Kayaks were invented by Inuits, who are people living in the arctic circle. But kayak fishing as a recreational sport, or outdoor activity, is largely a southern phenomenon, meaning it became much more popular in the Southeastern, Southern, and Southwestern regions of the United States, than in the Northern, colder regions.
Florida, the sunshine state and world capital of fishing, is also the world capital for kayak fishing, with the biggest number of kayak anglers, kayak fishing guides, kayak fishing clubs, websites, dealers, online forums, etc. Texas comes second, and then other southern states.
No wonder many people think of a fishing kayak as a ‘yak’, that is a sit-on-top kayak, or SOT, in short.
The situation is much different in the northern part of the country, and in Canada, where the idea of kayak fishing hasn’t been accepted with much enthusiasm, because of the different climatic conditions, including colder weather and water.
Let’s face it: Capsizing your kayak in cold water is anything between a very unpleasant incident and a very risky business, because of the danger of hypothermia. Even being constantly splashed and sprayed by cold water is unpleasant and potentially hazardous, especially on cold and windy days, and that’s pretty much what fishing from a kayak (sit-in or sit-on-top) means up here in the North, unless you’re willing to accept a kayak fishing season that’s limited to two months: July and August, and in the very northern states even that would be stretching it…
In sum, considering the fact that SOT kayaks, and even sit-in kayaks offer too little stability, comfort and protection from the elements, and considering these facts also imply a lesser degree of safety for the angler, it is easy to understand why the numbers of kayak anglers in the north are far less impressive than they are in the south.