Fish Machine

Modern kayaks get you to the water you always wondered about but could never reach—even with a conventional boat. They cost little, are a cinch to launch, and float in a few inches of water. Why are you standing on the bank? A kayak is the performance-enhancing drug of the shore angler, because it allows you to fish waters that previously were way beyond your longest cast. It brings you to places that many typical fishing boats can't access—shallow bays, quiet backwaters, shoal-studded rivers—and many places they can. Yet kayaks are easy to store (some people keep them in apartments), are easy to transport (many weigh around 60 pounds), and don't cost very much. You can get everything you need to get on the water for around $1,000, and in some cases less. • That price point is the reason for kayak fishing's tremendous growth in popularity. Recent improvements in the rotomolding manufacturing process allow for the quick and inexpensive production of large pieces of hollow plastic. And that, essentially, is what a sit-on-top fishing kayak is. • A kayak doesn't offer a whole lot of storage space. You'll never stay 100 percent dry, so you'll need to get special outerwear if you want to use one in cold weather. But it floats in inches of water, paddles with little effort, and can be rigged with rod holders, tackle containers, and electronics. An ever increasing variety of models means there's one just right for your fishing style.