JEM Watercraft

Fishing kayak recommendation
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Author:  G8trwood [ Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Fishing kayak recommendation

I am looking for a recommendation for a SOT kayak for fishing. I currently fish out of a Jackson big tuna in solo configuration and sight seeing in tandem. I fish the creeks and flats off the ICW primarily north of St. Augustine Florida. Lots of shallow water with oysters! I travel the ICW to get to the creeks, so boat wakes are a reality, but I don't fish off the beach. I primarily target reds in the shallows or trout around the docks. Our tidal drop is around 5 feet most days.

I am in my mid 50's ( 5-10, 210ish :) ) and balance is not as good as it once was, or so the song goes, and stability is important. I prefer a slightly square stern for throwing it in the truck bed and would probably shorten a 15' a foot or so. The idea of building in a drive well is intriguing to have as an option. I would like to build the kayak as lite as possible.

I built a small V hull and strip canoe in my 20's and have good wood working skills have made a lot of furniture involving complex glue ups and joinery.

For those familiar with the JEM designs, do you have a recommendation based on my criteria? Thanks in advance for any advise.


Author:  oldbuffpilot [ Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fishing kayak recommendation

I am not familiar with SOT designs. However, you might benefit from my recent build experience. I feel you are on the right track considering a square stern. I recently built a “crawdad” Matt designed for me. I did it SS&G with the objective being a stable light weight boat that would fit in my truck. Soon to turn 73 so light weight and stability are becoming more important. The square stern makes it much easier to load and transport. The 11’crawdad built of cedar and full cloth came in at about 29 pounds.

Matt is very good at designing what we need (want).

My Crawdad build is at this link. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4035

Good Fish’n


Author:  G8trwood [ Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fishing kayak recommendation

Thank you Andy. I have read your thread several times, very nice work! I would probably use ply for my first kayak build to get my feet wet, but I love the look of the cedar strips. Too bad white oak is so heavy as I probably have enough to make a yak. I can readily get marine ply in my area.

Matt seems to have the best selection of SOK that I have come accross yet. My initial thoughts were on something like the wadefish shortened to 13-14 feet. I believe I want at least 31" in the width for stability as with a tidal change going against the direction a redfish wants to go sometimes turns me sideways to the current. No big deal on the flat, but it can get intertaining in a creek or narrow oyster bar. I need extra forgiveness to compensate for my lack of coordination :mrgreen: as I really don't want to turtle over oysters!

My current kayak is a barge at 35" but that is really nice when my wife decides to reach around for the cooler while I am netting a fish or setting a hook, just way too heavy to drag around some less than improved launch sites.

Thanks for your reply,


Author:  G8trwood [ Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fishing kayak recommendation

For Matt,

Would the wadefish 15/32 be the shallowest drafting kayak?

Author:  jem [ Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fishing kayak recommendation

G8trwood wrote:
For Matt,

Would the wadefish 15/32 be the shallowest drafting kayak?

Didn't see this thread. Sorry.

To answer your question, yes it would be.

Author:  G8trwood [ Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fishing kayak recommendation

Would there be any problem shortening the design6"-1' to square of the stern for a rudder and possibly a small trolling motor as I get older :(

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