Tag Archive: storm

Update from Key Largo

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

Internet service is still negatory in Key Largo. I am at the Mickey D’s in Homestead with a hot signal but it is hot in the car, too. Plus, there is a curfew to get home before the gate closes on U.S. 1.

Still, we now have water and power at the bunker in the sky in Garden Cove (my house). And, all the boats survived. The two work boats will need refurbishing but the amazing Wavewalks weathered the storm without a scratch.

Looking forward to resuming our Wavewalk Adventures guide service at the beginning of October. In the meantime, my white S4 (the White Knight) is performing ferry service and supply delivery for boat people stranded in the local hurricane hole.

These Wavewalk vessels are the best hurricane preparedness and recovery portable shuttle craft that I have ever seen or used. Two W500’s, four W700’s, and three S4’s rode through Hurricane Irma like the powerful steeds they are and are ready to continue rescue duty.

Have to go. Seeking a little T.V. with rabbit ears. Two or three stations that work is better than a thousand that won’t come in thru a busted cable service.

Time to prep for the next one…

Larry J.

 

 

 

 

 

Read more from Larry about fishing, boating and outfitting »

 

Visit Larry’s fishing and diving guide and Wavewalk kayak and skiff Key Largo website »

Fishing for trout, surrounded by storms

By Steve Lucas

 

I really wanted to go to Flamingo for Fathers Day but when I woke up and checked the weather I saw conflicting wind forecasts. Then the radar showed some early small storms in Florida Bay. I checked Choko and it looked clear as a bell so that’s where I went.
Once I got on SR 29 heading south naturally I was greeted with huge flashes of lightning coming from the coast. “Oh well” I thought to myself “maybe it’s not over the bay”. I’m glad I kept going because it was a beautiful morning although the wind was higher than forecast.

I stayed close because there were storms all around. I stand up paddled the W 500 and caught a load of nice size trout. I did spot and hook a nice size Snook but lost him because of an inconsiderate Googan in a microskiff. I have most of the trout on Go Pro film and will post that later.
I took so many pictures of the clouds that I ran my battery out on the still machine.

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Read more about Steve’s fishing trips and rigging tips »

Motorize your fishing kayak?

What do we mean by ‘motorized kayak’?

When we say ‘motorized fishing kayak’ we don’t mean just a sit-in or SOT kayak outfitted with an electric trolling motor… We also mean the real deal, which is a small watercraft comparable to a motorboat as most North American anglers understand it, and this means powered by an outboard gas engine.
And when we say ‘motorboat’ we don’t mean one that’s suitable just for fishing inland, on flat water and doesn’t necessarily work for offshore fishing – We mean real ocean fishing including surf launching and fishing trips in a range that’s several times longer than what electric motors offer before they run out of juice…
Needless to say that it means adequate stability for stand up fishing in full confidence and for everyone, dryness (if you feel like getting wet, go wading, or fish from another kayak!), enough storage space for you to take gear you need for long trips, and last but not least – a comfort level that anyone can enjoy, and not just young, small, lightweight and athletic anglers…

Hmm… but would I need a trailer?

Talking about trailers (a touchy subject for many…) – you need one for a motorboat that will take you and several passengers on board, but if you’re looking for a personal motorboat, or microskiff, then a trailer should become a thing of the past for you. A trailer costs money to buy, and it takes room in your yard or garage. Moreover, a trailer steels precious time from your fishing trips, and it puts a huge constraint on the number of places where you can put-in because you have to launch in boat ramps, and to add insult to injury – you’d often need to wait in line to launch and beach, instead spending this time casting and reeling… what a bummer!

Yeah, but what about fishing in no-motor zones?

Aha! Not a problem, because the motorized kayak we’re talking about happens to be the easiest to paddle, and the best tracker in strong wind. This means you can switch between propulsion modes from motorized to human powered: paddling (kayak or canoe style), stand up paddling, poling in shallow water, and even rowing with a pair of oars, if you feel like it.
A small outboard gas engine weighs around 30 lbs, which isn’t heavy enough to considerably impede you when you’re paddling. In comparison, the combined weight of an electric trolling motor and good-size battery can exceed 80 lbs, and that’s already enough for you to notice a difference when you paddle.

Do people actually fish out of these things?

You bet! This is no longer a mere ‘concept’ – Fishermen worldwide already enjoy the advantages of fishing out of W motor kayaks, and for many of them, that little motorboat they fish from is a personal microskiff offering noticeable advantages in comparison to various small motorboats such as skiffs, jon boats, dinghies, bass boats, canoes, etc. – and other kayaks, of course.

Some basic questions (and answers) –

-“Do I want to motorize my fishing kayak? With what kind of motor – a battery powered electric motor, or a small and portable outboard gas engine?”
Such questions and similar ones are typical to many kayak fishermen who are tired of spending a lot of time and energy paddling or pedaling instead of fishing… Others realize they’d better have a plan B in case the weather changes and human powered propulsion won’t get them back home… And naturally, some anglers wish to travel longer distances, as they would do in a motorboat. Choosing between an electric motor and an outboard gas engine depends on a number of factors that will be further discussed in this article, among other issues  –

What things should I consider?

First of all, your safety and comfort

Before everything, think about yourself: Can you stay fresh and feel comfortable after you paddle a long distance, or would such paddling lead to premature fatigue even before you cast your first bait, lure, fly etc.? This is not just a comfort issue, and it has to do with your safety as well: If you paddle long distances, especially when you’re tired, you could get injured and you could increase the likelihood of an accident, even if you’re young and in good shape (are you?)… Being middle aged or elderly, non-athletic, overweight or suffering from a condition or sensitivity in your back won’t make things easier for you as far as paddling goes.

Natural world conditions – water, weather etc.

No one fishes on the page of a glossy magazine, or on YouTube… Like everybody else, you fish in the natural world, and although you may like to paddle, bad weather and strong currents will always be stronger, and could shorten your trip, or make it too hard for you to go back home. In extreme cases, the elements may prevent you from getting to shore in time before a storm, or before it gets dark (or both…). In other words, under certain circumstances, insufficient propulsion power could turn hazardous.  An electric trolling motor would usually help in such adverse conditions, but not always, and it could prove inadequate in a serious storm, a sudden swell in a river, strong wind, a fast tidal current, etc.

-How much does the whole thing weigh?

A small outboard gas motor weighs about 30 lbs, and that’s twice as much as an electric trolling motor, but an electric battery can weigh twice as much as an outboard motor (that’s pretty heavy!)… Too much weight can lead to all sorts of inconveniences, such as a difficulty in carrying your kayak from your car to the launching spot (same is true in the other direction…), and if the battery goes flat (stuff happens!) you’d have to paddle a kayak that’s noticeably heavier than a non-motorized one. In sum, gas outboards are also more reliable, and you can easily paddle a kayak outfitted with such a motor, while paddling a kayak outfitted with a regular electric trolling motor is harder.

-What’s my cost, and what performance can I expect?

A powerful electric motor would drain your battery faster than a small electric trolling motor would, so it would work better for you. Such motor, a battery and a charger could cost you a few hundred dollars, and a new outboard motor would cost you between twice and thrice… However, if you get an electric motor powered by a good size lightweight Lithium-Ion battery, you’ll pay more than your cost for an outboard gas engine, without necessarily getting more bang for your buck.

What type of kayak to get?

This question is easy to answer, because you can’t outfit just any fishing kayak with an outboard motor. If you’re looking to drive a kayak safely and comfortably, you need it to be extremely stable and truly comfortable driving, and realistically speaking, this leaves you with the W500 as your only option. Rigging another fishing kayak with an outboard gas motor would impose too much discomfort on you, and could turn out to be unsafe as well.  If you’re considering an electric trolling motor, many common fishing kayaks can take them but the motor won’t make a kayak dry, comfortable, stable, etc…

Bottom line

So, you want to go fast and far? Can the water you like to fish in get choppy or fast moving? Can the wind drive you somewhere that’s not exactly where you intended to go?…  If so, you may want to start thinking about outfitting your fishing kayak with an outboard motor. Having said that, if you normally fish in ponds and small lakes, or in small, slow moving rivers,  you don’t necessarily have to motorize your kayak, and in case you feel you must motorize, then a small, inexpensive electric trolling motor would do pretty well.

Read more >

Riding Tropical Storm Irene In The Stand Up Kayak

Earlier today we took the W500 kayak to the beach at lake Massapoag, a 1 square mile lake in eastern Massachusetts, on the path of Irene – a tropical storm at that point in time.
The wind was blowing at 35 mph, with long gusts of up to 55 mph, beating the waters of this small lake to waves between 1 and 2 ft high.
Such waves are almost unnoticed when you’re paddling the W500, but paddling standing up against such powerful headwind isn’t easy, as you’ll see in this movie:

Can you jump up and down, and from side to side in the W500? -Absolutely!
Can you fall down with all your weight without losing balance at all, and rise to your feet instantly and with zero effort? -Absolutely!
-Watch this classic video and see for yourself:

The paddler in both videos is middle aged, non athletic, 6 ft tall (1.84 m), and weighs 200 lbs (90.7 kg)- He’s neither a small sized, lightweight guy, nor an athlete who just graduated from college.

The 28.5″ wide W kayak offers unrivaled stability – Much more than any other kayak, including extra wide ones, and even kayaks outfitted with outriggers.
What’s the technical explanation behind such unrivaled stability? –
Read more about stability in fishing kayaks, and the patented invention enabling this super stability >>

True stand up paddling requires a kayak that fulfills a number of basic requirements. The W kayak is the only kayak offering true stand up paddling – Interested to learn more about stand up paddling? – Continue reading >>