Don’t Put Up the Kayak Yet

Since late May in Pennsylvania, cars/trucks frequently have been sighted toting kayaks or at least roof racks. They are handy for gaining access to shallow, rocky, or weedy locations where other boats may struggle. However, with flowing water a kayak requires overcoming some logistical hurdles.

Two vehicles are almost always required; one at the “put in”, and the other at a predetermined destination. Another option is to “borrow” the wife’s “antique” milk crate, slide part of a 2X4 through it and then clamp on an electric trolling motor. (See photo) As long as the current isn’t too swift or shallow, I’ve had limited success powering upstream (eventually) and then drift fishing back to the truck on solo treks.

And this big power boat carrying two kayaks on Lake Erie in this photo seems to have the best of, well, at least two of the boat worlds.

Because they are normally so self reliant to operate a kayak trip is an adventure. They are more stable than a canoe but space can be limited. Specialized fishing kayaks have compartments and holders to help with this. Not sure you want to own one? Try renting a kayak first. Let someone else sweat the details.

A couple of elementary school teachers recently shared a peaceful kayak trip down the Allegheny River, crossing an item off the “bucket list” for one. Perhaps they reminisced about the days of yore when a different kind of paddling was still available. Six miles downstream, their arms were a little sore, but they were all grins and already talking about the next trip.

Fall is almost here but my kayak will not go quietly into the garage. We’ll be enjoying the fall foliage, eagle watching, and smallmouth bass leaps as long as we can. Still time to get your feet wet in the north.

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.