Tag Archives: bow fishing

Fishing with a bow and arrows. Some fisherman fish out of their W kayaks using a bow and arrows.

The Kayak Solution, by Paul Malm

The Kayak Solution

Paul Malm

paul-holding-a-bass How many times have you passed by, or looked at, a body of water and wished there was a way to fish it.
There can be many things to keep a person from getting to what looks like prime water. The weeds can be too grown in to be able to fish from shore, and if you did cast past it all, how would you get a hooked fish in through it? Or, just no access on the shoreline to be able to stand and fish. There may also be no way to get a boat in the water anywhere.

Lots of things to keep us from fishing these waters because of access issues. Well, there is a solution to the problem; a kayak solution!
Kayaks can offer you the ability to get onto almost any body of water you want to fish or explore. They are usually light enough and small enough for one person to handle and transport easily. And they can be put into the water almost anywhere, no boat ramp need-ed. People are starting to realize more and more what a difference a kayak can make, and how much fun it is to get out in one!

In the past, people looked at kayaks and thought of them only as a white water craft for using on wild rivers and rapids. This notion has changed dramatically in the last few years, and many people are starting to see the benefits of these small personal craft. These days, there are so many styles to choose from, that anyone can find a kayak to suit their needs. There are kayaks made to just sit in and paddle around for touring and sightseeing, while others have been made to fill specific needs.

Kayaks come in many forms, and from many makers. The prices of these craft will usually not give you sticker shock, either. They can range in price from a couple hundred dollars, up to the $1500 range; once again, depending on what you are looking for.

There are many kayaks that are made specifically for fishing. Some are sit-on-top models, that allow you to dangle your legs into the wa-ter while fishing. Others have a deck, and will allow you to stand and fish, giving you a better view of the water. Most major sporting goods stores will carry an array of styles and makers to choose from. If you fish alone most of the time, you will want to consider the weight of the craft you will be using. This can also af-fect how you transport your kayak; whether you want to strap it to the top of your vehicle, or put it on a trailer. A heavier kayak does not mean a better kayak! The length of the craft is also something to consider; not only for storage and transportation, but for registration where you will use it. In Iowa, you have to register the craft if it is 12 feet or over; or if you put a motor of some kind on it.

Kayaks are so easy to paddle, a trolling motor is a luxury! Even paddling upstream is usually not a prob-lem at all. I recommend that you check out the seating in the craft when you are shopping. Many of the seats are adjustable in order to make you comfortable, but if you will be sitting in it for a long time, you want to be sure.

Storage space is another thing to consider when shopping for your kayak. You want ample space to stow your gear, but you want to be able to get to it when you need it. Many of the newer fishing models have plenty of storage, and even have places to keep your bait alive and well. There are even coolers and livewells built into some models. Again, check out the options thoroughly when shopping. [brand names] are some of the companies making many of the kayaks you will see on television. These are not the only makers of fine fishing kayaks though, there are other brands out there with great qualities. [names of chain stores] carry a nice line of kayaks, too. [local store in Iowa] also carries a line of kayaks made for touring or fishing, but may fit the budget better if you are just not sure, yet.

The kayak I use, and prefer

The kayak I use, and prefer, is the Wavewalk 500 fishing kayak. It is different than any other one on the market. It has a split hull design that has many benefits, including getting in or out of your kayak dry…..no wet feet! You simply step into it between the hulls. Great design! It weighs less than 60 pounds, so it is easy to work with. It is the most stable craft of it’s kind that I have seen, too. You can stand and fish in confidence. I even stand and bowfish in it! The split hull gives outstanding stability! It has a bench style seat that is long enough to lay down on, or take someone along with you. This type of seat also forces good posture while seated, so you don’t get a sore back from extended time in the kayak. I have been in it for hours at a time with no back issues at all, thanks to this design.

The storage in the Wavewalk 500 is the most I have seen in a kayak, too. The hulls are your storage. You can put enough gear in one to go camping for a week! Even your 7-8 foot fishing rods will stow away in the hulls, but you can easily equip rod holders on any kayak to keep your rods handy. They will carry almost 400 pounds of cargo. More than enough for most applications. I cannot say enough good about the Wavewalk 500 to do it justice; simply a great kayak. You can check them out at minnyaks.com.

No matter what kind of kayak you go out in, you will find it to be a blast. You are close to the water and you can go almost anywhere in one. When I take mine out fishing, I find myself just looking around almost as much as I fish. It is simply relaxing to be out on the water in a small craft like this. The places you can take a kayak are endless, and the enjoyment you can get from it will last a lifetime. Even some of the skeptical have worn a smile when out for the first time, and are now kayak owners themselves! Don’t miss out on the fun of this because of a preconceived notion about kayaking. It has changed a lot, and may be just the way for you to get that lunker out of that body of water you have been looking at for so long! You no longer have to look and wonder, you can do it!! Have a blast!!

About the Author –

Paul Malm a.k.a. The Musky Guy is a professional fishing guide, fishing tackle designer and manufacturer, and award winning, record holding fisherman in Northwestern Iowa.
He also writes for fishing websites and magazines such as the Northwest Iowa Outdoors magazine, where this article first appeared.

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The Musky Guy on the cover of Northwest Iowa Outdoors Magazine!

Paul Malm, a.k.a. The Musky Guy is a fishing guide and tackle manufacturer, and a local celebrity in northwestern Iowa, and he was chosen to feature on the cover of Northwest Iowa Outdoors magazine!

Northwest-Iowa-Outdoors-magazine-cover-the Musky-Guy

So why is this important news for the W blog? It’s because Paul is also a big W kayak fan, and he wrote this great article called The kayak that’s useful for fishing in waters around here

Congratulations Paul!  :)


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Bow fishing for snakehead on the Potomac, by John Dillon

It’s been a tough year, thus far, for catching snakehead fish in the Potomac River.


I’ve been doing some bowfishing, lately, but I’ll always bring a rod rigged up for some topwater action.


I can paddle into some skinny water on the hunt for snakeheads.


This snakehead torpedoed a topwater popper frog in the open water.


Here’s a fattie I pierced with an arrow.


I knock out the fish with the hammer, then store it inside the W kayak. If it flops around it cannot get away. You cannot do this when using other sit-on-top fishing kayaks.


This beast measured 31″ & 12lbs.


I enjoy the surrounding beauty while fishing in my W!


Fishing at sunset


First shot of the day! Here you can see the white arrow stuck in the tail of the fish. The orange line keeps the arrow connected to the bow. The W500 is easy to stand up and use the bow&arrow bowfish technique. In fact, I can stand up and hold the bow with the arrow nocked with my left hand and still paddle and steer while drifting with the tide with my right hand. When I see a snakehead I can quietly lay my paddle across the W and then take a shot.


Snakehead fish are ugly-looking, but they taste excellent! Here’s a thick piece of fillet baked in organic olive oil & topped with Old Bay seasoning.


the end of August for those wishing to join me. Just email Yoav and he can forward your email to me. Launching will be out of Slavins Launch, in Indianhead, Maryland…just south of DC at the end of route 210 south.

Yoav, keep on making your awesome kayaks!!

-Tight lines,
John Dillon

Fishing in my Wavewalk kayak for 13 hours with no discomfort, Travis in VA

Here’s my take on the Wavewalk.
Like so many, back issues are a big reason I decided on a Wavewalk. I’m not even an old guy. My sit-ins had me taking shore breaks every few hours. My first time out in the Wavewalk, I was out fishing for 13 hours and never had any discomfort because of the ease of changing positions.
Last year I did a lot of fishing and caught many different fish as can be seen in my video. It’s now a little more than a year after I vacationed in Florida and was able to try out a Wavewalk. On the way home from that trip a stopped at my local dealer and bought one. After many modifications and additions I think I have finally reached a configuration that won’t be changing for a while.
The latest addition was a Minn Kota C2 30lb trolling motor mounted to a transom I made from some wood and screws I had available.

After one outing last year when I caught my first northern snakehead, I decided I need to take up bow fishing too. The Wavewalk is perfect for sneaking up on them in the weedy shallows. When it gets too thick to paddle, I pole along. While I haven’t yet taken any snakeheads by bow, I have been successful at getting some catfish and carp. The stability makes it so easy.

Travis in VA

Great stability for catching big catfish
Getting a tow


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The kayak that’s useful for fishing in waters around here, by Paul Malm

Iowa kayak fishing guide holding a bear bubI have recently purchased a new type of fishing kayak called the WaveWalk 500 that’s very useful in the waters around here. I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying the W. I wish I would have bought one sooner!
I’m also offering kayak trips for those who just want to get out for the day and enjoy the experience. This particular design is more stable on the water than any other kayak I have seen. Plus the amount of storage of these unique kayaks blows them all away, too. Fishing while standing is no problem at all, and they are very comfortable to spend extended time in. You can actually lay down in this one!
This has been one the most unusual years I have ever been witness to as far as the weather and the fishing goes. In Northwest Iowa the rains seemed never-ending for a while, especially on weekends. Waters are high all over the area, with levels that have not been seen in a few seasons.
As far as the rivers go, these heavy rains have caused a lot of flooding, and as for fishing, it depends on where you live and what you are fishing for. Because of the unstable rivers and muddy waters, the musky and pike bite has been off and on from day to day. Nothing that you can predict with the crazy barometer this year. The bass, crappie, and big bluegills, on the other hand, have been great this year!

I have been fishing out of my new WaveWalk 500 fishing kayak and it has been giving me access to waters that others are not able to get to. As a result, I am able to target fish that are not pressured, and it is working very well. It is amazing how much you can see and learn from such a silent , low-profile craft. Fish swim right under you without spooking. Awesome to see! I am now offering kayak trips and kayak fishing through my guide service. Right now I am only able to take one person at a time for kayak bookings, but I am hoping to change that shortly.

I am also offering bow-fishing trips. You would be surprised how much fun it is to get a 20 pound carp on the end of an arrow. You can’t stop the smile on your face! Once again, from the kayak I can only do one at a time, but there are other options, too.

Click images to enlarge

I am also offering fishing lessons and classes for small parties or large groups. I have been certified by the State of Iowa DNR as an official “Fish Iowa” Instructor. So not only do I get the honor and privilege of introducing many people to the sport, but this also gives me access to many of the materials the DNR makes available for young or new fishermen, promoting our great fishing in the State of Iowa!

I am proud to introduce the latest in my line of terminal tackle. It is another leader, but geared towards finer fishing. This product came up as a result of a day of walleye fishing where the big pike were biting me off every other cast. Not a major problem, but I was after walleye that day, not pike. But walleye will not take to the sight of a heavy leader and it seems a little silly to cast a curly-tail jig on one too. So I went home that night and came up with what I will use from now on when casting for walleye during aggressive feeding.  The snap is of my own design again, with nothing to open or close, changing lures in an instant. Whether you fish for bullheads or musky, it is great just to get out and enjoy a little of what nature has to offer.

Paul Malm, the Musky guy

Malm Fishing Services, Northwestern Iowa

Biggest bluegill caught in Iowa – unofficial state record. I caught this fish from my W kayak.

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