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Cap’n Larry Jarboe: The Boat That Does It All

Quite a few years ago, back in the mid-1970’s, I was fortunate to work as a mate then captain of a large passenger carrying boat that took people snorkeling on the shallow coral reefs of John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo, Florida.

I promoted our business with the phrase “If you can swim, you can snorkel.” Twice a day, we hauled up to 61 passengers a trip on a wooden Harkers Island-built boat to witness the amazing coral reefs and tropical fish that are found right here in the United States.

Today, the State Park concession that I worked from has about 4 multi-passenger snorkel boats that have evolved from that one vessel.

Like snorkeling, there are many marine sports that have sprouted over my lifetime.

Obviously, canoes have been with us for many years. But, who figured out that you could sit on top of a kayak or stand up to paddle a fat surfboard? These are relatively recent innovations that have attracted a huge following.

Then, there are those Wave Runners. When I grew up in the Fifties, we never figured you could have a motorcycle that flew across the water.

All of those sports are fun for those of us who swim but owning all four: a canoe, kayak, paddle board and Wave Runner is expensive, space consuming, and a major maintenance hassle.

What if one vessel did all this, and more?

The Wavewalk catamaran style skiff is the stable and portable boat that literally, does it all. A visit to the company website at wavewalk.com will show you the W500 and W700 solo and tandem twin hull kayaks that are easy on your back because they are straddled like a Wave Runner. Fishermen are especially fond of the Wavewalk design because they are so easy to stand up in order to spot or cast to their prey.

These magic boats can be paddled with kayak or canoe paddles or outfitted for gas outboard or electric trolling motor or both! And, they are lightweight enough to carry on top of your car without a special carrying rack or trailer.

I discovered the Wavewalk design while I was searching the Internet for the perfect kayak to establish a retirement rental business in Key Largo. My first Wavewalk was purchased at retail price. That little W500 was so good that I used it in my commercial fishing business in the Chesapeake region to supply Blue Catfish fillets to Linda’s Cafe in downtown Lexington Park and the Victorian Candle Bed and Breakfast in historic Hollywood, Maryland.

At present, in addition to two commercial fishing work boats, I have a fleet of Wavewalk kayaks for weekend Wavewalk Adventures in the State Parks and National Sanctuaries that surround Key Largo.

And, I am fortunate to be the exclusive Wavewalk distributor for all of South Florida. Contact me if you are in the Chesapeake region and I can arrange for you to have your own Wavewalk kayak.

On a nearly daily basis, I motor my green W700 skiff through mangrove creeks or out in the ocean to make my own adventures exploring places that are almost impossible to reach by any other method of marine conveyance. This Wavewalk lifestyle is a most wonderful and unexpected retirement pastime that I am most happy to share.

So, if you are tired of being cold this winter and want an excuse to visit the Florida Keys, you have one (as if you really need an excuse to visit paradise).

A trip to my website at floridafishingkayaks.com. will provide all the info you need to schedule a free Wavewalk Wednesday demo of this vessel. Or, a weekend rental with included guide service might be a way to enjoy a complete kayak, canoe, stand-up paddle board package in a boat that “does it all.”

Who knows? You might drive home with one.

Welcome aboard.

Cap’n Larry Jarboe

 

 

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Beach cleaning mission – Wavewalk 700 as a service boat and pickup truck with lots of storage

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

 

Yesterday, I was joined by my wife, Carlene, and our local pirate queen, Calypso, to take a beach clean-up of the only naturally sandy beach in Key Largo.
We took the commercial fishing boat decked with W700’s to paddle and motor our way in.
Upon arrival offshore of Rattlesnake Key beach, I proceeded to anchor beyond casting range, upwind, and up current of a flats guide boat. Never, would I place my boat down current within the chum slick of a working fisherman. Nor, am I stupid enough to put my boat within casting range of an 8 ounce lead flung by a 6 foot Ugly Stik.
The most fashionably dressed guide proceeded to dress me out at the top of his lungs which I could barely hear as he was shouting into the breeze fifty yards downwind.
Somehow, I managed to gather that he thought I was blocking his fish from coming to him. to bite.
Rather than argue with ignorance, I moved my work boat further out to sea. The outboard motor on my Wavewalk more than compensates for increased distance to travel to shore.
My wife stayed on board as the “monitoring mate” of the Line Dancer while Calypso and I motored ashore to do our part to clean up the environment.
We all watched the guide and his two customers not catch fish as he spent most of his time flinging a fly line back and forth into the wind.
First rule of fishing: put your hook in the water.
However, that nasty tempered guide did look king of pretty in his fancy fishing outfit. But, my mates are a lot more foxy…

 

 

Carlene and Calypso on board the Line Dancer, which served as mother ship for our beach cleaning expedition

Larry also offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

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New fish for my “Caught in this Life” list

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

Following a busy Wavewalk weekend, my own refrigerator had no fresh fish fillets for the grill pan. Though I, personally, like grunt flesh, my wife has been clamoring for snapper. So, while she went dancing in Miami, I threw the last of Sunday’s bait in the W700 and motored to my consistent snapper hole. Yes, she is a most fortunate woman.

After limiting out on legal size Mangrove Snappers, something grabbed my bait and took off down the creek.
The 8 lb. test Cajun Red line proved its abrasive resistance as drag screamed and the line went round the bend rubbing on mangrove roots. I yanked up the stakeout pole, threw it in the bottom of my trusty Wavewalk steed, and went for a ride with the big fish in charge of towing.
Actually, I was not sure it was a fish. The brute fought more like a snapping turtle. Away went the Wavewalk, pulled by the tide and a little submarine.
I worked that critter out of those tangled roots with a kayak style Ricky Rod and skill that can only be obtained from years of chasing fish. (Truth is, a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while.)
Somewhere, between handling the line and my balance as I bumped like a pinball back and forth across the little creek, I did manage to pull a waterproof camera from the Harbor Freight ammo box. The picture is not great but it sure is colorful.
Well, a new fish got added to my “Caught in this Life” list: a big old honker Rainbow Parrotfish.
They eat them in the Bahamas. I let this one go. Plenty of snapper for Mama.
And a couple grunts for Papa.

 

 

 


 

Larry also offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »

We ended an all day trip having caught over 100 fish…

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

The easterly trade wind has been blowing hard for more than a week.
This is Spring Break in South Florida. Many of the local tour, fishing and diving boats that take people to the reef and blue water have to turn away customers because of the 6-8′ waves that are pounding the reef line.
There has been some seriously lost business and most disappointed vacationers.

In Key Largo, we have had wonderfully productive trips fishing our Wavewalk W700 tandem kayaks in the narrow creeks that flow through the dense mangrove forest here in the heart of Pennekamp Park. Because of the tight quarters and many non-combustion zones where internal combustion motors are prohibited, many of these areas rarely see a fisherman.

This weekend, two groups booked Wavewalk kayak fishing adventures with me –

Issac brought Julio, Daniel, and Darren for a Good Friday afternoon trip. They caught about 30-40 lbs. of keeper fish (Mangrove Snappers, Bluestriped Grunts, and Sailors Choice). I filleted out and boxed enough fish for a panko fried fish platter with black beans and rice that they had cooked up at the Blackwater Siren Restaurant before leaving our island. And, they had a big bag of fish for a big fish fry in Miami.

April who was raised and worked in the Keys, brought her son Keith Jr. and crew Kevin and Joey on Easter Sunday. After a most slow start to the day, we found fish way up Smugglers Run (a creek named for the infamous Keys past when “Save the Bales” was the slogan of the day.).
Those new kayak Ricky Rods got a real workout dragging fish from beneath the mangrove roots. April caught the most fish but everyone got their share including the pelicans who got a bucketful.
We really had to travel some distance to find the calmest possible conditions but we ended an all day trip having caught over 100 fish.

 

 

Everyone who tours or fishes with me in the Wavewalk portable boats is amazed how comfortable and stable these vessels are compared to conventional kayaks.
It is not too hard being the best fishing kayak guide in South Florida with the best fishing kayaks that are available, anywhere.


Larry also offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »

Stakeout pole for my Wavewalk 700

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

 

The wind has been screaming out of the ENE for four days now with no end in sight. But, it is flat calm in the creeks.

Yesterday morning, I purchased a stakeout pole and fabricated an adjustable pole holder for my W700 out of a busted electric trolling motor.
The fit is perfect and the removable rig works really well.

The fish were biting light that afternoon but I caught enough to provide a meal for my wife and myself.
Sure beats staring at all the other boats tied up to the docks…

 

Stakeout pole mounted on a Wavewalk 700

 

W700 outfitted with a stakeout pole

 

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