2012 was the year of the motorized fishing kayak – Not just a common sit-n or SOT kayak outfitted with a lame electric trolling motor, but the real thing: a motorboat as American anglers understand it, and this means a boat powered by a gas engine – typically an outboard motor.
And by motorboat we don’t mean one that offers just inland fishing on flat water but cannot be used for offshore fishing – What we’re talking about is real ocean fishing capabilities, from surf launching to trips that are several times longer than what electric motors may enable before they run out of electricity.
This also means sufficient stability for stand up fishing, dryness (sorry, we don’t buy the notion that kayak fishing is a wet sport…), sufficient storage space for long trips, and a comfort level that’s acceptable for anyone, and not just for young, lightweight and athletic fishermen.
And when trailers are concerned – we find that unless you’re looking for a boat that will carry you and several passengers on board, you can and should do without a trailer, not just because of the additional expense, but also because it takes room in your yard, and it takes precious time from each and every fishing trip you make. And when you consider the fact that a trailer also limits your launching and beaching options to the same spot, and one that features a boat ramp, we’re talking about a new level of freedom…
No-motor-zones? Not necessarily a problem when you can instantly switch to a human powered mode of propulsion – paddling in most cases, poling in shallow water, and rowing if you prefer!
This is no longer an experimental concept – People enjoy the advantages of fishing out of W motor kayaks worldwide, and if you ask many of them, the boat they fish from is a personal skiff that offers some extra advantages compared to small motorboats (skiff, jon boat, bass boat, etc.) and kayaks.
From now, this online kayak fishing magazine will focus exclusively on Motorized Kayak Fishing. We’ll publish articles, videos and reviews related only to motorized fishing kayaks: Inland and offshore, in shallow and deep water, in cold climates and in warmer ones, in bass fishing trips and when fishing for other fish species.
Gary Thorberg and the MinnYaks Team will be exhibiting the world’s best fishing kayak at the 80th Annual Northwest Sportshow, March 28-April 1st, in Minneapolis Minnesota.
Gary is a lifelong fisherman:
-“Being a native Minnesotan, I was exposed to boating and fishing at an early age. My first experience sailing was at age 8, and it has been my passion ever since. I have captained many a charter on large catamarans in the Caribbean. Fishing has also been a large part of my life. I lived in the Florida Keys for a while, where I was a commercial fisherman and diver. Our families are fortunate to have owned lake cabins in northern Minnesota for 50 years, so fresh water fishing and boating is also in my blood. Many boats have come and gone in my life, and I am so very pleased to have added the W500 to my fleet. It possibly will be the last boat I will own (unless I buy another W500 for my wife!).”
Gary is an expert on outfitting fishing kayaks, including with powerful outboard gas engines, and he loves to fish out of his kayak >>
Visit MinnYaks – fishing kayaks in Minnesota >>
Gary and the MinnYaks team expect anglers from Minnesota, the Midwest and Canada, to visit this show just to see the W fishing kayak.
Kayaks’ sub-par ergonomics are putting thousands of kayak anglers in harm’s way, a problem that is easily surmountable by switching to a more ergonomic kayak such as the W fishing kayak.
There are a variety of dangers associated with using a traditional kayak:
First, there’s the peril of being unable to paddle back to shore due to fatigue or exhaustion.
In addition, anglers who are elderly or inexperienced, or just plain tired, can be at risk from outside hazards outside of their control such as strong wind or tidal current. If kayaking in your traditional kayak makes you tired quickly, consider switching to something more comfortable, with better tracking and easier paddling, namely a Wavewalk kayak.
Seasonal problems, such as overheating in summer, and hypothermia in winter, are also big threats, since they drain your energy and make it difficult or even impossible to return to shore.
Traditional kayaks that expose the user to the elements are costly both on your health and your wallet, for when buying extra gear such as dry suits to protect yourself you are potentially forking up hundreds of unnecessary dollars. Other heavy clothing, such as boots and waders, can disable you from swimming, and from getting back into your boat, or kayak, a very precarious situation to say the least.
Paddlers of traditional fishing kayaks are also susceptible to cramps, leg numbness and even partial paralysis, a problem that is virtually nonexistent in the W Kayak.
Leg cramps can be very painful and long-lasting if you can’t stand up safely in your craft to loosen up. Sit-in and SOT kayaks restrict you to sitting in an L shape, with your legs forced forward and clamped by footrests. Paddling or fishing in this position for extended period of time all but guarantees the onset of cramps and leg numbness, a very uncomfortable paddling experience.
Both leg pain and leg numbness also prevent you from balancing and maneuvering your kayak efficiently, a very dangerous dilemma.
Pain in your back and butt can compromise your paddling ability. Moreover, you might find yourself near shore but still unable to beach your kayak, or get out of it, as Don, this California kayak angler describes in his kayak review:
“I fished for 8 years in the “L” sitting position and it’s effect on my back is what finished standard kayaking for me… One day I beached the bow of that 16 footer and was still about 10-12 feet out in the water where I was sitting. I discovered I couldn’t move my legs. Getting out of that thing without causing all kinds of laughter from spectators was one of my greatest physical accomplishments. I was sure I’d avoid those scenarios with the”W”, and I could hardly wait to find out all the wonderful differences.”
Read this entire kayak review >>
Examples like this are very common, many regular kayakers report experiencing similar discomforts with their sit-in and SOT kayaks. Many kayakers and kayak anglers have become so accustomed to this stiffness that they regularly stop their paddling and fishing just climb ashore and ‘unkink’. ‘Unkinking’ basically means stretching and allowing some reprieve for the tensed back and sore legs. This hassle is completely unnecessary when using the W Kayak because the user can easily stretch within the spacious confines of the craft itself, allowing you to finish uninterrupted and comfortably. So in order to enjoy more hours of kayak fishing without the pain, danger, and hassle of traditional SOT and sit-in kayaks, make the switch to the W Kayak, and if you want, learn more about kayak fishing pains on Wavewak’s website.
Kayak fishing is viewed as an extreme sport by most people who fish from more traditional settings, i.e. motorboats and dry land. The factors that make kayak fishing relatively extreme are:
Compared to motorboats, fishing kayaks offer inadequate stability and they basic comfort. In addition, they fail to provide a real storage solution. Fishing kayaks are notoriously unstable, and are extremely uncomfortable, in comparison to motor boats.
The Unfulfilled Promise
Although tens of millions of Americans fish from motorboats, only one in a thousand fish out of a kayak. This is after more than a decade of hype about ‘kayak fishing being the fastest growing outdoors sport in America’. The fishing kayak’s promise was an inexpensive, easy to use, lightweight, car top boat. It also promised to deliver a sporty outdoor experience. The huge majority of US anglers followed neither kayak anglers nor kayak vendors’ hype. The growth in kayak fishing participation is much slower in recent years than it was in the beginning of the century. It is possible that the market matured. This is the result of participants being less enthusiastic, and a high rate of participants dropping out of the sport, which has been typical of kayak fishing since the beginning.
But kayak fishing is very uncomfortable if you’re fishing out of a sit-on-top (SOT) kayak, sit-in kayak, or a hybrid kayak. When you fish out of a W kayak, you experience a comfort that’s equal to that of fishing from a motorboat. Some W kayak fans may say it is more comfy.
The level of stability an angler benefits from when they fish out of a W500 kayak is equal to that offered by a typical small sized motorboat, namely that they don’t have to constantly balance the kayak. Fishing standing up is easy, and can be done with confidence, unlike all other fishing kayaks.
Only the W500 offers sufficient storage space that is dry and accessible, even for long fishing and camping trips that require carrying on board a lot of cumbersome gear that only canoes and small motorboats can carry.
Kayak Fishing In The Future
If kayak fishing has a future, it is not as an extreme sport. Kayak fishing’s future depends on it becoming a popular leisure activity that is comfortable and easy, namely, the future of kayak fishing is W kayak fishing.