W500 in Action – Fishing Kayak Review by John Fabina, Wisconsin

I finally took my new W500 to test up in the Michigan’s upper peninsula. Perfect weather awaited me as temps hit mid seventies and sunshine abounded for the three day trip. I logged plenty of fishing and paddling hours on the W500. I thought my original W300 was comfortable and stable, but for a guy my size the W500 is the perfect fit.

W500 fishing kayak on lake
As always no yak-back was noticed. Tracking was great and paddling seemed even easier then the W300.
With the longer length it took a little more effort to turn in the river current but was well worth it do to the large amount of space to stretch out in and the added storage. I have not had the W500 out in rough water yet but if it handles similar to the 300 it should do great.
I am convinced that this is another winner. Great job Wavewalk, you have done it again.
I would suggest the W500 for anyone who is larger framed than the average.
The trip was great, however the rock bass moved in to the areas where I was catching walleye in June. I was never able to locate the walleye, however the small bass provided entertainment.

Clear water perfect for sight fishing, scouting for fish

Small mounth bass in fishing kayak

Friday I took a trip to a local lake. I decided to go through a channel that connects two lakes. I have been down the channel before with a regular boat but it would have been difficult to fish with the type of craft I was in. However I did see plenty of fish and I took notes of where the fish were holding in case I ever returned.
The W500 allowed me to sneak up and anchor just upstream from my first target with out being noticed. The first target was a boat dock on a bend in the channel which had a five to seven foot deep hole under it.
I started by fan casting one of my favorite lures a floating minnow. Three fan casts produced nothing. Then I decided to drift a leech into the hole. Bam, a nice largemouth broke the water and put up a tremendous fight in the current. Two more casts, two more fish. I got complacent, after all how many fish could this little hole hold?. My bad, I cast my forth cast and turned to adjust my anchor when a huge bucket mouth jumped and shed my hook into the air. I know what your thinking, yea the biggest fish of the day always gets away! Well it did.

bass in fishing kayak

bass in fishing kayak

One hour later and over twenty fish later I realized what a honey hole I had discovered, and thanks to the W500 I was able to stay stealthy and present the bait precisely where it had to go. It was obvious that these fish haven’t had a lot of pressure on them, they had no hook marks on their lips.

rock bass in fishing kayak
I proceeded down the channel which only averaged a foot deep, but I anchored before every bend and had success all day. I ran out of my three dozen leeches and called it a day after three exciting hours.
Who would of thought this little channel could hold all those fish and even some quality fish.
Light gear and current made the action fun. These are fish I would have not been able to catch with out the W500. Large mouth, small mouth bass, and pike were all caught and released. I want to be able to repeat this day again next year.

One photo shows some add-ons. Drink holder, rod holder, and paddle holder to hold net in front and easy to grab, this seemed to work out really well.
Thanks again for a great boat,
John

Rigged W500 fishing kayak with drink holder, fish finder

Pike on W500 fishing kayak

John's favorite bridge to fish

Fish holding dock - John's discovery
Read previous blog posts by John Fabina:

John’s Tiger-Camo W500

John’s review of his W300 fishing kayak


Read more fishing kayak reviews that our clients have contributed >

10 Comments

  1. Jeff McGovern

    Nice day sir! Looked like the catching far out stripped the fishing. That hole of your certainly paid off in spades. By the way that looked like a Redfish Magic on the seat.

  2. Marco

    John, that’s a great review and a great trip report!
    The pictures are awesome, as usual 🙂
    Marco

  3. John F.

    Jeff, I wondered if you would notice the Redfish Magic. I ordered a half dozen or so and I am starting to test them out. I will let you know how it goes.

  4. Rox

    SWEET!!!
    Nice job finding some new honey holes to fish.
    Great report and great pictures! 🙂

    Tight lines
    Rox

  5. Jeff McGovern

    Hey John, Those Red Fish Magics are really something and don’t be afraid to experiment. I used a 1oz SPRO bucktail saltwater jig in place of the standard head for that 23lb northern back in June. You can also use bass jigs and virtually any trailer. Another option is saltwater inshore jigs from firms like Mission Fishin or Hook Up. We have played around with all sorts of set ups and the method continues to delight us and scare the fish.

  6. John Z

    John,
    Excellent fishing story! Noticed you have a fishfinder. I’m in the process of installing one in my w500. Question: did you install the transducer inside or outside the hull? I’m leaning toward inside because I really can’t see a good place to mount it (although I’ll lose the temp. sensing function). I also don’t want to drill any holes beneath the waterline. Appreciate any comments.
    John Z

  7. John F.

    John,
    I went very simple with this set up because many times I am fishing a small stream or river and I leave the fishfinder home. I purchased a portable unit that came with a base for the unit and battery. I simply use the existing bungees that came with the w and hook them on the carrying handle. this holds the the unit firmly down on the seat. I also have a safety cable attached to the unit. The unit came with a suction cup that holds the portable transducer which I fixed the bracket by repositioning the bracket, suction cup, and transducer so I could attach it to the side of the w. This seems to be working fine for my needs. I can simply reach over to connect or disconnect the transducer. My new W500 is yellow which makes it even easier to postion the transducer because I can see the silhouette of it without leaning my whole body over the side.

  8. Dan Bayers

    Great fishing story John. I use to bring a topographical map to mark the places where I found some great crappie hiding spots so I can come back to them. Thanks for this post and I’ll be sending anglers to your blog. Keep up the good work.

  9. Pras

    great , we have the same hobby 🙂

  10. Jonathan

    Nice story and pics! I would love to know where you got that bottle/cup holder at, any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

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