Several years ago, I was talking with Jeff McGovern about the kayak fishing phenomenon, and he predicted that unlike other fishing kayaks, the W will become as popular in the northern regions of the United States as in its southern regions.
Jeff grew up in Indiana, and he’d been fishing there out of canoes and small boats for many years, and since then he’s never missed his family’s annual fishing trip to Canada.
So why are fishing kayaks generally less popular among northern anglers compared to their higher popularity with southern anglers? It has to do with the climate up here, which is less clement than the southern climates.
This means both the water and weather are colder, and naturally, people don’t like the idea of getting wet and being exposed to the wind, which had been bundled with the kayak fishing concept since its inception, until the W kayak showed up on the scene, and changed things –
Canoes and dinghies offer their passengers better protection from the elements than sit-in, SOT and hybrid kayaks do, but the W kayak offers as much protection as canoes and dinghies offer, although it’s as lightweight as any fishing kayak (well, it’s lighter, in most cases), and it offers more advantages in terms of mobility, stability, ergonomics, storage, transportation, etc.
So far, anglers in colder regions had many important reasons why they should stick to their canoes, dinghies and motorboats, and not switch to fishing from kayaks, and the wetness and cold came on top of this list of arguments. This is not just a matter of convenience and health, but a matter of safety too: Hypothermia is a serious threat up here, and no one in their right mind would want to risk being in such a condition.
With the W500, these arguments are no longer valid, especially since it’s so also easy to mount an electric motor, or an outboard gas motor on it, and since the performance and convenience offered by such motorized fishing kayak are both considerable and evident.
Indeed, Jeff’s instincts proved to be right this time, as in other cases, and there has been basically no difference in the rate of adoption of the W kayak among northern kayak anglers, compared to that of southern kayak anglers.
We recently launched a new blog called Northern Kayak Fishing, which focuses on fishing from kayaks in colder regions. So far, Rox, Sungjin, John F, Gary T, and Jeff registered as contributing authors to this new blog, and we hope more will follow (and contribute too…) 😀