Inflatable rafts for urban anglers.
Like Caleb Regan in "Learn to Fish" (June/July 2016),
I also enjoy fishing because it's an inexpensive way to enjoy nature and procure food. However, I rent an apartment in an urban setting with no storage space to keep a boat or kayak, and I drive a small car that would make transporting a watercraft inconvenient.
Three years ago, I began investigating inflatable rafts and found that there are a variety of different styles, sizes, and accessories available. Many of these are outfitted with equipment to facilitate fishing, such as rod holders and trolling motor mounts. With a few inexpensive modifications, fishing from an inflatable raft can be quite comfortable, and a raft is often even more maneuverable than larger watercraft. But the real beauty of the inflatable fishing raft for the urban homesteader is that it takes up very little storage space and can be transported inside your car.
I purchased a four-person Intex Seahawk raft, which is 11 feet when fully inflated. I also purchased two half-inch-thick, 8-foot boards to serve as floorboards. I placed them in the bottom of the boat on top of an old bed comforter to pad the boards and keep them from damaging the raft. I gained additional stability (and a seat) by putting a chest cooler perpendicularly across the boards. From the cooler, I can control the trolling motor mounted on the back, powered by a 12-volt deep-cycle marine battery (which I also place across the floorboards). I use a solar panel on my apartment deck to charge the battery. I also have a fish finder unit mounted to the battery box.
After three years and many hours out on the water, I have had no problems with the setup and have caught hundreds of fish.
Please note: Some tables or figures were omitted from this article.