Shallow Water Fishing

The complete and effective solution for shallow water anglers


Shallow water is challenging if you own a motorboat, since although the boat itself may draft just a few inches, the outboard’s propeller must operate several inches below the lowest point in the boat’s hull, and practically speaking, you need to drive in water that’s at least one foot deep. This leaves you with an alternative mode of propulsion, namely poling, and since poling is slow and hard to practice, at least for most people, it doesn’t really solve your problem.

Mud motors are an effective solution for this problem, and they are fun to operate.
The following movie shows the new Wavewalk S4 outfitted with a 6.5 HP motor and a Twister drive from Mud Skipper:



Another alternative to conventional motorizing is paddling, but motorboats, even small ones such as Jon boats, are too wide for their crew to paddle effectively, so paddling doesn’t really work over significant distances – unless you own a Wavewalk® 700 car-top skiff.  The special thing about this new boat is that thanks to Wavewalk’s patented invention, it is extremely stable (watch video » …) and being just 31″ wide, it offers comfortable, easy and effective paddling, whether with single blade (canoe) paddles or dual-blade (kayak) paddles. This boat is ultralight (80 lbs without the motor), and thanks to its patented twin hull (a.k.a. catamaran) it tracks better than any kayak out there, and it’s easy to paddle solo and in tandem. In fact, the 7’8″ long W700 cockpit can accommodate a crew of up to three small to average size adults, or two big guys. The W700 is so stable that anyone, including big and heavy guys can drive it standing, paddle it standing, and fish standing in it in full comfort and confidence.
Even one person can car-top their W700 without help from a fishing buddy, so you don’t need to launch it in boat ramps, and you’re free to launch it anywhere – beaches, docks, etc.
When you launch at a shallow water beach, you keep the outboard’s propeller raised (no problem even if it’s a rocky beach), paddle and/or pole until you reach deeper water, lower the propeller into the water, and start the motor comfortably while facing it. Once the motor is on, you just turn around and face forward, so you can drive in the position that’s the most comfortable for you to drive in. It’s easy to do, and it takes barely a couple of seconds, as seen in the beginning of this video:


Aquatic vegetation – not a problem

The same is true for going in water with abundant seaweed and grass, where propellers tend to get entangled: You turn off the motor, easily and swiftly raise the propeller (as seen in the last few seconds of the above video), and you just keep paddling anywhere you want to go. Thanks to its unrivaled stability, the W700 offers you to go across obstacles that are absolute barriers for other kayaks and canoes, as demonstrated with the W500 in the must-watch video below –

Unrivaled Stability and Mobility for Shallow Water Kayak Anglers

Although shallow water is a popular fishing ground for many kayak anglers, fishing, paddling and motorizing in it aren’t necessarily easy, and they can be quite a challenge.
Whether you want to fish in flats or marshes, flooded grass, shallow streams, rivers obstructed by rocks and logs, or near oyster bars and rocky beaches – our W500 fishing kayaks offer you unrivaled mobility and stability, and the overall performance allowing you to go and fish optimally in all types of shallow water – W kayak anglers have dubbed it the All-Terrain Kayak for good reasons.
These are facts and not just words, and watching this short video is a good way to start thinking about going fishing in places that you may have previously thought were inaccessible or ‘unfishable’:


Going Over Obstacles

When you feel or see a submerged object (e.g. a rock, or a tree trunk) that’s preventing you from going forward you can try and go over it:   Raise the bow as much as possible by positioning yourself in the rear part of the cockpit and leaning backward, and paddle and/or pole as hard as you can.  When you feel your boat can’t go further ‘up’ move as forward as possible on the saddle and try to tip your boat to the over side of the underwater obstacle by pushing with your paddle.

Poling in Shallow Water

You’ll find that poling your W fishing Kayak is easy. We recommend that use use a Wavewalk paddle that’s longer and sturdier than kayak paddles. The advantage of using our extra-long and sturdy paddles is that you don’t need to carry a poling pole on board.
Some shallow water W kayak anglers use a poling platform. Although such platform is easy both to make and install, we don’t recommend using one, since it is stabler, safer and more convenient to pole while standing on the bottom of the kayak’s hulls.

Going Back In Case You Can’t Turn Back

If you get stuck in a narrow passage or in very shallow water and you can neither keep going forward nor turn your W kayak around, you can simply turn inside the cockpit and face ‘backward’, and ten simply paddle back in the direction you came from.  The W Kayak is totally symmetrical front-back, so you won’t feel the difference. This simple maneuver can be executed even if the kayak is outfitted with an outboard – just remember to lift the propeller out of the water!…
The ‘Stability video in the Sight Fishing section below shows how its done –


Sight Fishing

It’s important to understand that being able to get up and stand on a kayak doesn’t necessarily mean you can actually fish standing on it with confidence, or even in minimal comfort or acceptable safety.
Furthermore, being able to stand on a kayak doesn’t mean you can paddle it at a reasonable pace (and distance) if it’s either very wide and therefore slow, and/or features outriggers and a rudder that further slow it down.
This is especially true if the water and weather conditions are less than perfect, which is pretty normal, unfortunately.
This is to say that sight fishing requires that you can stand up easily and confidently in your kayak, including switching instantly and effortlessly from a seated position of a standing one, as well as cast and land fish comfortably and safely, and paddle easily and swiftly over long distances.
The W kayak is only kayak that offers you to do all of the above.
Unlike all other fishing kayaks, the W500 series offers you the ability to easily and comfortably paddle while standing, in full confidence, knowing that in case you lose balance (stuff happens!) you’re likely to fall into the Riding position on the 14 inch high saddle between your legs, and instantly regain your balance, and the control of your kayak.
More about stand up kayak fishing »

This movie demonstrates the stability level that the W kayak offers. Note the ease and speed of switching positions, and how natural and intuitive everything is, even for the big, middle aged guy featuring in it:


Paddling Through Grass

This is particularly easy, even in tall and thick grass, as this video shows:


Stopping Your W Fishing Kayak In Place

Sometimes you want to stop in a certain place, cast a few lines and go cast somewhere else without having to drop the anchor and pull it back each time you go to a new location. If you’re sufficiently heavy and if the water is shallow enough you can lower the stern of your W Fishing Kayak and make the hulls’ tips touch the bottom by sitting in the back of the cockpit.  This would make your kayak stay in its place unless current and/or wind are too strong.
Thanks to Jeff McGovern for the tip – we call this trick ‘Stop’n Go’


The W Kayak offers you the ability to throw to longer distances, which presents two advantages:
1.   Being able to cover more water from a stationary position before you need to move your kayak
2.   Some fish species can sense the presence of your kayak nearby and therefore are better caught from a distance.

The W Kayak offers three basic casting positions:
1.   Sitting with your legs forward:  This position is similar to the sitting position offered by canoes. Since you’re seated higher than in a kayak you enjoy more leverage on the rod, which enables you to throw to longer distances.
2.   Standing: This is the classical angling position, which gives you even more leverage than the seated positions.  The difference between throwing standing in a W Kayak and sitting in an ordinary kayak is considerable, and may require some time for practicing.
3.   Riding:  This is the most powerful position a paddle craft can offer. It combines height with extra stability and control, and the ability to extract more power from the muscles in your legs.  This results in a spectacular increase in the range of your throws.



Sitting Position






Standing Position






Riding Position











Read more (and watch video) about tandem fishing in the mangroves »










fly fishing kayak in the flood grass_FloridaRead more about poling in flood grass while fly fishing for redfish »







John paddling his kayak through obstacles on the shallow riverRead more about kayaking in obstructed rivers »







This video from 2006 featuring the smaller, now discontinued W300 kayak shows some more going over obstacles, even standing up: