Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Putting the Wilderness Systems Commander 120 Angler Through Its Paces 6/15/14

On Saturday, I set out to try out my new hybrid kayak. I'd taken the Wilderness Systems Commander 120 angler package on a local lake to test paddle.  First, the boat looks amazing. What a cool color scheme. I found everyone looking at my cool camo pattern kayak as a I drove down the highway. I had a couple people ask me about the boat at the gas station. More curb appeal than I'd lent thought to.  Take a look at this:
And this:

Commander is an open top boat, so an angler can hop right in and climb right back out without any problem. It will take on water from wading boots, so a sponge is in order. It took a little while to figure out how to place my spinning rods so they wouldn't sit in that boot water. It comes with a track mounting system so you can locate the many optional accessories in a modular customizable fashion. Put those rod holders, camera mounts, cell phone mounts, depth finders wherever you want.

Only thing I've had time to add was a tow rope. I use this to clip the boat to my belt as I waded upstream against torrid current. Where I needed to paddle the commander easily went upstream. I looked for shade on the sun strewn stream today. Quickly found one, two, three, supercharged fish to 17.25" long in that shaded side pocket. Exciting! When fishing by himself and angle should put thought to floating down then paddling back tot the bridge for quick action. Use that boat to line up casts, that would be hard to make on foot. Likewise dragging the boat up fishing upstream then turning to float and throw topwaters like buzzbaits can be devastating. It was today. 

I soon picked fish on square bill crankbaits, walk the dog lures, a spinnerbait, 4" tubes, and finally twin spin counter rotating buzzbaits.
Smallmouth were aggressive in the 4 hours I fished, 20 good smallmouth bass caught. I landed 5 over 16", up to 17.5". Mostly thinner, spawned out smallmouth bass. Spawn mostly done at this point.
On the float back, I was amazed how responsive the boat was, it didn't spin too much or ignore my turning strokes. Here's a 16.5" fish caught on a crankbait just next to heavy current. Got out of the boat and lined the cast up right. This fish fought like crazy in that current.

I really enjoy fishing this kind of slightly stained, higher water. In the areas of river with more slope or gradient the river really pushes, causing bass to find the side rest areas to ambush. Allows me to leave out large areas of water as fish less. One must check the water willow islands and rocks just off the faster current for fish. Nice to have aggressive eaters in predictable areas.


  1. Nice blog BT. What kind of price on the Yak?

  2. Coinman, I got a "special" price on it, that would get me busted if I told. Retails for 1139. There is also a non angler package starting at 969. The ability to stand in these boats and the highly modular track system has shot the price up there. But a really nice option if you intend to paddle lakes too.!