People always have to ask about the W fishing kayak… and I tell them to get one. I now have rigged a Minn Kota electric trolling motor that works great for positioning an runs to a spot or back to dock.
“This seat sits a little higher, and it’s much more comfortable than the rigid seat I had added before.”
Great toolbox for convenient storage of Ray’s fishing tackle
Having seen some of the elaborate modifications W fishing kayak owners employ to attach paddles and other gizmos to their W’s, I thought I’d share a really easy, low-cost, no-weight method that I use.
When I first got my W’s, I drilled holes on each corner of the cockpit rim, primarily so that I could drain water out of the interior when turned upside down after washing down. Then I attached short pieces of waterproof rope thru the holes, knotting the bottom of each end to secure them(large flexible rubber washers can be installed about the knots to ensure that they don’t come thru the holes, but really aren’t needed). Finally, I attached 8-inch cable ties to the ropes or to the metal eyelets on the W to create carrying loops. You can see how I carry my Stick-it anchoring rod (stake out pole) on these devices.
Different sizes of metal clips can also be installed on the ropes to handle a paddle. By having holes and ropes on each corner of the rim, I can also attach an anchor to each, thereby eliminating the need for a pulley system (this works best if you can get by with just one length of anchor rope like you can fishing the shallow Florida flats).
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:
Here is a couple of pictures of the lures and hooks I use, and have had great success with.
The Yum Dinger, shown in both pictures, range from 6″ to 3″, and the 1/4 oz Jigs are in the top row of the picture.
As you see, I am also a Big Fan of the Chatter Bait.
Maybe you’re fishing your jigs too fast – don’t hurry…
You have to make sure that these lures reach bottom, remember the 1/4oz jig takes a little longer getting to the bottom. Your lure has not reached bottom till you see your line go slack.
Then make short hops, and long pauses, with a twitch here and there.
And always keep contact with bottom, your line and jig.
You can pop it hard, just follow it back to the bottom with your tip, and be ready to set that hook!
Any kind of line movement, could be a strike, when in doubt, set that hook.
Most strikes will happen on the Fall, so always keep a close eye on your line as it sinks to the bottom.
A Bass can grab and spit that bad boy out before you even realize you missed a strike!
The Yum Dinger, can be fished many ways, as a jerk bait, finess, whacky rigged, placed on a ball jig, chatter bait (killer pike bait), or Dead sticking it.
Same as the jig, you must reach bottom, always watching that line for any signs of a strike on the fall, most will happen then.
But when the fish are in a negative mode, let it hit bottom, with long pauses between a pop, pop, pop, reel your slack line, and repeat all the way back to shore or
You can also add a small finish nail, or small screw to the butt of the dingers.
This will increase the fall rate, but not hurt the action.
Toss the dinger in 3′ of water and count it down till you reach bottom, then in deeper water you’ll have a better idea when it will reach the depth you want to fish.
Knot tying is an essential fishing skill and there are entire books written about fishing knots. I am going to concentrate here on two lesser-known knots that I use constantly in saltwater, as well as freshwater fishing.
1. Surgeons Knot
I use this for attaching a leader to my main line. It works for both mono and the new super lines. For best results when using a super line (such as Fireline, Power Pro, Spiderwire, etc.), double the line before tying in the leader. This will give the connection more bite and it will hold much better. I normally use 10lb to 30lb leaders (mono or fluorocarbon) and tie to either 8 to 20 lb mono or 8 to 30lb super line. With a properly tied leader, you can fish with less connection hardware such as clips or swivels. It creates a connection point to the fish that is tougher to break than the main line and, in some cases, is less visible to the fish, and is a great handle when landing the fish. I depend on this connection and it has not failed.
1. Lay the two lines side by side.
2. Tie an overhand knot pulling the leader line (green) through the loop.
3. Make three more passes for a total of four<
4. Wet the knot and pull it tight.
5. Trim the tag ends.
Photos: Kate McGovern
2. Canoe Man’s Knot
This knot is credited to the late Merrill Chandler, known for his pioneering efforts saltwater canoe fishing in Florida. It is a loop knot for connecting a hook, lure, or jig to the leader. Loop knots allow the bait or lure to move more freely in the water column making them more attractive to fish. This one is super easy and does not use up long lengths of leader each time it is retied. I use this knot as my leader to lure connection most of the time and, as with the Surgeons Knot, it has never failed me when properly tied.
Both knots should be wet before being pulled snug. This allows the knot to seat better and be more secure. It also protects the line from heat friction damage during tightening. This is especially important when using fluorocarbon leader material.
The pictures show how to tie the knots. Practice makes perfect and these two knots are well worth the time and effort. Master them and they will be simple and effective additions to your fishing knot arsenal.
1. Put the leader through the eye of the lure about three inches.
2. Form two backwards loops toward the lure in the leader.
3. Push the second loop through the first.
4. Put the tag end from the lure through the loop that passed through the first loop.
5. Wet the knot tighten while holding the tag end this allows the loop to be sized
6. Trim the tag end.
Photos: Kate McGovern
Jeff McGovern is a life long angler and fishing equipment expert, a professional consultant in the fishing and kayaking industry., and a distributor of Emmrod fishing rods.