The Sit on Top (SOT) Kayak Fishing Movement
While you wi
While you will see a few anglers use sit in kayaks on the tournament trails, especially local events; hardcore and enthusiastic tournament anglers will opt for the ‘sit on top -*SOT*’ kayak style. These sit on top styles are becoming increasingly advanced offering more deck space and storage. The primary reasons to consider a sit on versus a sit in would be the extra storage and accessibility to gear, measuring/photographing of fish and of course comfort.
The newer sit on top kayaks, are designed primarily with the angler in mind, allowing room for:
- mounting accessories; GPS, Fish Finders, Drive Systems
- rod storage
- landing accessories
- and easily accessible tackle storage.
- Hog troughs,
On tournament days, you can find kayakers carrying multiple rods and several tackle bags in addition to the newest depth finders and GPS devices; these require rod holders and mounting locations to keep them all easily accessible.
With sit in kayaks, there is a lot of room inside, but limited space on the deck. This lack of deck space makes your gear less accessible during a day on the water. You are basically sitting in the entrance to all of your storage locations,
- blocking access,
- Instead of spreading your equipment across the deck.
The Benefits of a Sit On Top Kayak
For me one the biggest issue with a sit in kayak is; CPR-ing the fish, measuring, photographing and releasing the fish. Once you have finally landed the catch, you want to get it on your measuring board, photographed and released as soon as possible.
With a sit on top version, you have the ability to set your board up in the kayak with the fish facing the deck.
I also add a net to the direction the fish is facing; if you have ever tried to measure a fish in a kayak, you may have lost at-least one to the single motion…it curls, raises its tail, then ejects itself over the side. I often see fisherman doing this across their lap (your choice), and with the sit in kayak, you are forced to do this across the opening or on the smaller deck in front of your body.
All fish seem to try and escape right when I’m using a measuring device!
Kayak fishing tournaments can be a few hours or all day. Some tournament events will even find anglers spending the day and most of the night paddling or pedaling across miles of water to find the fishing honey hole. I don’t know about everyone else, but I like to be comfortable. Sitting inside a kayak on a small pad with my legs extended in front of me for hour(s) would leave me unable to get out at the end of the day. The new higher end sit on top kayaks come equipped with seats that are as comfortable as a recliner; adjustable bottom, back and lumbar support. Many can even be removed and used at a campsite to substitute for a lawn chair if needed.