I am researching, taking notes, requesting catalogs of different manufacturers, etc.
I have read (all) of the pinned post sections for newbies to yaks. Plan to demo, demo, demo. Purchase is off in the future. No rush.
At some point I would love to participate in a yak fishing club or tournament association. Although my primary interest is fishing for crappie in heavily timbered lakes likes Ray Roberts and Lavon in the Dallas/Ft.Worth vicinity. I plan to fish Tawakoni, Cedar Creek and Texoma (around Walnut Creek)as well.
With that said I have a few questions for the avid yak angler and those who fish the yak tournaments.
1) If your pursuit were primarily chasing crappie in heavily timber areas would you prefer and select a different yak more appropriate for navigating timber which may be around you in every direction?
2) For those who fish the yak tournaments, how far do you generally travel from launch point to the more productive fishing spots?
3) I expect at some point weather becomes a factor in yak fishing and safety and common sense say: it ain't happening today. I know this limit may be different from one yakker to the other, based on equipment, experience, physical condition and knowing one's limits - would you please comment on what you feel are generally limits for these type of water craft in fishing metroplex lakes and reservoirs like the one's I mentioned?
These are questions which have been on my mind as I do thorough research, demos and eventually a purchase in the future - again, not rushing out and I'm keeping in mind the yak experience has factors which are unique and personal for every individual.
At some point I would love to participate in a yak fishing club or tournament association. Try heroes on the water, they use wilderness systems and native watercraft for the most part in the DFW chapter and you get to volunteer with veterans, also Mariner Sails has a fishing club.
1) Heavy timber with a sit on top can be tricky, look up scupper lock and you will see what I mean, the native ultimate does not have scuppers and works well in open water IMO.
2) Depends on the tournament and the time of the year but expect to paddle 5+ miles every time you go out and if you wind up going 2 you have the juice to fish more when the tournament is done
3) No one can determine your limits but you, just remember you aren't even a speed bump when you are on the open lake regardless of the yak color you choose it is hard for power boaters to see you when they are traversing the main lake if there is any chop. Wear safety equipment (pfd and whistle) and run a bright flag at least 4 feet above the highest surface of the yak and keep your head on a swivel when you are on the main lake. Power boaters get wrapped up in thier 4000$ worth of electronics and you don't show up on the map...