Research Kayaks in the Buyers' Guide!
Select Kayak to View in Buyers' Guide
I put scupper plugs in the front 6 scuppers but left the aft 2 open. These keep the front perfectly dry. So far I've taken it out on a windy day in an area with a use fetch and up a couple of rivers with class 1 Rapids. It tracks very easily and hold a straight coarse unless caught in a strong cross current.
It's very stable, I'm not afraid to keep mini-iPad in my lap for photo ops. I can load it myself onto my roof rack using a simple extension device copied from the Internet.
Many people call this an entry level boat. For me it will be my primary kayak for many years to come.
Initial stability is less, but secondary stability as you get further over is fine. I weigh 240-250 depending on the day and without any extra gear, I have water gushing up thru the floor scupper holes rather than draining out. Scupper plugs with an easy pull handle or cord are required to have a dry foot well. Same goes for the storage area behind the seat. The position of the drain holes allows you to drain the boat well though before dragging it to shore and having water all over the seat in the process.
Hull thickness is very sturdy as compared to the Kingfish, though I have a sail rig for the Kingfish and its hull handles that easily, therefore so should the Pescador. Pescador tracks far better and thus is a bit harder to turn sharply. I was able to trim a foam stadium butt pad and permanently insert it under the seat for a bit more cushion. Good boat at a great price.
A fantastic kayak for the price!
Plenty of storage with 2 compartments within reach while paddling. It even came with a rod holder for us fisherman and space to add more and a milk crate fits perfect right behind your seat. It handles chop well and stays dry if you have the scuppers plugged but I keep them unplugged near my feet and a little water comes in but it does not change the performance and if a big wave or boat wake hits, you will not get swamped. Even if swamped you will still float.
If you are a beginner on a budget, do not hesitate to buy this.
Initially unstable but quickly found the stability and did not have a problem. The seat was comfortable and was easy to adjust which made the paddling much easier. At 50lbs it was not too heavy to lift onto the J cradles on the roof rack of my Escape, but the weight distribution did make it awkward trying to seat it in the racks.
I still need a few more excursions to get use to it but feel it was a good buy for an initial entry level kayak.
If you are looking for the most bang for your buck in a fishing kayak I would definitely check this one out. Please remember, a lot of what is good about a kayak comes from personal preference so please try one out whenever possible before making a decision.
Based on Wilderness System's 2008 model of the Tarpon 120, the Pescador hits all marks on what is considered to be a classic among quality SOT kayaks. It tracks well (faster than Ocean Kayak Caper and Big Game from our experience, but not as stable), boasts a comfortable seat, has plenty of storage, and is truly a beautiful boat. At $500, it's value is unparalleled.
We bought three. I'm 6' 250, my wife is 5'2" 160, and my sister is 5'10" 200. No issues. We were ducks to water in our Pescadors!
Explore in your Pescador!
I've had it out on a local lake twice and couldn't be more pleased, very stable, tracks great and pretty fast for a SOT. Looking forward to years of enjoyment with this yak.
The reason why I give this an 8/10 instead of full is its performance offshore (btb). I've had it beyond the breakers (btb) fishing for sharks and bull reds on the Texas coast twice in waves/swell less than 3 feet, but it just doesn't feel stable, every wave/swell feels like it may tip you if it catches you off guard.
In the end: If you want a fishing kayak great for bay fishing, or somewhere that not as open as the ocean, this is GREAT!!!! If you are looking for something to use for big fish on big water - test drive one before you buy it, you may want to reconsider.
The boat tracks well, fishes great, isn't heavy, and is pretty stable. Hands down the best kayak for $500 new. Nothing else comes close!
I rate this a 10. The Caster an 8 (could track better), the Scrambler a 6 (no room and very uncomfortable) Scupper Pro a 7 (lacks stability). I recommend the Pescador highly. Great value/performance.
To address one comment, I think they addressed the wet seat issue, as there are scuppers hidden underneath the seat. This led to a slightly wet bottom, but I air-dried by the time I got back. I launched into a lake, but intend on using it in coastal waters.
The kayak was easy to paddle and very maneuverable paddling forward or backward, even to someone unversed in proper technique. The kayak was very stable when facing forward or sideways. I twisted and faced backward several times, and wobbled a bit on my first attempt, but got comfortable afterward. I purchased the kayak to fish from, but am going to take it out one more time, this time into Tampa Bay, before I try casting anything.
The Perception Sport Pescador gives the rare opportunity to purchase a high-end Kayak that is NEW with budget pricing. Academy Sports offer's the best price of anywhere else at $499.99 you would be hard pressed to find a better kayak used on craigslist for this cheap.
Great kayak that is stable has plenty of room to fish out of nice storage and is very maneuverable and quick for a 12 footer. You can't loose with this beauty.
I hope you all can have the opportunity to purchase this great yak as word has it that it will be taken off the market to satisfy kayak specialty stores who have been upset for loosing sales of there $1000+ Tarpon 120's they are trying to sell because of the Pescadore.
Tight lines everyone
I am 5'11" and weight 265 lbs. I get a couple inches of water in the scupper holes, but it tracks well and is easy to paddle. Great copy of the 2008 Tarpon 120 for half the price.
After about 150-200 miles I only have two issues with the boat. The seat contour is a reverse slope and forms a pool, so any water that get in this area won't drain. This makes for a soggy tush all day. The other is no seat bottom. I believe the new Tarpon design has remedied this; but I don't know if a padded and dry tush is worth $300+ dollars.
AS far as performance, the hull design is very efficient. The v-hull minimizes wind push, yet is shallow enough to float in 4-5 inches of water. I've also had the 10 foot size, but recommend the 12-footer as the best size for speed and maneuverability on rivers and lakes.
I just saw them on sale an Gander Mountain for $549.99. That's less than I paid for my Tarpons five years ago.
The boat is very sturdy and feels quite fast through the water. I bought scupper plugs immediately as a lot of water came into the boat at my feet and right behind the seat.
I spoke with Perception and they confirmed the Pescador is exactly the same boat as the 2008 Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 (Perception and WS are the same company), so I feel I got quite a good deal on a 12' sit on top kayak well suited for fishing, all for under $500. The seat is very comfortable and feels durable. I also wanted a boat without graded foot wells, so this fit the bill. At 60lbs the boat feels quite heavy, but I can lift it on and off the car quite easily. Storage in the boat is very good.
Overall this seems like exactly the boat I was looking for for calm water fly fishing. Sturdy, fast, and durable. Not sure what modifications have been made to the new Tarpon, but if you're on a tight budget and want to save a few hundred dollars (actually i think it's nearly half the cost), I'd recommend a close look at the Pescador.
I have had it out a couple of times on the Class I River I live on here in WV. I have never paddled a Tarpon, but I have Redfish 10. This Pesacador is a very good Fishing Kayak. All I have done is added a Scotty Rod Holder in front and an Anchor Cleat. It is not quite as stable as my Redfish but stability is still very good. It tracks really well and is considerably faster than my Redfish.
The hull of this girl is excellent, I hit some good size hidden rocks in the Shoals and expected to see some gouges when I got home but there was nothing more than surface scratches. I highly recommend this Kayak especially for fans of the 2008 Tarpon because I see no difference between the two. I believe that only Dick's and Gander Mountain carry them and apparently they were only made in Red. I got mine off Ebay so if interested you could check there as well.
120,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!