Sensible Kayak Fishing

Makes sense, right?

After all, not too many anglers practice kayak fishing, since it’s considered by most to be somehow extreme, in the sense that fishing out of one of those SOT, sit-in, and hybrid kayaks doesn’t feel stable, comfortable or dry enough to the common angler, and rightfully so.
But there’s another type of kayak fishing, which is safer, feels better, and is more practical. The new online magazine called Sensible Kayak Angler is just about that: Fishing from kayaks that are stable enough, don’t lead to any back pain or other typical impact caused by fishing from conventional kayaks, and do not involve the hassle and discomfort that come with this sport.

Stability, ergonomics, are among the many subjects discussed in this new kayak fishing magazine, and the more light shed on these subjects, the better.

Some Cool Ideas For Rigging Your Fishing Kayak – Motor Mount

A Kayak Transom Motor Mount

Let’s admit it – Paddling a fishing kayak can be fun, if you’re in the right kayak, but it’s a propulsion method that a but limited as far as your travel range is concerned.
You might be thinking about mounting a trolling motor, or an outboard gas engine on your kayak, and here’s a simple, easy to make DIY design for a sturdy transom motor mount:

2 hp Honda outboard motor mounted on W500 fishing kayak

The person who created this transom motor mount is Rox Davis, from Connecticut, one of America’s best bass kayak anglers. Read more about bass kayak fishing >>
The outboard motor in this picture is the 2hp 4-cycle from Honda – a fine motor indeed.

And this kayak motor mount was made by Glynn, a fly kayak fisherman from Texas:

DIY transom motor mount for fishing kayak, Texas

Read more about rigging your fishing kayak >>

And if you’re looking to read more, here’s an article about motorizing your fishing kayak >>

Kayak Fishing In Tandem – Is It Possible?…

Not an easy question to answer, since a kayak is essentially a solo boat, which doesn’t lend itself easily to tandem applications –
In principle, it’s possible, since many kayaks are big enough to take two passengers on board. But practically, having two anglers fishing out of a small vessel such as a kayak is problematic with regards to several aspects that command serious consideration:

The first problem is Safety – two passengers moving about in the cockpit or on the deck of a fishing kayak in an uncoordinated manner can easily destabilize it, with the result being one of them overreacting, and causing the kayak to capsize. Obviously, having fishing rods, lures and fish flying around in all direction in such a limited space isn’t the best a recipe for safety.

The second problem is Convenience – Every angler wants and needs to have an unlimited range of motion, in order to perform basic things such as casting, reeling, landing the fish, unhooking, etc. Angler also need to have a comfortable workspace for attaching lures and bait, and doing other technical work involving the manipulation of fishing gear, including sharp objects such as fishing hooks and knives.
The last thing you want when you’re fishing in tandem is to get your fishing lines entangled with those of your partner, or get poked in the eye by a misguided fishing hook, etc.. -The possibilities for a disaster are so numerous that it’s practically impossible to list them all in this article, but we assume the reader gets the point…

Unlike paddling a kayak in tandem, kayak fishing in tandem is more complicated, and more difficult, and as a rule of thumb we don’t recommend it, unless the crew is composed of one experienced adult kayak angler and one junior kayak angler, such as a child, who needs guidance and often even technical help with handling their fishing gear. In such case the obvious choice for a kayak is the W500 that features a 6 ft long cockpit, and a longitudinal seat that makes it possible for the two anglers to sit separated by a long span, but also to approach each other effortlessly and safely when they need to do something together, such as in case the experienced angler has to instruct the novice, or help them hands-on perform a fishing related task.

As far as standing up while kayak fishing in tandem, this is even more problematic, and should be practiced only after both anglers have practiced tandem kayak fishing before, as well as stand up kayak fishing. Needless to say that the kayak used for this type of fishing should be fit such such activities to begin with, and vendors’ claims about their kayaks’ stability should be taken with a good dose of caution, common sense, and sufficient skepticism. It’s good to remember that it’s you and fishing buddy that are going to be out there in the real world, and not some guys who get paid to demonstrate fishing kayaks in front of a camera…

Kayak fishing offshore in tandem is even more difficult, and hazardous, and we do not recommend it, unless both anglers are lightweight and very experienced fishing together out of small boats, such as dinghies and canoes. Fishing in tandem out of a kayak equipped with a powerful motor, such as an outboard gas engine adds yet another level of risk, and in such cases you may consider outfitting your kayak with a pair of large size outriggers, such as this South Korean couple is using on an offshore fishing trip:

Couple fishing in tandem in the ocean, in South Korea

Choosing a Fishing Kayak: The Mobility Factor

When you come to choosing a fishing kayak, some important factors are simply not discussed by kayak vendors, just because the kayaks they produce rank so low in them. Mobility is such a factor that you won’t find mentioned anywhere, except on sites related to Wavewalk fishing kayaks, which are the only truly mobile fishing kayaks out there. So what is Mobility in the kayak fishing world, and why is it worth your attention when you think about choosing a fishing kayak?

KAYAK MOBILITY DEFINED

Anybody can understand that a 4×4 off-road SUV is more mobile than a common, two-wheel drive car. Most people realize that a skin-on-frame Inuit kayak is less durable than a modern plastic kayak, and you couldn’t paddle it in some of the places that you’re used to paddle in. But what does mobility mean when it comes to today’s fishing kayaks?
It basically has to do with whatever limits kayak anglers from going where they want to:
Such limits include spots that are too difficult to launch your kayak from, or too difficult to beach it in. Other limits can be water that’s too difficult to paddle in because of currents, waves, ice, vegetation or submerged obstacles such as wooden logs or rocks.

Weather conditions can limit you as well: Canoes are difficult to paddle on windy days and so are most kayaks, including touring kayaks.
So, if for whatever reason you’re prevented from using some beach or going somewhere on a fishing trip with your kayak, it means your fishing kayak’s performance is limited in terms of Mobility.

WHY IS MOBILITY IMPORTANT?

Your fishing kayak’s mobility goes two things that matter to you:
Safety: You won’t drive a two-wheel drive car in a snowstorm or on ice because it’s unsafe to do so. Similarly, you wouldn’t paddle a kayak with limited mobility in water or weather conditions that are not suitable for it, and you won’t launch or beach it where you might capsize.
Freedom: You don’t think of a two-wheel drive as a great outdoors vehicle since its limited mobility would restrict your freedom of movement. This argument may be circular, but apparently too few kayakers pay attention to this issue, especially touring and sea kayakers.
What’s a fast kayak good for if it requires special places for launching and beaching? Why can’t you paddle a fast, expensive touring kayak in a fast stream or have fun with it in the surf?
And if you’re a kayak angler the advantage of replacing your big, trailed motorboat by a car top fishing kayak is considerably reduced if you can’t launch it, fish with it, and beach it anywhere you want.

KAYAK MOBILITY REDEFINED

The W kayak offers a level of mobility that’s unprecedented, and may even be inconceivable for some.
Mobility is a feature that’s easy to demonstrate, and a picture tells more than words, especially if it’s moving. Therefore, it seems like the most appropriate thing to do at this point would be to have the reader watch this online movie showing kayak anglers and touring kayakers can go above and beyond obstacles in shallow water:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YgN6NkYyMY?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

SUPER MOBILITY

When Wavewalk talks about Super Mobility, or Extreme Mobility, many people find it hard to imagine what it could mean.
When Wavewalk says ‘Launch anywhere, go anywhere and beach anywhere’, some think it’s just another marketing phrase, but it’s not – The W500 kayak keeps expanding kayak fishing in every dimension. When compared to other types of kayaks, it is not just the world’s best kayak for fishing – it’s in a league of its own, and it’;s worthwhile tom take this fact into consideration when you’re trying to choose the next kayak you’re going to fish from. Actually, it’s a no brainer…

The Benefit vs. Hazard Of Resting In Your Fishing Kayak

After you spend long hours in your kayak paddling and fishing, you’re likely to get tired. Stretching while standing up or lying down on the saddle of your W500 fishing kayak can be invigorating or relaxing, and will help drive away fatigue and keep fresh.
Resting while lying down on the saddle (longitudinal seat) may be tempting due to the stability and comfort offered by the W500, but it’s not necessarily recommended because it’s so cozy that you might actually fall asleep, and that could be very dangerous.

If you think there’s even a small chance that you could fall asleep in your kayak, you’d better be anchored in water that’s very shallow, that is enough for you stand in safely and comfortably in case you lose balance and fall overboard.  Shallow water means not more than knee deep. It’s always good to remember that “stuff happens” is not just an empty phrase – it’s real life, which can be cruel. Deep water is dangerous enough even when you’re fully awake, and for your information, it is actually possible to drown in water that you can stand in.

Falling asleep in your kayak involves taking the risk of being exposed to predators, such as alligators or sharks in the water, and bears and other large size land predators on the nearby shore. Sounds improbable to you? Well, statistics include all events, including improbable ones.

Sleeping in a kayak that’s not solidly anchored can be particularly hazardous, because you might drift too far from shore, or into deep or turbulent water, or to an area that can be otherwise dangerous to you. make sure you’re well anchored, and try to attach your kayak to a branch, if possible.

Taking a nap in your kayak is extremely perilous when the water is cold, because falling in such water while you’re asleep might lead to a shock, and be quickly followed by hypothermia, which can reduce your ability to move and prevent you from rescuing yourself, and thus be lethal.

If your paddle is not properly secured in case you fall asleep in your kayak, the result could be more than awkward, since losing it would prevent you from paddling back to shore in time before darkness, or before a storm.

Sleeping in a kayak with hooks and bait around could cause you to hook yourself, or attract some unwanted visitors…

Always, and in all circumstances, leave on your personal flotation device (PFD). Wearing your PFD is your best bet against drowning, although in itself it’s not enough.

You should avoid falling asleep in your kayak especially if there’s even a slight chance of a fast motorboat going by. Even if the driver can see you and avoid a collision with your fishing kayak, the wake their motorboat leaves could make you lose balance and fall overboard, and even capsize your kayak if you panic.

Although some irresponsible kayak anglers say that wearing waders is OK when you’re kayak fishing, it is not. It’s one thing to plan testing a concept in a controlled environment such as in one’s swimming pool, and a totally different thing to have to deal with a problem in real life, which tends to catch you by surprise. Therefore, falling asleep in your kayak while you’re wearing waders is much more dangerous.

Never drink alcohol on board a fishing kayak (or any other small watercraft for that matter), and don’t use mind altering substances or drugs. Remember – drowning is easier than you think. Being drowsy while operating a small watercraft can be enough to cause a fatal accident, and many deaths by drowning are related to substance abuse.

Don’t take the risk of falling asleep in direct sun on a hot and bright day! Being asleep won’t prevent you from getting a sun stroke, and paddling while you’re sun stricken and dehydrated is much harder, and it could prevent you from making it back to shore…

Falling asleep in your kayak while you’re on your own and there’s no one else around is much more dangerous. Generally, it’s highly recommended to go kayak fishing and paddling in a group, since it’s safer.

Kayak angler lying down in his W500 fishing kayak

You need to remember that this list of recommendations can only be partial, since covering all potential risks involved in taking a nap in your kayak is practically impossible, and those risks are multiple and varied.

If there’s one thing you can remember from this article try to remember this:  Don’t fall asleep in your kayak!

How Important Is Storage When Choosing a Fishing Kayak?

Storage is obviously very important in any fishing boat, and not just in fishing kayaks, because as every experienced kayak angler knows, you need to take your fishing tackle and a lot of fishing gear with you on board, and you should be able to secure all that stuff, protect it from the elements, and access it anytime you need it.

Most fishing kayak manufacturers try to lure potential buyers by offering bigger storage hatches, and additional space to put gear on top of their SOT kayaks’ decks. However, such those solutions are neither effective nor user-friendly, although there’s nothing else that can be done to solve the storage problem if you’re a manufacturer of sit-in or SOT kayaks.

The W500 offers several times more storage than any kayak on the market – be it a fishing kayak or a touring kayak, a sea-kayak or an ‘expedition’ kayak. In fact, the amount of storage space available in the W500 sets this kayak in a league of its own.

Moreover, the storage offered by the W500 is internal, dry, and always accessible to the passenger – be it an angler, a paddler, or a camper. In fact, there is so much room in the W500 kayak hulls and cockpit, that it can comfortably accommodate a second adult passenger on board, or two children >>

The total storage space available on board the W500 kayak is 14 cubic feet, or 0.4 cubic meter. It’s way above the kayak league, and comparable to the storage space offered by canoes and some small motorboats.

Have a look of Jeff McGovern’s W500 fishing kayak, and how he organizes storage in the kayak:

http://www.youtube.com/get_player