Motorizing Your Fishing Kayak – Why, What, and How

Let’s face it – being a senior kayak angler can also mean that you’re not in the best shape, and you either don’t feel like, or are physically incapable of paddling long distances.
This leaves you with a rather limited range of operation in terms of fishing, and could get frustrating, at times, as well as hazardous, in case bad weather or a strong, fast current prevent you from getting back to the spot from which you had launched your kayak.
Another way to look at it is saying that time is fishing, and you don’t necessarily want to spend your precious time paddling to your favorite fishing hole, if you can get there faster, and back from there without cutting your fishing trip short.
Pedal driven fishing kayaks fail to offer any true solution, which leaves you with the option to motorize your kayak, and a series of questions about the technical feasibility of such project, how much you’d need to invest, safety, utility, and much more.
In many cases, an electric trolling motor can do the trick for you, and in other cases it won’t, and you could find yourself disappointed and frustrated, and wishing for more power and speed, a longer range of operation, and less weight. This is where outfitting your fishing kayak with an outboard gas engine becomes a solution worth considering, but there’s only one kayak out there that’s suitable for this type of project.
To learn more, this article about motorized fishing kayaks discusses these issues in breadth and in depth.
And watching this movie may make you want to learn more:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=439ZQaJX6t4?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

All About Motorizing Your Fishing Kayak

Well, I can’t say I know much about motorizing fishing kayaks, but I do have some observations to make:

The first is that electric motors (AKA Trolling Motors) don’t seem to cut it. In other words, whether you carry a heavy deep cycle battery, or spend a ton of money on a high-tech system with a Li-On battery, you’re going to be limited to short fishing trips. I know some┬á kayak anglers who simply stopped using their electric trolling motor systems because of this.

The second observation is that American anglers are still in love with outboard gas motors, simply because they’ve learned to rely on them for long fishing trips. Nothing beats gasoline as far as storing energy is concerned, and also when it comes to firepower – literally: Gas delivers more horsepower than electric batteries do. Period.

Third, not too may people appreciate paddling long distances just to get to a fishing hole. Many prefer to get there faster than paddling or pedaling allows them, and they prefer spending time fishing than paddling… AND not too many people seem to like big motorboats that demand a trailer, and launching ramp, and lots of cash to spend on maintenance, fuel etc…

Ideally, there would be a motorboat that’s small and lightweight enough to car top, comfortable and dry enough for long hours of boating and fishing, stable enough for stand up fishing, mobile enough for launching anywhere… but I’m just wasting my time here, and my readers’ as well, since such thing DOES exist, as you, dear reader, are welcome to see for yourself:

Amazing, isn’t it?
It doesn’t necessarily mean that an outboard motor would fit your fishing kayak – It won’t, unless you own a W500. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you own a W500 you’d want to outfit it with an outboard gas engine – Chances are you’d be satisfied with an electric trolling motor, or just paddling! ­čÖé
Anyways, since you probably have many questions unanswered by this blog post, here’s a serious article on the subject of motorizing your fishing kayak >>

What’s A Suitable Setup For A Fishing Kayak’s Electric Trolling Motor?

In other words, what’s a suitable setup for a senior kayak angler who would like to motorize their fishing kayak?

Obviously, it has to be lightweight, and easy to install and dismount.

Apart from this, the electric trolling motor must be easy and comfortable to operate, or in other words – ergonomic installed.

Most SOT fishing kayaks are heavy to begin with, because they must compensate for their initial instability by excess width and overall size. Adding a trolling motor and heavy battery makes things worse.

Here is the best setup for an electric trolling motor for a fishing kayak, both in terms of weight, ease of installation, comfort in using and overall ‘fishability’:

What About Those Electric Trolling Motors For Fishing Kayaks?

Trolling motors are becoming more popular among kayak anglers, especially among senior ones, who find it hard to paddle sometimes. We’ll come back to this topic in the future, but at this point we’d like to recommend an article that talks about the basic differences between an electric trolling motor, whose output is measured in units of Thrust (weight, in fact), and an outboard gas engine, whose output (or throughput) is measured in Horsepower (HP).

Trolling motors are becoming more popular among kayak anglers, especially among senior ones, who find it hard to paddle sometimes.

We’ll come back to this topic in the future, but at this point we’d like to recommend an article that talks about the basic differences between an electric trolling motor, whose output is measured in units of Thrust (weight, in fact), and an outboard gas engine, whose output (or throughput) is measured in Horsepower (HP).

The article is called Thrust in Electric Trolling Motors for Fishing Kayaks , and it’s written in a simple, not over-technical language, with an illustration that’s worth a thousand words…