Interesting story on my little 2 hp Yamaha I use on the boat. I know I haven’t used the motor in at least two years, maybe longer. I pulled it out a few weeks ago. The gas tank was full of non leaded gas that has had marine stabilizer in it. I didn’t really think it would run well but I put it in a tank and gave it a pull. The little bugger started on the first pull. I used that tank for my trip below and it never gave me one problem. I was pretty surprised.
Now for the fishing. This week I decided I needed to make the two hour trip from St. Augustine to the upper St. Johns River for the annual Shad run. Actually upriver is south for the St. Johns, as it is one of a handful of rivers that runs from south to north in the US. The Shad migrate from the ocean to the headwaters of the St. Johns to breed each year. They are fun to catch on light fly gear and are tenacious fighters. I decided I didn’t want to bother hauling my skiff and the hassle of packing everything so I popped the W500 in the back of my Ridgeline, threw the motor in along with some fly gear and was on my for a little fly fishing therapy, launching at the Jolly Gator Fish camp. I didn’t exactly kill them but caught a couple to satisfy my itch. I also hooked two of the larger Crappie, and Bream (Sunfish to you Yankees) that I have ever landed. So, not a stellar day but at least fish were had. The area is very unique. The river meanders through a large expanse of grass and marsh lands that are used for grazing horses and cows. Plenty of wildlife from herons, egrets, white pelicans, otters, gators, wild pigs, and other creatures. The river also contains quite a variety of fish to catch, including hybrid striper bass. I usually get one trip in a year for the Shad run, though this year I may need one more to see if I can do a little better in the catching department.
One of my least favorite fishing techniques is trolling.
Putting a rod and reel in a rod holder and waiting for what seems like hours for a bite can be borderline boring. Then, dragging a fish against the movement of a slow moving boat as we do fishing for stripers or bluefish in the Chesapeake Bay diminishes the tug and pull of the fish. Imagine cranking in a 5 gallon bucket of water. Welcome to the successful outcome of a trolling expedition.
However, trolling from a Wavewalk S4 is a completely different experience. After good success with my kayak spinning rigs trolling custom fabricated lures in mangrove creeks and channels, I set off to find the perfect rig for trolling in the clear inshore waters of South Florida.
I finally settled on a Shimano TR200-G graphite reel loaded with 20 lb. test mono line on a 4′ kayak Ricky Rod made in Miami.
With this rig in hand and the outboard tiller in the other, a kayak trolling fisherman (or woman) can smoothly ease out line and control the action of the lure or rigged bait while steering the S4. Unlike leaving the rig in the holder, with the rod in hand, bites are easily felt and the hook set. Now, we are fishing and catching and really enjoying the battle.
In less than an hour, I caught 4 barracuda no more than a 1/2 mile from my house using this technique. All were released. But, I had to gently tow the last one back to the dock to safely release from the dive platform of my big boat. It was just too big and toothy to bring aboard.
My next project is to build a long distance de-hooker.
Yesterday, I mounted my rod holders. Thanks Wavewalk, for providing the pilot placement starter holes. Since I was obliged to try them out, I took a run up to the discharge canal of the power plant on the Pax River.
The Wavewalk has been offishially stinkified with the scent of four Blue and four Channel Catfish. Now, it is a real fishing machine though the catches will get much better as the weather in the Chesapeake Region warms.
This was also the first day of Striped Bass trophy season but those fish are a couple weeks behind schedule. I did better than almost all the charter boats, numbers wise. And, for a fraction of the price!
I am using a Mother Ship concept which I will post about later.
Also, the 4′ 9″ Ugly Stik is a killer boat/kayak rod for most of our local and invasive species in the Chesapeake watershed. The second generation graphite series is nice but I’m kind of partial to the original fiberglass version. I bought the last one yesterday that the Tackle Box in Lexington Park had squirrelled away in the storage room.
Look for more and bigger fish to come. The season has just begun. And, I have not yet begun to cat-a-yak.
I bought my Wavewalk in June from Steve Anderson of SOBX Kayaks. I am 76 years old and Medical issues have kept me off the water until now. I took my Wavewalk out Saturday December 27 for the first time and did five and a half miles up a very remote creek in the Pamlico River Basin. I had no problems at all with this distance and could have gone farther but daylight was running out. I would not have attempted December kayaking in my other kayak, but the Wavewalk changes all of this. I always go alone and feel completely secure in this boat!
Attaching a couple of shots from Saturday taken deep in Big Flatty Marsh off of the Pamlico River in NC. I have more places than I will ever be able to visit on my list and hope to have some good shots in the months to come including some good gator shots in the summer. Thanks for a great product.