Wilderness Systems Thresher 140

A GoPro gallery captures the fishability of this 14-foot performance sit-on-top kayak in the Florida shallows.

Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
A clear weekend allowed me test out the new Wilderness Systems Thresher 140 in the shallow brackish waters of Florida's east coast. Sometimes I fished from it, sometimes I snapped photos of a fellow angler in the cockpit, but both of us came away impressed with the 14.3 Sit-On-Top (SOT) kayak.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
In the forward section of the kayak is massive storage with a lid that opens like a car hood. On top of the hatch is strap to hold your paddle when fishing. Moving aft is the FlexPod OS Removable Console, a compartment that allows anglers to easily rig electronics or the Helix MD Motor Drive. I didn't need the electronics or Torqeedo electric motor because I fished in just 6 to 12 inches of water, though I rigged a Scotty rod holder between my legs. The rod holder is mounted to the rectangular center hatch on Wilderness System's SlideTrax system.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
At first light, this hefty seatrout smacked a soft-plastic cast near a mullet school over a skinny flat. And when I say skinny, I'm talking ankle-deep water. Even though the Thresher 140 is built to cut through much larger swells, the 'yak had no problem in the shallows.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
Besides seatrout, redfish cooperated throughout the day. Never underestimate how big of redfish will hunt in just inches of water. In the high-pressured waters I fish, these drum head to the shallows to get away from boaters. Turns out, they can't get away from kayakers!Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
Drifting along the mangrove edges as a storm brewed, I watched and waited for telltale signs of feeding gamefish. Notice the SlideTrax rails that sit outside your legs? Wilderness Systems designed the tracks so anglers can mount accessories without having to drill holes into the kayak.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
Other fishy landscapes included small creeks and channels that seemed impossibly tight to navigate. The creek mouths were wide enough, but the creeks themselves tighten into just a trickle before opening up to untouched ponds and lakes. Notice, in the stern section, a tankwell with adjustable bungee, two gear security straps and self-bailing scupper holes. Bring along a cooler to hold freshly caught fish or a kayak crate to handle extra fishing gear. I used the safety lines along side the kayak to hold a stick anchor when paddling.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
Throughout the trip, sometimes I had to retrieve my Flambeau dry box and check the Navionics app on my phone to make sure we weren't getting lost in the maze of creeks, ponds, ditches and other marsh areas. Plenty of gear fits in the front hatch such as a soft side cooler for drinks, a dry bag or rain gear. I packed all three items on the trip.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
Along a dilapidated dirt road that cut through the marsh, we stopped to stretch our legs and fish the opposite side. Water flushed out of three culverts, moving shrimp and baitfish underneath the road.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
This soft-plastic jig was plucked from a tree near the dirt road. Getting rid of trash from the environment is always a worthy endeavor, but in this case, the lure also gave us an idea of what locals used in the marsh.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
Back near the mangroves and shallow grass flats, reds in the the mid- to upper-slot range were hungry. As long as the cast was out in front of the fish, the reds were willing to bite well-presented baits.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
I prefer to throw soft plastics with a weighted worm hook in the shallow grass. The Z-Man Scented PaddlerZ float, so when coupled with a weighted worm hook, cast far and swim in just inches of water. Plus, they're incredibly tough and can last for multiple fish fights.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
My Scotty rod holder was just an arm's length away — one accessory that I believe is vital, even for the minimalist kayak angler.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
This quality seatrout was caught blind-casting after I saw a redfish tail pop up about 20 feet from my kayak. I didn't catch the redfish, but the seatrout was just as welcome. Port side of the kayak, a simple elastic bungie held my paddle, and a 6-foot rope connected my stick anchor to pad eye.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
A bird's eye view of the Thresher 140 shows its complete length. Built for anglers of all sizes, the 14-foot 'yak has leg room and the ability to adjust the Keepers XL Foot Brace System. The saddle itself is a Phase 3 AirPro Sit-On-Top seat, with adjustable height to keep your back from getting sore.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing
Wilderness Systems Thresher 140
The Thresher 140 won't catch you fish, but might make you a better fisherman with its stealth, comfort and features. And the redfish (pictured) don't seem to mind the loud colors; my color scheme was aptly named "mango" with its red and orange blotches.Sam Hudson / Sport Fishing