By Noel Vick
The kayak that caught the attention of the fishing media at ICAST 2014 (where it won “Best Boat” and overall “Best of Show”) – is the Old Town Predator XL Minn Kota tri-hull fishing kayak, which at 13 feet long and 3 feet wide, has a whopping 600 pounds of carrying capacity.
Not only that, it’s designed for anglers to fish completely hands-free at will.
No, it’s not foot pedal controlled. It’s motorized.
And the power comes sourced from a company we’ve come to rely on over the years to salad-slice our bass boats through some pretty serious slop: Minn Kota.
It’s ingenious, really. The Predator XL Minn Kota is designed to accept any of three XL consoles that fit into the hull of the kayak cockpit. The most impressive of the three is the Minn Kota motor console, which provides 45 pounds of variable thrust, forward and reverse, and saltwater-grade power. Boat control is accomplished via a foot-controlled rudder system, which means you can move from spot to spot with ease, troll, and maintain precise boat control … without ever lifting a paddle. The motor was also designed with minimal operation noise, which means fewer spooked fish.
The motor console also includes Minn Kota’s Digital Maximizer technology for long battery life, dual kill-switches for safety, LED charge indicator, USB charge ports (helpful for charging smartphones), a sonar mounting plate, battery/cable storage, and integrated storage that can easily converted into bait/livewell, cooler, or tackle/dry storage, depending on your needs.
With regards to power, the Predator XL Minn Kota features pre-run wiring with trolling motor plug-in outlets fore and aft. There is ample space right behind the three-position Element Seating System to carry your favorite brand 24- or 27 group size 12 volt deep cycle battery for long days and nights on the water.
Minn Kota’s Battery Power Center is the perfect solution to house the battery from the elements and power your trolling motor battery and fishfinder via easy access external battery terminals. It also features a built-in battery meter that displays charge, two 12-volt accessory plugs (great for charging phones, GoPro cameras, or running your aerator, LED lighting, etc.), and two manual reset circuit breakers (10 amp for accessory plugs and 60 amp for trolling motor). At $65, it’s a smart investment for angler. The Minn Kota Power Center comes standard with the Minn Kota motor console for the Predator XL.
For those who prefer paddles to motors, the Predator XL is available with two other problem-solving consoles. A motor-less large-capacity utility console makes a great baitwell/livewell – especially with the addition of a Frabill Aqua-Life Spray Bar aeration system – but will also function as a cooler, or storage for fishing electronics battery and tackle boxes. Or anglers can go minimal with the flush-to-floor Exo-Ridge console to maximize room for stand-up fishing.
Imagine paddling a few miles to reach some secret spot, catching stripers until your arms and shoulders are sore … and then realizing you can motor back to shore, nursing a cold bottle of water, relaxed and feeling victorious.
That’s the true power of the Old Town Pro Angler XL Minn Kota, the ultimate fishing machine – easily and infinitely customizable for exactly how and where you fish.
Call it the fishing kayak of the future … but it’s here today.
To find a dealer near you click here for Old Town’s dealer locator