Photo by Paul Smith, Outdoors Editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In the Fall 2019 issue of Kayak Angler Magazine there’s a great article talking with six top kayak anglers on why they prefer to paddle with their kayak fishing.  Four of the six are Jackson Kayak Pro Staff members.  They talked about paddling is how they came to love kayak fishing, paddling is quiet, paddling is great for shallow water, paddling helps stay fit and maintain core strength, paddling is easier with grab-and-go fishing, a kayak is more maneuverable with a paddle and the love of feeling the blade pull through the water and the kayak gliding effortlessly.  I agree with every one of these comments!

Photo by Paul Smith, Outdoors Editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Age wise, I’m a senior, so, I do enjoy the exercise aspects of paddling, which was noted.  And, most paddle kayaks are lighter and easier to transport, which is a consideration for many.  When I’m doing my smallmouth bass talks at sports shows I say that I’m on the water to catch and release smallies, not to get a tan or drive my boat, but, even if the smallies are finicky, paddling my kayak is fun.  Whenever I give talks, I always include those “bonus” pictures of wildlife and beautiful scenery.  That’s the quiet special part of paddling my kayak that many times even beats catching smallies.  

Photo by Paul Smith, Outdoors Editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

One of the special parts of working shows for Jackson Kayak is all the great people I get to talk with about kayak fishing.  Years ago, I remember the first time an older man asked me about the sit-on-top fishing kayaks.  I asked him what type of water he fishes, and he said he didn’t fish, he just wanted a nice paddling kayak that was “easy” to get in and out of for that enjoyable paddle around the lake near his house.  That same conversation has taken place dozens of times since.  

Photo by Paul Smith, Outdoors Editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Jackson Kayak has so many great sit-on-top and hybrid sit-in kayaks in their line-up.  Over the past few years I’ve enjoyed the Kraken 13.5 and this year the Kilroy, which for 2020 will be upgraded to the Kilroy HD.  I’ve never felt the need to stand to fish and now with the higher seat position in both these kayaks I’m very pleased with the visibility I get to scout the water I’m fishing with my polarized sunglasses.  And, the Kilroy being a hybrid combo of sit-in and sit-on-top, with the seat in the high position it is just as easy to enter and exit as the true sit-on-top kayak.  Nicely, both are between 60 and 72 pounds without the seat, so easy to transport.  

In this ever-expanding world of kayak fishing and kayaking in general, there’s a huge place for all the great Jackson pedal/self-propelled kayaks and a place for the purist and recreational kayakers.  So many of us just love the quiet of that blade slicing the water, pulling our kayak effortlessly through the water.