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Perception Pescador 12.0 Pilot Kayak Review

Mark Armstrong
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Fishing from a kayak can be a great experience, as you can access areas of the water that you might not otherwise be able to. However, sometimes, a paddle can be a bit of an inconvenience. But that’s where a pedal kayak can help.

The Perception Pescador 12.0 Pilot is designed to allow for hands free kayaking. But will pedals make any difference to your yak fishing experience? We’ve looked at this craft’s main features to see how it performs and why you might need it.

Perception Pescador 12.0 PilotPin
  • Length: 12 foot 5 inches
  • Width: 33.75 inches
  • Depth: 16 inches
  • Weight: 85 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 475 pound

Pescador Pilot Pedal Kayak: Do I Need Pedals?

The Pescador Pilot is a fishing kayak with pedals, so you can use your legs to power yourself across the water instead of your arms. Pedal yaks are designed to give you more of a hands free kayaking experience so you can fish, take photographs or do any other activity that requires both hands, while still being able to travel across the water.

You may also be able to travel faster by pedaling compared to traditional paddling, as you will probably have more strength in your legs than you have in your arms. So having pedals could come in handy if you’re on a large body of water, such as the ocean or a large lake.

pedal yak can be a great vessel for beginners, as there is no skill required in order to use one. It’s almost just like riding a bike, so you really don’t need to learn any special techniques to get started. However, you might still need a paddle in order to turn more quickly or maneuver more efficiently.

You’ll probably find that with most pedal yaks there are built-in fishing features, as well as increased stability. This can be of use when carrying fishing gear or attaching accessories, and the added stability often means you can stand up in the vessel, giving you more freedom of movement and allowing you to stand to cast.

But before you buy a pedal craft you’ll need to think about how you plan to transport it, as pedal yaks can often be significantly heavier than traditional ones. So you may need to think about additional accessories, such as a kayak cart.

Top Features Of The Pescador 12.0 Pilot

The Perception Pescador 12 Pilot is a sit-on-top angling kayak designed to give you the space, stability and comfort that you require for a full day of fishing. It comes with a pedal drive system and an adjustable Captain’s Chair.

If you’re looking for a pedal yak that’s easy to use and that you can take in a range of water conditions, this one could be a good choice.

Control On The Water

With the Pilot Drive pedal drive system, you can gain added control when you’re on the water. The rotational pedals allow you to move the yak both forwards and backwards, like cycling, which could make it easier for beginners, as you don’t need any special paddling skills.

Another benefit of the pedals is that when you’re fishing you can really focus on holding your rod and reel instead of trying to juggle the rod and the paddle while you battle against the elements. So this could give you more control over both your yak and your catch.

The pedals operate the propeller underneath the hull, which may give you more power and speed when travelling across large areas of water, compared to traditional paddling. The only thing you need to remember is to try not to venture into extra shallow or weedy zones, as the propeller could hit the bottom or become wrapped in weeds. However, the drive system can be lifted up to the hull.

There’s also a retractable rudder system, that’s controlled by hand from the deck, which can help you turn but is mostly to help with tracking and prevent you from travelling off course. This could be of benefit if you plan to fish in water with currents.

Stand Up

This sit-on-top has been designed with anglers in mind, so it’s built with a wide hull, at 33.75 inches, for improved stability. This means you can potentially stand up while fishing, allowing you to cast further and more efficiently. The seat can also be pushed back to give you more leg room.

The Pescador Pilot has been designed to give you stability in a range of water conditions, from flatwater to the ocean. It’s a versatile craft that could be a good option if you’re looking for a fishing vessel that you can take almost anywhere.

Fish Comfortably

The Pescador Pilot is built for fishing. It has four molded-in rod holders behind the seat, as well as a paddle holder at the side. There are two gear tracks, one on either side, where you can conveniently attach a fish finder, GPS or other accessories.

The seat is a Captain’s Chair, which is adjustable forwards and backwards, giving you better access to the pedals. It’s made from breathable mesh and sits quite high on the deck, keeping you drier and giving you improved visibility. You can also remove the seat easily for storage and transportation.

As for storage, there is a large tank well in the rear that can easily fit a cooler or crate. It also has bungee cords to keep your gear secure. At the bow, there’s another storage well that has an adjustable mesh cover, as well as storage slots at either side of the deck for tackle trays and a cup holder to keep your drink safe.

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12

Hobie-Mirage Pro Angler 12 KayakPin

The Hobie Mirage features a wider hull, at 36 inches and is a little shorter, at 12 feet, so could offer good stability, although it’s more expensive.

However, it has lots of fishing features, including horizontal rod holders, a front hatch with removable insert and a large storage well to the rear, with a sealed hatch and the option of having a live bait tank.

> Read the full review

Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10

Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 KayakPin

The Slayer Propel 10 could be a good alternative if you’re looking for something a little easier to transport. It’s just 10 foot long and weighs just 62 pounds without the pedal drive system.

It’s stable enough for standing and has plenty of fishing features, including lots of gear tracks for mounting your accessories. It comes in just a little higher in price than the Pescador Pilot.

> More of our thoughts on this kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal

Ocean Kayak Malibu PedalPin

If you think you might not need as many fishing specific features, the Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal one could be a could option. Designed more for recreation, this 12 foot yak is 34.5 inches wide and has a capacity of 450 pounds. There’s lots of room for storage so could be good for a camping trip.

One cool feature of this craft is the extra jumpseat for kids and there’s also room to bring along your family pet, so it might be less suited to fishing and more suited to family adventures.


Perception Pescador 12.0 PilotPin


  • Great stability
  • Speedy
  • Good for all types of water


  • On the heavy side
  • Requires a paddle for faster turning

If you’re fed up trying to wrestle with your catch and control your yak with your paddle at the same time, then a pedal craft could be the answer to your problems. The Pescador 12 Pilot could give you the hands free fishing experience that you’ve been looking for.

As well as that, it can also offer you the opportunity to stand to fish from the deck and allow you to move much quicker and more easily across the water.

If you’ve decided the Pescador 12 Pilot is the right vessel for you, you can check it out here. And if you have any questions or comments, just let us know in the comments sections. Don’t forget, your fellow anglers might be interested in a pedal yak, so remember to share our review with them.

Perception Pescador 12.0 Pilot - Pinterest ImagePin

1 thought on “Perception Pescador 12.0 Pilot Kayak Review”

  1. Warning – Do not buy the Perception Pilot Kayak. The company who makes this cannot replace the propeller if you loose or break it. We lost ours and after several attempts to replace the company is not forthcoming. We will end up having to buy the whole unit for about $945 just so we can get the propeller. We only used it 7 times and the propeller fell off. Poor workmanship.


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