Fishing from a kayak.
Anglers fish out of kayaks in saltwater and freshwater, but this outdoor activity is more popular in warmer regions than in cold ones, due to the fact that typically, kayaks offer the angler less comfort and protection from the elements than motorboats do, and this factor is more of a problem in cold weather and water.
Most anglers still view kayak fishing as too hard and uncomfortable for them to practice, and they prefer to fish out of larger motorboats that are stabler and more comfortable than fishing kayaks typically are. Such fishing boats also offer a much longer range of travel than kayaks do.

The patented twin-hull W kayaks revolutionized kayak fishing in more than one way –
It eliminated the back pain and leg numbness associated with fishing out of mono-hull kayaks that force the angler to fish while seated in the uncomfortable L position. This opened kayak fishing to middle aged and elderly anglers, as well as to people who suffer from back pain and back sensitivities, and other disabilities.
The W kayak’s increased stability offers practically anyone the option to fish standing in full confidence, in real-world conditions, even if they’re not small, young, or physically fit.
In addition, fishing out of a W kayak is more comfortable in the sense that the angler is better protected from the elements (wind, waves, spray, etc.) than they would be if they fished out of other types of kayaks.
In ‘fishability’ terms, the new W kayak also outperforms other types of kayaks when storage is concerned, since it offers several times more storage space for the angler’s fishing tackle and other gear.

In sum, the W kayak offers to transform kayak fishing from an extreme sport or outdoor activity, to a pleasant and comfortable one – for everyone, and not just for the young and athletic angler.

More articles on kayak fishing and related subjects »

Following Jeff’s Fishing Trip

Today Jeff emailed me this short addendum to his fishing report from yesterday:

“I wanted to mention these two things. First not having really to lift much of anything is great. From the time I put my W into my pickup truck until I arrive home I only lift it to put it away. At the launching site in and out it’s only a pull out, lower, and drag the water (one trip by the way with all gear) then reverse when I’m done. No strain at all.
The other thing is the saddle positions you can get. I found that by bending all the way forward while seated you can stretch out the back issues and take off a bunch of strain. Nothing else allows a position like that except maybe riding on a horse, and I would guess loading a horse in my Ford Ranger would negate any gains from the position. Besides the W doesn’t eat much and you don’t have to clean it’s stall.
I had to mention this stuff because today is the best my back has felt in weeks. Maybe it’s the W maybe not.”

Why do I think this is important? It’s because you can’t overestimate good ergonomics since it is critical to the well being of any paddler and kayak fisherman, and because unlike stability and mobility it’s hard to demonstrate in a video or discuss in an article.


Florida Fishing Report From Jeff McGovern

Finally made it out this morning and had a blast. Took the W but with a bit of hesitation because of  that sciatic nerve pinch from the Christmas drive up to Chicago is still a bother. It’s uncomfortable to sit in some positions but I figured the W would offer at least one position of comfort. I was right, thank goodness and found a few positions. The riding upright was best where the discomfort was almost gone. Of course standing helps a bunch and that was a blessing since I did not have to land the boat for a stretch. According to my checking into this type of pain issue it can take four months or more to work itself out. Today ended up going very well, I guess I’ll get a prescription for the W and just have to fish more often.
The fishing itself was limited to just little blue fish, they were the only ones around but any fish on the end of a line pulling is great. All 10 of them were around 12 inches or so but they pull very hard and act like piranhas hitting a bait. The weather started out around 50 or so and by the time I headed home it was around 70. Performance wise the boat handled just fine using the W paddle. I met one other yaker on the water and he was fascinated with the W. I guess he had been trolling the website but bought what he could touch and feel. His boat was a little [edited: 9′ long fishing kayak] and he was a small fellow. When we got into weeds he could not even cast because they were over his head and blocking him. He also kept using his anchor to hold himself in place while I would just nudge the W’s tail end into the grass and let it catch between the hulls, worked fine to keep me in place in the light wind we had today.

Jeff casting standing in his W kayak

Paddling Over Submerged Obstacles in Shallow Water

Whether you’re on a paddling or fishing trip in shallow water, you don’t want to have to turn back, or worse – get stuck somewhere because of underwater obstacles. Such obstacles may be rocks, tree roots, fallen branches and fallen trees that prevent you from reaching your destination, be it an interesting place to tour or a promising spot to fish in.

If you have to turn back the W solution is either to paddle backwards, or turn the boat, or turn yourself inside the cockpit and face the direction from which you came from: The W kayak is fully symmetrical front and back and it feels the same paddling forward and backward.

Another strategy you can try is poling with your paddle (preferably the Wavewalk PSP), or going over the submerged obstacle – whether it’s top part is underwater or even a few inches above water:
You position yourself at the back of the cockpit, thus raising your W kayak’s bow. Then you paddle forward full speed and try to get the boat to go as forward as possible over the barrier. If you succeeded in getting the middle of the boat pas the obstacle you’re almost there, and you’ll have to move swiftly to the front part of the cockpit and thus make your W kayak tilt forward and go over the obstacle.
It may not be as easy as it sounds, but practice makes perfect, and in this case it’s fun too.
It’s also great to know that you’ve gone where no other canoe or kayak could go…
This video shows how it’s done:

Southern Kayak Fishermen’s Complaints

I recently visited a popular online kayak fishing forum serving kayak fishermen in a Southern state. One of the discussions in it was about the negative side of kayak fishing as the participants see them.
Most of the participants fish from SOTs and some from sit-in kayaks, but none of them fishes from a W Kayak.

These are the problematic points that the participants seemed to agree upon:

1. You really can’t do it [kayak fishing] right without getting wet and muddy. Either water will slosh into your cockpit or your scuppers will fill up. You’ll need to get about knee deep to launch comfortably, so you’ll probably encounter mud, grass, sand, or all of them (ergonomic problem)

2. You’ll have to get used to loading and unloading your boat and equipment. You’ll take 15 minutes to unload and you’ll take 15 minutes to load everything back into/onto your vehicle/trailer (storage problem).

3. You can’t take your kid fishing with you.

4. Paddling into the wind is difficult (‘windage’ problems).

5. It’s very hard to relief oneself (ergonomic problem).

6. No place to keep your catch when you paddle back in. You need to tie your stringer to the side and drag it, which can be difficult and attract predators, or use the fish-in-the-lap approach (storage problems).

7. Fishing in high winds makes it difficult to cast.

8. You can’t really fish standing. If you’re accustomed to casting in a standing position (power boat, shore or pier) you feel awkward casting from a low, seated position (ergonomic and biomechanical problems).

9. Since there’s little room on deck everything is close to you and you may unintentionally “snag” nearby items with your hook (ergonomic problem).

10. Not being able to stand up and stretch after being seated for a long time – discomfort in your legs (ergonomic problem)

11. Lower back and posterior pains (ergonomic problem).

12. It can get very cold onboard (ergonomic problem)

Compare this to the W Fishing Kayak, that:

1. Offers dry launching and beaching even in difficult spots, and its cockpit protects you against spray.

2. Is a ‘Toss and Go’ boat – you can leave your gear and tackle inside when transporting it.

3. Offers enough room onboard for a second passenger

4. Enables you to paddle in strong wind

5. Offers to stand up anytime and for any purpose…

6. Offers sufficient dry and protected storage space onboard for every possible need.

7. Offers powerful casting positions such as riding and standing

8. Enables fishing standing in confidence even in the presence of wind and eddies.

9. Features a full size, spacious and deep cockpit.

10. Offers to switch between various positions and stand up for fishing anytime.

11. Enables your legs to support your torso and back in a natural posture.

12. Puts you higher on the water and protects you from wind and spray.

Doug – W Saltwater Kayak Fisherman From Long Island, NY

Doug is a surf fisherman from Long Island, NY, who drove all the way here (Newton, Massachusetts) to pick up his new W Kayak. He told me he chose to get a W after had tried an ordinary fishing kayak and didn’t like the way he had to sit in it. He also wanted to paddle and fish standing. Before that he had paddled a canoe – as a boy…

Doug is middle aged, medium built, around 6′ and 200 lb. He emailed me the following report::

“I got it [the W kayak] out onto Jamaica Bay on Saturday on water not over my head. Went well. I like being able to go in a straight line without paying too much attention to what I’m doing. Paddled standing up w/o too much instability…; Practiced turning around inside the ‘cockpit’ without incident.”

I was satisfied to read that everything went well for Doug, especially in view of the fact that he didn’t get a chance to try the kayak here because of the cold weather we had.

What struck me in Doug’s report was that he able to turn around in his W kayak’s cockpit so quickly: When he was here he asked me about it and I explained to him how it should be done, but I also warned him that it was an ‘advanced’ trick, and that he shouldn’t even think of trying it before he got very well acquainted with his new boat.

In any case, Doug’s success story doesn’t change our basic advice to new W kayakers and kayak fishermen, which still is: “Lower your expectations and progress slowly and carefully in your study of the use of your new W kayak, because stuff happens…”