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The year’s best new fishing kayaks for Canadian anglers

Crack kayaks

These hard-core fishing machines go where the big boats can’t—and then some

Wes Nelson
Scott Gardner

YAK FACTS

It’s important to select a kayak based on where and how you fish. Consider the type and size of water you frequently fish, and whether you like to troll, cast or stand up—or do it all.

Style

Sit-on-top kayaks, resembling a surfboard with a moulded cockpit, are the most popular models for fishing. They’re stable and easy to get into and out of, and they’re self-bailing. Traditional sit-it kayaks still have a place, especially on smaller lakes and slow rivers. Less expensive, sit-ins are also lighter and keep the angler drier.

Power

Kayaks are at their most versatile and manoeuvrable when being paddled. The more expensive pedal-drive models, on the other hand, are fast and less tiring, and they free up your hands for fishing. Pedal drives can break down, however, and they get fouled up with weeds. They also need to be pulled up in very shallow water, so you still have to carry a paddle.

Scott Gardner

Scott Gardner

Outdoor Canada associate editor and fly-fishing columnist Scott Gardner is happiest when he's on the water fishing (especially from his kayak) or just surrounded by trees, preferably out of cell phone range. Since joining Outdoor Canada in 2010, Scott has won nine National Communication Awards from the Outdoor Writers of Canada for his adventure travel and fly fishing articles, and been nominated for five National Magazine Awards.

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