I am a salty old dog and I don’t like change. I paddled the same kayak for 15 years. It was great. But the classic craft comes from the generation of kayaks that had to be to shade tree engineered into a fishing machine. She’s rigged for the way I fish. Unfortunately, the low-profile seat is designed for paddling efficiency not fishing comfort. After a couple hours, my left leg goes numb and my ass starts to ache.
Despite the boat’s shortcomings, it has produced many fish over the years. Whenever the conditions turn sour, I know Ol’ Bessie will get me home. Still, I couldn’t help but let my eyes wander.
I looked at new kayaks and envied their owners. The elevated seats, extensive gear tracks, flat decks, broad hulls, smart rigging, easy operation, I envied and wondered at these modern fishing marvels.
The only thing a new boat lacks is the one thing my old boat has in abundance: good luck.
Fishermen are superstitious and the new kayak jinx is worse than the new lure jinx or the new rod jinx. Basically, anything new is suspect to blame when the fish won’t bite, the wind won’t quit or the sun won’t shine. Juju comes from every trip, every fish, every close call, every sunrise and sunset. A new boat could threaten my success for weeks, months, maybe years!
Still, the temptation was too great. I broke down and bought a brand- new super-sled. From bow hatch to stern well, from the gunnel tracks to channeled hull, my new boat is built for...