When the guys at Bay Sports asked me if I’d like to review their Bighead Angler, I jumped at the chance. I love kayak fishing and know Bay Sports has a reputation for quality watercraft. The Bighead Angler is an entry-level, sit-on-top fishing kayak built from UV-stabilised polyethylene.
Who it’s for: beginner/intermediate kayakers looking for a solid, affordable fishing kayak
What we liked: it’s lightweight, stable and versatile
What we didn’t: no bells and whistles
The Bighead angler is a tidy little yak. It features two dry storage compartments for bait, tackle and the like with rubber seals and clips to ensure the hold won’t fill with water if a rogue wave comes over the side.
There are four flush-mounted rod-holders and one moulded rod-holder, giving you plenty of options for casting and trolling. It also comes with a seat and paddle so is ready to go straight out of the box.
The first thing I noticed about the Bighead Angler was how easy it is to get on and off the roof racks. Weighing in at only 19kg, it’s easily manageable for one person and I had no worries transporting it and getting it down to the water by myself.
This is a big plus. Part of the attraction of kayaks over boats (for me at least) is their versatility and ease of use – you don’t need a licence or registration and you’re not limited to boat ramps. I reckon this freedom is impinged on when you need two people to get your yak in the water, so where possible it’s good to keep your kayak in a manageable weight range.
The Bighead Angler is sold as an extra stable fishing kayak and it’s a claim that holds water. I took the yak out on a choppy day at Bundeena (near NSW’s Royal National Park) and had no worries about capsizing (though admittedly I did get quite a bit of water in the kayak).
That said, this is not a touring kayak while it’s great for sheltered bays, rivers and lakes it is not made for the open ocean.
Capacity for this nifty little yak is 150kg, which is substantial for a craft of this weight and size and should be more than enough for most anglers. I’m 6ft tall, average build and weigh around 85kg. This left me with 65kg to play around with which was more than ample for fishing gear, food/water and quarry.
Manoeuvrability and speed
At 2.65 metres long, the Bighead Angler is quite short as kayaks go, which is great for manoeuvrability (you can pretty much turn on a dime). It’s 83cm wide which could make a kayak a little sluggish, however, its V-shaped hull with deep channels along the side means it tracks through the water at a fair clip and also maintains direction really well.
I spoke to the guys at Bay Kayaks about this one as it’s a hard one to gauge just by taking a yak out for a paddle. They told me the build quality is best in class, with no air bubbles in the UV stabilised plastic walls (these can occur if quality control isn’t up to scratch). Every Bighead Angler kayak is tested to ensure 3.5mm average wall thickness, drop tested to ensure perfect plastic bond and balance tested for optimal stability.
I was really impressed with the Bighead Angler. It’s a basic kayak with no bells and whistles but what it does, it does well. At $400 I reckon you’d be hard pressed to find a better fishing kayak for the money.
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