Submitted: 11-16-2006 by molesworthaudio
After months of research and paddle testing I purchased my fishing Battle Cruiser, the Prowler Big Game from the knowledgeable gentlemen at The Small Boat Shop in Norwalk Connecticut.
I got back into fishing this summer up in Casco Bay Maine, taking out a used Hobbie Maui into the seas off Alewife Cove with just a rod, anchor and a Coors Lite for gear. Had a great time until being flipped by a monster wave and not being able to get back in, but thatís another story.
I did learn that I wanted a wider more stable fishing platform, and to me anything under 34Ē is far to narrow for a fishing kayak. Anyone over 200 lbs. with out years of kayak experience, wider is better, if your thinking speed, think again.
Looking at the hull of the Big Game, its like they put a fishing platform on top of a traditional sit in ocean kayak. The bow is narrow and reasonably sharp, cutting the water like a knife, above the knife it flares out to keep you dry and stable. For a Battleship it cruises pretty well. Iíve trolled the Back River VA. all day for miles, in all kinds of water, no problem, and Iím 60!
I was not looking for a rudder, but that was all they had and Iím glad it does! Tracking in winds and currents is a snap, plus drift fishing is actually controllable with the rudder. Even while anchored it gives you control in a current to position your casts where you want them. When you donít need it, like in the shallow flats, you can pull it up from your seat. Get one!
One of the problems I found in the Maui and other yaks with molded foot wells is that the ones you donít use are pressing into your calves. After a few hours my feet would get num from the unwanted pressure. Flat foot wells rule. They say it makes standing easier, but thatís beyond my imagination at the moment.
The deck has more usable accessory space then most. I mean you can put stuff everywhere. My suggestion is to hold off putting everything on it until you use it a bit. I started with my fighting position, a single Scotty upright rod holder just forward of the cup holder. There is this brilliant consol cover that you can mount stuff on, with storage underneath. Good place for the first aid kit and my cigar case. The Big Game comes with 2 recessed rod holders, outboard, behind the seat, perfect for trolling. The tank well is enormous, a tackle box fits right behind the seat, then there is room for a big cooler or milk crate, even a live bait system, scuba gear, whatever, itís BIG.
Hatches, there are two standard on the Prowler Big Game. One is right in front of your seat and its large, you can get to it easily. I put a dry bag with my rain gear and fleece there, with plans to build my working tackle box into it some day. The other hatch is even bigger and in the bow. It was a major factor in my selection of the Big Game over the Fish And Dive. I plan to camp with my kayak and this hatch allows me to bring all I need for some comfortable nights out on some gorgeous key somewhere sometime. Its load capacity of 600lbs. lets you bring just about anything you could want.
You do pay a price for all this, however, she weighs 70lbs! You just donít pick it up over your head and toss it on your roof rack. You need wheels to move it around; donít ever drag it on anything but sand for even 10 feet. And your choice of roof racks is critical, you want one with a slid out bar in the rear rack. I roll the yak up to my Honda Element on it scupper wheels in the stern holes. Then lift the stern up onto this slide out bar, holding onto her I then lift the bow up onto the front rack holders, finally moving the stern over on its rack. Iíve done it now a dozen times and have it down pretty good. I have no problem doing it myself with a crowd watching, cool.
To put it in the water I roll it in on its wheels bow first into the water then just lift it off the stern wheels, presto, your ready to board.
The only thing I changed before leaving the show room was the seat. It hit me in the kidneys like a rabbit punch. But thatís an individual preference based on your body type. A comfortable seat IS critical for fishing.
My next move is to add electronics. The Big Game comes ready for a Hummingbird transponder to be placed in one of the foot well scupper holes, and there is a battery shelf built into a spot just behind the bow hatch. Now I just need to find a place for a wet bar!