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You may have been searching for months or even years for that perfect fishing kayak. There might not be such a thing as a perfect kayak but there is the perfect one for you and that might just be the Pelican Catch 120.
What does it have that others don’t? And will it be comfortable for a long day on the water? We’ve taken a look at this fishing yak’s main features to see if this vessel lives up to its expectations.
- Length: 11 foot 8 inches
- Width: 34 inches
- Depth: 15 inches
- Weight: 69 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
Before Considering A Catch Kayak
Before you jump into purchasing a fishing kayak, there are a few things you should ask yourself. For example, will you be using it just to fish? Do you plan to head out on the water on your own or will you have a fishing partner? Have you thought about how you plan to get the kayak to the water or where you might store it?
If you plan to fish regularly with your yak then investing in a fishing kayak might be a good idea, as they can come with extra features that you might not get on a recreational kayak, so it could save you time and money in the long run.
However, if you think you might only occasionally fish from your yak, then you might be better off with a less expensive recreational one.
The Pelican Catch is designed to be used by one paddler so if you often head out with a partner, a tandem yak could be more cost effective than buying two separate vessels.
Pelican “The Catch” 120 Fishing Kayak: The Best Features
The Pelican Catch yak is an 11 foot 8 inch kayak that is built for fishing. It’s a sit-on-top that’s designed with stability and storage in mind, as well as comfort during long fishing trips.
With its wide hull and spacious deck it’s designed for anglers, so if you want a stable craft that will let you spend hours on the water fishing then this could be a good choice. If you’re looking for a vessel that will let you speed across the water or one that’s designed for extended paddling trips then this one might not be the best one for you.
The Pelican Catch 120 features a tunnel shaped hull, similar to a pontoon boat, meaning it is designed to offer both primary and secondary stability. This means it’s built to handle a range of water conditions, giving you a stable craft that’s ideal for both flat and rough water.
The stability of The Catch is boosted by the 34 inch width of the hull, meaning you can actually stand up while you’re on the water. This can make it easier to fish, as you should be able to see and cast further than you would if you were seated.
Video: Pelican Catch 120 Stability Test
To help you stand there’s even an assist strap and a non-slip carpet.
With this yak you should be able to take all the fishing gear you can think of, with the amount of space on board and its 400 pound capacity. In addition to the large storage platform with bungee cords at the back, there is a sealed hatch at the bow, so you should be able to take a cooler or crate as well as smaller items. You should even find there’s space in front of the seat for other larger items, such as a backpack or overnight gear.
Review: Pelican Catch 120 Fishing Kayak
On board there are molded rod holders that have tie-downs so your rods don’t float away. You can also use them to stow your paddle when you’re not using it. There are also two flush mount rod holders and two accessory eyelets so you can attach extra gear. It even has an angler ruler, so you can measure your catch right there and then.
However, this yak doesn’t have the rigging to attach fish finders or electronics without you having to do some work first. But it is possible to rig it to kit it out for more serious fishing.
Comfort is one of the most important things if you’re going to be in a yak for hours at a time. The Pelican Catch 120 is designed to be comfortable, with its spacious seating area and wide, comfortable seat. The ergonomically designed seat can actually be adjusted to be higher or lower on the deck, letting you choose the correct height for your fishing style.
When the seat is raised there’s even enough space underneath for extra gear, such as a small cooler. The breathable seat can also fold down easily and the back can be adjusted to recline. There are also adjustable foot rests that easily slide back and forth to whatever position is best suited to you.
Video: Pelican The Catch 120 | First Impressions
For added convenience when you’re on the water, there’s a bottle holder just in front of the seat so you can easily grab a drink when you need it.
“The Catch” 120 Alternatives
Perception Pescador Pro 12
Although it doesn’t have the same stability as the Catch, the 12 foot Pescador Pro could be a good alternative, and is roughly in the same price range. It’s a stable craft for calm waters and is designed to offer speed as well.
It has better rigging for adding accessories, such as a fish finder console and gear tracks, as well as rod holders. It also has plenty of storage but doesn’t have the secure bow hatch that the Catch has.
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120
If you’re looking for a yak with extra fishing features and with more versatility then the Tarpon 120 could be what you’re after. This craft could be ideal for a range of water conditions, including ocean surf but you may not have the same stability in order to be able to stand up, like you would in the Catch.
This one has the benefit of gear tracks built into each side, so you can attach accessories and electronics without needing to drill holes. It also has plenty of storage, including a large cargo area with bungee cords and two sealed hatches.
Vibe Skipjack 90
If you’re simply looking for a good value fishing yak that will let you get out on the water easily then the Skipjack 90 could be ideal. It’s only 9 feet long and 46 pounds, so it’s easy to transport and store. It also comes complete with a paddle, so you can get out paddling as soon as it arrives.
It has four rod holders and a mounting point for attaching a fish finder. There’s not excessive storage but there is a small cargo area at the back and two sealed hatches, plus a capacity of 300 pounds. It could make an ideal vessel for beginners or the occasional angler.
> Bigger review of the Skipjack here
Conclusion: Is There A “Catch”?
While the Catch 120 won’t suit everyone’s style of paddling or fishing, it could be a good choice if you’re looking for a super stable kayak that you have the freedom to stand up in.
- Comfortable seat
- Stable hull
- Freedom to fish standing up
- Size for transportation
- Speed (less of it)
Its hull design and width could make it a good option both for beginners and more serious anglers, and with its spacious deck it might be favored by larger paddlers.
If you think the Catch is the right yak for you then check it out for yourself, and don’t forget you can leave us a comment to let us know what you thought, or share this with your fellow anglers.
Also consider The Catch 100 and The Catch NXT kayaks.