This is not your typical kayaking experience. You know — plastic molded in seat, awkward backrest that you never quite get adjusted, little holes under your butt constantly reminding you of the water temperature. That’s not the Pelican Catch 120. This fishing kayak comes with a luxurious folding mesh seat that adjusts forward and back and also doesn’t stick (it breathes). Adjustable footrests can be tweaked to support your optimal leg extension and then locked into place, and the elevated seating platform and plugged hull design ensure your backside stays dry all day long. The massive rear storage deck handles a small cooler full of food and beer, a PFD (personal floatation device), and a kit of fishing essentials. Surely this is enough for one person to have one day of solid fishing, but why stop at enough?
The front hatch gobbled up two more small duffel bags of gear, two additional rods, and a pair of sandals with plenty of room to spare. I can easily imagine loading up with several days worth of supplies for a multi-day fishing expedition. Even packed as it was, I felt completely confident to stand up, sit down and crawl all over this boat with no fear of falling in. So I did. If I saw a glint off in the distance, I would stand up, check the water for movement, and make a cast without falling in the water. If I needed another beer or a different rod, I could spin around to access the rear cargo deck or crawl to the front hatch and rummage through its compartment. While seated, I had the option of a standard low paddling position or an elevated angling position thanks to the multi-position chair and mounts.
Not all fishing experiences are created equal, and wetting a line from the deck of Pelican’s fishing kayak comes close to the pinnacle of small water angling. At 12 feet and 75 pounds (much lighter than similarly featured vessels), this boat is just within the realm of being possible to load, transport and launch all by yourself. As a six-foot, 180-pound man, it took a straining effort to hoist the boat over my head and on to the top of my SUV, but if you have a fishing buddy with his own watercraft, the Catch is an absolute breeze for two to manage on dry land. And in the water, that 75 pounds distributed over the wide tunnel hull translates to total stability.
Most little boys learn to fish standing on a dock or the banks of their local watering hole. They use a can of worms and a five-dollar rod from the convenience store to discover the world of angling for the first time. Few ever move beyond these simple tools to fill their occasional interest in dropping a line in the water. But for those looking to move past their boyhood glory days and into the ranks of the experienced angler, the Catch 120 from Pelican may be exactly what you’ve been missing. It provides a full day of fishing enjoyment, even at the times when you don’t catch a damn thing.