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S4 projects and another fruitful fishing day

yellow fin tuna and other fish from Hawaii fishing trip in cooler

By Terry Wilkison

Well another fruitful day of fishing thanks to my S4! went out at 2am and fished one of the wrecks off the west side of the island and scored some nice aweo aweo and menapachi. Once the sun came up I headed 3 miles south to hunt for live bait and was able to find a small school scoring 4 nice opelu. I caught the bonita about 5 minutes after sending the first bait out. after him I had a larger tuna on but he kept switching directions in a way they don’t normally and the hook must have opened up the hole and it pulled about 15 minutes into the fight. After that something cut me off through 100lb fluorocarbon (most likely a wahoo). I made my way to to the spot I’ve grown fond of and sent out another opelu, 20 minutes later I caught the yellowfin. I got a scale the other day from amazon so I can add legitimacy to my fish stories, the Bonita was 12lb (average) and the shibi was 25lb, nice eating size. I ended up trading the bonita for some ribeye steaks (steak brings a premium here) and will divide up the shibi with friends. The red fish are a treat for the wife. The pole holder in the saddle hole works good, I’m only running 12 lb drag so I’m not to concerned about it. I’m down to fine tuning my setup now. Still playing around with ideas for a truck ramp but not sure if it will really be better than my dolly setup…. I can launch straight from the bed now I just have to walk the boat up the ramp when I get back, my main problem is the extra weight of the fish! A problem I’m happy to have!

12 lbs bonita
25 lbs shibi fish

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Another great fishing weekend on my S4

Yellowfin tuna

By Terry Wilkison

Aloha,
Had another great weekend on the S4! Tuna season is in full swing and they have been biting! Caught another this past weekend and a fat bonita. I also had two small Mahi chasing a homemade fly but couldn’t entice a bite from either of them. I gave the bonita away to a friend who likes them (in Florida we considered them a trash fish but here they are eaten) and split the yellowfin with my neighbor. I made a plate of sashimi that night and froze the rest to pan sear later. I’ll be going again soon and have dug out some bigger gear as the 100lb ahi are around and you never know! The bent butt shotgun fits right in the molded holes and will be used as a holder while my live bait swims about. If others are looking for a fish bag the ‘midi chiller’ from chillco in Australia fits perfectly, It has a triangle shape that is much more convenient than the flat bags. I’m also glassing a taller transom to try with the Nissan outboard. I believe the engine is sitting about 2.5″ too low and its costing me 2-3 knots, right now I’m not getting the rpm I should out of the 9″ prop. I’m raising it where the cavitation plate will be .5″ under the bottom of the hull as to not affect turning. I’ll post the results after giving it a go. The next project is a loading ramp idea to save some time at the boat ramp, I’d like to go straight from the truck bed to the water without getting my axle/brakes wet in the salt.

Tuna and Bonita
Ice bag to keep the fish fresh
shotgun style rod holder
Wavewalk S4 motor fishing kayak with flags of Tuna and Mahi

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This Yellowfin Tuna is good enough for the day

By Terry Wilkison

Went out this morning despite the full moon at 330am to catch bait before light. They weren’t easy to find but after my second one I bridled one up on some floro and sent him out to see if anyone was hungry, about 15 minutes later he got very nervous and then the reel started screaming. The small yellowfin have me a good 15 minute fight on 30lb tackle and then I decided that was good enough for the day! He’s on ice and I’m on my way home to make some dinner!

yellowfin tune caught offshore in Terry's motorized kayak the Wavewalk S4

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S4 kayak updates – rigging it for offshore fishing

DIY heavy duty rod holder for motor fishing kayak

By Terry Wilkison

Hawaii

The weather has been uncooperative for fishing lately so I’ve been working on some projects. Pretty happy with them and its nice that they don’t take long.

I’m off to the mainland for a month but excited to fish when I get back in late April.

Heavy duty DIY rod holder for 4 rods
Heavy duty DIY rod holder for 4 rods
Heavy duty reel for big game fishing
Heavy duty reel for big game fishing
Soft anti-skid mats on the bottom of the kayak hulls
Soft anti-skid mats on the bottom of the kayak hulls
Battery stored inside a DIY watertight hatch in the saddle seat
Battery stored inside a DIY watertight hatch in the saddle seat
watertight storage hatch in the kayak's saddle seat
DIY watertight storage hatch in the kayak’s saddle seat

I’m not a fan of cutting holes in a boat. I use 3M 5200 Marine Adhesive Sealant and roughen and clean the surfaces. It gives a good watertight bond for about a year, then I just redo it. I try to be mindful of stress points “hard edges” so to speak.

I’m going to glass over the mdf on the transom and braces at some point for extra protection, and I’ve placed a fish bag on order that should fit perfectly. 

Carry wheels for sandy beaches
Carry wheels for sandy beaches

First fishing trip in my S4

fish on the bottom of the hull of a Wavewalk S4 motor kayak - Hawaii

By Terry Wilkison

Hawaii

Was able to go fishing today. Left the house at 4 and was out in the water before first light. I made my way from the west side of the island out to a point that I’m very familiar with and a good first fishing run as I’m getting my routine together and used to the new setup. On top of a new boat I’m changing my fishing style from trolling to catching and using live bait. We get large mackerel scad locally called “opelu” which I have never fished for before so it was all new to me.

I installed a Garmin 64cv and boy I’m glad I did. Not only was it great for marking bait I could see the depth of my damishi used to catch them.

Garmin fish finder in a motorized fishing kayak Wavewalk S4 - Hawaii

I was able to get 4 of them which isn’t bad for my first try (figuring out what colors and hook size). They are large bait, nearly a foot and fight hard while having a fragile mouth…. I bridled up the first one and 5 minutes later I noticed he was running along the surface which I thought odd, all of the sudden the water exploded and I saw the flash of a big ono (similar to king mackerel) my reel started screaming and the drag froze on the run….. ugh!!! That got my heart going. I had 2 more bite offs (using wire) and caught the cuda fly lining a piece of opelu that got sliced in half, there were 3 cuda taking turns with it. Right when he picked it up 3 mahi swam right by, if id just had waited a minute! The water clarity was about 80 feet so I could see straight below the boat for the action.

Also had a humpback come by and check out the S4, he gave me quite a show with a couple large tail slaps before making his way up the coast.

It was a choppy confused sea today. There was a large north and a northwest ground swell of medium period that rolled by like hills, the south wind started driving a 1 to 2 foot chop on top directly opposing that made it snotty. I didn’t win any speed records but cruised along at a leisurely 6 knots and riding it comfortably on the saddle seat. The boat did terrific, and the stability and safety I felt with it were great.
Catching bait, fighting fish, messing with the fishfinder and re tying cut off lines, I never had to worry about stability. Looking forward to next weekend! Getting my go pro mounted this week is a high priority!

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