I’d been looking into purchasing a fishing kayak for around a year or so after seeing a couple of guys return from a kayak fishing session at Skinningrove UK. That was in June 2008. I was impressed at the size and variety of the fish they’d brought ashore, caught from the fishing kayak only a mile or so out. They had a number of sizeable Cod, a couple of Pollack and plenty of Mackerel. They also mentioned the many other species and undersized fish they’d returned earlier. I noticed they were using Ocean Kayak branded fishing kayaks. That was the day I decided I wanted a piece of this kayak fishing action so set about acquiring my very own fishing kayak.
Over the following few months I researched the different makes, models and the rest of the kit needed. Back then there were only a couple of manufacturers and the choice was quite limited. I’d read all the reviews online and was torn between an Ocean Kayak Big Game kayak and the Scupper Pro, also from Ocean Kayak. The Ocean Kayak Big Game offered the stability I thought I would need as a newbie. At 36 inches wide it offered the best stability but at the cost of speed. It was also quite heavy in comparison to most of the other models. The Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro on the other hand appeared to be sleek and fast according to the reviews. I wasn’t too sure about the stability aspect of this kayak at 24 inches wide but the reviews were favourable.
In the meantime I’d purchased a cheap touring kayak off Ebay whilst I was contemplating which of the two Ocean Kayak models to buy. The Ebay purchase was just a cheap plastic, which cost around £50 I recall. I did try kayak fishing once of it but there was no stability at all and I ended up capsized enough times to realise that it was not up to the job. Then came another Ebay purchase, a RTM Laser touring kayak. It was 16 feet long and 22 inches wide, super fast, but again difficult to fish off. I learnt a valuable lesson from these two kayaks. If you want to fish from a kayak, stick to the plan and buy a proper fishing kayak. Lesson learned.
Anyway, back to the Ocean kayak models. After further research and hours ogling pictures online I decided against the Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro as there was practically no storage, especially behind the seat. This is where I was intending to put a fish storage box. Fortunately I’d come across another model which seemed more suitable for my needs. The Ocean Kayak Prowler Elite 4.5, it was the same length as the Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro but just 2 inches wider and had quite a large recess behind the seat for a fish or tackle box. I would place it somewhere in between the Ocean Kayak Big Game and the Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro in terms of size, weight and speed. Faster and lighter than the Ocean Kayak Big Game and more storage than the Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro. At just 2 inches wider I envisaged the speed not being much slower than the Scupper Pro. It seemed the best option so far so I went ahead and ordered one. £680 later and one was on it’s way to me.
Here are a few pics and videos of my Ocean Kayak Prowler Elite 4.5.
The following two videos were taken on my very first outing in this kayak way back in 2010.
Here’s a few pics of this fishing kayak taken just before launch.
Update November 2016
I have used this fishing kayak on and off now for about 8 years and it is still going strong. I did however leave in on the kayak launch wheels in my garage over a full winter and when I came to use it the following spring the underside had a giant dent where the underneath had buckled under the weight. I tried all the usual fixes like leaving it in the sun in the hope that it would pop back out, hot water etc. In the end I applied some heat to the underside with a blow heater which allowed me to push it back into shape. It still wasn’t perfect but good enough, you can see a slight ripple on the underside but it’s still usable. Hopefully I’ll get a few more years out of it. A quality fishing kayak from Ocean Kayak, what more can I say.
For the latest Ocean Kayak kayaks check out their website: https://www.oceankayak.com/
Other Skinningrove videos: https://stufishing.com/tag/skinningrove/