4-minute read + 20-minute videoBending Branches Regional Ambassador, Bill Sikora—aka The Florida Bass Paddler—reviews his Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman hybrid canoe for anglers.
Bending Branches Regional Ambassador, Bill Sikora, in his Discovery 119
Take a look at his video review below to see if this might be an ideal option for you, too:Bill maintains the Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman is “often overlooking because of its simplicity. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but I think this is a fantastic platform for, not just fishing, but even for duck hunters.”
What’s Great about Discovery 119
Bill loves the speed and tracking of this boat. It’s 11 feet 9 inches long and weighs 50 pounds. Even loaded down with his fishing gear, Bill is very happy with the way this boat handles. This Discovery is built like a canoe but has the portability of a kayak.A question Bill gets frequently is: Can you stand in it? Discovery 119 has more of a canoe bottom than the platform bottom of a fishing kayak. So it’s not as stable as a fishing kayak for standing. If you do choose to stand in it, you’ll need to be careful!This canoe’s hull is nice and smooth. It can get into more spots than Bill’s pedal kayak can, or even a paddle kayak that has a rudder. The flat, smooth hull means you can take it in any type of water, of any depth, and it won’t get tangled up in the weeds.Like a kayak, the seat in Discovery 119 sits lower—almost on the floor. While Bill says the seat is quite comfortable, he likes to use an additional pad if he’s going to be on the water all day.There’s plenty of room for gear, even a dog. “You can fish it right from the factory,” Bill says. It comes with a two flush-mount rod holders and cup holder. It’s ready to go.
Any Cons with This Boat?
Rather than “cons” Bill likes to refer to these as “things to keep in mind…”
- Discovery 119 is a hybrid that’s more like a canoe than a kayak. You’ll want to know the weather forecast, as there are no scupper holes. It’ll fill up with water in a good rain storm (that’s why he keeps both a sponge and a bilge pump in his).
- Because it’s lightweight, it’ll move easily in high winds.
- “You may have better sea legs than me and think this is a great boat to stand in. Personally, I don’t feel 100% comfortable standing in it. Therefore, I choose to sit.”
How Bill Rigs His Discovery 119
Bow: A gadget bag in the bow with a few small items, including a sponge if he gets water in the boat. Next is his work station with rod holders, pliers, GoPro mount and cup holder.
Middle: Bill keeps his paddle on a paddle leash that’s attached to the inside. No worries about losing his paddle when he’s landing a fish. He’s attached a Tackleweb system on each side, within easy reach of his seat. He uses these for storing his phone (also on a leash) and fish gripper.He has a couple small storage containers along the top edges for any items that won’t get in the way of his paddle strokes.Stern: Behind his seat, Bill has more rod or net holders, a bilge pump. Then he has YakAttack’s Blackpak made for NuCanoe. This version fits well into the back of Discover 119. This has more rod holders, tackle storage, tie down attachments, etc.Be sure and watch the above video for Bill’s specific tips.Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman is very simple to take out on small local waters without having to hook up fish finders, pedal systems or other gear items. It performs well when paddling and can handle plenty of gear. It’s size makes it easy to transport and store and it’s price point makes it very affordable (2022 MSRP $899 USD). Learn more on Old Town’s product page.You can follow Bill Sikora on YouTube: The Florida Bass Paddler.
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