I was looking forward to getting my Pro Angler 14 after I retired but have decided to hold off indefinitely. Just thinking about fishing in my kayak kept me working my last year and I got the approval from my wife to go ahead buy the thing. Well, living in the Bay Area, I went online and did some research on local lakes for fishing and touring. I was sad to find that the local Northern Cali lakes have many restrictions as well as contaminated fish. Here is a list of things that turned me off:
1) Most lakes have launch, parking, day use and inspection fees.
2) The lakes in the Bay Area have a high level of Mercury so the fish are not fit to eat (Methyl Mercury).
3) It's best to register the kayak with the Cali DMV (Definitely if you are going to add a sail on your kayak).
4) The inspection fee is due to the potential infestation of quagga mussels if a boat/kayak has these on the hull or in the bilge/livewell.
5) One lake won't let you launch even though there are kayaks to rent (Vasona).
6) Another lake requires you to store your yak on site (Loch Lomond) with the associated fees.
7) Kayaking in the Bay, offshore and rivers is potentially dangerous and it is not advised to do it solo.
Many lakes have limits for the number of kayaks due to power boats and water skiing.
Well that's it in a nutshell. I may reconsider buying a kayak if we move out of the Bay Area or California but is is unlikely.
Wow.........Don't know where to begin here. I have had a PA 14' since summer of 09.
1) There are a lot of high Sierra lakes that have NO restrictions or fees on parking, day use and inspection fees.
2) Fish everywhere are contaminated with Mercury and who knows what else, eat the smaller fish, let the bigger fish go. (bigger fish have more contaminants in them). Or catch and release everything.
3) I have never registered my PA with DMV, I don't feel there is a need for that.
4) Again, plenty of places to go where there are no inspections or fees.
5) Go somewhere else other than Vasona
6) Go somewhere else than Loch Lomond
7) Driving on the freeway is unsafe, crossing the street to check your mail is unsafe, eating chicken is unsafe, you could choke on a bone. Life is unsafe, nothing is perfect in life.
I try to put my yak in where there are no power boaters, if I do go where there are PB'ers I will run a flag and try and be as visible as possible. Mostly I like to fish at small high Sierra lakes and I am usually the only one on the water. Yes, I do burn a bit of fuel and drive a ways to get there but it is worth it to me.
Join Norcalkayakanglers.com and you will find lots of people that fish out of yaks to spend time with, granted, a lot of these guys fish the salt only but there are a few fresh water guys.