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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

I am looking for recommendations on my first kayak. I have been wade fishing and fly fishing Galveston (SLP and state park) and Freeport (Drum Bay and Christmas Bay) but I want to explore more of the area. I assume you guys have some opinions on solid kayaks and reasonable expectations.

    Budget: ~$1500
    Transportation: Car/SUV top for now
    Storage: Outdoor under cover.
    Power: I am thinking paddle because of fly line management.
    Location: Inshore bays and lakes. Not offshore.

    Is it reasonable to stand and fly fish in the bays? My balance is good but I'm worried about wakes. I've already had a run in with oysters.
    Do I need to a 12ft or is a 10ft sufficient?
Welcome to the forum.

For the saltwater flats/marsh I would always recommend the longest kayak you can handle, haul and store due to the wind. The longer kayaks generally paddle better also. And a rudder on most kayaks is handy when paddling in the wind.

One kayak that fits the parameters you outlined would be a Wilderness Ride 135. You would have to buy used since I'm pretty sure Wilderness doesn't make these anymore. I saw a used one the other day with a rudder for $500. That's as cheap as you'll find one. Most sell for around $650-700 with a rudder. Depending on your size you should be able to stand in it and it has a nice open deck, paddles pretty good but is on the heavier side when it comes to cartopping.

I'm not a fly fisherman but I've seen people fly fishing from a kayak while sitting down. Prof Salt on here fly fishes in the marsh out of a Viking Profish Reload. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X9WxG4jVxg

If you want to peddle the Hobie Compass IMO is the best salt flats/marsh kayak for what you're wanting to do but is north of your budget by at least $500 and that's used if you can find one.
‭Welcome to the forum. I fly fish frequently in the areas you mentioned. The kayak I use is a NuCanoe Flint that was purchased at ACK in Houston. It is just under $1000. Nucanoe also offers the “pivot drive” pedal option that is easily added later without any modifications required. They also have several electric propulsion options as well. ‬

‭This kayak is 62 pounds, 11.5 feet long. I also have to car top it on my SUV and the weight was one of the deciding factors for me. I like the big open deck design and it is easy to stand while casting was well as managing stripped fly line. The paddling/tracking is outstanding. I added an anchor trolley and also use a stakeout pole to control my fixed position relative to the wind. Adding the pedal drive essentially adds a rudder since the drive is stern mounted unlike most other pedal drive designs. The pivot drive btw is about $1200 so after 8 months of owning the Flint, I like the kayak enough to consider the upgrade soon. ‬

‭Regardless of what kayak you decide on, PM me if you are interested in meeting up sometime. ‬
I kayak and fly fish the coast, for the last 3 years I have been using a Wilderness System Tarpon 120. I love the boat because it paddles pretty fast and straight but pretty maneuverable as well. But! I wouldn’t buy it again. For fly fishing there is too much stuff on the deck and you can’t stand up in it. So I have been searching.
The boats I like are the NewCanoe Frontier 12, it is extremely stable but that also makes it a barge to paddle so I will probably only go with it if I add a motor for my long distance excursions (which I do frequently) it is also quite heavy.
The kayak I am currently lusting over is a Crescent CK1 Venture. Completely open deck so great for fly line management, very customizable, about 60lbs and $899. I haven’t paddled one yet but apparently the track well are stand up able and extremely maneuverable for even running rivers and streams. The big problem? Good luck getting one! ACK can’t seem to stock them (even though they have other Crescent models) they are hot and dealers across the nation are selling out quick. It looks like if I am going to get one I will have to go to Dallas , Oklahoma or Arkansas. Check them out!
Thanks for all the great info. I was looking at the Crescent LT because ACK had one in stock last time I was there. The Flint is an interesting choice I had not considered due to the size. Right now I’m going to watch resale sites for a “deal”. It will be smarter for me to buy a used kayak first and figure out what I really want long term and upgrade.

I’ve been mainly fishing from SLP to the park. I’m thinking if I get a kayak I can start fishing up by Hitchcock. I really like little drum bay in Surfside, but I’m not too confident standing in a kayak above all those oysters.

Any other suggestions on locations?

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