Stand Up Kayak Fishing – From Fantasy To Reality

Kayak fishing has widely been considered as an outlandish fantasy since the advent of the craft itself. Fishing kayak manufacturers know that their products are completely incapable of supporting this option, so they scoff at the idea and say it’s contradictory to ‘classic kayak fishing’.

Then, in view of a growing demand for stable fishing kayaks, fishing kayak manufacturers realized they had to come up with some kind of response, so they began offering increasingly wide sit-on-top (SOP) fishing kayaks that became almost impossible to paddle, but were promoted as being stable enough to allow stand up kayak fishing.

Some people fell for this hype, but they soon realized that although the new, extra-wide fishing kayaks were indeed stabler, they weren’t nearly as stable as would be required to fish standing up. This has to do with both lack of initial stability and secondary stability, as well as the fact that such kayaks do not offer a ‘Plan B’, that is a solution for dealing with situations where the angler has already been destabilized, as it often happens, and they are facing the unwanted possibility of falling overboard with their fishing gear and tackle following them.

Then, some manufacturers began offering solutions based on kayak outriggers. Those may have improved initial stability, but they could not solve the problem of ‘what if” – that is what should the angler do if and when they lose balance in their kayak, and are forced to fall overboard – an event usually described as ‘going swimming’.

So far, the only fishing kayaks to provide adequate initial and secondary stability, as well as a solution in case the standing kayak angler lose their stability are the kayaks made by Wavewalk Fishing Kayaks, due to the combination of optimal kayak stability and a saddle that the angler can fall on, and regain balance instantly.

MOTORIZE IT!

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.

Kayak Fishing In The South

By Jeremy Knight,
Tennessee Fishing Kayaks

My dad and I decided to take our W fishing kayaks out on Tims Ford Lake.
I never imagined it could be so much fun! We were able to get the Wavewalks in places we can’t take our other boat.
We fished with small yellow and white jigs using the trolling method. We threw our lines out and paddled the Wavewalks so the line would trail behind the kayaks. We caught over a dozen fish in a very short amount of time!

Tennesse fishing trip: Striped bass in kayak

We decided to race back to the dock on our way in. I took the lead but eventually looked up to see Dad passing me up. He had the long W paddle with him which allows you to stand up while paddling the W fishing kayak. I couldn’t believe he won! Of course, I had to take my kayak back out for a second just to see what an advantage paddling while standing up would give a person.

stand up fishing kayak, TennesseeThe Wavewalk kayaks are very easy to load/unload, and maneuver in the water.
I was very comfortable while fishing, and I loved the fact I could stand up if I needed to.
I can’t wait for some more adventures…

Tennessee fishing trip - beached kayaks

Floridian Fishing Kayak Trip

Gary’s kayak anglers group is growing. says Gary: –

“We all stay in touch on the water via VHF radio, and conclude our trips with lunch at a local restaurant on the water where we trade fish stories, which makes for fun days –
More Ozello trout and redfish, and a few needle fish today fishing with fellow Wavewalkers Bob Smaldone and Dick Sherman along with a couple of other non-W friends. I happened to snap a picture of Bob taking a picture of me holding up a redfish.”

group of kayak fishermen fishing in Ozello, FLBob, the fly fisherman is paddling standing in his W fishing kayak, and sight fishing

red fish in kayak, Ozello, FL

trout in fishing kayak, Ozello, FL

Kayak Fishing – A Look To The Future

Kayak fishing is a potentially enjoyable and exciting prospect, but this emerging sport is facing many problems. These problems are mostly from an ergonomic standpoint, and have to do with lackluster performance and an uncomfortable user-experience. They can be solved only through moving away from traditional fishing kayak designs, such as SOT, sit-in and hybrid kayaks (small, flat canoes), to the twinhull W kayak.

Have a look at this excerpt from a recently published, very long article about the big picture in kayak fishing:

“Kayak fishing ceased to be a novelty, and it’s safe to say there’s hardly anyone in America who fishes that hasn’t been exposed to the notion of fishing out of kayaks, one way or another.
Still, for the huge majority of American anglers, the notion of fishing from a kayak is by far more appalling than appealing, and those who fish from shore and from all other watercraft outnumber kayak anglers by a thousand to one ratio -”

The numbers discussed in this article are revealing, especially in view of the fact that kayak fishing is over a decade old, in today’s form, which is promoted by nearly all kayak manufacturers and fishing gear industry, and media.

This article goes over the major issues that have crippled kayak fishing as a recreational activity and sport since its beginnings. These serious problems restrict limit the number of anglers who join the sport, and get many existing participants to drop out. These problems are listed here by their order importance: Very poor ergonomics, insufficient stability, poor tracking, a limited range of travel, a too small storage space, and restricted mobility.

Also interesting are the article’s conclusions, which come from a comparison of the effect the above listed problems have on kayak fishing, to the performance of the new class of W fishing kayaks – relatively to the other kayaks commonly used by anglers:

“Does kayak fishing have a long term future?
We think it does, but only as a sensible sport and outdoor activity that would attract many more anglers, and not as the kind of unrewarding experience it currently is, which repels new participants while expelling existing ones.
The only venue is through an increase in use of W fishing kayaks rather than SOT, sit-in and hybrid kayaks. This is because W kayaks offer the solutions to all the problems discussed in this article, and some others, and these are the problems that make kayak fishing that marginal activity it has been so far in the much broader world of fishing.
Simply, as soon as realize that they can fish out of a watercraft that’s as small, nimble and lightweight as a regular kayak (not even a huge ‘barge’ fishing kayak..), and yet is as stable, dry and comfortable as a regular motorboat, and even has a similar travel range as a motorboat – they would adopt kayak fishing in growing numbers, and stick with the sport. The watercraft that combines the advantages of kayaks and motorboats, while offering better mobility than both, is the W kayak.”

The article offers an optimistic perspective of the future. According to it, many anglers who are currently displeased with kayaks as well as small motorboats would opt for the advantages offered by either human powered or motorized W kayaks.