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Jackson Bite Angler Kayak Review

Mark Armstrong
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The Jackson Bite Angler is an extremely spacious fishing kayak that is designed for long days on the water.

Jackson Bite Angler Kayak in Aurora color
  • Length: 11 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 35 inches
  • Depth: 11 inches
  • Weight: 74 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 400 pounds

This is a stable craft that’s built for comfort and versatility. It has an elevated seat It can be at home on lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and inshore saltwater.

Being under 12-feet in length, it’s a compact kayak. So it can be easier to maneuver in small spaces, and a convenient size for car-topping. However, it’s pretty heavy for its size.

With the open-concept deck, this offers plenty of room for standing. And it can be a great kayak for fly fishing.

There is plenty of room for storing your fishing equipment, with tankwells at the bow and stern. There are also recesses for tackle boxes on the sides. A downside is that there’s no dry storage.

Why Consider A Jackson Bite Angler?

The Jackson Bite Angler is a stable fishing kayak with an open deck. It has lots of storage space for gear and a roomy standing platform for comfortable casting. There are also two flush-mount rod holders and tackle storage recesses on the sides.

The spacious deck offers comfortable fishing whether you’re standing or sitting. The design of the kayak makes it a good choice for fly fishing, with less snagging points.

It can be customized, with accessory tracks to mount electronics and other accessories. You could also add a trolling motor with the separate purchase of a mounting bracket.

This has a high capacity for its compact size, meaning it can be good for larger paddlers. Its versatility also makes it a good choice for recreational paddling or kayak camping.

However, this is a heavy kayak. You might want to think about using a kayak cart to get it to the water. It’s also very wide, which could affect speed.

You’re probably not going to get anywhere fast. But it is incredibly stable, which is a key ingredient in an ideal fishing kayak. Although, you may want to avoid whitewater with this kayak – it’s not built for that.

This is not an expensive kayak. And it’s not a budget kayak either. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles but it does have extra features to make it comfortable for fishing all day, with the stability to offer stand-up fishing.

> The best kayaks for stand-up fishing

Top Features Of The Jackson Bite Angler Kayak

Stable Hull

One of the main features of the Jackson Bite Angler is its stability. This is an extremely stable kayak with a wide, flat bottom that’s designed for maximum primary stability. This makes it a great choice for flatwater paddling.

The hull is stable enough to let you stand up for more comfortable fishing.

It’s also built with True-Line Tracking technology to help you stay on course with less effort.

Open Deck

A great feature of the Jackson Bite Angler is the large open-concept deck. This allows for walkability as well as offering more leg room, so it’s ideal for taller or larger paddlers.

The open deck means it’s an ideal fly fishing kayak, as there’s plenty of space to stand, with enough room to let you cast your line comfortably. The deck is also relatively low profile, so there’s less chance of your line getting snagged.

There’s an optional deck pad (sold separately) that can be a good idea for minimizing noise as well as providing traction for your feet when you’re standing.

Another good feature is the stand-assist strap, so you get from the seat to your feet more easily. You’ll also find scupper holes for drainage and these are designed to fit various transducer sizes.

Comfort

This is a comfortable kayak that’s designed for long fishing trips. The Comfort Seat features a breathable mesh fabric for ventilation and drainage. The framed seat is also padded for additional comfort and benefits from having an ergonomic backrest for lumbar support.

The seat provides an elevated seating position, offering increased visibility for fishing. You can slide the seat back and forth on the tracks to adjust it to suit various leg lengths or to free up space for standing. There are also adjustable foot braces on a sliding track.

Another good comfort feature are the cupholders on either side so you can stay hydrated while you wait for a fish to bite. 

Excellent Storage Space

Since this is a fishing kayak made for long days on the water, there’s sufficient room for all the fishing gear you’ll want to bring.

The spacious rear tank well can accommodate a fishing crate or a cooler (or both if they’re not too large). There’s also a smaller tank well at the bow, which can be great for holding dry bags and other gear. Both tank wells have bungee rigging to secure your gear to the deck.

The Jackson Bite also has decent tackle management. You’ll find rod stagers for up to four rods. Plus, there are two flush-mount rod holders at the back. On either side of the kayak, you’ll find tackle tray storage recesses and there’s space under the seat for additional equipment.

However, there is no dry storage on the Bite.

Another great feature of this kayak is the customization options. There are gear tracks around the deck to let you easily install accessories and electronics without drilling into the hull.

At the stern, you’ll find four recessed holes that can be used to attach a trolling motor or PowerPole. The holes are designed to work with the Accessory Mounting Bracket (sold separately) and with accessories that have a four-bolt mounting system.

Video: Jackson Bite Angler – Complete Walkthrough

Versatility

As well as being a fantastic fishing kayak, this can also be used for recreational paddling, particularly if you’re a larger paddler. There’s lots of space for long legs and it’s wide enough to feel comfortable sitting in the seat.

The 400-pound load capacity is also ideal for large paddlers. This larger capacity is not typically found on most recreational kayaks but the Bite can equally double as a recreational kayak if you want it to be.

The high capacity also makes it a great option for kayak camping, with plenty of storage space for camping equipment.

The Bite Angler can handle a range of waters, from slow-moving rivers and creeks to large lakes and calm ocean bays. Its compact size means it’s also easy to car-top or carry on a trailer.

However, this is not built for speed and it’s pretty heavy to move around. So, while it can handle a kayak camping trip, it might not get you there at the speed you’d prefer. And you might need a second person or load assist device to help you lift this kayak onto your car roof.

After checking out some of the Jackson Bite owners’ experiences, it turns out we’re not alone in thinking this is an excellent fishing platform for flatwater lakes and creeks.

Jackson Bite Alternatives

Hobie Mirage Compass

The Hobie Mirage Compass can be a good alternative if you’re looking for a little extra power. But the extra power comes at a higher price.

This is a 12-foot pedal kayak. The pedal power means you can reach your fishing hole faster and cover longer distances more easily. The rudder helps you navigate.

This is stable enough for standing and has a flat deck to make it easier. It has two rod holders and a Lowrance-ready transducer cavity. It also has great storage, with a large rear tank well, mesh-covered bow storage area, and a center hatch.

There are two H-tracks for easily mounting accessories, such as a fish finder or other electronics (accessories sold separately).

This also comes with a paddle included. Plus there’s an elevated seat for good visibility and a comfortable pedaling position.

Pros

  • Pedal drive system
  • Rudder
  • Standing deck

Cons

  • Expensive

Wilderness Systems Radar 115

Wilderness Systems Radar 115 in Midnight color

The Wilderness Systems Radar 115 is a more expensive alternative to the Bite. This one has a higher capacity (it’s also heavier) and exceptional storage space. It’s also built for comfort for long hours on the water.

The Radar is the same length as the Bite so can be just as easy to maneuver in small spaces. An advantage of this one is that it has lots of dry storage options, including a rectangular center hatch that has the benefit of being flush with the deck so it doesn’t get in the way when you’re standing.

This has a comfortable AirPro Max seat for support and an elevated vantage point. The Radar is also compatible with the Helix Motor Drive and the Helix Pedal Drive (both sold separately), so it has tri-powered capabilities.

Pros

  • Tri-powered kayak
  • Multiple storage hatches
  • High capacity

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavier than the Jackson Bite

Perception Outlaw 11.5

Pin

The Perception Outlaw 11.5 is a similar design to the Jackson Bite in that it has a very spacious and walkable deck. It also has excellent primary stability for standing and fishing thanks to the pontoon-style hull.

This is an affordable kayak that comes in a little less than the Bite Angler. It has traction pads on the deck but the deck is not as spacious or open as the Bite’s deck. It also has great tackle storage, with plenty of room for smaller items in the molded trays next to the seat.

Like the Jackson Bite, the Outlaw can also be a good choice for fly fishing, with minimal snagging points. The elevated seat conveniently folds up out of the way to make more room for standing.

The framed seat is not padded like the one on the Jackson Bite but it does have breathable mesh fabric and a supportive backrest. There are double-barrel rod holders to store up to four fishing rods.

> Full Perception Outlaw 11.5

Pros

  • Padded standing deck
  • Affordable
  • Excellent stability

Cons

  • Not as spacious for standing

Jackson Bite Angler Kayak FAQs

Can You Add A Trolling Motor To The Jackson Bite Angler?

Yes, you can. There are molded-in inserts at the stern to let you attach the Accessory Mounting Bracket (sold separately). You can then mount a trolling motor to the bracket.

Is The Jackson Bite A Good Kayak For Fishing In The Ocean?

It can be ideal for calm coastal water close to shore. It’s not designed for open water where there might be large waves or choppy conditions.

Can You Stand Up In The Jackson Bite?

Yes, the Jackson Bite has a large, flat deck that’s built for standing, so you can cast your line more comfortably. There are optional deck pads that you can purchase that help to reduce noise and provide grip for safety.

Conclusion: Is The Jackson Bite Kayak Any Good?

Jackson Bite Angler Kayak in Aurora color

Pros

  • Open-concept deck
  • Lots of room for fishing gear
  • Comfortable seat
  • Easy to maneuver

Cons

  • Heavy
  • No covered storage

The Jackson Bite Angler can be a fantastic kayak if you’re looking for an extremely stable fishing kayak with enough room on the deck for standing. This is a wide kayak with a flat, open-concept deck that can give you more room to move around as well as options to add accessories in locations that are convenient to you.

It can be an ideal fly fishing kayak. It’s also comfortable and easy to paddle. If you think this might be just what you’re looking for, check it out for yourself here.

However, if you’re after a lightweight kayak or a kayak with watertight storage, this is probably not for you.

Let us know what you think of it in the comments. And don’t forget to share this to show others what a great fishing kayak it is.

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