain't worth it.

The simple physics of the situation is that a kayak rides highest in the water...with less potential for getting stuck in the mud. A toon is right close, if it is properly set up and you are able to launch without having to wade while doing so. The tube has the worst potential for causing problems when launching in sticky mud, through clinging weeds or over rough rocks.

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Re: [MajBob] pontoon vs. kayak . . . In reply to
Bob:

Here's some ideas.

Anyway, tow serious questions I have for you experienced folk:

1.) How do you get into the water when you sink 2 or 3 inches in mud every step you take? It was so sticky, I could barely lift my foot, with fins on them.


If your only option is mud after careful study, I would sit down in the pontoon as soon as there is enough floatation to float you touching the mud. Then you can push backward against the mud, aiming for deeper water. You can also try oars in the soft mud at the buoyancy point, but the leverage is usually better with your legs. Can't do that with a non self bailing and more unstable kayak, and you will be marinating in mud however you manage to launch.

One of my scariest trips ever involved what seemed to be "quicksand" at South Padre Island, where I suddenly sunk about a foot from walking a soft bottom, while pushing a pontoon in front of me. The suction was terrific and the more I struggled, the further down I went! I grabbed for my pontoon seat as I reached waist level and managed to stop the descent. Slowly, I was able to free one leg at a time while hanging on to the front. I pushed softly against the mud and was finally able to clear the area. I think it was a former dredged channel that had silted over, after it had been abandoned for many years, as there was no sign of launching area....




2.) Rob is really wanting a sit in kayak. He forgot his water leg - and cannot get his walking leg wet (chips and electronics) - so he felt safe and dry in Wayne's kayak without waders. So whaddya think - should I make him stick to the pontoon, of cave in and go the kayak route? Kayaks are certainly a lot faster; he'd be running way ahead of me. If'n he got stuck, of otherwise in a predicament, it would take me a while to get to him . . . But all things considered, what advantages do you see in float tubes (or pontoons) vs. a kayaks, explicitly for fishing?

See above story. Might not have survived with a kayak...

Cheers,[/quote]
Hope this helps,

Pon

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Re: [pontoonman] pontoon vs. kayak . . . In reply to
Thanks for all of the excellent responses. A lot to consider . . .

I'm inclining toward the pontoon for Rob. Part of the issue he had in the 'toon was controlling his direction. Just inexperience rowing such a light craft, and improper inflation of the pontoons. I need to get him out again where we can focus on correcting some of the shortcomings he experienced. We'll see . . .

Again, thanks y'all!

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Re: [MajBob] pontoon vs. kayak . . . In reply to
ANd much easier to row backwards.





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