What I love (and hate) about my Old Town Sportsman 106 Powered by Minn Kota Motorized Fishing Kayak

In the world of fishing kayaks there are a lot of options and I’ve explored them all. It’s clear that innovation continues to drive the market forward and that’s a good thing. Kayak anglers like myself are always on the lookout for the latest advancements that can enhance our fishing experience. One such innovation comes in the form of the Old Town Sportsman 106 Powered by Minn Kota Motorized Fishing Kayak – the kayak I personally take out the most. In this article I’ll tell you about this kayak’s combination of traditional kayak design and cutting-edge motorized propulsion and why it’s garnered significant attention from anglers looking to take their fishing adventures to the next level. So let’s look at the features, performance, and overall user experience of the Old Town Sportsman 106 with the Minn Kota motor and help you determine if it’s the right choice for your fishing needs.

What I love about My Old Town 106 with Minn Kota Motor

1. Design and Build Quality:

The Old Town Sportsman 106 boasts a sleek and durable design that is optimized for stability and performance on the water. Constructed from high-density polyethylene, this kayak is built to withstand the rigors of frequent use in various water conditions. The hull features a sharp keel and pronounced chines, providing excellent tracking and maneuverability, even in choppy waters common with inshore fishing here in the Florida flats.

2. Convenient and Versatile and Quite Speedy Motor

One of the standout features of the Sportsman 106 is its integrated Minn Kota motor system. Originally I was going to get the Old Town 106 PDL drive and while I’m sure I would have been happy with that model, I’m even happier with the Minn Kota motor version.

The Minn Kota 12-volt motor has 45 pounds of thrust. The motor is seamlessly mounted on the stern of the kayak, providing smooth and efficient propulsion with variable speed control. It offers a throttle-style thrust control lever on the right side of where I sit for simple forward and reverse speed control.

What I really love is about the motor is you have the option to pull the motor out of the water and paddle manually or engage the motor for effortless cruising – making it ideal for covering long distances or navigating against currents. Not only can it be very relaxing to cruise with the motor on low to medium, but you can also use it like a trolling motor to covertly scan for fish in the flats.

Another great thing about the motor is the LOW PROFILE – the kayak’s draft *even with the motor down* can handle even the skinniest of waterways – you can easily get into less than a foot of water with the motor going and if it gets really tight, just pop the motor up, paddle a bit and then put the motor back down – and you can do it all with one hand!

3. Comfort and Ergonomics:

Comfort is paramount during long hours on the water, and the Old Town Sportsman 106 excels in this regard. The kayak features a spacious cockpit with ample legroom, allowing anglers of all sizes to sit comfortably for extended periods. The adjustable padded seat provides excellent lumbar support and can be customized to suit individual preferences.

Additionally, the kayak is equipped with multiple storage options, including a large bow hatch, stern tank well, and several gear tracks for mounting accessories. This ensures that anglers have plenty of space to stow their fishing gear, tackle boxes, and personal belongings, keeping everything within easy reach while on the water.

4. Performance and Handling:

When it comes to performance, the Old Town Sportsman 106 delivers in spades. The combination of its streamlined hull design and powerful motor allows for swift and efficient propulsion, enabling anglers to cover more water in less time. Whether navigating open lakes, rivers, or coastal waters, this kayak handles with confidence and stability, even in windy conditions.

The kayak’s maneuverability is further enhanced by its responsive steering system, which allows for precise control with minimal effort. Anglers can easily adjust the direction of the kayak using the intuitive foot-controlled rudder, making it effortless to navigate tight spaces and navigate around obstacles.

5. Fishability and STABILITY (while standing up)

Of course, the ultimate test of any fishing kayak is its fishability, and the Old Town Sportsman 106 does not disappoint. The kayak is outfitted with a range of angler-friendly features, including flush-mounted rod holders, a large rear tank well for storing live bait or a cooler, and dedicated mounting points for fish finders and other electronics.The stability of the kayak, both when stationary and in motion, provides a solid platform for casting, reeling in fish, and handling gear.

I was surprised at how stable the kayak was while standing up – because of the 37 inch width, the platform is super stable and I can even stand up and paddle or while the motor is going on low so I can cast or scan for fish in the flat.

Additionally, the quiet operation of the Minn Kota motor minimizes disturbances to the surrounding environment, allowing me to sneak up on wary fish without spooking them.

6. Portability!

This one is probably too often overlooked by people who are in the market for fishing kayaks. All things being equal, if I didn’t have to transport the kayak I would have gone with a bigger kayak like the Old Town Sportsman 126 Autopilot or the top of the line Old Town 132 Autopilot. Those two kayaks are awesome beasts BUT are also much heavier and loooonger. At 130+ pounds most people are probably not car/truck topping these kayaks (not unless you wanna blow out your back) and the length is just too long to put into the back of your suv or truck bed for most people. That means you pretty much need a trailer and that’s just more equipment I don’t care to store. Plus more money to spend.

One of the main reasons I chose the Old Town 106 was of its smaller size – to me this is a huge advantage!

The 10 1/2 feet is big enough for all my fishing gear and more importantly at 10 1/2 feet I can easily pop the kayak into the back of my pickup truck with only a bit of overhang. Also my 10 1/2 foot model is 25-30 pounds lighter than the 12 and 13 foot models. What all this adds up to is my kayak is much more convenient and easier to haul around and that means I use it more often.

What I hate about my Old Town Kayak

If you read my blog you know I always give honest reviews. There are some negatives about the Old Town Kayak with a motor – and these apply to any motorized kayak...

  1. You will need to purchase a battery to drive the motor. After doing my research I went with a LiTime 12.8v LifePo 100Ah Battery – it’s got more than enough juice to power my kayak all day and it’s light weight (only about 20 lbs – way lighter than a typical marine battery).
  2. You probably need to register it with your state’s DMV thing. It’s cheap (like $10 or so) but you do have to take the trouble to do it.
  3. It’s HEAVY. Like 100+ pounds heavy – that’s without the motor. And note that I have one of the lighter models! Some of these fishing kayaks approach 150lbs. That’s a lot of weight to be lifting, especially for 50+ year old folks like myself. Again, this is one of the main reasons why I chose the 106 model vs the 126 or 132. Give this careful consideration if you are a bit older like me – that 13 foot model is great, but can you really lift/haul/raise it yourself?

In spite of the few negatives, I’m super glad I went with the Old Town 106 powered by Minn Kota. You really can’t beat the ease and convenience of this particular kayak!

Old Town Sportsman – Video Overview


In conclusion, the Old Town Sportsman 106 Powered by Minn Kota Motorized Fishing Kayak represents a significant leap forward in kayak fishing technology. Its combination of traditional kayak design, innovative motorized propulsion, and angler-friendly features make it a top choice for discerning anglers seeking a premium fishing experience.

As I said I personally use this kayak the most and I can tell you that it’s a winner!

Whether you’re a seasoned kayak angler looking to upgrade your gear or a newcomer to the sport looking for a reliable and versatile fishing kayak, the Old Town Sportsman 106 with Minn Kota motor delivers on all fronts. With its exceptional performance, comfort, and fishability, this kayak is sure to enhance your fishing adventures for years to come.

Check the Latest Price for the Old Town Sportsman 106 with Minn Kota Motor at Amazon – they seem to consistently have the most competitive prices.

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