Belly Boat and Kayak Fishing
In a blog post five years ago, I took a close look at the areas of use of belly boats and kayaks for fly fishing. I would like to take up the topic again and shed more light on fishing with a belly boat.
My beloved first Orvis belly boat was retired long ago. Already in the early 90's I was fishing for pike in Ireland but also for trout in mountain lakes. The experiences with belly boat fishing for largemouth bass and pike-perch on the Ebro near Mequinenza are also unforgettable. I fulfilled my desire to fish larger areas in still and salt water with a fly rod when traveling by plane by purchasing an inflatable Gumotex kayak, which weighs only 13 kg. It is ideal for pike fishing near a parking lot access, for fishing in mangrove areas or for reaching estuaries for salmon and sea trout fishing. An action radius of up to 5 km is ideal. However, some areas on Lake Constance can only be reached by kayaking by long hikes. Carrying a kayak and fishing gear on your head for one or more kilometers is too exhausting and cumbersome. In addition, an echo sounder is advantageous in open water to find underwater structures. That weight and the battery add to the weight and space. Thus, even a light kayak is unsuitable for weight reasons. The same applies to heavier belly boats such as the 160 cm long and stable Zeck Belly Cats. Due to their stability, these are ideal for catfish fishing, but also not for stretches of water that are far from parking lots.
Fishing spots far from parking lots
For areas of water that are far away from car parks, it is therefore advisable to strap the belly boat onto your back and approach it with an e-bike. This reduces the options for choosing a boat, firstly because the boat must be light and secondly it must not be too long so that the boat does not touch the rear tire when biking. In addition, the belly boat should offer options for attaching a rod stand in order to have two mounted rods ready on the boat. A suitable holder for the echo sounder must be available for the boat, too. If everything, including the battery, fins and landing net, can be packed compactly and carried on the back, then all the requirements are met. The only boat that met these requirements with a weight of 6.2 kg and the availability of many accessories was Pezon & Michel's Gunki Squad. Together with my foldable e-bike, it fits in my trunk when inflated. This is perfect combination for me to be able to get to remote sites quickly.
I found a good comparison of belly boats on the net, which I don't want to withhold from you. The flat formers from Seven Bass are particularly interesting. It is only available in German but maybe Google translator does the job for you.