First up, hoping to hit the shelves by October, is the aptly named 'Cuda. This 14' 3" kayak is an all around versatile boat made to fish just about any type of water. The length lends it to covering water well, without being too difficult to make the turns when it needs. And at over 29" wide it is plenty stable to stand up and do some sight fishing. The 'Cuda also sports the same hi/lo seat of the Coosa, so you can be plenty comfortable when you're sitting on the kayak instead. The nice part with the hi/lo seat, aside from comfort, is easily adjustable. You can drop it down low for better center of gravity when punching through the surf, or raise it up high for a better view of the fishing water.
The 'Cuda will introduce for the first time Jackson's rod tip cover, tackle stagers, fly rod stagers, safety flag, stand assist handle and a 26-inch center hatch (larger than the prototype photographed) that can have an insert to make it dry storage or a fish cooler big enough to fit a beautiful slot redfish. The optional hatch insert can be removed for easy access to the interior of the boat and for easy rod storage while on the water. The hatch cover itself is quite sturdy and will have no problem supporting electronics or rod holders without a problem.
Along the side of the kayak are the "rod stagers" - molded in areas for keeping your fishing rods close at hand when you're not fishing. They lay close to the deck, secure with a bungee, and protected at the tip by the new tip cover at the bow. Also, along the sides of the seat, and on either side of the massive tank well, are "tackle stagers." These are areas specifically molded to hold tackle trays, which can also be secured by bungee. It's pretty simple to see that Drew Gregory really thought about keeping things easy to reach when you need it. You'll find these on the Big Tuna as well.
Other key features of The 'Cuda include
- Elite hi/lo seat, with new rear and underside pockets.
- Center storage hatch with removable inserts (Optional cooler insert offered as an accessory )
- Paddle holder and stager
- Multiple rod stagers, including fly rod stagers
- Rod tip cover on bow
- Both bow and stern hatches with injection molded hatch rims to ensure a solid, snug fit.
- Rudder and non-rudder versions
- 2 flush mount rod holders included.
- Removable skid plate
- Closeable mesh side pocket
- Tackle box stagers on side and tankwell
- Unique rear seating position which opens up the deck area.
- Jackson Kayak long load safety flag
- Beverage holder
- Flat area for mounting accessories
- Large rear tank well
- Stand assist handle included
- Locking bar
- Low profile to help be more friendly in the wind.
If you prefer to fish with a partner, look no further than the Big Tuna. This 13' 9" tandom features all the same tackle organization of the rest of the Jackson Kayaks fishing fleet, and built it into a stable 33" two-seater that will kill 'em on the saltwater. The built in "Tuna Tank" drops into the water and will actually even help further balance the kayak when riding two up. When fishing solo, just move the rear seat up into a middle position and have at it. The prototype on display at Outdoor Retailer this month was still a bit rough around the edges, but Drew and the folks at Jackson hope to have it all primed and ready for the market in December.The Big Tuna is a creature unlike any other on the market, with multiple never before seen features in the kayak fishing world. Leading the charge on these unique elements has to be the 'Tuna Tank,' a unique bait/live well that requires no plumbing or electronics. It utilizes the water from beneath the boat to circulate into the bait tank keeping fish lively and fresh. The tank also resides in the center of the boat for easy access and management. When not in use, the Tuna Tank lifts out of the water, while remaining contained under the hatch covering it. When its ready to be used, open the hatch, and push the Tuna Tank down into the water. An ingenious setup for anyone that likes to fish live bait. Constantly fresh and cool water will flow through the tank, keeping your live bait in the best shape possible.
Jackson Kayak also brings the popular elite seats, and new 'Face time' seating! Simply rotate the front seat around to face your partner in conversation while drifting some fresh live bait from the Tuna Tank. Guide your friends, children and clients to the fish of a lifetime by controlling the boat from the rear seat while they enjoy the ability to fish without the worry of paddling. Of course, sometimes you can have too much face time and that is why the architects at Jackson Kayak have made the Big Tuna easily convertible and fishable as a solo boat as well.
At the back of the kayak is the drift chamber. Designed as a place to run a rear anchor without the need of a trolley, making rigging the Big Tuna easier, and safer to operate.
additional Big Tuna features include
- Two elite seats included for use in solo or tandem mode.
- FaceTime seating – front paddler can face rear paddler
- patent pending 26 inch center bait tank
- optional solid center hatch for dry storage
- optional cooler hatch insert for center hatch
- optional ‘glass bottom’ insert for underwater viewing
- optional hatch covers to fit your style
- easy transducer installation
- Tackle box stagers
- rudder and non- rudder options
- rod tip cover
- beverage holder
- molded in ‘drift chamber,’ for drag chains/anchors
- large rear hatch w/ internal rod storage.
- 22 inch flat standing platform
- closeable side pockets
- front day hatch
- adjustable foot pegs
- rear and underside pocket on elite seat.
- Jackson Kayak long load safety flag
- paddle holders and stagers
- mounting space for rod holder and accessory mounting.