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SOT Kayak on the Hooch

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  • SOT Kayak on the Hooch

    What size SOT kayak would you say is best suited to angling on the hooch? Any particular models y'all would recommend? I want to invest in an SUV type of kayak that I can use in many situations. Some of the models I am thinking about are the OK big game, Native manta, and Heritage redfish. I am a big boy, so I need a higher weight capacity, and I would sacrifice speed for stability. I will mostly use the yak on flat water like Lanier and also the Gulf of Mexico, but I want to be able to use it on the Hooch and maybe the lower Toccoa often as well. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    There are several good threads here if you do a search. Ga Kayak Fishing and Ga River Fishing are both good sites with lots of good info on boats.

    "Everyone ought to believe in something; I believe I'll go fishing."


    • #3

      I'm a newby with the kayak, but am happy with my first yak, an Ocean Kayak (Prowler Angler 13') here in the Savannah area. Last month had it on the Toccoa River. Put in one day up near the dam(mistake! the take out was brutal---better put in at Tammen and paddle up to the dam). The next day put in at Curtis Switch, paddled upstream for half an hour, fished the area then paddled down to CS for the take-out. Planned a put-in on the third day at Horseshoe Bend, but the weather was just too cold; didn't appear to be enough water in the DH area for a yak the day I fished that area) The 13' Prowler length is fine here in the Savannah marine estruary, but I think one could do well with a SOT kayak of around 11' for the Toccoa.


      • #4
        A kayak around 10 feet is best suited for river fishing. However, if you even plan on fishing Lanier you should buy a longer kayak and just deal with the size on the river. The most common river kayaks I've seen are the Ocean Kayak Drifter and the Ultimate 12. The OK big game is quite slow, but stable. If you want to sacrifice speed for stability look to the OK prowler 13, OK trident 13 and the Tarpon 140 for around the same length.


        • #5

          I recently purchased a Heritage Redfish 12 this summer. Although I haven't used it on the Hooch. My wife and I (I bought two Redfish 12) used them on Lanier. Worked out great. I haven't tried it on the Hooch yet. I want to yak the river with someone more experienced than I. Looking forward to it some day. Let me know when you get yours. P_Rod fishes from a yak. P-Rod! Are you out there? He can probably give you more info. He told me the Heritage brand are good. Have you tried Mamas Board & Bike for a Heritage? Go With The Flow in downtown Roswell is having a killer sale on yaks. Good Luck!


          • #6
            WS Tarpon 120 2009 Model

            I have been fishing a WS Tarpon 160i for the last year.

            It is awesome for the coast/lake, but too long for the Hooch.

            I have to say the guys at Go With The Flow "told me so".

            They make a 14 ' that is nice, but still too long for paddling up the shoals.

            Based on my experience of fly fishing the Hooch & Toccoa from my 16' kayak I would go with a 12' that is no wider than 30". I will be buying a WS Tarpon 120 in the Spring.

            There are plenty of guys using 12 footers to fish the coastal marshes. They just stay away from open water.

            WS=Wilderness Systems.


            • #7
              Yeah, I assumed a 12' would be the most versatile size, now I just have to decide which one fits my fat butt the best.


              • #8
                My best advice is that you should try the kayak before you buy it. The Outside World ( north of Atlanta and has an indoor pool that you can test kayaks and they do stock several fishing kayaks. Also, I believe they will rent you the OK Big Game for a day.

                I'll give my two cents on the options you have though.

                Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120. I've paddled the Tarpon 120 and find it quite a hog to move. This is probably, because it is the heaviest kayak in it's class. What I think WS is going with the Tarpon 120 is durability. You can tell the plastic is much thicker compared to Ocean Kayaks line.

                Ocean Kayaks has the Drifter and Scrambler, both of which are more stable compared to the Tarpon 120 and lighter. I find the scrambler to be just as fast as the Tarpon 120 despite being 1 foot shorter. However, there is a problem with OK kayaks if you fish shoals. The plastic around the scupper holes are known to wear out if you scooch it across rocks often.

                Ultimate 12. I plan on buying this kayak as my third kayak. I've not paddled it yet, but I've fished with several people who use it. It is by far the most stable kayak in the 12 foot range and will easily allow you to stand up and fish. The one downside is it is not self draining and if you flip on a shoal you will have to drag it to shore to empty out or perhaps buy a pump.

                Good luck on your search and welcome to the sport.


                • #9
                  quatin, thanks for your reply. I had never heard that about the OK scupper area. I will be fishing some shoals. Do you have any insight on the Native Manta? I hear they have the most comfy seats, and I think TOW sells them. I feel like the kayak will probably spend 30-50% of it's voyages in the river, so I am looking for the perfect "crossover" yak. I do want to be able to stand and cast in it, so that limits the options for a boy at 250+#. My wife has the Hobie Lanai, a real compact SOT, and I am looking for that kind of versatility.

                  I hear the 2009 Wildernesses are pretty sweet...


                  • #10
                    I am planning on taking the Ultimate 14.5 on the Hooch over the holidays and you are welcome to join me. Send me a PM with your info and I can give you a call. I usually put in near Settles, just paddle up to GA20 then fish on the float down.

                    If I go by myself I usually take my WS Pungo120 because it is easier for me to port it to the water.



                    • #11
                      I fish the WS Tarpon 120 on the hooch. I love it, and haven't had any real problems. Then again, I have nothing to compare it to.


                      • #12
                        Second the two web sites recommended by Gonefishn. Those guys fish for anything, anywhere, anytime as long as they are doing it from a kayak. Also second, drive before you buy. You could probably test drive any brand you want by just asking on GRF and GKF. If you are considering an Ocean Kayak, shout out to RiverPirate on the GRF site. Randy reps for OK and has fished them all. He's got all the scoop on each one. He will also be doing a seminar at the Fly Fishing Festival in January. I ride a WS Tarpon 14 and like it but there are better ones out there, especially for the river.


                        • #13
                          I have an OK Caper and really like it. It's great in the Hooch. I do a lot of paddle upstream fish back down, and have no problem getting around. It's light enough (50lbs) to carry from the parking lot to the put-in, and straps on top of my SUV luggage rack fine.
                          I got mine at The Outside World.


                          • #14
                   is a great place to learn about fishing from a yak. I am a board member there and welcome all of you to join.

                            I have about every fishing kayak manufactured by Ocean Kayak. I'd be glad to let any of you test drive any of them. IMHO the Drifter is the best river yak especially for guys like me at or over 200 lbs. It does not track as well as some other models but it is very stable and turns quickly in the shoals. I can stand and fish from it.

                            BTW, I will be at the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show in January doing seminars about fishing from and choosing a yak if you would like to learn more.

                            Thanks for the recommendation...just saw that!
                            Last edited by Riverpirate; 12-23-08, 10:42 AM.
                            I only envy those who catch more fish than me.-Issac Walton