Midwestern Anglers’ Dream Fishing Kayak

It’s common knowledge that many people in the Midwest love fishing, and that the Midwest fields some of the greatest places to fish in America, and arguably the world.

Midwest anglers, however, seem to ignore a lot of the hype about kayak fishing, sticking to the time-tested method of fishing from motorboats. Dryness and comfort are paramount to these anglers and sit-in and sit-on-top fishing kayaks just don’t make the cut in their book.

When it’s impossible to get out of your kayak and get into the shallow and lukewarm water that Southern anglers enjoy to unkink, and assuage the pain and fatigue in your legs, your back, and your butt, it just makes sense to keep fishing from a real boat, and leave those new-age, experimental kayaks to others.

If traditional kayaks were your only option this attitude would be completely justified, but with that said, kayak fishing doesn’t necessarily have to be such an unappealing experience if you’re fishing out of the right kayak. It seems like a select few anglers have started to discover a solution to this problem, the Wavewalk  Fishing Kayak. These anglers have realized that there’s a way to fish that combines the maneuverability, ease of use, and inexpensiveness of a kayak with the stability, dryness, and comfort of the traditional motorboat. On top of all this, this fishing kayak offers some new and refreshing features, such as super mobility, and aesthetic appeal.

To read more about kayak fishing in the Midwest, and kayak fishing in general, you can read through Wavewalk’s blog for more information.  In this blog you can find plenty of info about kayak dealers, kayak fishing trip reports, rigging tips, kayak fishing movies, and fishing kayak reviews.

So, if you’re from the Midwest, or are just an avid angler interested in fishing for bass, pike, salmon, trout, walleye, or whatever may capture your attention, check it out.

Motorizing A Fishing Kayak

Here are some things to consider regarding motorizing your fishing kayak:

1.) Many kayak anglers greatly dislike paddling a large distance to get to a good spot because it’s too tiring. Spending time kayak fishing is preferable to pedaling or paddling. Large, expensive motorboats that require trailers, ramps, and maintenance are commonly disliked, ruling out the option of large motorboats.

2.) Electric Trolling Motors also do not make the cut. Whether you carry a heavy battery, or an expensive lithium battery, your fishing trips are going to be limited in length by the battery life. Some kayak anglers I know quit using their trolling motors altogether for these reasons.

3.) Long fishing trips, made possible by gas outboard engines are loved by kayak anglers. This is because where storage is concerned, gasoline is king, as well as in the power category.

In a perfect world, there would be a car-toppable, small, ergonomic and stable motorboat that would enable the ability for long hours of fishing as well as the capability to fish standing up. Surprisingly, such a product exists- As illustrated below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=439ZQaJX6t4?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Spectacular right?
Outboard motors won’t usually fit a fishing kayak, but they do on this W500 model. Owning this unique fishing kayak may not necessarily entail gas motorizing it, as paddling and electric trolling are still viable options. Motorization is explained in detail in multiple fishing kayak blog posts, and is a common topic among kayak anglers.                     

Kayak Fishing With A Motor

Electric trolling motors can be energy-saving on kayaking trips, but once the battery dies, a unfortunately common situation, you may find yourself stuck a sizable distance from your initial launching spot. When this occurs, you will have no other choice but to paddle your fishing kayak, with a cumbersome battery on board, all the way back the way you came, possibly against wind and/or current. In addition, the propeller of the electric trolling motor tends to become entangled in submerged fishing lines, seaweed, and other underwater obstacles, especially in shallow water, a common locale to go fishing with your kayak.

You may want to use a two cycle engine, but small, two cycle outboard gas motors have a propensity for unreliability, and are notoriously difficult to start. To add insult to injury, they are particularly stinky, and often irritatingly loud. Such motors can be especially problematic when taking your fishing kayak in shallow water.

It’s plain common sense that people don’t get stronger with age, and many senior anglers find they can’t go fishing from kayaks because they don’t have the strength necessary to paddle long distances and in inclement conditions, such as against the wind, or current.

Taking all of these problems into consideration, such senior kayak anglers may be interested by a new method of motorizing fishing kayaks and other small water craft, which involves utilizing a gas engine to create a powerful stream of air, rather than the traditional set up of a rotating propeller in the water. In addition, the motor used is a sleek, modern, 4-cycle (4 stroke) engine that is a cinch to start, easy to maintain,lacks the need for mixing oil and fuel, does not create odorous fumes, and is quieter. All of this superior performance is achieved without it being heavier than a 2 stroke engine of the same size:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvb_WFOMYsM?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

If you’re seeking to provide your kayak with even more power and speed you can also paddle while the motor is running. There’s no requisite to hold the tiller (steering handle) if going in a straight line, and you can simply steer with your paddle, making occasional adjustments in the tiller’s position.

The new motor setup is lightweight enough to allow you to place the outfitted kayak on your car top with no danger or hassle. Most importantly for your wallet however, this setup uses a converted backpack leaf blower that will run you a mere $200, so it wouldn’t be very pricey to rig your fishing kayak with one.

Tandem Kayak Paddling

Sometime it’s fun to bring passengers along with you on your fishing kayak when paddling. Paddling in tandem in combination with fishing, camping or bird watching can augment the fun, although obviously paddling your fishing kayak in tandem can complicate some activities.

The W kayak’s spacious hull tips virtually eliminate the problem of lack of storage space, and attaching additional gear on top of its hulls is a breeze, even when accommodating two passengers. When going on a tandem trip, canoe-style paddling is often advantageous over paddling in the kayaking style, since the stouter, single blade paddles are less likely to hit each other.

Three passengers in fishing kayak

When paddling in tandem, it is important to explicitly assign rules to those on-board in order to track smoothly. The paddler at the stern should be in charge of steering and tracking, since they have a clear line of sight of the two others, as well as using long J strokes (canoeing style) that facilitate both steering and tracking. In case an extra blade is needed on the other side of the kayak, the paddler in the front can more easily switch sides than the two others.
It is important that the front paddler set the pace when using kayak (dual blade) paddles, and the other paddlers to mimic his/her strokes in parallel to avoid hitting each other’s paddles. Paddling in tandem has a significant learning curve, but practice makes perfect.This movie shows two paddlers paddling their W500 fishing kayak in tandem, using dual blade paddles.

It is important to realized that standard kayak paddles are too short for paddling a W500 fishing kayak.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEspkbePXgM?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Unlike canoes, kayaks are designed mainly for solo paddling, and tandem paddling should only be for secure, confident paddlers. Therefore, you must be well accustomed with your fishing kayak before bringing an additional person along. Your passenger should ideally also be experienced with paddling your kayak solo, in order to let you both get the hang of tandem paddling more quickly.

Once you master the skills needed to successfully paddle in tandem, you can fully enjoy the fun of paddling with a partner, or even two if you’re up for it.