Whether we recommend kayak fishing in tandem is not an easy question to answer.
Essentially, kayaks are solo boats that do not lend lend themselves easily to tandem applications -
In principle, tandem kayak fishing is possible, since many kayaks are big enough to take two passengers on board. however, from a practical standpoint, having two anglers fishing out of a small vessel such as a kayak is problematic with regards to several aspects that require preliminary consideration, as well as constant attention:
First and foremost, kayak fishing in tandem involves a safety issue, because two passengers moving about in the cockpit or on the deck of a fishing kayak in an uncoordinated manner can easily destabilize it. in such case, it’s enough to have one passenger overreacting to cause the kayak to capsize. Obviously, having fishing rods, lures and sometimes even fish flying around in all directions in space that’s so severely restricted isn’t a good recipe for safety. In fact, it is dangerous.
The second problem to consider is convenience – Every angler wants and needs to have an unlimited range of motion around them, to allow them to perform basic things such as casting, reeling in, landing the fish, unhooking, and so on. Anglers must have a comfortable workspace for tying knots, attaching lures and bait, and doing other technical work involving handling of fishing gear, including sharp objects such as fishing hooks, and knives, which is hazardous in itself, without adding the fact that the angler is sitting in a small vessel, with a fishing partner a few feet away…
Besides, when you’re fishing in tandem, the last thing you want to deal with is your fishing lines getting entangled with those of your partner, and you certainly don’t want to be part of an accident involving someone getting poked in the eye by a misguided fishing hook, etc.. -The possibilities for a disaster are so numerous that it’s practically impossible to list them all in this article, but we assume the reader gets the point…
Kayak fishing in tandem is more complicated and more difficult than tandem kayak paddling, and we don’t fully recommend it, unless the crew is composed of one experienced adult kayak angler and one junior kayak angler, such as a child, who needs guidance and often even technical help with handling their fishing gear. In such case the obvious choice for a kayak is the W500 that features a 6 ft long cockpit, and a longitudinal seat that makes it possible for the two anglers to sit separated by a long span, but also to approach each other effortlessly and safely when they need to do something together, such as in case the experienced angler has to instruct the novice, or help them hands-on perform a fishing related task.
A small sized angler such as a child may get confused, or overexcited, but they’re unlikely to cause a severe balance problem that the second, bigger, and more experienced will find impossible to deal with.
A large size angler getting into some kind of trouble that would cause them to lose balance and tilt the kayak sideways is a totally different problem that the second crew member might not be able to correct, especially if they’re caught off guard.
This movie was shot by Jesse Martinez in his W500, during a fishing trip in which he took his two small kids on board:
More information about kayak fishing with children >>
Kayak fishing standing in tandem is even more problematic, and should be practiced only after both anglers have practiced tandem kayak fishing before, as well as stand up kayak fishing. Needless to say that the kayak used for this type of fishing should fit for such such activities. Note that vendors’ claims about their kayaks’ stability are often exaggerated, and should be viewed with both caution, common sense, and healthy skepticism. Before getting hooked on the idea of kayak fishing in tandem, remember that it’s you and your fishing buddy that are going to be sitting in kayak out there in the real world, and not some guys who got paid to demonstrate a fishing kayak in front of a camera.
Kayak fishing offshore in tandem is even more difficult, and hazardous, and we do not recommend it, unless both anglers are lightweight and very experienced with fishing together out of small boats, such as dinghies and canoes. Fishing in tandem out of a kayak equipped with a powerful motor, such as an outboard gas engine adds yet another level of risk, and in such cases you may consider outfitting your kayak with a pair of large size outriggers, such as this South Korean couple is using on an offshore fishing trip >>
Having said all that, tandem kayak fishing can be a lot of fun when both anglers get along with each other, and their combined weight isn’t too much for the kayak, as you can read in the following fishing trip report: Tandem kayak bassin with wifey, by Clint Miller »