Tag Archive: Northwest

The W700 is still the lightest boat for duck hunting in the mud flats

By Chris Henderson

Fishing Kayaks of Gig Harbor

 

Light is the name of the game.

I have been hunting hard and had another great hunt in the W700. I haven’t found the time to get the motorized S4 ready. I need probably another 4-5 hours of work on it but have been struggling to find it.

I hunt mud flats. They are not like your typical muddy beach. These flats are the result of silt and mud that is deposited at the mouth of a river meeting Puget Sound. These kind of mud flats are incredibly rich in sea life and have huge shrimp and clam beds. The result is a mud that can be firm one minute and the next you are up to your knees. Much deeper than that and you are stuck. In addition, the tide moves in and out at a very good pace most days. Sometimes it will move up to 14 feet in 6 hours. That means you have to move, a lot. Motorized boats are able to hunt the edges of these flats but really can’t take advantage of the flats themselves. They can get stranded if they don’t move their boat fast enough. If you go high and dry in a boat over 100lbs. you will not get it out until the tide comes back in. I met a fellow at the boat ramp who was admiring the W700 and said he spent the night last year out on the flats because the tide did not come back in far enough for him to get his boat out.

This is where the W700 shines. It drafts shallow, cuts the waves when the weather turns nautical, and it is light! I can easily drag it across even the soft mud and not get myself stuck. It is the perfect tool for where I hunt. Plus there is no trailer to mess with! On this hunt you can get a feel for the mud and how it is the right tool for the job.

Hope you enjoy,

 


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Great duck hunting boat!

By Chris Henderson

Fishing Kayaks of Gig Harbor

This is the first duck hunting season we have used both the W500 and the W700 as duck hunting boats and they are doing great!
It would be easy to put a blind on it (we have one all designed) but we mostly use the boats for transportation.
The area we hunt is tidal mud flat.  So the cover is minimal, actually non-existent.   We sit on beach chairs in the mud and pretend to be a log.   However, where the Wavewalk’s shine is in getting us to the spot.
We paddle for 1.5miles over water that runs from 6 inches to 20 feet, with lots of logs, mussel beds, and all sorts of things that are a constant danger to motorized boats.  In addition once we get to the spot we will be on the move the whole day.  For instance yesterday’s tide went from 1.9 feet at 3 am to a 14.4 feet at 9:54 am and then back to 4.9 feet at 4:43 pm.  We hunted from 5 am until about 4:00pm.  So we saw and moved through most of that. We start on a mud flat, retreat to a log and end up back on the mud flat.   It is work intensive hunting!
The Wavewalk makes it possible for a couple of reasons.
One it handles the current and wind with great proficiency.  Tidal current is a constant, one direction or the other.  In addition, this is the mouth of the Nisqually river, so you have a lot of water coming from there.  And it seems there is always a wind and often with accompanying waves.  With the Wavewalk you are able to paddle through all of this and feel secure knowing that you can handle it.  It is not just a convenience it is a safety issue.
We are paddling in water that has a constant temperature year round of 54 degrees, but the air temperature yesterday started at 24 degrees raising to a balmy 36, and oh yeah we paddle to the spot in the dark.  If you get in trouble you are on your own.
Often people ask me why not put a motor on it?  For one simple reason; MUD!  We move about 200 yards between low and high tides and then back again.   During that we are dragging our boats forward and backward with the tide.  We drag them in mud that can actually be a danger if you get stuck. The Coast guard had to airlift rescue a duck hunter from this marsh already this year who was stuck in the mud.  Dragging 60 or 80 lbs of boat through mud is a challenge, but if you added the weight of a motor it would become impractical.
The second reason the Wavewalks are so perfect for this hunting is the sheer storage.  In the W700 I am able to transport 36 decoys, camo blankets for the boat and hunters, shotgun, lawn chair, hunting bucket, thermos, and myself with ease.  In fact there is so much room in W700’s it hauls all of the decoys!

Yesterday I was able to take a friend who had never hunted in this way and put him in a Wavewalk for the first time.  He is a big fellow so I put him in the W700.  With very little effort he was comfortably  and efficiently paddling, and we had a great hunt.

These boats are not just for fishing but they make great duck boats as well. So far this duck season the Wavewalks have gotten us 63 ducks, and we still have January to go!

Loving the Wavewalk as a great duck boat!  Enjoy a few pictures of the season!

 

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Wavewalk 700 (front) and Wavewalk 500 (back), guns, and ducks…

 

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Went fishing – In pursuit of kokanee (movie)

By Chris Henderson

Gig Harbor Fishing Kayaks

Clear Lake Kokanee

Had a really nice day fishing today.  Got up at the usual time and got on the lake by about 7:30am.  Calm weather made getting the lines out fairly easy and once fishing the fish were very cooperative.  Kokanee are a land locked sockeye salmon and they are very very good on the table.
I got my limit of five by 11:30.
Wavewalk sure makes these great little trips easy!  Here is a Gopro movie I made showing some of the day.  Enjoy!

 

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More Kokanee in American Lake

By Chris Henderson

One of the things I like about the Wavewalk is the ability to load it up and go. No fuss, no trailer just can’t be beat.
I had an afternoon birthday party to go to but rather than watch football I decided to hit American Lake for a couple of hours in the morning and try for some Kokanee (landlocked sockeye salmon). They are starting to change into fall spawning form and are basically as big as they are going to get.

Got there by 8:45 and in the water by 9. Couldn’t seem to find the fish, thought maybe something was wrong with my depth finder. But it was working I just wasn’t where they were.
Finally found some that were interested. 58 feet of water with the downrigger at 24′. Picked up these two and lost one that I had only briefly. The buck (17.5 inches) put up the best fight I have ever experienced with a Kokanee. 4+ reel screaming runs. It was awesome. The hen (15.5 inches) was a jumper. Got them around 11am, and had to hit the road by 12:45. Quick but fun!

The Northwest downriggin configuration we created allowed me to fish two poles trolling one deep and one shallow. Net is easy to get to and with the fish finder and the ease of paddling means I can troll with the best of them. Great way to rig your boat.

Enjoying the Wavewalk!

Chris

Gig Harbor Fishing Kayaks

October Kokanee

 

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Introducing our Wavewalk 500 Northwest Downriggin’ kayak fishing package, by Chris Henderson

One of the fun things about being a dealer of kayaks is that we get to rig a boats just the way we want it. It is a lot of fun rigging boats with Andrew, my son-in-law.
We have named this particular version the Northwest Downriggin. Take off the downrigger and you have just a Northwest version.
After fishing my other Wavewalk for 6 months we really learned what we wanted in the boat and what we didn’t. So this is the result.
We’re still considering rails to replace the front flush mounts but they are so expensive!
So this version has all Scotty stuff, with round flush mounts, rocket launchers vs. a through hull that took away a bunch of storage, gear head extender, and the pedestal mount laketroller.
We have an additional gearhead extender so we will be able to dual wield and even (dare the tangles) stack my downrigger.
Not pictured is the fish finder, which is still to be installed, but that is just a matter of placement and getting another brick of ductseal.
Can’t wait to get this thing on the water and get back after those American Lake Kokanee!

Chris

Fishing Kayaks of Gig Harbor, WA

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