Quote Originally Posted by passlake View Post
how stable are kayaks for fishing? I was thinking of getting one but I am wondering what I will do with an angry 18lb pike beside my kayak.
Is it difficult landing big fish?
Depends on which kayak you get. The ones designed for fishing tend to be pretty stable. They're wider (which makes them a bit slower) and some even advertise that you can cast standing up.

I have one of the early Hobie Outback models. I'm over 6' tall and heavy-set. I can crawl out of mine on the water...and back in...without tipping it over. It does take some care to do that but it's not difficult.

When I started fishing from a kayak, I found a local shop that hosted on-the-water classes in kayak safety. They taught paddle techniques as well as rescue...solo/self rescue and how to rescue somebody that's dumped their kayak without also dumping yours...

It was a great investment (half day of my time and $90-ish).

Test drive or rent the models you're considering and see if they have somebody that can at least show you how to do a self-rescue.

For the Outback, there's no need for a paddle-float to help with the rescue. The Outback is stable enough even a big guy like me can get back in it on the water without re-dumping himself. Touring kayaks can't make that claim (and you'd never get me to fish from one of those tippy things!).

There are outriggers available for pretty much any kayak that you want more stability out of. There are plans on the web for making your own outriggers and there are commercial setups available as well.

Wear (don't just bring) your life jacket any way. The newer ones are finally starting to include pockets so you don't have to try to put your fly fishing vest on top of your life jack...most of what would've been in your vest can go in a pouch behind the seat.

Depending on the type of water you'll be fishing, bring along a basic rescue kit as well...50' throw line (in case somebody has to tow you in or you need to tow them), small first aid kit, Fox-40 whistle (your voice won't carry far or last long if you can't get back in on the water), etc. Google around the kayak fishing sites and they should have readily available lists of recommended survival gear.

It's even more important on wide open water (ocean, large lakes, etc).