We’ve been a fan of Pelican’s lightweight, tough kayaks for years, so we were stoked to paddle the new Catch 120, the company’s first sit-on-top designed specifically for stand-up fishing. The new kayak hosts many of the features common on a stand-and-fish kayak. A large, wide and flat deck offers plenty of room to stand and fish or mount accessories.

Pelican's Catch 120 is a lightweight option for a standard stand-up fishing kayak. | Photo: Ric Burnley
Pelican’s Catch 120 is a lightweight option for a standard stand-up fishing kayak. | Photo: Ric Burnley

A quick-lock hatch in the bow will hold fishing rods or the day’s catch. A large tankwell criss-crossed with bungees is perfect for a cooler or fishing crate. Flush mount rod holders behind the seat are in easy reach. Pelican’s new high-low seat is a simple system to raise and lower the seat for fishing or paddling.

What is most impressive is the boat’s lightweight thermoformed construction. Paddling the Catch 120, the weight saving is transferred into energy savings. This boat is surprisingly fast for a wide and stable hull. Standing is no problem on the sturdy hull. The boat paddles well and turns quickly. Standing and paddling is a breeze with solid tracking and stability. This boat will make stand-up fishing fun and easy.

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“Thank God my dad wasn’t a podiatrist,” jokes Ric about following in the footsteps of a famous outdoor writer. After graduating from Radford University and serving two years in Russia with the Peace Corps, Ric returned to Virginia Beach and started writing for The Fisherman magazine, where his dad was editor. When the kayak fishing scene exploded, Ric was among the first to get onboard. His 2007 book, The Complete Kayak Fisherman is one of the first tomes to introduce anglers to paddle fishing and hundreds of articles and seminars have brought countless anglers into the fold. When he’s not chasing every fish that swims, Ric teaches English at a school for at-risk teens.


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